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Make Your Child's Space Special

Feb 22, 2017
The bed is an obvious necessity for any bedroom.

When you live in a confined house or apartment, carving out a creative kid space can be a significant challenge. One of the simplest ideas is to turn the room where your toddler or young child sleeps into a whimsical area.

Parents have much design latitude before children become toddlers. We know from research that babies are stimulated by bright colors, sounds and light, aesthetics that can easily be placed in the smallest of spaces.

Even if what you have for your little one's bedroom is just a walk-in closet, you can make it unique. Begin with safe and adjustable lighting. Entertaining patterns can be cast against the ceiling and walls by portable lamps. Stars are always a favorite. Kids adore the magic. Make sure that you have a soft lamp that can be left on until your child falls asleep, for a night light is comforting.

The walls are spaces in any room that can house special touches. Paint them with the Rust-Oleum magnetic primer so your child can stick up magnets! Simply apply one coat, and then apply a second coat after 30 minutes. For best results, apply three thin coats.

Alternatively, apply Rust-Oleum Chalk Board brush-on paint that converts surfaces into a usable chalkboard, whether metal, wood, masonry or concrete. You can even paint a used craft table or dresser. The idea is to utilize the features and pieces of your child's room so they perform double duty. This is one of the key tricks to getting a small space to reliably function on a higher level.

The bed is an obvious necessity for any bedroom. This example is for a toddler. For many, no sensation is as lovely as that of being in an enclosed space. Built-in bed alcoves have a long history in Europe, particularly Northern Europe, where the weather can be notoriously forbidding most of the year. Countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway offer up historical examples. But a custom approach allows you to include a bookshelf above the sleeping cubby, so when your child is old enough you can add a ladder for him or her to climb and reach books, stuffed animals or toys. If the ceiling is high enough, you might consider building a bunk bed for two little ones!

When children must share a room, think of ways to divide the space. Consider using a tall and stable bookcase to create two halves of the room.

If you are extremely tight on space, look into a way to hang fabric down the middle of the room. YSee how cubicle drapes are made and installed in hospital rooms. They are created for easy movement along a minimal ceiling-mounted track. A positive aspect of cubicle drapes is that they are made from washable fabric, which makes them super practical in a child's bedroom. Contact a local drapery or interior design company for help with this concept. They should have access to the hardware and commercial fabric lines from which you can select a textile. Often, there are geometric patterns and colors from which to choose.

Photo Credit: Sisters Guild

Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at


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