The ABCs of decorating children’s rooms! 6 easy steps to understanding kids’ furniture and furnishi
There is nothing more adorable than kids’ furniture and nothing harder than putting together a room that you and your kids LOVE, is practical and can grow with your kids. Here are my favorite 6 tips to give your kids the room of their dreams!
1. No matter how small the space or the age of the kids, you can divide the room into four major functional areas (these functions may "run into" each other and areas can play double-duty, but you need to keep these important functions in mind) :
2. First understand the placement of the window(s) and the door in the room. The window is both the source of light and a source of worry (we’ll talk about safety in a later article, but keep in mind that you need to install bars and any other safety features close to the window). The door and the window to an extent will/can put restrictions on placement of furniture or the size of the pieces. While you can completely change the layout of a room on a regular basis – think about what is the best configuration for the room for the foreseeable future.
3. The Sleep Area: Today your baby needs a crib, then a junior bed and then a full size bed. Think about the best area to place the bed. A baby’s sleep area will inevitably include a rocking chair or nursing chair, while an older child’s room should include a high riser (a second bed fit under the first bed, that rolls out for those all-important sleep overs or siblings) or other additional bed solutions and a chair “to hang clothing”.
A junior bed is a great in-between solution for a toddler or slightly older child who is too big for a crib, but needs a smaller, lower bed. Many of these beds have a frame that can be extended to lengthen as your child grows. Don’t forget to buy the BEST mattress you can – it is never too early to take into consideration good back and posture health.
As your child gets older you will need to think about a night stand or night lamp for your child to read in bed. If there is no room for a night stand, perhaps the work desk lamp can be placed close enough to the bed to double duty as a night lamp or consider a lamp fixture attached to the wall. The problem with fixtures attached to the wall is they are – just that – attached to the wall and cannot be easy moved or removed.
4. The Play Area: The play area does not have to be limited to a corner of the room, but you can create a play area with a colorful area rug – that will give a bit of warmth in the winter and a great place to roll around on all year long. This “on the floor play area” can be taken over by more storage space or work space as the child gets older.
5. The Work Area: A baby does not need a “work” area, but this can be the ideal space for a changing table. Many times this piece of furniture is out-grown within less than a year. The best changing tables are ones that can be used as regular chest of drawers once the top changing ‘platter’ is either removed or flipped behind the unit. This area can also be converted into the perfect computer/homework table unit.
When thinking about where to place a computer/homework unit consider where the electrical outlets are found in the room; you may need to add an electrical outlet track to provide safe electrical supply to all the necessary equipment.
Now just add a chair or two and you’re done. But once again – don’t forget your children’s backs when choosing chairs – they must be comfortable and back-supportive. Read more about ergonomic kids chairs in this article: http://www.kidspacestuff.com/blog/2011/08/reduce-fatigue-ergonomic-study-chair/
6. The Storage Area: Storage is always an issue no matter how small or large the room. While I will tackle the issue of storage in an upcoming article; always keep in mind that nearly every piece of furniture in your kids’ room can play double-duty as a storage unit. Most beds have under-the-bed storage space for linens and/or toys, most homework/computer units have shelves for books and toys.
And then, of course, we have closets. There are as many closet choices as stars in the sky. Before you choose a closet keep in mind the height and length and depth of the unit. Think about how much hanging and folded clothing space you/your child needs. Where will shoes be stored? Where will bulky items be stored – such as winter blankets, winter coats and sweaters?
Where will books, toys and “stuff” be stored?
Do you want a closet that is age specific: a small sweet closet for a baby/toddler or an adult closet that a child can “grow into”?
As always before buying, take the time to look at everything that is available to you online and in stores. Ask your friends for tips on what worked and didn’t work for them. And most importantly, keep an open mind to the never ending possibilities of kids’ room design!
Are you welcoming a new baby into your family and your home and want to design the baby room of your dreams? Have your children “outgrown” their room? Is it time to “freshen” up an existing kids’ room? Give me a call today and let me design a dream kids’ room for your family!
Yael Diamond, Interior Designer and Project Manager, specializes in consulting, planning and designing private residences, elite apartments, offices, and public business. You can follow Yael on www.facebook.com/yaeldiamondesigns.