Saturday 22 July 2017

Cool For Kids

Interiors

Light shades make a fun space — Brighton 203, Pale Lime 70, Marigold 209 and Slaked Lime 105 by Little Greene Paint Company; littlegreene.ie
Light shades make a fun space — Brighton 203, Pale Lime 70, Marigold 209 and Slaked Lime 105 by Little Greene Paint Company; littlegreene.ie

Anna Shelswell-White

It will come as no surprise that one of the most exciting rooms to decorate has got to be a bedroom/playroom for the children of the house.

At the age where imagination knows no bounds and childlike wonder is at its peak, it's the one room where you can unleash whimsical patterns on cosy fabrics, use lots of fun accessories and update the space, regularly, as your child grows. It's a space where play is just as important as sleep.

Teepee basket, €75. Tidy up toys in a cinch, at the end of a busy day, with a nicely-sized basket; lambdesign.ie
Teepee basket, €75. Tidy up toys in a cinch, at the end of a busy day, with a nicely-sized basket; lambdesign.ie

If your plan is to use this area for your child to grow in, from newborn to teen, you'll need it to be roomy, so it might be important to skip using the box room and think about the space you'll need for the long haul.

"The room has to be spacious enough to allow for the baby to crawl or the toddler to play and, much later, for the child to study," says interior designer Dana Kallo, of Black Fox Interiors (blackfoxinteriors.com).

When it comes to furnishing, it's important to start with the positioning of the bed. Make sure you choose a place where the baby will sleep well; away from direct sunlight but with enough natural light for a healthy body clock. A good ergonomic bed is also very important to support development. "Select vital furniture pieces first," says Dana. "A bed, a clever changing table and storage solutions, are all key. We recommend people choose multifunctional furniture, that grows with the baby, allowing for long-term usage," she says.

"Choosing furniture also depends on the parenting philosophy you may have. For example, if your philosophy is Montessori style, the bed will be at the floor level, so the kids can choose when to sleep and when to explore the room," adds Dana. Naturally, then, when it comes to materials and the furniture you choose, it's a no-brainer that sharp edges and rough materials are a no-no. "I'd recommend the furniture be made from natural wood and metallic structures," Dana says.

Brown bear cushion, €26.28. From the Into the Wild wallpaper range (available at the Fabric Mill, Co Kildare), this line drawn bear doubles up as a cuddly pal, as well as a cushion; hibouhome.com
Brown bear cushion, €26.28. From the Into the Wild wallpaper range (available at the Fabric Mill, Co Kildare), this line drawn bear doubles up as a cuddly pal, as well as a cushion; hibouhome.com

Lighting, whether it is natural or artificial, is vital for a healthy space, especially during these developing years. Dimmers will add cosiness, while night lights are an opportunity for your child's personality to shine through. Available in all shapes and great designs, price points are affordable - ideal if it's dinosaurs or unicorns that are the creature du jour.

"Good design for kid's rooms and nurseries considers all aspects," says Dana. "Functionality and safety are two core principles that should be integrated. Plan ahead and keep in mind the baby is growing very fast. In no time the room will have to be suitable for a toddler and then a child."

Your child's skills, talents and hobbies can influence how the space will be designed, so don't forget to tune in to these and get them involved in the design process, if your little one is old enough to express his or her opinions. The finished result will be a fun space that allows restful sleep, productive play and easy updating.

  • Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Cherokee teepee, €99. A teepee creates a chill-out area and adds a fun element to the space; harveynorman.ie
Cherokee teepee, €99. A teepee creates a chill-out area and adds a fun element to the space; harveynorman.ie
Green dinosaur lamp, €49. Dinosaurs seem to be the animal of choice for young kids nowadays. Combine them with a night light for a comforting sleep, and you're on to a winner; moss.ie
Green dinosaur lamp, €49. Dinosaurs seem to be the animal of choice for young kids nowadays. Combine them with a night light for a comforting sleep, and you're on to a winner; moss.ie
Chest of drawers, €123.30. Storage is key when it comes to kids' rooms. Make sure the drawers are deep and segmented and make sure there's a place for everything; littlewoodsireland.ie
Chest of drawers, €123.30. Storage is key when it comes to kids' rooms. Make sure the drawers are deep and segmented and make sure there's a place for everything; littlewoodsireland.ie

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