Tips to Make Your Child’s Room Look Great
General Hints for Making Rooms Appear Bigger
- Stay away from dark colors. However, this does not limit your choice to just white! Yellow is a nice color for a child’s room, as well as many other attractive suitable choices for kids’ rooms. Ready-mixed paint colors are now available in every shade.
- Try to keep the flooring in a light color as well to reflect the lighting upwards into the room. A wooden floor (the preferred choice in Egypt) is the best flooring to use in childrens’ rooms, but make sure the color is not too dark otherwise the room will look smaller. MDF wood flooring is available in numerous shades of wood, including colors.
- Avoid heavy curtains and allow as much light in the room as possible. Nets are now available in many different colors, and can be used instead of heavy side curtains. A roller (venetian) blind can be used during bedtime to darken the room. Roller blinds have become widely accessible in Cairo and can be found in fabric, bamboo or aluminum in various colors.
- Place a mirror on the wall opposite the window to reflect more light into the room.
- Metallic, glossy and pearly furniture and wall finishes will make the room appear larger (and be easier to clean in a child’s room!). Even a door painted in a glossy finish will add to this illusion.
- A hint for making a square room look wider is to add a dado rail (strip of wood attached on the wall horizontally all around the room) or a painted strip (in the same way); this will create an illusion of a wider room by leading the eye around the room.
What to Look for When Buying Furniture
It goes without saying that if a room is small and two beds are needed (either for two children sharing a room or for friends sleeping over), bunk beds are the most space efficient option. Many bunk beds now incorporate extra storage. Some are even integrated units incorporating desks, drawers and shelves. These are particularly suited for small square rooms. Even if the beds are custom made to fit in with the rest of the bedroom furniture, try to incorporate a couple of deep drawers built under the base of the bed.
‘Sleigh’ beds (beds with sides/rails) are a particularly good option when you decide not to choose a bunk bed. The high sides of the sleigh bed stop the child from falling out of the bed and the style will not look childish as the child grows into a teenager.
A good alternative for a small toddler is to buy an inexpensive bed with a ‘trailer’ behind (for example, built to look like a train) to hold stuffed or larger toys. This however will only look appropriate in the child’s early years.
You may also like to invest in a low table on wheels that can be used for arts and crafts because it can be pushed easily against a wall when you need more space in the room for play time.
- Consider painting the ceiling in a ‘sky and clouds’ or ‘sun and stars’ theme, leaving the walls plain for a contrast. Alternatively, keep the ceiling plain and paint your own ‘stencil design’ on pale colored walls. Other themes can be used in this way as well, for example moons, circles, ribbons, etc.
- Matching curtains and bedspreads can be incorporated into your decorating scheme. If you can’t find fabric that you like or fits in with your decorating scheme, choose a plain-weave cotton fabric (available in dozens of colors); this always looks great in a child’s room.
- When selecting your fabrics and paints choose the fabric colors first because it’s easier to match the right shade of paint to fabric than vice versa.
- Buy the smallest tin of paint available to test on the wall first because sometimes the color looks different on the paint chart than on the wall.
- If the room’s ceiling is low, you can paint the ceiling and walls in the same color and hang pictures lower than usual to give the illusion of a higher ceiling.
- After completing your paint job, you can pull the whole color scheme of the room together by identifying the ‘main’ colors used in the decorating scheme and painting the chest of drawers, for example, using a different ‘main’ color for each drawer.
By Suzie Nassar, Interior design consultant
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