written by Mark
Your child is ready for his or her own room. Ideas start running wild and blossoming uncontrollably in your head: What kind of flooring would be practical? (is it best to purchase carpet or would we prefer an oak hardwood floor?); What will I do with the walls?; What colour would be the most soothing and mood enhancing? The questions are unbounded and painstakingly limitless.
At this point it should be fairly safe to assume that you have already chosen which room your child is going to be calling their own, so here’s a list of five simple things that can help put some of your choices into better perspective when it comes to the decorating stages:
- The flooring can often be a problem, as I found when decorating my sons room but I’m here for you to learn from my experiences. This tip is quite simple – go for a floor that is easily cleaned. You can opt for small, washable rugs so they have a cosy spot to play on. I'd stay clear of wall to wall carpet, because of the hygiene and allergy issues this can provoke (and let's not mention stains!!). Linoleum can be a rather cheap option and nowadays there are some pretty cool designs (don't think hospital flooring, because linoleum sure has evolved), laminate or tile are also easily cleaned.
- Children can be very inquisitive but one thing’s for sure, they’re extremely creative. With this in mind, I adopted the notion that I wasn’t about to let my son express his creativity on the walls. This then spiralled into another thought, that instead of limiting his creativity somewhat, I’d purchase a blackboard paint which I painted three feet from the floor in his room and in various spots around the house.
- ￼ This simply allows the parent to draw or write educative pictures and words on the painted area also allowing your child to be as creative as they could possibly wish for. Yes - on the walls!
- Deciding and finding the right bedding can also be a headache. As a mother to be, I was always thinking, what if the bed is too hard? What if the bed isn’t stable enough? What type of blanket I should use? At the time I was also in the process of decorating my living room so I went to a few local shops and browsed the net where I found a few cool things on the Fashion for Home website. My search gave me the idea that buying a cot isn’t really that hard. If you find one you really love, my tip to you would be to add a bumper that safely attaches to the cot to protect baby from bashing his or her head against the cot bars.
- One thing not a lot of people think of when decorating their child’s room tends to be the lighting – well that’s the case with my friends and other parents I’ve spoken to during the school run! The lighting can be the difference between your child nodding off to sleep right away, quite quickly or much later than anticipated. Deciding I wasn’t going to install the usual and standard on/off switch came easy. When my eldest was younger, I noticed that that he’d fall asleep much quicker in a dimmed room as supposed to the light being on or off. Try it and comment if this works or doesn’t work for you and yours.
- The fifth tip isn’t really a tip; only, just remember to ensure the room is as comfortable and filled with as much love and happiness as your child could ever wish for (within means of course). It is you child's room, so it should permeate his personality, it's not a canvas to reflect thing you never got as a child. Think of it as your child’s own personal living room. Not that you should buy sofas; although it is probably a wise idea to have something to sit on. Another good idea would be to include kid’s storage furniture so you or your child always has somewhere to stack away all their books and toys.
What to do with your child’s room doesn’t have to be as stressful as it may seem and you certainly need not be as indecisive as I initially was. The house can be a pretty big a daunting place but their room should always be the place they feel most safe.
Here’s hoping these tips are helpful, even if only slightly. Enjoy decorating everyone!