How to Design the Perfect Children's Room

This is a room that will need to change a lot over the years, so keep this in mind when you are getting ready for that brand new bundle of joy, or if you are updating a child’s room - by Françoise Murat.

This is a room that will need to change a lot over the years, so keep this in mind when you are getting ready for that brand new bundle of joy, or if you are updating a child’s room.

Simple layouts and a colour scheme that can be taken through to the next decorating scheme will definitely help in the budget department. Generally, there are 3 stages that a child’s bedroom will go through – baby to small child, pre-teen, and teenager. For the ones that come back home after University? Well, the boomerang kids will definitely need an adult space – but more of that in weeks to come.

As with any decorating you will need to consider a few vital elements, so that your planning can be on time, on budget and create the room you want for your children.

PLANNING

Structure, storage, lighting, flooring and colour scheme are all vital elements to consider before you start decorating any room. So, once you have the essential elements of room decorating done, the perfect child’s bedroom is really simple: think three things – a planned layout, practical and sturdy furniture and simple colours. You cannot go wrong and it ensures you get some mileage in the scheme as the child grows.

LET’S START WITH .... STRUCTURE

Structure is the most important element: get this right and everything else pretty much falls into place. Are you extending? Does that mean news walls which means plastering. Check that no windows or walls need to be moved, radical yes, but it is sometimes required to open up a room which has an odd shape or many angles.

KEEP IT TIDY

Next is storage – inevitable and so important. Keep storage to one part of the room so that it does not encroach on the living space too much, this will also keep the scheme calm and less crowded.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Lighting and natural light is vital – think before you do any final decorating as wires will need to be hidden, so it is best to do that at the structural stage of any new changes. Ensure you have made provisions for lots of sockets and switches – as the child grows the likes of TVs, radios, CD players and game stations as well as computers will take over from fluffy toys, and all these things require lots of power.

Just like any other room, remember task lighting i.e. to change the baby or when the children need to do homework at a desk. Mood lighting is important when the baby is small and where harsh light is bad for its eyes, and for the older children, it gives them a feeling of privacy and seclusion. Overhead lighting should not be discounted either- although it is not that fashionable in the living areas of the house, in a children’s room it is most important as their play area needs to be well lit.

Natural light is very important – windows facing the sun might need some type of screening so that it is not too bright for a small child or when older children are doing homework, but bedrooms facing north will need to work hard to provide light. If a room is really dark, the use of darker shades on the wall will create a warm feel and look – and not indulge the colder northern light. You can also use mirrors to bounce light off the walls: used judiciously they are very effective at creating an illusion of space and light. But be careful with darker wall colours for young children, it can be a bit over-bearing, and younger ones might benefit from a lighter scheme with dark and warm accents and lots of textured textiles, such as fluffy blankets, cushions and soft toys.

Next week in part 2 we discuss flooring, colour schemes and furniture – it’s like baking a cake!