How important are the decorating choices you make for your children’s rooms? This is a common question I am asked, and although I am not a child psychologist, my experience has shown me that well-planned kids’ rooms do have a beneficial effect.
Consider the time your child spends in his or her room. This room is the first learning centre your child will experience.
It’s great fun to decorate these spaces; our memories and imagination are given the chance to blossom as we explore our inner child. And as soon as your child is old enough to help with the choices, take advantage of their unhampered imagination and their personal favourites. I’ve come up with some of my best designs simply by listening to what the children have to say. Fearless and fantastic.
Paint is the most economical tool for creating the perfect background, whether you’d like a solid colour, or a more adventurous effect such as a rainbow wall or a morning sky with fluffy clouds. Walls can be divided to give you more options for adding colour and design. A chair rail nailed on about 3 feet from the floor makes a good dividing line for small children. Perhaps they would like to see a playful geometric pattern. There are decals and wall stickers of all kinds of toys and animals that bring life to the room.
I met Kristy Ilic at a Design show recently. Kristy has taken her flair for decorating kids’ rooms to a new level. She started out with wall murals — what she terms flat decorating, but was looking for more. “I wanted things to literally pop out”, she said, “making the room a total adventure. “ After much research and experimentation Kristy designed a process of making 3-D art that is light-weight, safe and easy to assemble, and called the designs Beetlings.
The Safari and Dinosaur Collections are lovable and friendly. Children love animals, and we teach them at an early age to have empathy toward them through the stories we read, and family pets. Kristy was amazed at the feedback she got from children.
A child will touch and stroke the animals, explore with their hands, name them and quickly assimilate the new visitors into their room. It becomes an important part of their space. Even young children rarely react roughly or try to destroy Beetlings; they appear to have a built in respect for the art form. It is real to them.
Today, children are more aware of the world around them and above them. The Beetling Solar System has been designed fairly true to scale, and parents are given a cheat sheet to help them line up the planets in the correct order. “The kids will catch you out every time,” admits Kristy, “and may even ask for some additional terrestrial objects such as asteroids.”
There is an educational and behavioural component. Beetlings are highly successful in medical waiting rooms and daycare centres. They offer a friendly, tactile experience that is very comforting. Adults love them too.
Remember, you are never too old to explore, learn and play.
On a practical note, Beetlings are simply hung in place, and can be easily moved from one room to another or packed up if you move house. Check out www.beetling.com for more information on this wonderful collection of designs for children.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to email@example.com.