Plan your child’s room carefully, like this one from Sharps, and it will last for years to come
1. Include the four key zones
There should be four key spaces in a child’s bedroom:
- place to sleep
- place to play
- place to read
- place to imagine
‘The first two are simple to include; add an inviting bed and a soft rug for play-space, warmth and colour,’ says Jamie Reeve, CEO of Great Little Trading Co. ‘Then, hang a wall-mounted bookcase above a beanbag or chair to create a booknook. Front-facing bookshelves are brilliant as they help young children choose favourite stories by the covers. If space allows, add a play-table or desk for children to draw, make or build.’
2. Don’t crowd the space
When purchasing large items, such as furniture, it’s important to allow for play area in the room and not to cram too much in. ‘A good idea is to lay newspaper out on the floor that is indicative of the size of items you are thinking of purchasing to give you some idea of how much room they will take up,’ says Louise Thomas, from Little Lucy Willow.
3. Make a storage checklist
The first step in planning any new-look bedroom, especially one for a child, is to create a checklist of items you need to store. ‘A list also helps you make informed decisions on what stuff you want to keep and what you can discard, ensuring you are well prepared once your makeover begins,’ says Tony McCarthy, from Crown Imperial.
4. Consider maintenance
‘Take time to consider materials that are easy to clean and durable,’ adds Tony, from Crown Imperial. Choose paints and wallpapers that can be wiped down with warm soapy water to remove marks and stains. Laminate or wood floors are also easy to keep clean and can be updated with bright rugs as your child’s tastes change.
5. Factor in room to grow
Consider including modular storage in a timeless design that you can add to or adapt as your child grows. ‘Our Flexispace range incorporates storage options which can be adapted as your little one grows – whether it be triple hanging rails for those lovely little outfits, or masses of shelving space for the fashion-conscious teen. As their clothes get bigger and their shoe collection expands, you can adjust the rails, shelves and other components with an allen key to suit their changing requirements’ says Rachal Hutcheson, from Sharps.
6. Pick smart storage
Keep storage simple and easy to access, like these items from Great Little Trading Co
Providing plenty of easily accessible storage is the key to teaching children how to keep their space tidy. Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style expert for Wayfair.co.uk, suggests purchasing under-bed storage boxes as a simple way to stow things away.
Storage benches can be used for nappies and other supplies when your child is a baby, and then for books, games and toys as they grow up. It’ll also provide handy seating.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate open shelving into the bedroom as children love to display their favourite treasures and trinkets – whether that’s a youngster wanting to display a drawing done at nursery or a teenager wanting to present a sporting trophy.
‘Cabin beds are great as they provide designated areas for clothing and play items as well as desk space/dressing table,’ says Rachal Hutcheson from Sharps. ‘Making sure everything has a particular place will help to reduce clutter and chaos.’
7. Choose timeless décor
When it comes to choosing a colour scheme, Nadia, from Wayfair.co.uk, advises against a bold colour or theme that they will quickly outgrow. ‘If you want the bedroom to stand the test of time, opt for a neutral base for the walls, carpets and furniture,’ she says. ‘Wall stickers, posters and duvet covers featuring their favourite characters can then be introduced and switched in and out to accommodate their developing tastes.’
‘If you do want to make a bold statement, a feature wall can easily be switched,’ adds Kirsty Oakes, Hammonds marketing manager.
8. Find space for fun
‘In addition to practicality, it’s important that fun remains at the heart of a child’s bedroom to make it a great area to play in which their imagination can run free,’ says Rachal, from Sharps. ‘It’s great to incorporate a child’s hobbies or latest obsessions into the bedroom – whether that be an easel for painting or an area for reading.’
‘To inspire imagination and free play, we hung our children’s dressing-up clothes on easy-to-reach wall hooks and used shelves to store accessories like wands, wings and hats,’ Jamie Reeve, CEO of Great Little Trading Co.
9. Think about lighting
The amount of natural light in a room will dictate the décor – for instance, you wouldn’t want dark colours in a room with only one small window. ‘Electrical lighting is also important and little lamps in strategic places make for a perfect bedtime retreat,’ says Louise, from Little Lucy Willow. Don’t forget to invest in a nightlight for really young children.
10. Ensure a good night’s sleep
‘When choosing the bed size, we’ve noticed that our small double (4ft) or mid-size beds are becoming increasingly popular as they allow plenty of room to squirm about in when children are young as well as allowing a parent to lie with them when reading a bedtime story,’ says Louise from Little Lucy Willow. Not all children’s rooms are big enough but if you have got the space it is well worth considering.’