Number one on my clients’ wish list for kids’ bedrooms or playrooms is more space and less mess. Sounds familiar? Then read on.
The question I’m often asked is how achieve this. The answer, almost always, lies in clutter control and storage. January may be nearly over, but it’s never too late for your new year’s resolution to get organised and turn your child’s room into something special this year.
Lighten the load
So first of all – really, really try to lighten the load a bit – declutter. A good clear-out enables you to see the potential of the room, but an even more compelling reason is that a huge amount of toys and stuff crowds in on your child’s mental space! It overstimulates, drains energy and stifles the imagination. If you’ve spent lots of money on your child’s possessions or don’t want to appear ungrateful for gifts, then at least rotate what’s out on display, so everything gets a chance to be played with.
For those of you who are storing lots of your own possessions in your child’s closets – try and rehome your stuff elsewhere. It’s important that your child’s space is just that – a place to call their own.
Open vs closed storage
When addressing storage in your child’s bedroom, start with the big picture. Think about a mix of open and closed storage, but keep a good proportion behind doors. Invest in built-in storage if appropriate to the room, or buy a large free standing piece that will house clothes and toys (I love up-cycling shallow vintage wardrobes for this purpose). If space allows, consider buying two identical or compatible pieces, one for toys, one for clothes.
If your child’s bedroom is on the small side, look out for dual purpose furniture – beds and seating with drawers, desks with heaps of integrated storage – you know the drill. It may not look as cool as your favourite designer furniture, but you will be thankful as possessions accumulate.
Pack it up
Next, store loose small stuff in appropriately sized containers – trunks, boxes, suitcases, baskets, bags, jars. By “appropriate” I mean storing small bits in small boxes, not mixed in with larger items in huge trunks, which have to be turned upside down to get to things.
And now for the most important and easiest bit! To keep things looking calm, organised and lovely, try coordinating your containers a bit. Choose boxes in compatible styles, colours or materials, so you don’t create more chaos with a jumble of different sizes and colours stacked on top of each other (unless you know how to make that look chic). Don’t go for see-through boxes either, as this just looks messy (and ugly). Instead, label containers with text or images to tell them apart.
Keep floors free
Finally, keeping the floor free will make the room look more spacious – well, we can try. Use wall hooks and bags to store loose toys and hang up clothes. A cool looking laundry bin and paper basket will also help to keep the decks clear – repurpose unusual things like metal buckets or trunks for example.
(images clockwise: green – 1. la maison d’anna G. 2. pure style home 3. kirsikkapuu 4. h&m 5. bungalow – blue – 1. stil 2. kast van een huis 3. cox and cox 4. maisons du monde – yellow – 1. bolig magasin 2. dezeen 3. dana van leeuwen 4. desire to inspire – pink – 1. the boo and the boy 2. lovely undergrad 3. berry red – timber – 1. red online 2. nonjetable 3. swoop bags 4. living etc – white – 1. weekday carnival 2. fancy house road 3. vitra)