Parents, do you want your kids’ bedrooms to be relaxing oases where they can decompress and escape the academic and social pressures of school? Don’t assume that means muted colors and quiet sanctuary.
Instead, designers say, let the room reflect your child’s personality, even if that involves some more vibrant colors and patterns.
“Many parents find that hot pink walls are better than hot pink hair, right? And it’s only a bucket of paint. Such a space allows kids to be themselves, and that is a calming thing in today’s world,” said interior designer Kelee Katillac, who enjoys designing children’s rooms and runs a studio in Kansas City, Mo.
She and other designers recommend working with kids to create an organized, multifunctional and comfortable bedroom with an interesting color palette.
WHAT’S THE BEDROOM FOR?
A first step to creating a great space for kids is defining what purposes the room must serve, Katillac said. Most kids do more than sleep in their rooms. They play, do homework and entertain friends there. Delineate a place for each of the room’s main functions, she said.
If your children intend to study in their room, supply a desk, chair, and of course good lighting. Create a reading nook for the bookworm. For the kid who likes to have friends over, provide a seating area — even if it’s just cushions and a rug — and have mood lighting or even decorative string lighting.
Defining separate areas helps kids relax because it creates a sense of structure, Katillac said.
FINDING THE RIGHT COLORS
Sometimes subtle colors are best, slight variations in the shades will add layers to any room without over compromising on any one strong color. Keeping things versatile and affordable as they grow. In our house, we use this approach to even the things we decorate with or use for their development such as the hanging height ruler.
Wall color can impact your mood, said Sue Wadden of Sherwin-Williams in Cleveland. She recommends avoiding primary colors in favor of more natural or neutral tones like greens, browns, light grays or soft blues.
“It’s easier on the eye,” she said. “It’s easier on the brain.”
To promote easy clean relaxation, consider using softer or less saturated versions of the bright colors typically used in kids’ rooms, she added. If you’re concerned that your child’s color choices could get too bold, pick several colors you could live with and let them select from those, Wadden suggested.
You can also use other elements to add the pops of color that kids crave. Consider painting a colorful accent wall, or adding a vibrant rug or patterned comforter.
“Bring in brighter tones with secondary pieces,” Wadden said.
BRING IN THEIR INTERESTS
Let your child help choose the room’s theme, said Janet Paik, an editor with the interior decorating website Houzz. “If you want it to feel like their personal sanctuary, it needs to be their own space chosen by them,” she said.
It can be easy and inexpensive to incorporate a favorite hobby, sports team or activity into the room. Decals, bedding, artwork, and accessories can highlight a child’s interests, and are easy to change out as they get older, said Melisa White of Melisa White Interiors in New York.
Writable surfaces such as chalkboard paint or large marker boards also let kids customize their room.
EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
Provide bins, shelving, and storage that children can reach to take out and put away their things, White said. Everyone enjoys a tidy clean room if not their entire home to be neat and clean: “Clutter can cause stress and anxiety, although children may not understand that or recognize it,” she said.
An organized clean room will help children relax, agreed Heather Turgeon, co-author of “The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep — Newborn to School Age” (TarcherPerigee, 2014).
“A lot of clutter and toys can keep kids’ minds activated, the same way having an office desk in your clean room or a pile of stressful papers beside your bed might do for you,” said Turgeon, a psychotherapist.
USE WHAT THEY LOVE
Consider including a shelf or bulletin board where kids can display items important to them, she said. When Katillac was working with a teenager who collects shoes, she put in shelving where he could set out some of his favorite pairs. That not only kept things orderly; it created a meaningful vignette in the room.
“Kids are very vocal about the things they like,” Katillac said. “Look at their interests and see if you can turn it into a piece of artwork.”
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Ideally, the room should be media-free at bedtime, Turgeon said.
One of the biggest differences in our house actually is not that hard to replicate – We have created a communal charging station where the entire family charges our electronics in some place other than our individual bedrooms. – Diana Valle
“Have everybody say good night to their devices at least an hour before bedtime,” she said.
If children keep a computer in their room, try to separate it visually from the sleep space with a bookshelf, curtain or another creative design idea.
Most houses have outlets at the bottom of where our night stands would be, but when it comes to our kids room and night time – its important to have a subtle dim night light for them. If you don’t have space in your house for a dedicated charging station, try using one of these round lights by Anpress, they have USB connections so that you can hide the night light behind the stand, making it more subtle and easy on the shut eyes, while providing you clutter free way to keep their iPads or phones charging in their room.
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