So you are planning to decorate your kid's room. Where do you start? If you are decorating the room for your baby or very young toddler, the initial planning decisions will be yours (you may of course consult professional interior designers if your budget stretches that far) and the project will be designed and carried out by you. However, if your young child has reached an age where they have started to develop their own personality and tastes, it's a good idea to have your child involved in the process from the beginning.
After all he or she will be the one using the room and obviously a child's needs are very different to those of an adult. Children use their rooms for a number of reasons apart from sleeping. They will want to use it for playing alone or with their friends, reading and a host of other activities.
Their room will also store their clothes, toys and belongings. It is useful at this stage, before you give free rein to your child's imagination and tastes, to bear in mind safety and the practical issues of maintenance. Children will want to play as freely as possible without you having to worry about the decor therefore hardwood floors and vinyls are useful. Wallpaper that can be wiped clean may also be a consideration. Wall-to-wall carpeting may be a problem for children with allergies and also difficult to clean.
Curtains, rugs, pillows and bedding should be easily removable and machine washable. Some safety considerations both in terms of kids room decor and room accessories might be finding furniture with curves instead of sharp corners or making use of recesses in walls to build in furniture and storage areas. Practical issues now dealt with, how can you help your child create an environment that reflects their personality, keeps their interest and uses their imagination? Start by sitting on the floor with your child and ask questions about their favourite colours, themes or activities. Involve your child as much as you can in the initial planning process and their ideas in the final design.
Try to find balance between what you know is possible and practical against what is in your child's taste. In terms of colours, use pastels to create cosy and inviting spaces. Neutral colours soothe and relax your child. If your child likes vivid colours you could create wall murals or ceiling pictures bringing their favourite toy figures or favourite images and themes to life.
Remember children lose interest easily and change their tastes and `favourites` quickly. Unless you want to change your kid's room decor frequently, steer your discussions in favour of neutral colours on walls and furniture and be more creative with room accessories. There are numerous children's room accessories that add colour, creativity and individuality to your child's room.
Clocks, height charts, name plaques, wall hooks, bookends and door knobs all help to personalize your child's space. Many of these products are decorated with your child's favourite theme. You may wish to spend time with your child browsing for ideas for kid's room decor. When you have found your products ensure they are supplied by companies that guarantee safety, quality and child-friendliness.
Joanne Luck runs and own The Natural Kids Company, a family run business supplying children's bedroom accessories to complement any room theme.