- Home Furnishings
Children's Rooms Interior Designs
Children's Rooms Interior Designs
Unlike bedrooms, nurseries need to be extremely practical, because they are going to be subjected to merciless wear and tear. They also need to be very adaptable. Children outgrow furniture nearly as fast as clothes and their tastes in decoration change very rapidly. So ideally create a basic and indestructible shell that can be made to look different as the years go by with minor and inexpensive changes, while the furniture grows up with the room's occupants.
Flooring needs to be quiet-so you can tip-toe in night to make sure that all is well' easy to clean-so you can wipe off spills and scuff marks; and hard wearing-to take the constant punishment that will be meted out to it. This rules out most carpets, although you could risk a non-absorbent and durable nylon carpet, preferably with a rubber backing. At all events avoid a long-pile carpet-not only because it's so impractical, but because it will stop toy trains and cars bead in their tracks. For older children carpet tiles might make sense, because you can replace individual tiles as they get stained or worn out; but they would be too scratchy on the knees for the toddler-stage as would handsome and hard-wearing sisal. Sheet lion, cushioned vinyl or vinyl tiles are all tough and very easy to clean, and they needn't look cold and clinical if you introduce plenty of warm colours elsewhere. ( If you are tempted to add a rug, however, make sure it's either heavy or fixed, so it won't slip and cause accidents while children are playing.)
But perhaps the most suitable flooring is sealed or vinyl-surfaced cork tiles. This isn't cheap but it's soft and warm, wipe-clean, very hard-wearing, and so good-looking, even once children have turned into teenagers they will probably be quite happy to keep it.
Walls are going to take as much punishment as floors, though you can at least try to forestall some of it by providing an official scribbling area. There is no guarantee your child will stick to it. but it might curt down the ravages elsewhere. You could either screw a blackboard to the wall or, better still paint part of a wall or door with special blackboard paint. Indeed there is no reason why you shouldn't paint all the walls with blackboard paint up to a height of about a meter (3 ft 6 in), provided you top it with a bright-coloured frieze to cheer up the result.
Unless you are buying it because it gives you pleasure don't bother with specific nursery-patterned wallpapers. Babies are unlikely to notice the bunny rabbits on the wall, and once they do, it won't be long before they find them babyish. If you are determined to have a special children's wallpaper, at least buy a cheap one on the basis that although it will show every grubby finger mark, by the time it needs replacing, it will have served its visual purpose. This is much better than buying an expensive vinyl wall covering with a pattern of ballerinas or spaceships that gets out grown long before it's outworn.
Plain vinyl wall coverings are perfect for nurseries because they are very tough and literally scrub able. If you can buy one in a neutral colour with a rough and interesting texture, it might last from the toddler stage right through to teenage without raising a complaint at any point along the way.
If you prefer to paint the walls, although gloss will shrug off scuffs and sticky finger marks, it does look rather cold and unfriendly. It also accentuates silk vinyl or eggshell makes a sensible compromise because it's hard enough for the walls to be washed but matt enough to look soft and warm. Emulsion paint is impractical in theory, because it will only survive a delicate sponging; but in practice it's so easy to apply that many people accept they will need to repaint every few months and go about it with good grace.
Once you have established the permanent nursery basics, it's easy to introduce small extras within them. All children like bright colors so you could add a brilliantly-coloured and patterned roller blind; stick vibrant friezes round the walls; introduce bold duvet covers; perhaps paint the furniture yellow (you can paint it white later): fix a piece of pegboard over a desk (so children can hang their treasures from it) and paint it a brilliant colour too. All these bright splashes plus the muddle of toys on the floor and paintings on the wall will ensure the room has enough colour and interest.
Furnishing for the future
A be-rib boned bassinet will be totally redundant within three months. It's much wiser to go for a Moses wicker basket, lined against draughts with something like a pretty toweling or cotton gingham. Buy one with a matching stand to avoid possible backache and make sure the wheels won't slide on a limo or vinyl floor. Carry cots are not advisable for times when you are unable to keep an eye on the baby but they are very useful for general travel. When buying one avoid a lining of soft plastic that your baby might not be able to breathe against, and look for the /kite Mark and BS 38881.
The next essential is a cot. Here you can either buy one that is simply a cot, dismantle it when it's outgrown and store it till it's needed again or buy a cot that converts into a full-size bed. Look for the Kite Mark and BS 1753.
Once a baby can clamber out of its cot, you know it's ready for a proper bed. As children move about in their sleep a lot more than adults, it's worth going straight to the 1 meter (3 ft) wide size. If you have more than one child but only room for one bed the simplest answer is to buy bunk beds. Some are made so they will spilt into two single beds (useful if you are hoping to move to a larger house some day); others come with storage drawers below or in one case even a spare divan. As there isn't a British Standards specification check for yourself that the top bunk's safety rail really is safe and that the ladder is sturdy and easy to climb. Forget about conventional bedding: although duvets are not safe fore babies in cots they are ideal for children who have graduated to bunks, and can be machine-washed if you choose a man-made fiber filling.
The alternative to bunk is stacking beds but it's only worth considering the kind that can be tacked ready made-up if you prefer conventional bedding.
When they are young children have masses of toys. When they are older, they have masses of clothes. Either way, they are going to need plenty of storage. Although shops are full of mini-wardrobes and chests-of-drawers they are a bit gimmicky and soon become obsolete. If you want individual items of furniture it's probably better to buy full-size versions, taking care to wall-fix anything that might get toppled over-say a wardrobe that a child might climb into to play houses. It could be worth considering old pine furniture on the basis that bashes and dents just add character: furthermore it will look grown up and sophisticated when the kid's room turns into a teenage pad.
Even so wall-fitted storage, whether built-in or free-standing provides the most adaptable solution. When interior fittings are flexible (and don't buy any storage system where they are not) you can move up shelves and drawers as the children grow taller. You can also bridge any gap between units with a deep shelf that acts as a desk: this too can go up in the world as the need arises, and with a mirror, can double as a dressing table.
N.B. Make sure any free-standing storage is too stable to be pulled down: otherwise fix it to the wall. This applies to shelving too-it's a favorite for toddlers to pull themselves up by.
Most young children like some kind of
night-light. This could be a special low-powered light build (enough for a
reassuring glow but not enough to keep anyone awake); or just a light left
burning on the landing with the nursery door left ajar. Instead you could add a
dimmer switch to the normal lighting. As children graduate to hobbies and
homework, be sure to add local lighting above any desk or worktop. If your
children sleep in bunk beds give each of them a wall-fixed light, so one can
stay wake reading without disturbing the other; and if the top occupant needs to
get up in the night the ladder can be negotiated in safety.
Read more hubs:
The tiny dining room
The beautiful bedroom ideas
Storage for the bedroom
The Beautiful Sitting Room