Since Storm Emma, I’ve been leaving the electric blanket on. We don’t necesarily need it now that the temperatures have started to creep up but, oh my, how luxurious is it to wriggle into a toasty warm bed after a 5.30am start and a looooonggg day of being maid, cook, cleaner, educator and servant to two (or more as the case may be) innocent, never screaming, never needy, impossibly helpful kids? (There’s sarcasm in there, hope it’s obvious!) I love my bedroom and while it’s not a typical oasis of calm or all that big, it’s purple with a king size bed and blackout blinds. Our bedroom, which admittedly lately I’ve been calling my bedroom since Papa Bear is routinely called into Little Missus’ room after midnight, has always been a reflection of comfort and somewhere to gently ease away worries. And this goes for Little Miss and Little Beans room too.
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For kids, having a nice bedroom is somewhat important. When they are little it is the perfect place for them to play albeit not quietly but it’s their personal space, somewhere to call their own. I’d love to say that as they get older, they respect their private space and look after it but I’m not naive and remember what it was like to live with my brother! Hah!
What makes a good space for kids as young as A? (who by the way is pretty pissed off that she’s still four.)
Getting the basics right
When designing a kid’s bedroom it’s a good idea to bear in mind that, as they get older, how they use their room will change. Case in point, Little Beans room has a dresser but no wardrobe, has a bed but no space for shoes. As she gets older the fundamentals of her room wil need some drastic reorganising. But when getting a babies room ready, it means that you can get the basic skeleton of the room right.
Laying a warm floor, be it carpet, wood or laminate and buying new skirting from somewhere like skirtingsrus.co.uk is a good starting point. Getting the walls painted or wallpapered in a style that will last a decade (because who wants to be stripping wallpaper every couple of years?) will give you a good base to start from for the true essential of staging a bedroom, the decor.
A good-quality bed
Everyone, including children, should sleep on a good-quality mattress. Bear in mind that that good quality mattress will be repeatedly bounced on because I have not met a child who doesn’t secretly vanish into their room for a twenty minute trampolining session!
What style of bed you buy is very much a question of taste, but the mattress needs to offer a good level of support and be able to withstand numerous bounce-a-thons.
It is a good idea to consider buying the kind of bed that can be converted to cater for your child as they grow. We’ve purchased one of those day beds that converts into a double bed from Ikea for Little Beans room. It means I have somewhere to sleep if she needs me to stay the night with her. It also means we wont have any jealous Jessica’s in the future because A has a double bed in her room (hence why I lose Papa Bear almost every night) and D wants to be like her big sister and sprawl across and get lost in a 4’6 bed.
Plenty of storage
Regardless of the age of your child, storage is important. You don’t have to say that twice sister! The amount of toys our kids have is actually fairly disgusting because they are everywhere. Having sentimental parents who can’t throw anything away because it was a first train set, first dollshouse, first kinder egg toy, doesn’t help matters either.
I’ve actually managed, but don’t ask me how because it’s bound to be a coincidental blip in my parenting life, to teach A about the importance of being tidy. I’m a tidy person by nature and everything always gets put away at certain stages of the day and when toys have been discarded for something else. Little Miss tidies (and by tidy I mean lobs them into boxes) away both her toys and her sisters toys.
They each have boxes for specific toys and she knows what goes where and dutifully helps to tidy when asked. A miracle I know, and long may it last. I’m hoping this trend continues into adolescence… let me dream.
Before decorating, something I did which you may not consider to do was, I took it upon myself to take the time to draught-proof the room. We were still getting to know the house after moving in over two years ago so I filled every nook and cranny to keep draughts out, especially any that may directly whistle over their sleeping heads.
Doing so will help to keep your child safe and warm as well as help you to stay on top of your heating bills. Win win. And while you’re at It, think about how you are going to keep the room at the right temperature. If you are going to use radiators, or another kind of wall heater, place it carefully to maximize the amount of usable space that is available in the room. Finally, use thermostatic gauges which can be retrofitted to radiators which was another job I ticked off my list last year.
In a kid’s room, getting the lighting right can aid their sleep and play. Try to think about what they will need a few years down the line too. Doing this will save you from having to ruin the finish of the walls by retrofitting wall lights or something similar.
Usually, it is a good idea to make the central light a dimmable one. This is particularly useful when they are very young. Most children go to sleep easier if the room is dimly lit. Modern dimmable LED light bulbs mean that you do not necessarily have to install new light fixtures to do this. They have the added benefit of consuming a lot less power than other types of light bulbs do. Unfortunately, they do cost a bit more to buy, but, as you will see here, they usually end up paying for themselves quite quickly.
And that’s that. Some tips, tricks from a Momma Bear who hopes she won’t have to decorate again for quite a few years to come!
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