Functional & Flexible Kid’s Rooms
When you’re designing your child’s room, it’s tempting to begin by purchasing a comforter set from his or her favorite Disney character–say Perry the Platypus–and then go from there. Bright teal-green walls with tangerine accents, and you’re in business, until next year, that is, when your child prefers a different cartoon hero. Keep reading for our tips on designing bedrooms that are flexible enough to transition through all stages of your children’s lives.
Parents love to delight their children with fanciful bedrooms that resemble a princess castle or a pirate den. But how can you design bedrooms that both fit your children’s needs and imaginations right now, yet are flexible enough to fulfill their needs and desires as they grow and mature?
The bedroom should function well for your child’s activities and well-being.
- Kid’s rooms should provide ample storage for clothing, toys, books and games, and make that storage easy for them to use, so they can clean up after themselves. One of the best solutions is built-in cabinetry that is anchored to the bedroom wall, since children will often try to climb.
- Include some open shelving, cubbies and baskets, which are easier for smaller children to manipulate than deep drawers and large closet doors.
- Install several clothing hooks inside and outside the closets, since these are simpler for children to use than hangers.
- Include a table, desk or built-in desktop for completing arts and crafts projects or schoolwork, along with seating that provides good back support and encourages healthy posture.
- Make certain this area is well-lit to avoid eyestrain. General overhead room lighting is important, as well as task lighting specifically focused on the activity area.
- Kids like to personalize their rooms. Allow them to express themselves by providing a chalkboard or install a cork board where they can attach their artwork. If your child is a budding artist, paint a section of the bedroom wall with chalkboard paint.
- Choose materials and finishes that are easy care and non-toxic, such as low or no-VOC paints, stains or sealants. Select natural flooring materials, such as hardwood, cork, bamboo or real linoleum (Marmoleum), rather than carpet that can harbor allergens or vinyl that can emit harmful fumes.
The bedroom should be flexible enough to perform well into the future
- Children grow up more rapidly than parents expect, and their needs change quickly. Unless you want to completely re-do your child’s bedroom every year, design the bedroom for flexibility.
- Avoid choosing a juvenile theme for your child’s bedroom that he or she will quickly outgrow. Choose cabinet finishes and paint colors that can form a backdrop for your child’s ever changing interests.
- Select a crib that transitions into a toddler bed and then later into a regular twin or full bed. It will save you the cost of purchasing a new bed as your child ages, and may make the adjustment for your child easier as well.
- Install adjustable rods and poles in the closet, so the space can evolve to fit various clothing sizes as your child matures.
- Include a comfortable adult-size lounge chair or loveseat for reading books or cuddling with your child. The same lounge chair, transformed by the addition of some colorful new throw pillows, can serve your child during the teen years.