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Is your child’s room basically a cluttered storage closet with rogue lego towers? Or do the piles of barbies, dolls and their subsequent hundreds (maybe ?) of accessories rule the entire room and make it impossible for your darlings to even set foot in their own space? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Almost every parent I know is losing the battle to declutter your kids’ bedrooms. But if you think you’re the only one who gets a headache from your child’s bedroom, think again. Kids need a safe space where they can feel relaxed, calm, and creative.
So, we reached out to some expert interior designers and asked them to share their best tips on how to make a child’s room happy, peaceful and serene—retreats for imaginative and growing minds to thrive in. Here’s what we learned:
Tonia Steck, of Fo40.com, a lifestyle blogger based in NYC, recently split up her two sons who’d previously shared a room. As she spruced up their new rooms, she says she really wanted to showcase each of their distinctive personalities. For a happy and whimsical feeling, she suggests personalizing a child’s room, utilizing photos of the kids themselves, or adding fun cardboard letters of their names or initials (or even their favorite quote, if you’re feeling ambitious!) made with wrapping paper, cardboard and glue, or printed out and framed. You can follow Tonia on Instagram for more ideas like this one.
Use those walls
Cami Weinstein of CamiDesigns.com knows that keeping clutter contained can give kids the space they need to imagine and play, so she suggests adding a fun wallpaper to liven up the space without adding extra “stuff.” Murals can be a great way to spark the imagination as well, and some even come in paint-by-number kits! Check out Cami’s Pinterest boards for more of her fun ideas.
Mind your colors
Jacob Hurwith of Improvenet.com says certain colors can have a specific effect on us, for example, purple can spark passion and creativity, red can incite energy and excitement, and yellow invokes feelings of happiness and concentration. Going for a peaceful and serene feeling? Hurwith suggests choosing a blue or green color scheme to help center the room. Tying in specific themes such as an ocean theme can utilize both colors and create a calming (and charming!) space. For more great color ideas, you can follow Improvenet on Instagram.
Make their bed (cozy and unique!)
Amanda Gates of Gates Interior Design says that the placement of a child’s bed in relation to the door is of utmost importance. She says that a child should always be able to see the door of their room from where they’re sleeping to feel calm and at peace while in bed. She also notes how much kids love to “burrow” and suggests using a fun teepee or canopy over their bed to encourage creativity and coziness. Having their own little “hideout” can make kids feel safe while allowing their imaginations to thrive! For more unique bedroom ideas, browse Amanda’s Pinterest boards.
Suspend your disbelief
Maryana Gryshpun of Mammoth Projects loves the idea of seeing the space through your child’s eyes. Involving them in the process, looking at the space at their eye-level, and choosing proportions and a general design theme that are more child-friendly help a child feel at home in their room. This photo showcases a unique, Alice in Wonderland themed room that is both child-centered and has a strong theme. For more playful ideas, check out the company’s Instagram feed.
Depict their passions
Adding a personal element with the help of your child will help them feel ownership of their space. Whether they’re interested in space travel or are especially gifted athletes, showcasing their passions gives them a unique retreat that is all their own. Sabine Hayes of Georgette Marise Interiors suggests getting your child’s input, since every child is different, and gives a great example of building a reading nook with an outdoor, camping themed chair (maybe even tent!) next to the books. Whatever your child loves, find a way to get creative (more inspiration can be found on Georgette’s Pinterest boards) and honor their passions in their space.
Consider sensory input
Young children operate on an emotional and sensorial level, says Leanne Gray of The Prepared Environment, so pay attention to the tone of the space and how it effects their behavior and temperament. She advises using warm textures, soft lighting, toys that inspire calm play, a cozy place to read, and beautiful decor to enhance the feelings of calm and happiness in your child’s room. Even just the paint color can make a big difference, as shown in the photo below. For more ideas, click through their Pinterest boards.
Keep it light
Meg Wallace, a lifestyle blogger who manages to keep a beautiful home with five children underfoot (no small feat, indeed!) loves keeping her children’s bedrooms light and airy. She has minimal window coverings to allow for natural light for most of the day, and utilizes lighter paint and textile colors to keep things feeling fresh and open. Because openness and space are her goal, she always makes sure to keep floor space clear for maximum child-centered play. But, light colors, with kids?! Yes, says Meg, just make sure to buy high-gloss furniture that won’t stain easily and fabrics that are easily washed and bleached. You can follow Meg on Instagram here.
Don’t forget to organize
Sherrie Le Masurier of Kids Room Deocrating, knows how hard it is to keep kid-clutter under control. She suggests making an organization plan with your child—asking them if they prefer open vs. closed storage (shelves or bins or drawers) and helping them choose just how they’ll keep their room clean and organized. Using colorful organizers in a shade that complements the theme will bring decor and organization together in order to give the room a peaceful and serene feeling. Giving every item a home will make the bedroom function better, and having less clutter in the room will lead to truer relaxation for your kids. For more cute clutter solutions, head to the Kids Decor Pinterest page.