Need help planning son's room

angelbravo76November 21, 2012
Hi all, we're moving into our new house and this will be my son's first real room (that wasn't also an office!). He's 2 years old. I'd like to give him a great play space, with toy storage, small table, chalkboard wall, He's got a convertible crib (60x33x49 inch) and dresser (52wx20Dx32H inch) that also need to go in the space. The room is 17L x 12W ft. Any suggestions for the best way to lay out his new space without too much clutter?
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Hello, Angelbravo76. Congratulations on your new house!

I have worked with preschoolers for many years. Here are some thoughts.

I would not put a chalkboard wall in an interior space for a two-year old. First, you will need to vacuum and dust the room, and wash the bedding more often than usual. Second, you do not want your son breathing chalk dust in the room where he spends most of his time sleeping. Third, a two-year cannot distinguish a wall painted with chalkboard paint where drawing is allowed from any other nice, open wall space. Keep sidewalk chalk outside on the pavement for now.

Low shelves are best for young children's toy storage. They can see their toys, and can put them away easily. I used to use clear bins, but now prefer solid color plastic bins with a color photo of the item taped to the outside.

The furniture you have is beautiful. Be careful about using too many very bright colors on the walls and window coverings. Your son will need to be able to settle down to sleep in this room, too. I have used curtain tension rods on the inside top edge of bookshelves, with a soothing color of fabric that coordinates with the furnishings to cover all those stimulating toys at nap time and at night.

I suggest two sites for you.
One is the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Look at their requirements for accreditation for two-year olds. You will be amazed at all your son will be learning in the next year, and excited to have the knowledge to help him learn and grow!

The second site is They are one of the leaders in the USA for durable furnishings and toys/materials for early childhood development.

I would like to read your thoughts as you work on this project.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Thanks so much for the great suggestions. I can see your points about the chalkboard wall, especially breathing in the chalk dust. I think I'll put that idea on the back burner for now. I was having a hard time figuring out where to put it anyway. His room will primarily be a secondary play space, since I expect that we will be spending most of our time in the kitchen and family room. So, we can certainly lean towards a more soothing overall color palette with pops of color for accent. He seems to be learning new things every day and has got a huge vocabulary. We want his room to be comfortable, interesting, and for it to really feel like his space. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. Any suggestions on functional layout/furniture placement?
    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I do not have specific suggestions other than to leave a lot of floor space for play.

If I had a two year old at home, I would make sure there was a comfortable area for an adult to read a story to the youngling. Two year olds do best with board books for independent book handling skills. Look online or at your local public library for recommended book lists by age.
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Margaret Phillips
I'm not an expert but I was tickled with the bright idea friend had. She bought a length of laminate countertop. It went across the one side of the room. It was such an area of activity, boys are always collecting stuff. Puzzles can be left half done, books lined up and a child could have several projects going on at once. Child gets older the counter top can be raised or exchanged for the new hip color. The countertop at Home Depot is only about hundred dollars and her's got massive use.
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 2:05PM
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I've had one or two of my boys in a very similar room for the past few years and we've tried lots of furniture arrangements (that's the nice thing - you can easily change it up). Because of the window placement in your room what about centering the convertible bed with the headboard between the left wall window and the corner where it meets the top wall. Then you could place a rocking or reading chair in the corner where the top and right walls meet. There's still plenty of room for a big basket of books or a lamp and small table. The dresser would then be placed on the bottom wall and you'll have lots of space around it for toys or baskets on the floor. Put a fun picture over the dresser and one over the bed, blinds on the windows, a cute pottery barn kids quilt and call it a day. Good luck and enjoy - it goes so fast!
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Thanks, Leslie! Those are good suggestions I'm trying to figure out the best way to lay it out in a way that works well functionally and doesn't create any awkward space. Although, you're right, we can always rearrange it if it doesn't work. I'm happy that I don't have to push everything in the corners, like I have in the past. So many cute accessories to try, too!
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Gabberts Design Studio
I would put the crib/bed center on the wall with the two windows, the dresser facing the closet on the wall next to the one window. And on the wall with the door add low book shelves and baskets for storage so that he is able to reach books and toys and separate them by the baskets. Add a Small table and chairs in the center with a small rug underneith to separate for art and crats, Or if he is a book worm add large pillows on the floor for reading.
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Thanks, Gabberts. My husband and I just discussed that placement of his crib and dresser. We'd like to keep anything he could climb on away from the windows. I found a great shelf at Ikea that comes in several colors and has many cool cubby options, that would be great on his inside wall. I like the idea of a center play area. So, I think we will try that, too.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Nancy Hehmann
I would definitely incorporate wall art or photography.

That is a link to my photography site with a carousel. Also, cute animals. also has vinyl peelable wall stickers (large) with many shapes for childrens rooms. Just use their search engine.
You can also buy cute custom clothes on the site. There are also chalk boards in cute decorative frames.

My grandsons have a rug with roads on it in their room that they like.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 12:40PM
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