In the home i grew up in, our bedrooms were our own little sanctuaries from the world. I won’t speak too much about the “decor” of those spaces…resources were limited and it was largely kid driven. But my mom always made sure that beds were super comfy and that, within those four walls, we felt a strong sense of warmth. I’ve carried that feeling with me since leaving the nest and it became even more meaningful when decorating my own children’s bedrooms.
In my experience, there are 3 components that make a child’s bedroom unique, functional and special…
Sleeping, reading, and playing are critical parts of your child’s day. You want to ensure that their space allows for this in a way that suits both their age and personality. If they have trouble sleeping, for example, you should consider a more calming, soothing color scheme. If you want to encourage more independent reading, designate a comfy corner with good lighting where they can curl up and enjoy the experience.
Make room for play without too much clutter. I know this is no easy task with children, but they’ll feel much more at ease in the space if they’re not overstimulated. I have a kitchen in my daughter’s room because i had didn’t really have another place in the house for it. It works because its well kept and has enough space around it to feel more like a piece of furniture than a messy toy. Whether you keep toys sorted under the bed, in a cubby shelf or in the closet, make sure that your child can access and re-organize them safely and easily.
Most importantly, make their bed the center of the room’s universe!! This is so much more about creating a vibe than about spending excessive money or time. Incorporate colors and patterns that bring them joy. Teach them how to make the bed each morning to ensure its ready for them to dive into with fervor each night. Try to find soft sheets within your budget…this really soothes them as soon as they get tucked in. Talk to them about how special it is. Children don’t control much in their lives….they try and they test…but, ultimately, we get the final say. Their bed is a place that can be their very own. Finally…my mom’s trick to this day…sprinkle just a little bit of powder between the fitted sheet and the mattress pad!!!
Add real artwork. It’s that simple. It will stimulate their minds to think differently and evoke a sense of curiosity. Children don’t have preconceived ideas like we do and, therefore, often look at art more deeply and openly. Allowing them to express their thoughts on it as your snuggling or playing together can spark an excellent dialogue or imaginitve story. A good variety of patterns, colors, shapes, and textures is excellent for development too.
I struggle here a bit, but it’s definitely an important component of children’s room design. You have to incorporate things that are meaningful to them. It helps make them feel safe, warm and nurtured. This can take on a few different forms and keeping it looking “put together” can be challenging.
As they progress through toddlerhood, they start to collect….well, STUFF, for lack of a better word. And some of this stuff isn’t so pretty, I assure you. (can you see what I mean by struggling with this?) It can be anything from cards/pictures from friends to trophies to a cool rock they found on a walk. And trust me it adds up. So what do you do with it??
You can get pretty creative with storing it all and maintaining a well-styled space. When my son was smaller, I designated a specific drawer that was all his. All of his little collectibles could go in there and he could access them at any time. It came in especially handy on days where he’d be frantically looking for some specific leaf or plastic egg half that he needed! Now that he’s older, it’s more baseball cards and fidget spinners, but it still works. In addition, we have some fun crates hanging on the walls where he can display a few of his favorite things.
The golden rule here is not letting any of it get too cluttered. Set the expectation that if a new item goes in, another will likely have to come out at some point soon. Go through it together every 3 or 4 months and let them be in charge of deciding what they want to keep and what to get rid of. Also, do your best to display the visible items with purpose and stylistic intention. Believe me…it actually helps. Group a few things together, mix in some cute framed photos with their friends or family and keep things pretty balanced to the eye.
Sentimental pieces from you, their parents. are very important to include. My daughter has a beautiful artisan created dream catcher that I commissioned with meaningful crystals and lots of color/texture. I had a special mobile made from shells that my son and I collected on a vacation when he was little. Pieces like this, whether you make them yourself or not, have a significant grounding effect in the space….almost like providing a foundation.
Thinking about how I can incorporate these 3 elements drives my decor to be more intentional and helps me make purchases with purpose. I can really focus on the bigger picture instead of impulse shopping for something trendy or a “good deal”.
Their rooms should make them feel like we, as adults, feel about our homes….giving them that sense safety, security and comfort that magically puts us at ease and simply can’t be beat!