Your little ones are growing up fast. As soon as they begin to be a bit more independent, young children need a multi-purpose bedroom that can adapt to suit their changing needs.
When they’re babies and very small children, their bedrooms should be a haven of peace to allow them to sleep and rest. As the years go by, they’ll start to use their bedrooms for more active pursuits like games and homework... Gradually, playtime will be taken over by longer hours of study. But that doesn’t mean that your kids’ bedrooms should stop being versatile places where they can have fun.
When you’re planning your child’s bedroom, it’s important to design it so that they can use it for whatever they need as they grow up.
A versatile space
As we’ve said, older children’s bedrooms must be versatile and meet all their different needs. It’s important that they have their own ‘home’ within your home, where they can spend time on their own and have some privacy when they need it (we all feel the need to be alone from time to time).
Your children’s bedrooms will evolve constantly over time and you’ll need to invest time and resources into adapting them as they grow. And they’ll grow much faster than you might think or want.
Depending on the size or proportions of the house, your kids’ bedrooms will fulfil several different purposes: a bedroom for sleeping, a play area and a study for homework. If your house is small and the bedroom needs to fulfil all these functions at once, make sure it’s carefully laid out and remove anything that’s taking up unnecessary space.
As far as possible, children’s bedrooms should have good natural light. It’s important for children to get used to a sleep cycle based on day and night. There’s nothing better than natural light for doing homework or playing games.
In our culture, the best bedrooms tend to be reserved for the parents, but they actually spend the least time in those rooms: between work, household chores and time in the kitchen, living room or study, the main bedroom tends to be used the least. Why not leave more room for your children’s bedrooms? It could help to keep your house tidier and allow them to spend more time in their own spaces.
Needs by age
One thing to bear in mind is that you’ll need to adapt your child’s room as they grow up. Just as books and toys vary by age, bedrooms should be modified to reflect your children’s growth by changing the layout and redecorating.
A budding teenager won’t want to live in a room that was last decorated when they were 3 years old. You’ll need to change the furniture too – their needs will have changed and they’ll require a desk for school work. They won’t need as much floor space for play as a younger child.
Pay attention so that you can see when your child needs a change and do the necessary rearranging or redecorating.
A space for study and work
When children start school, they need a workspace. It’s a good idea for them to get used to doing all their homework in the same place in their room to avoid them moving to and fro, leaving their books all over the house and feeling like they don’t have a place where they can focus.
We all need a place where we feel comfortable to work, like our desk at the office. This is really important. Equip your children’s bedroom with an area where they can study. It’s become even more important for them to have this now that school hours have been cut and we’ve transformed our homes into schools, offices, play areas, etc.
Regardless of their age, play is essential for children’s development. Young children will play more manual games, while older children will engage in different activities as they grow up. Even books are akin to games because reading is fun. Bear in mind that play is always necessary and make sure there’s enough space for it. There needs to be space in the bedroom for your children to store their toys and games (regardless of their age and hobbies).
Another area that should be clearly set out in children’s bedrooms is space for storing toys, books, schoolwork, clothes, sports equipment... Everything your child needs should be within easy reach, but it should be neatly ordered. It’s important for them to learn to keep their rooms tidy.
Tips for decorating children’s bedrooms
The most suitable decoration for your child’s room will depend on its size, but there are a few tips that will always come in handy.
- By pushing beds against the wall, you’ll have more free space than if they're in the middle of the room. As your child grows, they’ll need more space and positioning beds against the walls is a good way of achieving this (other tips for gaining space include using bunk beds or trundle beds).
- You’ll also want to make sure your child has a good desk – dedicate as much space as possible to a large desk, where your child will be able to sit comfortably. If they don’t have their own desk, they’ll always be using the kitchen or dining room table. Their space should be cosy and have everything they need, including school books, colouring pencils, etc.
- Choose warm colours that they enjoy. It’s their room. Make sure you remember that. It should be clean and tidy, but let them customise their space so that it reflects their personality. This is really important for them to feel at home. Use warm colours that aren’t too garish and won’t clash with your kids’ customisations (photos of friends, posters, etc. – instead of letting them stick them to the wall with drawing pins, you could use frames or magnets). There are plenty of solutions available to ensure that the space suits their tastes without compromising on the aesthetics, which they’ll be sure to thank you for as they get older.
Babies grow into children, children into teenagers, and teenagers into adults. At every stage in their lives, your kids should have a space of their own that meets their needs. Help them to create that space.