Ask a child what their ideal room would look like. Chances are, they’ll imagine an exciting bubble-gum coloured world, full of fun and crazy ideas. Unicorns, super heroes and cuddly toys – they’re all welcome! A bedroom is their space – a chance to turn their rainbow of dreams into reality.
But in real life, most of us don’t want our children’s bedrooms to resemble the local soft play centre. Multi-coloured creativity so often ends up resembling rainbow-coloured mess, doesn’t it? There needs to be some order. But you’ve got to be clever – the trick is to balance your desire for organisation with plenty of bright, colourful, child-friendly fun.
Organisation is key – it's all about creating order from the chaos
Children have a lot of stuff, yet their bedrooms are often the smallest in the house. To avoid chaos, you need plenty of clever, inventive storage. Beds with built-in storage, slim-line desks and bookshelves are all great ways to use every scrap of space as efficiently as possible. If floor space is short, consider a cabin bed. These are both fun and practical. Children will love climbing up a ladder to bed, plus the clever storage designed to fit underneath maximises the space you have – leaving the rest of the room free for playing.
Organisation doesn’t have to mean lots of new furniture – sometimes all you need are simple plastic crates that can be easily stacked under beds and against the walls
Keep the walls simple
Ask a child what colour they’d like their walls and the answer could be just about anything! But how long will they love red walls, or a character wallpaper? Unless you enjoy re-decorating, several times a year, keep the walls simple and your child’s room will have greater flexibility and longevity. Choose simple, cheerful colours that won’t date – like sky blue and soft yellows. If your child would love a bright colour, try an accent colour on one wall – this is much less overpowering and easier to change.
Swap wallpaper for wall decals.
These clever decorations can totally transform a room. They won’t ruin your walls like stickers, and peel off easily when you want a change. Get your child involved with the design.
Let them doodle on the walls
Child’s dream, parent’s nightmare, right? But imagine if you could draw on your walls without anyone shouting at you. Make it easy by painting an area of their room with blackboard paint. This could be a whole wall, a chimney breast, or a small defined area. Allowing them to scribble away will encourage their creativity and allow them to add personality to their room. And you can clean it all away easily! Children also need plenty of space to display their drawings and posters. Why not create a giant pin board with cork tiles?
Use toys and books to add colour and fun
While there are some toys you want to keep hidden away in plastic crates, use others to give your child’s room colour and personality. Utilise wall space with plenty of shelves for toys, books and games. Mix up this more practical storage with fun picture ledges – use these to display special books or toys. These displays are guided by your child and can be colourful, flexible and ever-evolving!
Create a desk area
As children get older, it’s so important for them to have a little desk space to call their own. It doesn’t need to be a large table, but make sure it’s theirs. Let them choose bright accessories to keep on it and help them to create a little work zone – whether it’s for colouring, homework or model-making.
A chill-out zone
Every child needs a cosy corner for reading and other quiet activities. This can be as simple as a rug and a mound of colourful cushions, or as exciting as an indoor tepee! The important thing is to encourage them to keep this part of their room cosy and calm.
And how do you keep it tidy?
The answer is that you probably won’t most of the time! But that’s ok. All you can do is make it as easy as possible to keep things tidy and organised. Plus, don’t forget to have regular clear-outs and encourage your children to pass on toys they no longer play with.
Which is all easier said than done. A useful mantra to live by is a place for everything – even if everything isn't in its place. Accept that part of the fun of being a child is getting lost in games and having a messy bedroom – sometimes it’s easier to shut the door and let them get on with it!