Designing Your Kid’s Room is Child’s Play!Designing Your Kid’s Room is Child’s Play!
By BatSheva Vaknin
Would your child’s room benefit from some fresh design ideas and reorganization? Most could, but it can be hard to know where to begin and what concepts to use. Obviously, the age and personality of your child, not to mention your budget, will dictate much of the design concept. But where and how to begin? With these easy-to-follow tips, you will be ready to dive right in and decorate.
A room with a viewpoint
Every piece of furniture, wall-hanging and accessory in a child’s room contributes to an overall feeling conveyed by the room. A sports theme conveys excitement, while soft white clouds against a light blue sky add a relaxing, inspirational touch. Choose the design that is right for your child by having a conversation with each object and piece of furniture before you place it in the room, asking what it could contribute and where it would like to be placed. Ask the room what color it would like to be painted, or the walls what they would like hanging on them. Stay open-minded and you will realize the answer to each question is within you.
Give your child the room of his or her dreams - literally
Did you know that children sleep for up to sixteen hours a day and sometimes more, depending on their age? For child development, sleep is as vital for health and well-being as food. So your first consideration when designing your child’s bedroom should be to create a space that feels comfortable, warm and safe. Keep this in mind when planning to decorate, since creating an atmosphere where your child can sleep peacefully is more important than adapting the latest hot design trend.
Minimize distractions, maximize peace of mind
Messy, cluttered rooms add a subtle layer of stress to the inhabitant, and can inhibit proper relaxation. Keep your child’s room well-organized, with as few distractions as possible. Before you begin to decorate your child’s room, remove all furniture, toys, clothes, and wall-hangings. Clean the entire room, using natural cleaners that won’t irritate your child’s sensitive nostrils and lungs.
Color me beautiful
Paint can transform an ordinary room into a world of your child’s own. Color will influence how your child feels, so choose shades or combinations that promote relaxation, security, happiness and love. Green, blue, pink, pastel orange, and beige are all good choices. Let your child help pick the color, but stay away from bright reds and yellows which can be overly vibrant, making it hard for your child to relax, and from dreary grays, browns or black, which can be depressing and may affect your child’s mood. Paint should be freshened every two to four years, and should provide a nice backdrop for the rest of the room.
Bed sheets, blankets and bumpers should also be soothing to the eye, so steer clear of bright, dominant colors. Pastels of any color work fine here, as does plain white or cream. When it comes to room accents, you can be creative with colors. A child’s chair or step stool can be painted in bright primary colors, eliciting feelings of excitement, while a large soft teddy bear or rug can be light blue or pink, enveloping your child in comfort and love.
Clear that clutter!
Once the paint is dry, bring back in the bed. Place the bed in its ideal location, then one by one, fill out the room with the other furniture pieces (see Feng Shui Tips, below). If the room starts to look cluttered, do not feel you must fit in everything. Trade the chest of drawers for a closet organizer, wire or wood systems.
Clothes that no longer fit should be donated, passed to a friend in need, or stored in waterproof storage boxes in a garage or storage space, along with clothes that are out of season. (Make sure if you are storing these clothes to clearly mark the outside of the boxes for easy identification.) Limit toys and books to those the child makes use of daily and weekly. Give away unused toys, or store them in waterproof boxes in a garage or storage space. The more clothes and toys you get rid of, the more room you will have for future fashions and fun activities.
Feng Shui tips
You may have heard or read about Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of object and furniture placement. Feng Shui explains that each area of a room attracts a different type of energy from the other areas. Implementing Feng Shui in your child’s bedroom design can maximize the effectiveness of the furniture and art you are already planning to use. For example, Feng Shui teaches that a bed should be placed in the corner of the room farthest from the door. Your child’s head should be at the end of the bed where the door can be easily viewed, and there is no chance of getting startled by an unexpected visitor.
The northern section of your child’s room promotes stillness, so this would be an example of an ideal placement for the bed. The desk should be placed far from the door, in the Northeast part of the room if possible, since this is the Knowledge/Education Sector. This area is also a great place for educational posters, such as letters of the alphabet or a picture of Einstein. Select artwork carefully, taking time to notice any hidden messages. Each image gives off a specific vibration, so only choose the most positive pictures for the walls.
Of all the activities your child will do in his or her room - including grooming, relaxing, studying, and playing - in mind that sleep is most important and must be supported by the design of the room. Take your child’s personality into consideration, as well as his or her hobbies and special interests. Still, keep all décor in check so that it does not overwhelm or clutter the space. And finally, have fun! The energy, love and care you bring to this project will permeate every object’s placement, adding an invisible yet invaluable element to whatever design you choose to implement.
About the author:
A Yale graduate, BatSheva Vaknin writes plays, screenplays, and articles on topics ranging from finding the world’s greatest pizza to decorating a child’s room. She has just completed her first novel.