There comes a point when our little ones are no longer quite so little and they want their rooms to become a place to hang out with friends rather just a playroom. While most parents get nervous about this, I think it's really important that children have their say about their space because the more ownership they have in the decision making process the more they will want to look after the room when it is done.
I've noticed that children have very definite views about what they want in their space. I used to go to showhomes with my mum and it was these trips that helped hone my own design sense. While not all choices may be realistic or aesthetically sensible, allow your children to get creative and look to meet them halfway way on some of their ideas so they feel the space is really theirs.
Most children are very visual, so get them to create a mood board for their room so you can really understand what they are after. If they can't express their ideas fulsomely they can probably find something that looks like what they are after.
From age 10-16, your lovely little boys and girls will want their private space more and more so think about how to make that space as comfortable and functional as possible for them. Just like you would with other parts of the home think about all the activities they will be doing in their space such as sleeping, reading, doing homework, playing and hanging out with friends.
Create a grid of the space and think about how the furnishings you put in it will not only be flexible for their needs now but will be something they'll be able to use for a while. A great children's room is one that evolves as your child grows.
Bedding is something important to consider as bunk beds allows them to have friends stay over while high beds with drawers encourages them to keep the space tidy.
I am also an advocate of floating shelving placed high on a wall to display objects. These shelves are great for storing books and less used toys when they are younger then handbags, games and other sundries when they get older. Clutter is a real stress factor and not just for the parents so thinking about storage that will adapt is key.
You don't have to steer away from colours like pink and blue especially if those are the colours your child likes best. Instead, think of using more sophisticated navys, corals or shell pinks rather than baby blue and bubble gum pink. Using these as accents within a room that is a neutral colour creates a sophisticated palette your child won't get tired of.
Finally, stay away from trendy or branded ideas as they will date very quickly. If your child is a fan of a sports team, think about adding in the team colours as accents, sporting equipment as accessories or great photography of players rather than posters, scarves or jerseys.
Remember, you're helping your child create a space that will stand the test of time and adapt as they grow older. Their interests will likely change but their need for a space they can play, relax and work in won't.
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