It seems like all kids want a cool room – one that is all about them.
Creating one for your child may be easier than you think. If you’re planning to give your child their own cool room, read on…
Just as when undertaking any project, do your homework. In this case, creating a personalized bedroom for your child takes lots of planning, and it all starts with a heart-to-heart talk with your child. Let him know a few days in advance that you will be sitting down to discuss ideas with him, allowing ample time for your child to think about ideas. You don’t want to get started on an airplane-themed room, only to find out a couple of days into the project that he’d rather have everything pirate ship.
You may already have a feel for his favorite colors, any sports he loves or special interests, and how he will be using his room, but check with him anyway because children’s ‘favorites’ can change weekly. Does he want to hang out with friends in his room, playing video games? Or is he more of the reading type? Does he enjoy a lot of electronics – toys, books, computers, TV?
The answers to these questions will be the paramount to creating the layout and theme for the room. Generally speaking, a child’s room will consist of three areas – Sleep, Work/Study, and Recreation/Relaxation. The goal is to create highly efficient spaces for these purposes, but ones that all work well together in the final design of the room.
Regarding the sleeping area, you have all sorts of choices. You’ll get great utility from your child’s room with bunk beds, or a raised bed without the lower bunk. Here again, consider the child’s personality. If they love to have friends sleep over, two beds just make sense. When the child gets older and no longer has friends staying overnight as often (or at all), removing or repurposing that bottom bunk bed is simple enough.
The child who loves to relax by reading will cherish a cozy corner to curl up and read in beneath their bed. Good lighting is a must here. A bean bag or two – or possibly a hanging chair – makes for a great reading nook. Add in a cushy area rug – maybe a shag in her favorite color – is a great idea for the girl who wants to sprawl out and lay on her stomach to read or just needs a place to play a game with her friends. If the child will be sleeping on the lower level, then the upper bunk can be transformed into the same type of cozy space with a wall sconce or extending-arm lamp and some blankets. Either way, by creating space upward, you double your usable area.
A princess-style net draped from the ceiling surrounding a little girl’s bed can instantly transform that bed into a magical castle, while creating a tree-house or fort-style elevated bed would thrill most boys. There are so many ideas that can be created with imagination.
If, however, you opt for a traditional bed, consider a platform-style one with drawers built in that meet the floor. Not only does this type of bed eliminate the need to clean beneath it, but the drawers offer obvious storage. Some unwieldy things can be stored in those typically wider drawers but not easily in other places, such as larger drawings and artwork your child has made. But, of course, it can be used for clothing, books, and linens, too.
Need an idea for a girl who likes all things bugs and insects? Consider installing a length of white picket fencing to a wall to use as a headboard in a girl’s room. Another similar piece could be wall-mounted across the room with staggered hooks to hold her bookbag, umbrella and raincoat, or everyday jackets. If her favorite color is purple, for example, hang a pretty purple plant in front of sunny window to help carry the garden theme throughout the room.
Wall space is so important in planning your kid’s cool room. Let’s say your child says they want a neon orange room but that’s a little too much color for you. Consider two lighter shades of that color for the walls, with accents in the bright neon that she wants. For example, use the brightest shade to paint a quart-sized canning jar which will hold markers and pencils, and use that same shade of paint to cover some inexpensive frames to display some of your child’s artwork on the walls. There is a wealth of crafting information online if you choose to make coordinating accent pieces for your child’s room. In addition, you can bring in your child’s favorite color with bed linens, throw pillows and blankets, as well as throw rugs.
Also, decorate with wall art that speaks to her – if she’s a music fan, there are lots of decorative items sold that will appeal to those interests. Sports, movies, superheroes, unicorns – you name it, there’s wall art made just for your child. This will make her feel that this truly is her very own room.
As we discussed in an earlier issue of this blog (http://www.go2d4.com/2017/05/01/faux-moulding/), chalkboard paint is something you may want to consider on one of the room’s walls, the inside of the room’s door, or the closet door. There are few kids who wouldn’t love an area they can scribble all over, and their friends will enjoy it, too. Chalkboard paint comes in various colors and is found at hardware and craft stores. It’s easily painted over in the future when the child opts for something different.
If you can draw yourself, paint some basketballs on the wall for a child who dreams of being the next superstar on the basketball court. Consider mounting a real basketball hoop if the room has high ceilings and the space to free throw. Just make sure it’s not mounted near any window, glass or mirrors. Safety first!
Whether you’re creating a superhero-themed room or a sports-themed one or anything in between, you’ll be able to purchase bed coverings and sheets to fit the theme. Buying extra fabric to apply to roman shades – or create them – will carry that theme even farther and will provide pops of color that your child will love. Easy directions for creating roman shades can be found on the internet.
Again, borrowing from a previous issue (The Practical Pantry – access it here at http://www.go2d4.com/2018/04/01/the-practical-pantry/), unless you’re using the back of the door for the chalkboard we mentioned earlier, purchase a clear pocket shoe bag that hangs over the inside of the door with hooks and requires no installation. Typically, it has 24 pockets and provides a wealth of storage for shoes – or anything else you choose to use it for. If a child is particularly artsy, this will be a terrific place to store most of her art supplies. If she is a child who collects hair bows, bedazzled clips, and other fashion accessories, this will allow her to organize them and see exactly where every piece is. While many of these shoe storage bags have opaque material making up the pockets, it’s practical to purchase one with the clear pockets.
If your child is young and has lots of stuffed animals, an idea that’s been around for a very long time – and with good reason – is to hang a net from the ceiling to corral them all when not being played with. Most kids don’t play with all 23 stuffed animals they own at the same time! Leave an opening large enough so that when the child is a bit older, she can throw them into the net herself when cleaning up her room. Placing the net over the top bunk will allow your child to retrieve her toys safely. Again, safety is always the first concern, so this is only a good idea when your child is a bit older.
Always encourage good study habits for your children by providing a desk and chair. They still may prefer to do homework on their bed, but a desk and chair are always useful. Creating a specific area for study and homework may actually help your child do better in school.
If your child is messy with their clothing, buy a large, bright-colored collapsible hamper to match the room to encourage your child to keep those dirty clothes in one place until laundry day. Have you ever considered installing a laundry chute from the child’s room to your washer and dryer? Many older homes still have the basement plumbed for a washer and dryer, as opposed to newer homes where the laundry room is installed on the main or upper floor. If the design of your home allows for a laundry chute, contact Mike at D4 Construction to make it happen. It may be the answer to your clothing clutter problem and provide a fun way for your child to get his dirty clothing to the laundry room. You can reach Mike at +1 250-572-4812.
Although your child may not seem to care one bit about it, good storage should be a priority and should be incorporated into the design just as any decorative item is. Painting an existing dresser to match your theme room is an easy and quick fix. Colorful hooks mounted below book shelving serves as a place to stash an everyday jacket or purse.
If your child participates in events which garners him trophies, plan for their display. Mount a shelf above the inside doorway to hold trophies if wall space is minimal. I’ve always personally been a fan of shelving above doorways and closets. It provides room to hold things that aren’t needed on a daily or weekly basis. In a child’s room, for example, you can easily cover several boxes to create a matching set and store out of season gloves and hats or last year’s school projects.
If money is no issue, do a search on the internet and you will find more ideas than you can possibly ever use! But for most of us, good planning and a modest budget are all that are needed to create a personalized cool kid’s room that your child will love, reflect his interests and be designed to accommodate his habits and needs. And when you have your child participate in the process wherever possible, he feels invested in the creation of his dream bedroom and will more than likely take better care of it – a win-win for both of you! If you need any construction help when creating your child’s special space, call on Mike at D4 – he’s ready, willing and extremely able to help you with any project! You can reach him at +1 250-572-4812. Please remember to send us your pictures – we’d love to see them!