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Not Kids' Play [Designing Children's Bedrooms]
I'm a freelance writer. I like dwellings.
Last week a houzz reader and participant asked for advice on how to redecorate her 5- and 3-year-old sons’ bedroom. Though I don’t yet know her specific design style and needs, the following principles can guide the design of any style of children’s bedroom. Take a look at these ideas--and accompanying pictures of rooms that work.
When room allows, parallel twin beds flanking a single night-stand table gives a room a clean symmetry, and can serve, especially with same-sexed siblings, as the room's layout for years. The shared lamp, ability to chat facing each other, the same nighttime vantage point, create an aesthetic closeness while still giving each child their own space.
See here another take on the twin beds that allows for more floor space. And the beds themselves serve as dressers and toy chests. The center area can accommodate a rug and even small coffee table for playing from the floor.
Storage is key. Storage that is not clear or is inconvenient for kids translates into more clean-up time (usually for parents, bleh). I would organize such a space by placint art supplies, games--anything that must be supervised by parents--in the above cupboards. Books, displays, stuffed animals are great for the open shelving. I would save the lower pull-out drawers for the things you want to empower your children to access on their own.
The success of a well-designed children's bedroom displays itself when children love their room enough to want to independently spend time in it--giving them healthy playtime, and the parents healthy down-time. Many elements in this room invite children to hang: the aesthetically clean and low couch, the sprawling rug with bean bags (that don't offend the eye), the long desk. And note the simultaneous lack of clutter and carefully-placed play things for hours of fun.
A well-designed room obviously doesn't need to be overly-elaborate. Here, this interesting bed and dresser is enough. [Note: Ikea sells a somewhat similar-looking architect drawer unit with sprawling, shallow drawers that I have used for my own children for art supplies they can access any time they want to. I supply the clear jar of crayons as requested.
Who knows what clutter lurks behind the dresser to the right, but this room seems to have organization down to an art. Literally. The rug (an important element for hard flooring--for cushioning bodies AND sound) adds the perfect aesthetic detail. Bunk beds could easily replace the bed and desk here.
This exemplifies perfectly my belief that children's rooms should feel organized, maintained, well-designed--and freeing. Hang a low chalkboard. Paint one wall with chalkboard paint. Paint a room white and let the walls become your children's canvas. You can always paint over it. [But, warning: you won't want to!]