Children’s rooms, whether for playing or sleeping, can be a real challenge to decorate. As soon as you have them finished and looking beautiful, you’ll find that your child has entered a new phase and wants something different. As children grow their beds need to be replaced, they accumulate new toys and the activities they want to use their rooms for changes. So how can you design spaces that will keep on working for them with minimal extra work required from you?
Colour and style
When you first start decorating a child’s room, you can have a lot of fun. It’s best to avoid wallpapers with favourite characters or themes, as these will soon go out of fashion, but you can use creative painting techniques to give the room a unique style without Peppa Pig adorning the walls. Sticking to neutral tones gives you more options when it comes to adding pictures, posters or stickers to suit your child’s changing moods, and fitting small spotlights close to the ceiling above a neutrally shaded wall allows you to change its apparent colour with ease. You can also use fabric to create great looks that are easy to change, such as canopies for beds, tent-like ceilings or distinctive rugs.
Altering the lighting is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to change the style of a room. These days, it’s easy to find themed lights to appeal to children’s current trends, such as balloons, spaceships or friendly animals. You can use easily removable, glow-in-the-dark stickers to comfort children with a fear of the dark. In the daytime, window shutters help to let light into the room and are easy to paint and repaint in different colours – older children can even do it themselves. Alternatively, curtains can be chosen in favourite colours or themes and are easy to replace.
As they get older, children acquire large quantities of toys and games, so you can never have enough storage. Beds with storage underneath – even full cabin beds – are a great solution, as are ottomans, which also provide extra seating for when friends visit. Cupboards and shelves can be built into alcoves and odd little niches to save space. Bookshelves are important as a means of encouraging children to read and can be used to display their favourite ornaments or the toys they want to be able to see all the time.
Work and play
As children get older, playrooms gradually shift towards becoming workrooms, and where space is limited, room needs to be made in the bedroom for doing homework. A simple desk can be useful even to a young child as a place to draw and paint or play with toys like Lego. Large shelves that fold down from the wall are a good alternative in small spaces, as long as children know not to put their weight on them, and folding chairs are space-savers. Make sure there’s suitable storage at hand for stationery, and somewhere to plug in a computer.
A well-planned child’s room is easy to change in small ways to suit changing needs. It’s worth taking your time over planning it to save yourself a lot of trouble in future.
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