Eco-Friendly Kids' Rooms
Is it time to create a child friendly as well as eco-friendly kid’s room for your child?
Research has shown that kids who grow up in a creative, mentally stimulating environment get higher test scores, are more likely to be good readers, and have higher IQs. In the past children’s bedrooms were often a parking lot for mismatched furniture and cheap posters thumb-tacked to the walls but no more.
No matter what your child’s interest, activity level, or age you can easily create a room that is mentally stimulating, imaginative, colorful, and beautiful. And sometimes you can even do it without taking out a loan against your life insurance.
There are some things to keep in mind, however, so don’t grab the paintbrush just yet.
Do Your Research
It is always a good idea to do a little research first and make some plans. For example, is your child still a baby? If so he will not have the strong opinions that your fifteen year old might have.
The first place to begin is with your budget. If you don’t have a set limit for what you can afford and want to spend then you will end up spending much more than you should. Your budget should take into account how much of the work you can do yourself and what will actually need to be purchased or contracted.
Once you have decided on the amount you have to spend you need to consider time. Redecorating can be as simple as painting a room in a weekend, or buying a new quilt for the bed. It can also take weeks or months if you are adding windows, moving walls, or doing a lot of faux finishes. If you are preparing the room for a baby that will be arriving in seven months then you have plenty of time to work. If you have a sixteen year old who needs the space for study and relaxation then you probably want to stick to what you can do in a weekend.
If your child is old enough to have opinions then you should talk to him about what he would like in his room. A child’s bedroom is his domain. It is important that he have a say in how it is styled. Redecorating a bedroom while he is out of town as a surprise is not a good idea in most cases.
Some important questions to ask are:
- What color or colors would you like in your room?
- What do you like about your room now?
- What would you like to be changed about your room?
- What are the kinds of things you like to do in your room?
Look at magazines or bedroom ideas online together with your child. Make note of the things that he especially likes. If, for example, he says he wants a blue room but he seems constantly to point out green rooms maybe he likes the color blue but likes green tones in his environment. You could suggest green walls with blue and yellow accents in the room, for example. By paying close attention to likes and dislikes you have a better chance of creating an environment he loves.
Eco-Friendly Kids Room Materials
There are many companies coming out with low and no VOC paints. VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are toxins that are out gassed by the chemicals in paint, carpet, and other items.
Since children spend a lot of time in their rooms, as well as have bodies that are still growing and developing it just makes sense to use as many non-toxic, organic materials as possible. In order to do that you may want to consider:
Low VOC Paint: These
paints are created to be safe for your child and for the environment. They are applied just like regular paints and
act very similar. Drying times can be a
little different so read manufacturer’s instructions before applying the paint. Home Depot and other home improvement stores carry 0 VOC paints.
Organic Fabrics: You can buy organic cotton, organic wool, bamboo, and other eco-friendly fabrics to create curtains and comforters for your child’s room. If you don’t sew, look into hiring a seamstress to do this for you. If you look you may find organic curtains and comforters on the Internet but they are scarce.
Eco-friendly Furniture: You can also find this on the Internet with a little searching. This futon, for example is made of Southern Yellow Pine and is sustainable and eco-friendly, as well as being reasonably priced.
Organic Rugs: Even Amazon carries these! A little searching will allow you to come up with a decent selection of organic area rugs.
Eco-Friendly Flooring: There are a number of choices for eco friendly flooring for your child’s room, including:
Make sure that all of the components of your eco-friendly kid’s room are age and size friendly. Lower the clothes rods in the closet so he can hang up his own clothes. Allow space for play and a place to study and read. Get down on his level by getting on your knees or sitting on the floor and look around to see what items might make his room difficult to navigate.
You can find some great product reviews at Inhabitots as well.
Creating a great, imaginative, and safe space for your child does not have to be difficult or expensive. With some creative thought and research anyone can do it.