From the day a baby is brought home from the hospital to the day a child leaves for college, a child’s room is an incredibly special space.
The child’s room is where both the child and the parents make many of their memories. It is the center of the newborn’s life and may serve as a “time out” center for a disruptive five-year-old. And it no doubt serves as a place for a teenager to decompress and learn to know them. It should be a safe haven.
A good floor plan is helpful when designing a room for a newborn, according to experts. It should incorporate plenty of storage, natural lighting, and sound control. Rugs on the floor can be added to help with sound control.
The floor plan should make it easy to move from crib to changing table. And organizational space—dresser or closet—should be able to accommodate a baby’s wardrobe as well as all the odds and ends that surround caring for an infant.
Furnishings that will grow with the child have continually been improved by manufacturers, and today many cribs are available that easily convert to toddler beds and then to full-size beds.
“I’m seeing a big move toward using furnishings that will grow with a child,” says Lori Pruitt of Canyon Interior Design. “Dressers and changing tables with removable changing pads and continue a useful life for years to come are quite popular. These pieces, when well constructed, eliminate a drain on the budget when transitioning from nursery to toddler room to a ‘big kid’ room.”
Pruitt adds that loft beds with play and study areas below are another useful way furniture can serve more than one purpose. Sandler adds that bunk beds are very popular at the moment, optimizing floor space. Once a room plan and furnishings are settled, color and textural choices come into play.
“Because children’s likes and dislikes change rapidly as they age, parents see the value in starting with a neutral base and letting kids express their personalities by bringing in color and trends through inexpensive items like pillows and artwork. Themes are fun, but keeping them to a few interchangeable pieces makes practical and financial sense,” says Kathy Sandler of Sandler Design Group, LLC.
Murals and wallcoverings have continued to grow in popularity, providing a way to provide personality to the room. “We are seeing fun wall art in the form of wallpaper, focal wall murals—both ready-made and custom,” says Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors.
Chad Gilpin of Meridian says, “When wall colors, fixtures, and furniture integrate with the home design, significant changes can be made by switching accessories or painting a single accent wall. Because of this, most children’s rooms are reflecting general design trends, only in youthful, more imaginative ways.”
The same “primitive” look found in the main body of many of today’s homes is finding its way into nurseries and children’s rooms.
Lauren Devens of Reclaimed Designworks says, “Instead of specific themes, we work with parents who are lending their style to more practical details that flow with the overall aesthetic of their home. Wallcoverings and specialty wall treatments have made a big comeback, especially the use of reclaimed barn siding on a feature wall. This adds undeniable warmth to interiors and tells a story about American history.” Of course, reclaimed wood brought into the home should have nails removed and be free from any pests that may have been living in the wood.
Additional nursery design trends include metallic wall accents such as stars, reclaimed vintage furnishings, chevron stripes, and cabin-like rooms with rough wood walls, rustic wood finishes, and warm plaids.
While selecting a comfortable rocking chair of the glider for the mother is always a consideration, some larger nurseries might incorporate a sofa.
Bookshelves can be added to a nursery for storage and then live useful lives in toddler and other rooms.
With the pervasiveness of phones, tablets, and cloud-based storage, the design trend for physical storage, desk space, and electronics is to de-clutter, says Gilpin. “A traditional desk is too large and formal for modern usage in a child’s room, so it quickly becomes a messy catchall. But it’s still important to create a designated space for studying and learning. We offer a bookshelf that combines with desk space in one compact, attractive, and functional unit. If the child ends up not using the desk, you can replace it with a shelf and make it a traditional bookcase for future use.
There is also an increase in people using organic fabrics in nurseries, such as bamboo flooring and paints with low volatile organic compounds.
It’s no secret that teenagers spend a lot of time in their rooms and Pruitt says parents should allow teens to express their personality in their rooms. “Parents have a room of their own to go to and unwind at the end of the day, and teenagers should have that same luxury,” she says.
Bean bag chairs and poufs and plenty of low cushions and pillows are a trend in teen bedrooms. Vintage pieces are also great for older children’s bedrooms. Reclaimed chairs can be recovered in fresh fabrics and antique furniture can shine with a new coat of glossy paint.
There are a number of sources for children’s room decor in the Middle Tennessee area including:
Canyon Interior Design
Decorating Den Interiors
Sandler Design Group, LLC