I’ve always been mystified by parents sending kids to their room if they’ve been naughty. “How is this a punishment?” I used to wonder as I taped another ratings topping edition of Radical Radio!, my pretend radio show. “All my stuff is here!”
It’s time we moved away from thinking of your kid’s room as ‘time out’ or simply somewhere to sleep and started thinking big. Where can they play? Where can they create? Where can you give them the tools to make this possible?
A good place to begin is by giving it an overhaul. This should happen in any case every few years- I was mortified whenever I had friends round and they saw my Snatch the Dog decor in all its twee glory. (Though possibly that’d be fetchingly retro now). Seeing how expensive wallpaper, furniture et al can be, how can you do it without going bust? How can you avoid your kid turning around in two years’ time and saying, “Mum, I’ve gone off it!”
Never fear! Here are 4 fail proof tips to give your kid a rocking bedroom…
1) Likes, not crazes!
Remember: the average kid is a fickle creature, swayed by whatever the cool kids at school do. It might seem a charming idea to adorn the walls with Pokemon (or whatever he’s into at the moment), but will he still be such a fanatic in a year’s time?
Consider your kid’s long term interests. Does she love ballet? Is he interested in space? What are their favourite colours?
It’s sometimes claimed that your personality is fixed by the age of seven. I know I’ve haven’t changed dramatically twenty years later. So if your daughter wants to be the next Kylie now, chances are she’ll still be interested in singers and showbiz for the years to come.
2) Funky furniture
Kids of all ages (that includes grown up ones!) love wacky furniture. Draught excluders that look like snakes, squashy bean bags, crazy rugs, clocks with faces. They’re also pragmatic- they’d rather have furniture that does something.
Never has this been truer than of shelves and cupboards. It’s not enough that it holds their toys, books and clothes- they’ve got to look interesting too. Holdalls that look like tepees, geometric shelves. Make sure it doesn’t date quickly so the kid can carry on using them.
Tescos is a terrific place to go for shelving solutions. Whether the pretty (the much loved Disney Princesses) or the witty (a box that looks like a skip), there’s something for every taste.
Shopping on a shoe string needn’t be a bore. Indeed, with creativity and verve, it can be fun. Do you have some cute fabric languishing in a drawer? Turn it into a blind! Do you have any old paints or wallpaper samples lying around the house? See what you can make out of them! Even the shabbiest old bits of furniture can be transformed with a bit of love: paint them a new colour, change the cushions etc.
Stencils are a superb technique of decorating a room without breaking the bank. Since few of us are Michelangelo, it’s also the easiest way to paint a pattern or beloved children’s character. And there’s nothing saying it’s limited to walls- give the aforementioned old furniture a new lease of life.
Henry Donovan Motif Designs is a brilliant resource for stencils for every kind of home decor; check it out!
4) The Land of Counterpane
Saving the most important thing till last! Beds are vital- not only can you sleep in them, they generally serve the role of lounger, desk, desert island or whatever imaginary scenario your kids come up with. It stands to reason that as the most crucial piece of furniture it should be attractive as well as comfortable.
Bearing this in mind, it’s best to have a bed that will last and your kid won’t quickly outgrow. Just Sleep Beds, an outlet selling cheap beds in Liverpool, offers a fantastic range of kids’ beds- from the quirky (beds that look like race cars!) to the practical (sturdy bunk beds). Pair this with their cracking accessories and you’ll have a bedroom fit for a princess (or princess).
It goes to show: making over your kid’s room needn’t be daunting. With your little one aiding the process every step of the way, it can be enlightening and fun!