A space of their own...

A space of their own...

Fun corner: Designing rooms for children can be a fun exercise. Check out these cool ideas that can transform any space into a kid’s haven, writes Natasha Menezes

With your child coming of school age, designing a dedicated room for him or her becomes an inundating task. As an average kid will bring along with him more toys, books and school stuff, he will also use his room for multiple tasks like sleeping, playing, studying, arts, crafts and even a hideaway.

Children usually have a personal taste when it comes to design and that might not match your home’s aesthetic, but when you follow some basic rules, you should be able to reach a middle playing field for both to love.

There are five golden rules to follow when designing your kid’s room:

l Plan at least for the next three years as your child will grow in shape and height and you would not want them out-fitting their cute little bed.

l Design enough storage space all around your house and not only in your kid’s room as you will notice them using most corners of your home and not restricting themselves to their own room.

l As a general rule, try and not stick to a theme, although it may seem wonderful as your child outgrows his taste very easily and might get bored with the current set.
l As kids change their minds in a heartbeat, interpret their tastes very loosely and make them feel like they want what you want.

l Modern living is all about flux, so keep the kids’ room realistic, yet flexible.

Planning your kid’s room

While a kid’s room is more than just a place to sleep, consider giving your kid the largest bedroom in the house. It will be worth your while if they manage to stow their toys away only in this one room and not scatter it all over the house.

Kid-friendly room

Children at their age like to climb walls, jump off chairs, bounce off beds, hide under cabinets and swing from anything high. Observing your child’s interest might help you decide how to plan his room. Hanging a hammock from a corner, draping the bed to act as a hideaway or using hand and foot holds on a wall to climb are easy ways of ensuring your kids’ safety while at the same time keeping his fun quotient alive. Also, fit window locks, avoid locks on doors and trunks, and trailing electrical wires; cover electrical sockets.

Long-lasting furniture

Major bits of your furniture like beds and cupboards must be of a classic style, sturdy, durable and of good quality to withstand pressure. Avoid teeny versions as your child will outgrow them in a few years.

Bunks

Bunk beds are great space savers and they come in handy when you have an extra guest at home. They are also playing areas for kids.

Hidden storage

It’s best to invest in storage place under beds that will come in handy during sleepovers, or to stow away your kid’s toys or books in one place. Another idea is to think benches that open up into a hidden storage space. Make storage accessible, else it won’t be used by your kid.

Blinds and lighting

If you want your child asleep and not waking at dawn, invest in a blackout roller blind in a neutral shade. You may decorate it with fancy drapes if the need arises. To make your kid fall into the everyday sleep routine, use a dimmer in his room and soft lighting near the bed.

Flooring

Flooring is key in your kid’s den — buy something that’s durable, hardwearing, sound-proof and stain-proof. Rubber flooring is great for softness, durability and sound insulation. Also, leave large floor spaces for your child to spread his toys and goods. 

Neutral paint

Kids generally have a strong colour scheme preference that will change every week. But in case you decide to re-allocate rooms, you will need to completely re-decorate this room in alignment with the rest of the house.

A simple way to overcome this dilemma is to opt for neutral shades of paint while matching your kid’s colour preference in terms of soft furnishings like bed linen, pillows, rugs or curtains. This won’t cost much and is a brilliant idea to suit both choices.

Another idea is to add sophistication to the paint choice. So, instead of baby pink, go in for plum, and instead of light blue, go in for grey. Use eco-friendly paint in your child’s room when possible to steer clear of harmful chemicals.

How to create a multi-utility space for kids

While it’s nice to have a home that is large enough to accommodate a separate play area for kids, a separate TV area for adults and another area where everyone can happily co-exist, it may only be possible for many in a dream world. Most families have to use their living room or family room to accommodate kids and adults. So, here are some tips for creating multi-functional rooms that everyone will enjoy.

Theme

As noted earlier, it’s best to stay away from themes unless you plan on redoing your child’s room every year. Instead, get creative with glow stickers that can peel off easily.

Another idea is to slap a blackboard on the cupboard or a corner of your wall — this way, you have an easel for a budding artist or an emerging Einstein to scribble sums and formulas.

Expand your current theme

While most homes already have the skeleton to build a lovely play area for your kids, you can expand upon using them to accommodate both kids and adults.
Use your living or dining room wall to hang bulletin boards, a chalkboard to draw equations, or an easel for paint art. Another idea is to use chalkboard paint on one side of your wall to let your child’s imagination run wild.

Utilise unused space

If you have unused space in your home, consider using it as a play area by placing furniture of all sizes for kids and adults to use. Use one wall for your gaming consoles and the other for your child’s toys.

Combine education with play

It’s not really a challenge to combine education and play areas. A kid’s desk can accommodate a computer and study material during the day while at night can be transformed into a game zone for board games.

Another idea is to have a mini library complete with a desk and table to enable your child to study in this section during the day while playing in the other section of his room by night.

Share space

When you’re using the same area for both adults and kids, you can always play with accessories and accents to accommodate both worlds.

For example, a neutral brown mixed with green and blue can make it a grown-up or kids’ section depending on what accents you use in the room like rugs, cushions or a chalkboard and easel.

Consider housing loud play areas near the kitchen and quiet play areas near the bedrooms. Mix different sizes of furniture in the same room so that you can still remain connected to your child while he is playing quietly at the child-sized desk and chair assigned to him.

Keep the top of your entertainment area clear so that your kid can dub it into his play area. Use your unused vintage suitcase to store toys and other child items.

A section of your balcony can be used as a painting area for your kid. Keep some colourful bins on a small table to store paint brushes and paints and provide your child  a space to dry his paintings.

Abiding by these simple tips can make your kids feel welcome in your room while you can still afford a grown-up conversation with someone.

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