It's not just for sleeping...
A child's bedroom isn't just a bedroom to sleep in! From their perspective it has to serve many different functions as well.
One of the best ways to decorate a child bedroom is to make it fun for them. Get them involved from the start. No matter how young they may be, there is always something they can do to help.
Keep a record of the time you spend together - photos or a video. These are memories you'll take with you for the rest of your life.
What they'll want to do
To help you decorate your child's bedroom, think about the following points.
It will be somewhere to play, to get absorbed in favorite activities. And when their friends are there as well, you'll be pleased you took the time to make the room the best you could for your child.
Drawing and painting are high on the list of most children, as are other creative pastimes such as model making.
Although you may prefer them to do their creative thing in the kitchen or family room, there will be occasions where - for some reason best known to themselves - their bedroom is the only ideal room in the house.
It will be a reading room, a TV room and a computer room. You may want to include a simple computer desk or TV stand.
It will be an art gallery. (Have you ever gone into a child's room and not seen any posters and pictures on the walls?) So be prepared to decorate the walls more often than you would other rooms.
Well, you might call it a music room - your child will invite friends to stay, and music and TV will be high on their list. But it's so easy for the volume to creep up and up...
The key here for a child bedroom is to have nothing too elaborate. Shades or curtains below the sill are all options.
- Don't use cords for control which could be unsafe for small children.
- If your child is woken too early by daylight, have your curtains or fabric shades lined with blackout lining.
- Use basic colors in the fabrics and other furnishings; children prefer simpler colors to the more sophisticated ones used by adults.
- Take the advice of decorating stores who supply child furnishings and furniture. They have a good deal of experience in what children like.
- In general, boys tend to like strong colors, while girls prefer more pastel shades. But there are always exceptions...
The most obvious is shelving. You can use built-in shelving which looks good but is usually more expensive than free-standing shelves.
Closets need to have as much space in them as the room will allow. Make sure there are plenty of shelves and space for shoes and boots. If your child is very young you'll need to have any rails and hangers within easy reach. As your child grows you can then adjust the height of the rails to allow for their increasing size.
Baskets - plastic or wicker - are ideal for storing toys, games and books quickly and easily. Children never want to spend time tidying their room, so make the process of tidying as quick and simple as possible.
It's a lot to think about. But by taking in all the options you'll be able to make your child bedroom somewhere they will feel secure and loved.
No matter how well behaved children may be, using vulnerable surfaces in a child bedroom is asking for trouble. Much better to use tough resilient finishes. The child will feel more at ease, and you won't spend all your time worrying if they're going to damage anything.
A hard, splinter free wood floor will give good service. An area rug (with a suitable non-slip base) will provide a feeling of comfort. Tables and shelves can be made from suitable laminates which are hard wearing and will wipe down easily.
Don't worry too much about the walls. They are going to get marked anyway, and they'll need to be redecorated in a few years. Once you have done a good job preparing the walls for painting, you'll be able to repaint the walls with minimum effort.
Lighting and electrics
One word - safety. Although table lamps may be used for older children, the best solution for younger ones is to install good overhead or wall lighting. Make sure there are no cables left which can be tripped over, or electric sockets which sharp articles can be inserted into. In fact, it's a good idea to blank off any unused sockets.
What and who...
Your child bedroom is no different from other rooms when it comes to home decorating. All you do is answer questions based on two simple ideas:
- What is the room going to be used for? (See the 'What they'll want to do' section above).
- Who is going to use it? Safety is an important feature, then practical needs.
Whatever room you're decorating, do you find it difficult to decide on your choice of paint color? You may find this of interest...
The Shortcut to Perfect Paint Colors - Paint Color Cheat Sheets