Kids grow up fast and their tastes and interests are likely to change just as quickly. One minute it is Barbie Dolls, the next its Justin Bieber and the focus of their attention can switch in an instant. As young people’s personalities evolve so do their wish lists for their bedrooms which can leave parents with a paintbrush permanently in their hand. How far should parents give in to the whims of their children when it comes to their bedrooms and is it possible to create an environment that will stand the test of time?
When I was a teenager my status as an only child came in really handy. We had a four bedroomed house and my parents were happy for me to create my own apartment of sorts using two of them. My parents decorated the room I used as a bedroom but I was given the freedom to deal with my living room. The results made it look like there was a schizophrenic in the house because my parent’s vision of a kid’s room was somewhat different to my own!
My bedroom was a triumph of late 1970’s girly kitsch with pink floral wallpaper, flowery linens and white, embossed melamine furniture. It was full on feminine, dated and totally lacking in any trace of my own tastes and interests. I hated it! My living room was quite another matter. Simple furniture was partnered by walls completely covered in pictures and memorabilia of Liverpool Football Club. It was a riot of red shirts, league tables, ticket stubs and programmes and I absolutely loved it.
The room was probably a veritable eyesore but decorative style does not make for the perfect kid’s bedroom. That room is the youngster’s kingdom, their retreat, their world in miniature. They don’t care about the latest trends for the New England style or Scandinavian chic. What they want is football, intergalactic travel, Justin Bieber or whatever consumes their interest at the time.
Let the Kids Decide
You can spend a fortune on a child’s bedroom to achieve nothing or spend a little to achieve a lot. The key is in creating a blank canvas on which the children can paint their lives and to let them make the decisions. Choose simple furniture in timeless styles, create enough storage room for the average army and paint the walls in children’s favourite colour. The kids can do the rest and they will. Their efforts probably won’t add value to the house indeed their room will be the one you dread showing viewers but the kids will be happy, relaxed and masters of their kingdom.
It is amazing how quickly that nursery furniture and cute room that you spent so much time creating is cast aside. Sweet rabbits, teddy bears and micky mouse soon give way to a fiesta of back, sports stars or boy bands. The good news is that the worst excesses of youngsters can be removed or changed in the blink of an eye if you have kept the decorative scheme simple and you might even be able to sell the house when you need to move on! My fabulous football room was obliterated in one afternoon when the house was to be sold. I was sad but I was off to University so I just took the pictures with me!
The perfect kid’s bedroom is the one they want not the one you want. The results may offend your sense of style but the youngsters will be happy there and you might just be able to persuade them to go to bed when you want them to!
Article by Sally Stacey