THE FUNDAMENTALS OF A WELL-DESIGNED CHILD’S BEDROOM
Designing a child’s bedroom can be so much fun. There’s a ton of opportunity to use color and themes, as well as incorporate the child’s interests and personality.
But when I design these spaces, my main goal is to give them a space that encourages their creativity, independence, and confidence.
That’s no small feat, for sure! But there are a few foundational elements I rely on to accomplish that while ensuring the space is well-designed and kid-appropriate, no matter their age.
Choose safe, durable furnishings and textiles
The furnishings in a child’s bedroom are going to get plenty of daily wear and tear, which means durability is crucial–for safety as much as for longevity.
When it comes to hard furnishings, look at the quality of both the construction and the materials. Though it’s more costly, choose solid wood over particle board, which simply won’t last.
While some finishes (such as paints and stains protected with a clear topcoat) are easier to clean and maintain than others, I think it’s best just to expect children's furniture to get a little beat up along the way.
Look for furniture that's easy for both adults and children to use, for example, no complicated clasps or unwieldy drawers. Always fasten dressers and bookcases to the wall using anti-tip devices.
For upholstery in children’s bedrooms, I always opt for performance fabrics that are resistant to stains, fading, and normal wear. You’d be surprised by how many great options are available these days and how soft and beautiful they are! I recommend low-pile fabrics as opposed to velvets and chenilles, which tend to grab onto and hold dirt and crumbs.
The same goes for carpets and rugs. Choose a low-pile, stain-resistant option that won’t ‘eat’ small toys and will make for easy cleanup of dirt and spills. My absolute favorite option for kids’ bedroom flooring is Flōr carpet tiles. Washable and replaceable, they come in nearly endless color and pattern options (we’re not talking about the old industrial office building look nor the primary color ABCs and 123s classroom carpet here!) and are so easy to maintain. I prefer something in a darker color palette for a kid’s room to better hide any potentially stubborn stains–you’re asking for trouble with an all-white rug in a child’s space!
Whenever possible, look for non-toxic items, including low-VOC paints and finishes and textiles with low or no chemical residues.
Provide creative zones
I’m a big believer in giving kids dedicated areas in which to express themselves and play creatively. Providing stations for activities and giving them space to pursue their interests can work wonders for helping them to be independent and to explore their individuality.
This can mean different things depending on each child, but child-sized game tables, writing desks, arts and crafts areas, and reading corners (stocked with the activity’s necessary equipment and supplies) can all be wonderful additions to consider for your child’s bedroom.
Display their artwork
I make sure to include some type of display of the child’s artwork in every kid’s bedroom I design. Not only is it a perfect way to personalize their space, but seeing their artwork proudly featured in their room (or anywhere in their home) can really boost their confidence.
Since most children are prolific artists at home and at school, I love displays that are readily changeable so the child can swap out their creations themselves.
This post is full of my tips on how to create a gallery wall, but clipboards hung in a grid, frames that open via a hinge without having to remove them from the wall, or even clothespins on a length of twine strung across the room are all viable ideas for displays in kids’ rooms.
Providing simple organizational systems for their belongings is crucial for helping children keep their rooms neat and tidy (not to mention clutter and mess can be dangerous for kids). Having a specific location for everything makes for a cleaner space and helps the child be independent with clearing up.
Bookcases or cubbies outfitted with labeled baskets or bins are great for corraling smaller items and keeping clutter out of sight. Making the categories general (like “trains and cars,” “dolls and doll clothes,” “puzzles and games,” “blocks,” etc.) will be easier for your child to remember where everything goes.
Multifunctional furnishings like storage ottomans and benches are also great options to consider, especially if space is at a premium.
When putting together a kid’s bedroom, don’t overlook comfort. Obviously, their bed should be comfortable, but I also like to make sure there’s comfortable seating available for both the child and their parents in the child’s room.
Any nooks or areas for reading or other activities should feature comfy chairs, bean bags, and/or floor cushions. These types of seating will let the child settle in and keep them on task longer–especially if when reading. For school-aged children, a comfortable desk chair that gives their bums a break from the hard seating they have at school is crucial for homework.
Whenever space allows, I also love to include a loveseat or a generously-sized reading chair. Loveseats are fabulous since they allow for more than just one parent and one child to sit and read together.
By taking these elements into consideration, you’ll lay the foundation for a well-designed child’s room that fosters their budding creativity and grows their self-confidence and independence. Layer on the color and fun themes and you’ve got a winning kid’s space for sure!
anpil lanmou (lots of love),