A corner for the little people

A corner for the little people

It’s child’s play An important part of any home is a room for kids. Children need a space of their own that is both attractive and multifunctional. Vathsala V P gives us some tips to design kids’ rooms, keeping in mind several major aspects...

It can be said with considerable certainty that while most rooms of the house can be furnished and decorated with admirable ease, children’s rooms need a lot of thought. For, a lot many factors have to be kept in mind before setting out to furnish them. To begin with, prime importance should be accorded to the aspect of safety, with comfort coming a close second.

Children are, by nature, naughty, and love to run around and play in their own private space. They love to have their playmates, generally toys, strewn around without a care in the world. They also love to play superheroes, everyone from, Batman and Superman to Spiderman and Zorro by climbing up any wall or window close at hand. It pays to keep all the above aspects in mind while designing children’s rooms.
 
Safety & comfort

To begin with, when the room is just four walls and a floor, it is advisable to keep the age of the child who the room is being designed for, and his or her interest in mind. If they are only beginning to have a room of their own, then it must be made as attractive as possible to entice them to their private little space to spend quality time in there, doing their own thing, which may include playing, studying or just hanging around. However, do what you may, leave as much leg room as possible for them to run around, if not, they will not want to enter it.
 Think colours, even as you begin the arduous journey of designing your child’s room. Not too long ago, girls’ rooms were predictably pink, while boys’ rooms were in blue. However, this colour scheme is passé now. Children, irrespective of their gender, think bold. Be it pink, orange, yellow, purple or red, it is their choice that ultimately rules. So, it pays to learn about your child’s personal preference. And, of course, the theme.

Even while selecting the theme, though the child’s interest counts, it is best to go in for themes that grow with the child. For, walls are not painted often and children’s interests keep changing like the size of their clothes. If it’s the cartoon character Chhota Bheem, who rules your child’s fantasies this month, it’ll be something else the next, so try and choose a theme that interests the child for some time.

Once the wall colours and the theme are decided, it’s time to go furniture shopping. Minimal should be the key as fewer the furniture, more the leg room. Especially so when the room has to be shared by siblings. Today, the market is flooded with a variety of bunk beds that not only save on space, but are practical too. Go in for them. Better still, there are cots that come with storage space underneath. Such cots with built-in storage shelves are a great idea as they can hold all the toys, once the child had done playing with them for the day. Such multi-purpose space-saving furniture comes in handy even when the child grows up. Toys will be replaced by books and later by clothes, shoes, bags and what not. 

When it comes to the choice of study tables, nothing is sturdier than a wooden one. Supplementing it with a chair, whose height can be adjusted, will complete the study table. Placing the study table closer to big, airy windows makes good sense as the sunlight streaming in will take care of the Vitamin D needs of the child, while also proving beneficial for his overall well-being. After all, it is a proven fact that students perform better in environments that are naturally lit. According to a recent study, students’ learning rates improved in proportion to the time they spent in rooms with the most natural light. And, of course, more natural light equals better eye sight.

Furniture quotient

Another must-have near the study table is either a pin-up board or a chalkboard wall, where the child can make small notes that matter to him or awaken the artist in him by just scribbling to his heart’s content.

When it comes to flooring, there’s nothing like wood or granite. Avoid foot rugs anywhere in the room as the child, while running around, can slip and fall, hurting himself. Go in for a wall-to-wall carpet if you have an infant so that he doesn’t hurt his knee while crawling. However, it is best to leave the floor open as carpets have the tendency to attract dust, mites and other allergens, causing distress to the child.Talking of allergens, use allergy-free upholstery and bed linen in the room. While choosing fabrics for the child’s room, keep their sticky fingers and dirty hands in mind and go in for skin-friendly, allergy-proof and washable fabrics. Cotton is a safe bet as it can be washed and rewashed, any number of times.

Also, give your children ample opportunities to awaken the artist in them. They also love to show-off. So, encourage them to paint or draw, frame the art works, and display them in their room. Incorporating children’s own artwork into a space they can call their own will give them a sense of pride. Also, decorate the walls with their favourite posters to make them look bright and colourful.

Don’t even spare the corners. Corner spaces of the room can be well utilised with tall racks to display the child’s favourite bunny, teddy or car. Investing on racks will never go waste as they can hold anything from hobby materials to books, according to the child’s changing interests.

While wardrobes are a must for any room, the ones in the children’s room should be designed with extra care so that they are easily reached by the child. Separate compartments, clearly marked out to maintain order, are a must. It is also a good idea to have easy-to-operate drawers to store their knick knacks. To make the otherwise staid wardrobes spectacular, paint them in bright, cheerful colours. Interesting elements such as posters of their favourite cartoon characters or that of their role models could be added to make them attractive.

Agreed that designing children’s rooms requires extra planning and effort, but you’ll soon realise it’s the most rewarding experience when you see the look of pride on your child’s face.

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