When it comes to children’s bedrooms, from small babies to older teenagers, Latest Interiors shows you how to use space wisely
Anyone with children can tell you that, from the minute they’re born, teeny tiny babies require an awful lot of stuff. And the amount of stuff grows disproportionately alongside the child – wooden trains, Puffles, Lego, Moshi Monsters – you might think that this improves when they reach teenage years, but no. And this proliferation of things needs space and a place to live so that Junior has room to play with whatever takes their fancy that day, or simply to be able to trot into bed (if only) without impaling their tiny feet on the edge of toys. What do kids need from a bedroom? This week, Latest Interiors takes a deep breath and ventures into the children’s room…
Go to sleep
Small babies, up until the ages of around one (or when they start walking, whichever comes first) don’t need very much in terms of accommodation. A peaceful space to sleep is the one essential – though this can be a cot or Moses basket in Mum and Dad’s room to begin with. Cots with adjustable mattress levels are useful as you keep the mattress high (for easy access) when baby is little, and move it down as they get older to prevent climbing out. If you want something that will last, then a cot bed – which converts to a junior bed later – might be the perfect solution. Look out for models with under-unit storage. A pre-walking infant’s storage needs will mostly be for feeding, clothing and nappy paraphernalia – as well as somewhere to keep the buggy (this can be where good understairs storage comes into its own).
Other things to consider include a good, comfy chair (for those late-night feeds), and black-out curtains or blinds (well, you never know).
From toddler to tweenager
Rooms for older kids need a little bit more thought. Sleeping areas need to be quiet, comfortable, and relaxing – forget bedroom TVs, and think instead of making a space that’s practical, safe and clean, as well as appealing and personal to your child. Bunk-style beds, with a lower storage, work or play area, are brilliant if space is tight. Central lights can be colourful, but don’t forget a night light (or a string of fairy lights) for those little souls that worry about the dark.
And storage. Again. Toy storage is absolutely essential – as soon as Junior starts moving around, bits of wood and plastic will invade every corner of your home. Start off with simple baskets and boxes if you like (toddlers love to unpack them), but as things progress a good-sized toy box can be a godsend. Modular, multi-level units with pull-out boxes are brilliant for putting it all away (don’t expect it to stay there).
Teenage bedrooms are the biggest challenge. As well as accommodating toys and treasures from early childhood (you may never get to throw that dog-eared teddy away…), the teenage bedroom needs clothes storage, grooming space (including a good-sized mirror), audio-visual storage, and then some. Teen rooms are all about the teen. Information technology is an essential component of teenage life – include desk space and take the need to house and manage any hardware into account (even if they use a laptop from their bed). Provide a comfortable sleeping area, thick curtains, plenty of wall-space and Blu-Tack. And, if you want to splash out, consider soundproofing. Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you…