Designing a child’s bedroom could be fun, but it can also be stressful. Since children are not as organized as we would like them to be, designing their room should be done in a smart and effective manner. Before invading the space remember that it’s not your room. Take each child’s likes and dislikes into account. For example, no matter how much you may abhor the color pink, if she likes it, you need to compromise. Consider a shade you can live with but go with pink.
Selecting color is not easy. Children are known for selecting really bold colors. Try not to cringe if they chose something you consider outrageous. Instead guide them to a lighter shade and explain why you feel it is better. Do not disregard your child’s taste. It can become a battle that will carry on for longer than you think. A happy compromise will make the project move along faster.
I recently had a client who hired me to decorate her 12-year-old son’s room. When her son discovered what she had planned to do, he had a fit and swore that he would never sleep in it again. I had to take the mother aside and remind her that it was not her room. She was not happy and reminded me that it was her house. She dramatically explained that she could not live with Green, Blue, Orange and Red walls. Eventually she caved and now she, and her son, love it!
Before removing anything from the room take a good look at the space. Stand at the door and ask yourself the following questions: What furniture should remain? What can be repurposed? What is taking up space that is not needed? Is there enough storage and shelving?
Consider reusing existing furniture. In this economy it is important to recycle. To reinvent a piece of furniture, simply give it a new coat of paint or relocate it from one room to another. Furniture that does not work in one room could surprise you by fitting in well in another.
Toys consume a lot of space. Scrutinize the inventory, sit with your children, and decide what they are keeping and what they no longer play with. Please do not hide their toys, keep them in the open. When toys are stowed away they are not played with. You have many storage options, from colorful clear storage boxes to shelving on the wall. Take your child’s collection of toys into account and how many of each they actually have. Boxes are great for trains and tracks, while shelving allows for storing and showing off books and dolls. If shelving is your option, go the entire wall from floor to ceiling. Not only will the unit give the room height, but it will also store more, leaving floor space for other use.
Somehow the windows are always the last thing most people think about. Your window treatment should be simple. Their color should be of a shade that compliments everything in the room and every season. Do not buy anything complicated and take safety into account, remember children will be pulling at the cords.
Do not be afraid to think outside the box when redoing a child’s room. Make it a family project. I just finished my kid’s room and I put everyone to work including my husband. The kids need a sense of ownership. They need to feel that their opinions count. Last, but not least, keep in mind that your child is growing and so are their tastes. Design the room to last a few years. A Mickey Mouse-themed room will not last more than three years.
Marlene Pratt is the co-founder of Casa Latina, an interior designer and on-air television host on both English and Spanish-language television. Follow Marlene on Twitter at @CasaLatinaToday and Like her FB page