Arranging a Child's Bedroom
The name of the game in arranging a child's bedroom is storage and space utilization. Face it, kids accumulate a lot of stuff. Often bulky, kid's stuff is much more likely to need easy, regular access. Children often want things to be on display too. That means a child's room requires storage, kid friendly storage, horizontal surfaces for display and room to play.
The first thing to consider is that most children's rooms are not usually the biggest rooms, even though they may have the most personal stuff. We have our entire home to spread out our stuff, but kid's have to cram it into their room and maybe some overflow to a play area. The best way to layout a kid's room is to avoid thinking in conventional terms. Grown-ups usually want a low bed, dresser, night stands etc. etc. But we shouldn't impose this classical layout for kids. They need lots of storage, and dressers just don't store board games and stuffed animals very effectively.
Consider a High Bed
Like a bunk bed, a high bed requires a ladder to get into the upper bed. Unlike a bunk bed, there is no bottom bunk. Instead, under a high bed can be a desk, storage, a fort/castle/cave/laboratory/cabin/teepee/etc. or just space to play. By using a tall bed, you quickly regain roughly 18 square feet, a big deal in most kid's rooms.
Take Advantage of Wall Space
Everything from five feet up to the ceiling is mostly wasted space in terms of storage. Wall hangings and decorating theme material mostly occupy this space. While the decor is important, don't let this space go to waste when storage space is critical. Use shelves liberally. Kids have a lot of stuff that can be displayed. Not just trophies and their latest artwork, but colorful and interesting toys. Kids often end up with toys they claim to love but they never play with. Place some of these under utilized toys on display. There is nothing wrong with the room looking like a toy store. What kid wouldn't love to live in a toy store?
In the interest of neatness, we want to store some things away, out of sight. Drawers are problematic when it comes to storage. First off, you must be able to look down into the drawer to be able to access it. Kids are not as tall as adults and so there are fewer drawers for them to see into. Drawers that are too high are unusable and a danger if they try to climb up to get to them. Doors on cabinets allow you to hide things away and give children a greater amount of accessible space, possibly as much as two or three more feet. Furthermore, a cabinet can be deeper than a typical drawer (which is roughly 18 inches in many cases). This added depth allows the storage of items that won't fit in a drawer and allows a greater amount of accessible storage. When possible, pick cabinets that are not very tall. Tall cabinets allow a lot of storage, but kid's can't reach the upper shelves and you don't want them to try. Instead, use cabinets that are three to five feet and then use the top for display, and install shelves above cabinet (or choose a cabinet that has a hutch option).
Don't Forget the Ceiling
Hanging storage from the ceiling is an option as well. Storage sling nets for stuffed animals, hanging display cases, shoe storage in a closet are all products available to maximize storage space. I once saw a storage basket rigged with pulleys and counterweights on the ceiling of a kids room. The thing is to be creative. Kids love crazy, wild, inventive solutions that we'd never consider for the rest of the house. Consider all options, it can be fun.
No matter what you choose for a children's room, always think safety. Furniture can be fastened to the walls to prevent tipping. Hanging items can be mounted with break away fasteners to prevent a child becoming caught in it. Drawers can use pull out locks to avoid heavy drawers falling onto children. Make sure your selections are suitable for the age of children that will have access to the room.
For more information and ideas on arranging specific rooms in your home, see our other articles;