A Child's World... At Least for the Next Few Years
When designing a child’s room, sometimes the biggest limitation one encounters is their own imagination. While children’s rooms should be a place to relax and drift off to dream land, keep in mind that it will also become a place where they begin to create their own wonderful memories. It may even allow a parent to have an opportunity to re-create their wonderful childhood memories through a dream room for their child. It’s an opportunity for parents and children to bond in the heart of their child’s world.
Tips to create that fantasy room actually start with the essentials—the less glamourous ‘function’ behind the ‘form’…so to speak:
- When designing your child’s room, keep in mind your child’s personality. If they are old enough, give them a say in some aspects of the room, like theme and colour palette. Be careful with the choice of colour as colours have an impact on mood. Keep it cheerful and inspiring. Letting your children be invested in the decision process may even encourage them to keep it clean… I did say it was about fantasies!
- Remember that the essentials of a child’s room are not that different from your own - a place to sleep, space if possible for seating or perhaps a desk and storage… storage… storage.
- Lighting should not just be one overhead light. While you do need general lighting, your child will also need task lighting, ambiance lighting and for some, even night lighting.
- Windows provide natural light and a connection to the view outdoors; establishing a sense of spaciousness and comfort in the room. Ensure that you have proper windows and window coverings to provide as much natural light as possible during the day and yet a means of blocking it out for naps or bedtime.
- Flooring should be conducive to playtime, yet comfortable enough for sitting on. Children tend to sit right on the floor with their toys, books and their friends.
- All the right wiring for electronics, computers, etc. is key in today’s world. Children use electronics early in life; don’t overlook the need to incorporate technology into the design. Think ahead…they grow up way too fast!
Ask yourself how often you are going to want to redecorate when you design this room. The incorporation of well-planned custom cabinetry can take your child from infant to high school with just a few adjustments. Cabinets can be designed to allow for toy storage, then book shelves, clothes storage, and even display shelves for the numerous awards your child may earn. A mixture of open shelving and cabinet doors can allow for storage for all ages, and can be designed in a variety of styles, paint colours or stains. Custom cabinetry is just that… an opportunity to ensure that the space accommodates your growing child. A built-in change table area can be transformed into a toddler’s art centre and then a homework desk as time goes on, without buying new furniture.
If we want a child to put their toys and clothes away… and we all do… then effective storage solutions are a must. A closet with a single rod and shelf usually cannot accommodate the growing collection of clothes, toys, books, electronics, and personal items that children collect over time. Since children love to see their toys, awards, and personal creations (even when they are not using them), creating a built-in unit where everything has its place, can make both child and parent happy. Imagine that!
Hardwood floors enable children to have a reasonably smooth surface to play on with their blocks, cars, trains, or games. Add an area rug and they will have a place to sit down that is soft and warm. Usually less expensive than wall to wall carpeting, area rugs can be changed or removed as needed or with changes in colour palettes and décor.
When designing a child’s room, simply keep in mind that they do grow up… and it happens faster than we expect. Invest in the essentials (cabinetry, flooring, window coverings, etc.) that will stand the test of time and possibly add to the resale value of your home if you do decide to relocate. Then use paint and décor items to create your theme. These are less expensive to replace when your theme is inevitably outgrown.
Now for those that do not mind redecorating when their child outgrows the design and who have a budget to match, than the sky may be the limit—or the limit will actually be the ceiling height and wall dimensions. In that case, perhaps, the creation of a fairy tale fantasy castle, a tree fort, a ship cabin, or a tribute to a favourite sports team may be your theme. The optimal room for such a creation would have a cathedral ceiling or extended wall heights. Bonus rooms over garages can make a great combination bedroom and play room that can later convert to a teenager’s version of a ‘man cave’ or ‘ma'am cave’.
Whatever your choices for your child’s room, before you get started be realistic with your expectations with regards to a project time frame, anticipated longevity of your design choice, function balanced to form, and of course the cost.
If you are interested in renovating a bedroom for your child, call the renovation experts at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. (905)684-5823 or (905)562-4463.