Decorating Children’s Rooms
by Lisa Valentine
Decorating a child’s bedroom is not as easy as it sounds! There are lots of factors you have to consider such as size, themes, color, furniture, trends, accessories, usage and the age of the child. Children spend a lot more time in their rooms than we do and of course they don’t just use their rooms for sleeping, but for working and playing too. So it’s essential that the decor of the room strikes the right balance.
It’s very tempting to make children’s rooms as bright and as colorful as possible but whilst bright colors might stimulate during the day, they are not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Therefore it might be wise to perhaps keep strong colours to the borders of a room or concentrate on one wall which can act as a focal point for the room.
Also it’s worth bearing in mind that children see colors slightly differently than we do, so whilst we might think that bright orange is cheery and sunny they may react in a less positive way. Neutral or pastel shades are therefore best with bright, colorful accessories providing the perfect compliment.
The lighting in a room has a big effect on how colors are picked out and how we perceive a room’s size. Ideally you’d have as much natural lighting as possible, so make sure that curtains are able to be drawn right back during the day. In the evening it’s advisable to have different lights – one bright light or spotlights to provide background lighting for when children are playing in the room, a lamp or desk light for particular activities such as reading or doing homework and nightlights for very young children who are afraid of the dark. Novelty lights can also add to the theme of the room and provide a little fun. Just remember that safety is crucial so do ensure that leads are tucked away and lamps don’t get too hot.
The popular choice now is to have a themed bedroom and there are plenty to choose from! Try to avoid choosing television characters as these themes only have a very short shelf life. Instead you could choose a general theme such as space, pirates, princesses or nature. There are many accessories available, from novelty light switches to wall stickers and prints that help transform a child’s room into anything you want – a jungle, a space station or the beach. General themes last so much longer and are playful and easy to accessorise for.
Ideally accessories and accents will compliment your color scheme and add those little touches of brightness and character. Bedding, rugs, lightshades, cushions, pictures, clocks and ornaments all work together to personalise your child’s room therefore it’s a good idea, if you can, to get your child involved in choosing some great bedroom accessories and deciding where they will be placed. If the room is small then you’ll want to avoid excessive clutter, so consider having just one wall that your child can cover with posters, photos, noticeboards, shelves and other nik naks. It’s far easier to redecorate just one wall rather than an entire room and whilst the wall can be an explosion of colour and mess, the rest of the room can be kept fairly neutral and clean.
Above all, when you are decorating children’s rooms remember that your taste is not their taste. So don’t try to force your ideas onto their room. Instead allow them to experiment and be imaginative and then work on providing what they want, but in a rather more toned down version!
Lisa is a working mum with two kids in the UK and writes about parenting and family issues as well as decorating children’s rooms and all things related.