A personalized, tidy children's room? Dream on – surely that only exists in the magazines!? No, dear reader: this challenge is achievable, with the help of your child! Here's how to achieve a harmonious result to suit you both. Listening, caring and DIY are the order of the day! Try this experience with kids aged four to ten.
Once they’ve reached a certain age, around four or five years old, your children are no longer the docile little beings you once knew, with tastes and desires easily swayed by a bit of savvy influencing... They now express themselves loud and clear, claiming the right to make their own choices. It’s now or never: time to establish dialogue about their room and, more broadly, their place within your interior.
At this age, children love to ask you questions, as per the Proust Questionnaire: "What’s your favourite food, animal, colour?”. Answer them honestly and they'll be delighted – the discussion can then begin! For example, name your favourite colour and explain why: what does it evoke for you, what images or feelings do you attribute to it? They’ll enjoy hearing your explanation and will offer up their own – you might be surprised at the results! Then all that remains is to take action! Note that, when it comes to a bedroom, it’s preferable to opt for blue (for concentration), pink (for softness), green (for a feeling of security) or yellow (for creativity). Red, on the other hand, is to be avoided (too energetic), unless tempered in its terracotta version. You could match the chosen colour with wallpaper – choose a timeless design to avoid having to change it too quickly. A far cry from the caricatured kids’ room with its heroes and other idols of the moment! (These icons can always be incorporated on a cushion or accessory if they insist!).
Photo credit : Mika Baumeister « on adopte la couleur »
The “mood board”
To take this exercise a step further, and really let your child’s character shine through, it might be useful to draw upon a few images. Sit in their room with some magazines, two glue sticks, two sheets of A3 paper and some scissors. Tell them it's like a Christmas toy catalogue: they’re allowed to tear or cut out all the pictures they like. Group them together in a collage. A direction, intention or meaning is bound to emerge. Together, you’ll succeed in unveiling their world, which can be used as a starting point to inspire their room decoration.
“One space, one function” – are you familiar with this theorem?
Photo credit : Estee janssens « un moodboard à quatre mains »
“One space, one function” – are you familiar with this theorem? Easier said than done... especially in a room that, while often small, must nevertheless combine a bed, wardrobe, desk, playroom and reading area... Continue the “room tour” with your child. Ask them if there’s anything they dislike about each of the areas. Pay particular attention to anything they find scary, or to which they’re indifferent. They should feel a form of joy or pride, to be 'at peace' and really belong to the place. It’s now time to clear the decks and rearrange a few things!
The bed should be in a cosy area, ideally away from the door and windows, to avoid disturbance from light or noise. You can choose a nice strip of wallpaper or deep, even dark colour, to act as a headboard, anchoring this function at a specific point in the room. The desk can be linked to the reading corner. If there’s not enough space, why not make it multi-functional and double-sided, placing a coloured melamine board on wooden crates to hold the books? You could even go so far as to draw a large yellow circle on the wall or corner of this space, to spark your child's enthusiasm for homework! As for toys – warning: radical opinion on the subject – I suggest setting up a rotation system. Your child will rediscover their games and learn to focus better on each one. Every week, on the same day, select three toys to consign to the basement (or a cupboard in another room), replacing them with three others... That’s it! If there isn’t enough room, pop them into a nice trunk that can be used as a bench at the end of the bed, or under the bed in a concealed slide-out drawer. Another nice idea is a “Play and Go” toy bag that can be hung on a coat hook if floor space is limited. For budding artists, hang a square metre of wire on the wall using a few hooks to display drawings or paintings attached with simple wooden clothes pegs. Why not give it a try?
Photo credit : Mathilde Merlin « une chambre d’enfant personnalisée »
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