How to design a child’s room in an eco-friendly way
My 4-year-old has already a nice room, but it lacks colour. We all know that colour is essential and it plays a massive role in a child’s bedroom. This room is not only a bedroom it’s also a playroom, hiding spot, games room, retreat, and everything that a child can imagine.
I want to introduce the following steps of my design process to you:
- Involve your child from the beginning. You might be surprised how easy it is to satisfy your child when you listen to their needs. They often don’t want that fancy and expensive headboard rather than easy access to their toys and books. If you want to surprise it, then test its colour taste and ask about favourite themes.
- Get inspiration: As mentioned in my blog before social media (Pinterest, Instagram) are good sources to browse for inspiration but can make you also feel overwhelmed. Try a different approach: maybe watch your child’s favorite movie and get inspiration from there. It doesn’t mean everything has to be pink if your child has its heart set on Cinderella at the moment. What I would look out for are the colour palettes rather than the accessories, because you don’t want to buy lots of blond barbies to match the theme. Aim for a look that lasts a few years rather than going for a certain theme as you might end up redecorating it after 6 months when Cinderella is out and the Trolls are in.
- Make a mood board. This can happen online like on Canvas or Pinterest or on a physical mood board. I strongly recommend a physical one if you get your child involved in the design process because it makes it more visual and approachable to your little one. You can stick the images on the board together or even watercolor on it. We love to make a start in my sketchbook and gather our ideas.
- Make it accessible and functional. Many nurseries or playrooms on social media are very pretty, but also pretty unpractical. Do not fall for them! By the end of the day, your child will use the room and he or she should feel comfortable, safe, and happy in it. With ‘accessible’ I mean in reach for your child. All toys, books, clothes should be easy to reach, so consider the height of your little one. Easily accessible storage is important to keep everything tidy and your child can learn how to tidy up after a play date with its friends. Again, ask your child before you set the layout for the room, where it plays, and how it can reach the toys or books. After the layout is agreed stick it on to your mood board.
Image: an example of how the layout research starts, we didn’t choose the layout on the right because it would mean the loss of floor space.
5. Look at the existing furniture. What do you need and what can go. Less is more. If it’s not practical because your child can’t reach the books on the tall bookshelf then replace it with a floor bookshelf (Montesorri style). However, be mindful of buying new fancy furniture because 1) it’s a child’s room and it might grow out of it and 2) its taste will change for sure. Try to buy secondhand or even consider swapping furniture with a friend who has also a child. This can save you a fortune.
6. Eco-friendly paint. Consider painting with low to no VOCs in this room. AirLite is one of the paints which is healthy, ecological and has an anti-mold effect. Another great paint we used in our new extension is Tikkurila paint.
7. The devil lays in the detail. But less is more. Keep it simple. This room doesn’t have to win an award, it has to win your child’s heart. Find accessories that match but also are a good toy. These toys from the danish company Kolekto are eyecatching and your son/daughter will love to play with them.
Image source: Kolekto: https://bluebrontide.com/collections/kolekto
Think of the cleaning aspect and try to avoid plastic. Focus on sustainable materials, things that last and you can pass on later or swap with a friend. In many towns and cities, toy libraries are a big hit, maybe you can find something for your newly designed room there?
I mentioned it already in one of my other articles: The most important thing is to have fun when designing a new room. To design a child’s room is a win-win as you will feel that you have truly created a space your child will love for a long time. Involvement of your child and mindfulness about sustainable materials are key. Keep the planet and the wellbeing of your child in mind.
Soon I will write about the actual makeover of my daughter’s bedroom, do not miss this and subscribe to my newsletter. Follow me on Instagram to see the makeover pictures.