I’ve just embarked upon the task of re-designing/ re-furnishing my 5 year old daughter’s bedroom and thought I would try and give you some tips about what to consider when planning a space for a child. First and foremost, your consideration should be what a child is going to use their bedroom for? It is generally much more to them than just a place to sleep. As a child grows it needs to be everything from a quiet hideaway and a playroom to a study area as well as an ‘all too precious’ space for the storage of all their many and varied ‘bits and bobs’. It could also be worth considering giving them a larger room rather than the rest of the house getting filled up with toy storage. On the same note it could be worth having siblings share a bedroom with twin or bunk beds and then use the room that may have been the other’s bedroom as a play space.
Storage is essential, but it’s also important not to put all toys and games away up high or in cupboards and drawers where they can’t be seen. They then don’t get played with, and the massive investment you’ve made in all those action figures, dolls, cuddly toys and various assorted plastic items is wasted! Leaving as much floor space as possible is necessary for play or for a lounging beanbag as they get older and want to just chill out or listen to music in their room. Try to use space that might otherwise be wasted – under the bed is an obvious one and having a mid-sleeper or a high bunk frees up all the space underneath for storage and even other furniture items. Window seats with storage underneath and hanging storage on the back of the door are also worth considering.
When designing your child’s bedroom try and consider their changing taste. They may be a ‘full on girlie girl’ now but need something a little more sophisticated than fairies and princesses in a year or two. And equally will they really want Spiderman wallpaper when they’re 10 and into pop music? Make the basics as neutral as possible – plain walls and furniture – and then you can add a bit of character to a room with wall stickers, cushions, bed linen and pictures; all of which can be changed easily and at relatively little cost. If they want a BEN 10 or DISNEY duvet cover get them to put it on their birthday wish list! If they insist on a wall colour that you would rather not have (as happened in my case!) tone it down to an acceptable grown up version of their request and then tie it in to existing curtains etc with the accessories I mentioned. Small rugs can also be used to make colours work together and create an interest to the floor play space.
Lastly, I would say that at any age a decent blackout window cover is essential to a good night’s sleep. A lined curtain or well fitting blinds or both! If fitting blinds please consider safety and ensure that blind cords are kept as short as possible and tucked out of the way. Also, screw heavy furniture to the wall, fit window locks and avoid trailing electrical leads.
Luckily, my daughter is thrilled with her newly designed room, now I just have to get her to stay in bed all night and keep her room looking tidy. Any advice?
Anne Springall is an Interior Designer to the property industry and is available to quote for show homes, refurbishment projects and furnishing properties to let.
020 8886 1573 or 07973 510987