Tips for creating a cheerful, kid-friendly room — that doesn't have to be redecorated year after year.
The first weeks of school can be the perfect time to reboot a child’s bedroom.
Ideally, the room should be easy to keep organized and great for concentrating on homework. It also needs to be decorated in a way that’s cheerfully kid-friendly and but not too age-specific, so you won’t have to redecorate year after year.
We’ve asked interior designers Brett Beldock, of New York-based Brett Design Inc., and Catherine Davin, of Pittsburgh-based Davin Interiors, for organizing and decorating strategies for children’s rooms.
In choosing a color palette, keep it simple, says Beldock. Use white paint on walls, she says, and then bring in one bold accent color, like red, navy or magenta, perhaps through a patterned rug and colorful bedding.
Another timeless option: Use charcoal paint on the walls with crisp white trim, then add a white-and-charcoal patterned rug, and bring in bolder colors through keepsakes displayed on shelves. Colorful lamps are also a great way to add personality.
“We used to do baby colors, but I think the important thing is to do strong, handsome colors they can live with and grow into,” Beldock says.
OPEN AND ORGANIZED
“Don’t over-furnish,” says Davin, because kids are likely to want a big open space to spread out in. Include only furniture that’s necessary.
And while some open shelving is great for displaying favorite items, both designers recommend plenty of closed storage for kids’ rooms. Deep drawers, bins with lids and cabinets with doors will all help kids stash their items.
Large furniture pieces can make a small room feel smaller. Beldock says one strategy to keep desks and storage units from dominating a room is to use transparent, durable Lucite for these large pieces. Another small-space idea: adding built-in storage beneath window seats or anywhere else there might be unused space.
For lighting in small rooms, wall sconces are great because you don’t have to worry about kids knocking lamps over.
But even in small rooms, Beldock suggests investing in a full-size desk. When a child is young, it’s nice to be able to pull up a second chair. Once kids get older, they’ll be ready to use that full-size desk all by themselves.
TOUCH OF PERSONALITY
Although the goal is a timeless space that won’t need too much redecorating, be sure to incorporate a few special items that express a child’s interests. Davin often includes framed prints of movie posters or one big item like a surfboard. “For one little girl, we did a swing chair and fairy lights in her room,” Davin says. The items don’t have to be expensive, she says, but they should be chosen to highlight what the child loves.