Amplify the potential of a small kid's room to create living-large bedrooms that carry your children through every age and phase.
It's a fact of life: A home's smallest bedrooms are assigned to the household's youngest members. But, as parents well know, young kids, preteens, and teens require bedrooms that take on a multitude of roles. Kid's bedrooms must provide comfortable areas for sleeping, studying, playdates, and daydreaming, as well as storage options that keep wardrobes, leisure gear, and school supplies contained but within reach. Here's a look at some ideas for optimizing every inch of space to create bedrooms that handle kids' birth-to-college needs.
When designing a small bedroom for your son or daughter, think of shipshape boat cabins and compact college dorm rooms, both of which employ furnishings that maximize the minimal. Install bunk beds that take advantage of a wall's vertical plane. Or, place a twin bed under a window and suspend a lofted bunk on an adjacent wall to leave open floor space below for tucking in a homework center, a dressing area, or a fortlike play area. Choose nightstands, desks, and bedsteads equipped with cubbies, shelves, and drawers that can hold everything from building blocks to storybooks and football jerseys. Include other dual-purpose pieces, such as ottomans, window seats, and toy boxes, that supply both storage and seating. Dress cribs and beds with kicky fabric skirts or dust ruffles to fashion ground-level hidey-holes for stowing out-of-season clothing, toy-filled bins, or a foldable table and chairs that you can pull out and set up when study-group sessions or board games are on tap. Bring in floor cushions and beanbag chairs that can be stacked in an out-of-the-way spot until they're needed as a conversation grouping.
Ask your child how they'd like to decorate the space and devise a plan that satisfies his or her individual aesthetic and your tidying-up desires. Bold-statement motifs, vividly painted furniture with easy-clean finishes, and Technicolor schemes give the tiniest digs a heaping helping of panache. Creative types are sure to enjoy a wall clad in magnetic chalkboard paint that doubles as a message center, art gallery, and doodling surface; install a rack with plenty of shelves and hooks near the top of the blackboard, but still within reach of your child, to enlarge on the wall's purpose.
It's important to contain clutter so surfaces stay neat and there's a continuous sweep of floor available for playtimes, slumber-party sleeping bags, and hanging out with friends. If your budget allows, opt for built-ins that provide storage within and display space up top. Outfit closets with adjustable closet organizers that will adapt to your maturing child's changing wardrobes. Equip underused corners, bookcases, or wall-mounted shelves with lively hued stackable bins and boxes and oversize baskets that corral stuffed animals, academic papers, and cherished mementos. Create an open-air closet of sorts by mounting sturdy hooks at kid-height on a door or wall so kids can effortlessly put away and retrieve outerwear, backpacks, and sporting gear.
With proper planning and a few tweaks along the way, you can fashion small bedroom spaces that effectively keep pace with your kids as they grow.