Children have limitless imaginations. You child's bedroom is his sanctum, his own private space. It should both feed that incredible imagination as well as be an expression of it. So, when you design a room for your child, you should definitely have his input. You may also want to consider things like function-- how the space will be used. You should also think about whether you want this space to be able to grow with him or whether you are up for a redesign at every new stage of his development. No matter what you decide, here are some tips to help you design an amazing room for your child.
First Consider Age
Children have different needs at different stages of development. A toddler or preschool aged child needs lots of floor space. While you will want some furnishings, perhaps soft furnishings like cushions, you will also want a wide open space on a carpeted floor where they can pull out toys and play. An early school-aged child up to age 11 will still want room to play, but will also need space for school work. A solid desk and some shelves are appropriate at this stage. An older child is preparing for the adult world and as a result may want his room to more closely resemble an adult space. At all ages, a quality set of blinds can blend in with the décor and promote the restful sleep all children require.
Choosing a Color Scheme
This is the part most children truly adore. They have the opportunity to express themselves and surround themselves with things that they love. You may want to do something simple like only choosing a color scheme. This will allow you to change things like bed sheets and accessories as they age rather than going through a full scale transformation. Larger items such as furnishings and wall colors can be anchors around which the rest of the landscape changes. Colors and textures can be layered through area rugs, soft furnishings and draperies.
How Will the Space Be Used?
As fun as decorating is, you cannot overlook function. Your child's bedroom has a purpose and often more than one. Those purposes are to meet his developmental and creative needs.
First and foremost, he must have a place to sleep. After all, what are bedrooms for?
He must have a space to work. A school aged child will need a desk, but even a toddler should have an appropriately-sized table at which to color and play. Depending on your child's interests, he may need space to work on art projects, puzzles or games. His desk may be suitable. If not, consider a dedicated area for his extracurricular pursuits.
There should be a place to read. While many children read on their beds, you could have a designated reading area with a chair and lamp. You could also create a nook for reading which can also serve double-duty for hiding or playing pretend. Provide cushions for getting comfortable. You could even have a hammock. There really are no rules.
Don't overlook storage. Your child needs a place to keep belongings such as books, toys and clothing. This not only provides him with storage but a place to put things when he is done using them. Nothing makes a space feel more uncomfortable than clutter.
Finally, your child will likely want to invite friends over. Having additional seating or multiple chairs at the table makes for a space where friends feel welcome.
Everything should be accessible to your child so that he is able to use and maintain the space himself. He should be able to open and close the blinds himself, reach shelves, use drawers, and so on. He should feel confident moving about and using the space on his own. Then, at the very least, he's got no excuse for not keeping it tidy.
There are two schools of thought on furnishings. The first is that you will probably replace your child's furnishings at least once during his childhood. When this is the case, you can feel free to be a bit more creative with furnishings during the earlier part of his childhood and then be more conservative with the furnishings you get as he grows older. For example, you might allow your toddler to have the blinds with the frog print on them. When he gets older, he may prefer a more mature solid color or simple, dignified pattern. A toddler may want a bed that is made to look like a car. But as he gets older, he may prefer a normal bed with a more classic bedhead.
The second school of thought is that larger items such as a bed, dresser and desk should be purchased with the idea of serving your child throughout his childhood. If you purchase well-made items in a classic style, they should last. As his tastes grow and evolve, you can exchange smaller-ticket items like bedding, cushions and even blinds.
Accessories are the smaller items that add to the overall interest of the room. This may include light fixtures and lamps, door knobs and drawer pulls, sheets, soft furnishings such as cushions, and window treatments such as curtains or blinds. Accessories may grow with your child or may be switched out. They are far easier and less costly to change than furnishings. You could change the whole feel of a room by repainting, buying new bedding and switching out wall hangings.
You only get to be a child once. It can be a magical time when your freedom from responsibility can allow you to grow, explore the world, create and discover who you are. You are allowed to develop passions, read and become who you are meant to be. A child's bedroom is the space where much of this magic happens. Giving your child an amazing bedroom is just one way to foster that magic.