Kids bedrooms are all about creating a safe, flexible space where they can retreat to, away from the scrutiny of adults. They need to be multifunctional, a room where kids can play, study, rest and dream. While the days of blue for a boy / pink for a girl are long gone, there are still certain aspects that will appeal more to each gender than the other, and this needs to be incorporated into the design concept. It’s fun to decorate a girl’s room, a chance to revisit the nostalgic memories of our own youth, but it’s easy to get wrong by going overboard. Here are some great ideas to help the little lady in your life to grow and flourish.
It’s nice to revisit your childhood when decorating a girl’s room, but before you start rolling on paint and buying furniture, take a step back. A kid’s room will invariably become cluttered with their things, so leaving a bit of space and not cramming every corner with items is key to avoiding claustrophobia. Look at the space through your child’s eyes – take their height and reach into account – storage with toys, books or study materials should not be out of their grasp. Zoning is also important – a girl needs space to play, study and a separate area for sleep – work these into your design concept.
There are reasons behind stereotypes, and yes, many young girls love pink colours and all things princess-y. This is fairly easy to accommodate at a very young age with bold colours and themed accessories, but as a child grows she matures. A subtler shade of pink means that as she gets older you can make the space more refined with weathered wood furniture, Scandi accessories and a range of throws and blankets to transform princess-kitsch into rosey glamour.
Giving a girl’s room a theme is important, and there are endless alternatives to the princess theme that your child will find inspiring and fun. Although I don’t want to group girls into categories, some of the most popular themes include fairies & unicorns, flamingos, flowers and butterflies. These themes also lend themselves to decorating very well, with paint stencils or patterned wallpaper easy to find and inexpensive. They also can be adapted into myriad colour schemes, from bright, bold primary colours to deeper, lusher shades of blue and green.
As mentioned, a child’s room needs to be multipurpose, and that applies to lighting as well. Desk lights or other task based lighting to help them study is essential, and versatile mood lighting can be achieved by installing dimmer switches. For evening ambience kids love those ever popular lava lamps which are even available with glitter. Don’t forget the ceiling – often an overlooked part of the room – glow in the dark stars ranging from the inexpensive to the intergalactic. And if your little girl doesn’t sleep well, a plug in nightlight is essential too.
All kids love slumber parties, or simply having their bestie to stay overnight. A rollout bed is easy and takes up no space whatsoever when it isn’t being used. This is ideal, but of course many kids have beds with storage built into them, in which case you may need a chair-bed or sofa-bed depending on the size of the room.
Little boys and girls come with a lot of baggage, so it’s important to have enough space to put it all (when it’s not all over the floor). We mentioned under-bed storage, but most furniture for kid’s rooms comes with some kind of in built storage solution. Build shelves in alcoves with sliding doors, and make bedside tables double up as storage space.
Get creative with painting
Kids love bright colours, but rather than painting the entire room the same way, try painting large shapes such as circles or triangles with a bold colour, and have a more neutral secondary shade behind. Not only does this give the room a fun sense of shape and rhythm, it also stops one colour from becoming too overwhelming. Easy to remove stickers mean that your little girl can get creative without damaging the walls.
Dens, teepees and nooks
Kids love to hide and play, and you can get creative with it. Building a den can be as simple or complicated as you like, from a corner with a canopy and cushions through to a platform to hide out on or under. Another great alternative is a teepee – these come in all shapes and sizes, and there are great options for girls rooms that will fit into any design concept you’re working with. A reading nook is a good idea if your daughter is a bookworm – a cosy corner or a bay window will work perfectly.
Accessorize and economize
Girls bedrooms are filled with accessories. But they also grow up fast, and their tastes change just as rapidly. With that in mind, choosing affordable accessories (without resorting to cheap tat) will mean that when it becomes time for a refresh you – and your daughter – won’t mind if it goes to the charity shop.
A common mistake many parents make when designing a child’s room is to plaster pictures all over the walls – this gets a bit claustrophobic and doesn’t give your kid much chance to be creative. A much better option is to assign one wall or space as a ‘gallery’ wall – a place where your little girl can express herself by placing posters, paintings, photographs or collages of her choosing.
If you have two girls sharing a room it’s important to let them have their own space. Even if the room is compact, zoning can be achieved without compromising the overall design concept. Try to balance symmetry and continuity with the individual needs and personalities of the kids – however cramped, the room needs to be a restful, productive, enjoyable space.
It’s great fun designing and decorating a child’s room. With a combination of decorative and practical elements, and an overall theme, your young lady will have the perfect space to grow in.