We’re often approached by clients about decorating bedrooms and other living spaces for children and grandchildren. Of course, there are certain considerations that we apply when designing for youngsters. In this article, we share five tips for decorating children’s and grandchildren’s rooms. Then we share two client projects where we put these ideas into place.
1) Bright colors bring cheerfulness. Have you ever noticed how much children love the largest box of crayons? Despite the traditional soft pink rooms for baby girls and baby blue rooms for little boys, vibrant colors with a balance of white or other neutrals can present a vibrant canvas for playtime. In fact, Sciencing reported: “Children prefer brighter colors from an early age because their eyes are not fully developed yet. They perceive these colors better than fainter shades.” If you want a special space for your children, consider a departure from the conventional pastels in your décor.
2) Safety measures reign high. Avoid window treatments with long cords that can pose as choking hazards. Similarly, neatly tuck out of sight and reach any long electrical cords to bedside lamps, radios or even baby monitors. Self-close drawers and dressers that are securely adhered to the wall also prevent children from seeing furniture that doubles as a ladder or jungle gym.
3) Frame it. If your favorite little one has an artistic flair, decorate his/her room (or playroom) with that piece of art that won the blue ribbon. Not only does this give a unique aspect to the room’s feel, but it also encourages creativity and can boost confidence amongst kids. A nice mat and frame help showcase kiddos’ artwork better than the kitchen refrigerator. Another favorite PHD tip is a nicely framed magnetic whiteboard or blackboard. This allows you to display almost anything from the latest art masterpiece to ribbons won at an event to invitations to birthday parties. Hanging lots of papers on a wall can get messy and cluttered but when you corral it all into one area, like on a framed board, it is fun, interactive and looks much neater.
4) Beloved bunk beds! Whether you’re preparing for an only child’s dream of friends spending the night or you want to dedicate space for a couple of grandkids, bunk beds double your space and are so fun. We especially love this one from Elle Décor with the gender-neutral colors and the super cool light fixtures inside each bunk. The giraffe lamp coupled with the safari-themed art resting on the blue chest scores big points too.
5) Adjust counter heights for smaller stature. This is an easy adjustment to make with new construction. Rather than having a standard height countertop in the bathroom and requiring kids to use a stool that could easily tip over, implement a slightly lower vanity. We typically install bathroom counters at 36 inches, which is really the most versatile height for today’s home. However, according to HomeDecorBliss.com, “Traditionally bathroom vanities were kept at around 32″ tall so that small children could reach the sink. A child can still reach the sink if the vanity is 36″ tall, but not without the help of a step stool. And even then, toddlers and the newly potty trained will likely struggle with the height of the sink.” So, if you have young children, grandchildren or frequent, small visitors, you might consider slightly lower heights for vanities used by smaller guests, at least in the children’s part of the house.
(Partial) Glimpse at Our Portfolio for Children’s Rooms
With these tips in mind, let’s peruse two projects by Pamela Hope Designs that are tailored to our younger residents.
Let’s play ball… and Legos®.
The above bedroom captures so many aspects of boyhood while remaining a smart use of space. As we mentioned earlier, we love the use of bunk beds for young kids. In this project, we put both beds up so that the space below could be used for desk space during homework assignments. We also created shelving for Legos, toy cars and more. As you can see, we played up the bright colors and texture of Legos on the sides of the beds, shelving and desk drawers. Two chairs take on the baseball glove theme and are coupled with an ottoman that looks like an over-sized baseball. Nearby, another table for additional play space is available.
The adjoining bathroom carries over the Lego theme with custom cabinets in the same bright colors and textures that we applied in the bedroom. As we did in the bedroom, we painted the woodwork in a vibrant blue paint from Sherwin-Williams. The mirror above the sink is simple to allow the eyes to feast on the color palette. As you can see in the mirror’s reflection, we hung a three-dimensional, orange octopus toy on the opposite wall. The octopus’ bold color and curly tentacles amplify the fun nature of this boy’s space.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade: A Hurricane Harvey Remodel
For another of our clients, we decorated their newly built home in Kingwood, Texas, in September 2015. Unfortunately, when Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area two years later, this new construction home experienced serious damage from flooding. (You can read the full story in “10 lessons learned in Harvey home recovery” by Diane Cowen in the Houston Chronicle.) The ensuing renovation presented the family with the opportunity to make updates that they hadn’t considered initially, like decorating a guest bedroom for their grandchildren.
Changes included making a statement wall with reclaimed wood from The Woodshop of Texas and adding the round girl artwork above the day bed for a splash of color and amusement. We intentionally did not add a lot of furniture to this room, choosing instead to keep the layout open for playtime on the rug from Oriental Rug Gallery of Texas. The chandelier-like floor lamp gives the room a bit of glam, always welcome with a special trip to visit grandparents. The décor in this space is sophisticated yet amusing.
Of course, we encourage families to design children’s and grandchildren’s spaces with room to grow as illustrated in the above example. Not only can we help you decorate for your kids’ current needs, but we can plan ways to update the décor as they mature – whether you want simple updates or a complete renovation. Wondering how we can make your space a magical Wonderland for the special children in your life? Contact us today.