A child’s bedroom or nursery is their safe haven – a place they should love spending time in. As it is usually a space where children both sleep and play, it’s important to create a calming and comforting environment that has enough interest to stimulate learning as well as sparking imagination and curiosity. The nursery featured above was designed for a listed five storey Victorian townhouse in Scotland and includes a bespoke open shelving partition to create definition between the sleeping and playing areas. A soft blue and neutral base forms the perfect backdrop for pops of colour brought in through toys and accessories, creating a tranquil space with just the right amount of playfulness! We loved designing this interior and with a new and exciting nursery project on the cards, we’re sharing our top tips for creating the perfect children’s haven.
A child’s bedroom needs to be functional as well as playful so storage is of paramount importance. Closed storage will enable clutter to be tidied away easily while open storage allows favourite books and toys to be showcased. Storage baskets are perfect for low level use as they enable children to both access toys and tidy them away easily. Under bed storage is also a great storage solution; as well as being low level it maximises floor space for play time.
Children can be extra sensitive to the impact of colour so it’s very important to consider this when designing a nursery or child’s bedroom. Using complementary colours with low contrast levels will help to create a balanced and calming space. Pastel shades of blue and pink are soothing and peaceful while green has been shown to aid reading ability as well as promoting happiness due to its associations with nature. Avoid using bold colours such as red and orange on walls as these can lead to overstimulation and aggravation. Instead, bring these colours in through toys and artwork to create subtle injections of bright colour.
Stimulate The Senses
Interesting textures within the room will aid with sensory development as well as creating warmth and comfort. Bring different textures in through rugs, blankets, cushions or even wallcoverings. Young children love to touch and feel so stimulating the senses in this way will aid cognitive development. Also consider the lighting in the room; natural sunlight during the day will encourage a happy mood but artificial lighting used in the evenings should be subdued to encourage quiet time and rest. Dimmer switches and lamps work really well for this.
Futureproof Your Design
Children grow up quickly so it’s really important to make sure that the room is designed with this in mind. If you’re designing a nursery, ensure the space is designed so a cot can easily be changed for a bed. Using artwork on walls rather than wallpaper means frames can easily be changed or removed rather than having to completely redecorate when the child outgrows the wallpaper print. The room doesn’t have to be designed using child sized furniture that will be quickly outgrown either – choose furniture you would happily use in any room so it complements the wider aesthetic of your home and lasts longer.
Release Your Inner Child
Designing a room for a child is the perfect time to get creative in ways you might not consider for the rest of your home. Use toy cars as handles on wardrobes and drawers to create a bit of humour and fun. Blackboard walls are a great way of turning a wall into an instant interactive surface, encouraging the development of fine motor skills. (This can also help to discourage writing on walls that are not meant for writing!)
Listen To Your Client
With any design project, it’s always important to listen to the needs of your client and designing a child’s bedroom is no different! If they are old enough, make sure you discuss what they would like so they feel as though they have had some input – remember it is probably the only space in the house that is just for them. It’s vital that they feel safe and happy in their own environment so listening to their desires should lead to happier play and better sleeping!