This ritual can be traced back in many cultures as a time of cleansing and renewing; as part of a pre- Passover ritual in a Jewish household to clean out the bread and flour items in a house, in Iran it is common to continue a practice of thoroughly cleaning the house on the first day of spring and in Scotland, the house is traditionally cleaned before midnight as part of Hogmanay.
For many of us those first few warmer days of spring mean we turn our thoughts to throwing open the windows, giving the house a deep-clean and having a bit of a sort out. This is the perfect opportunity for de-cluttering and re-organising and a great place to apply this is in children’s bedrooms.
Bedrooms often become hoarding places. New toys arrive but children can’t bear to part with the old ones. Soft toys that never get played with or long-grown-out-of-toys suddenly become firm favourites when recycling is suggested!
At Nest Interior Design we are often asked to help re-vamp or re-design children’s bedrooms and playrooms so here are a few thoughts to help in what can seem an overwhelming task.
1 Sort. Take stock of what is in drawers and cupboards and try to divide it up into three piles: (1) keep, (2) bin/recycle/charity, (3) nostalgic. There are always going to be toys which are special to your child or even to you so package these up and pop them in the loft. Smaller items like medals/photographs etc can always be displayed up high.
2 Organise. Decide which toys/books/games your child will want to access regularly themselves and those which are not often played with or perhaps they need assistance with. Try to group toys into themes e.g construction, vehicles, figures, craft toys, dolls, accessories.
3 Storage. Consider your existing storage and see what would be best suited to each group of toys. Keep books and favourite toys at low level, display favourite photos, certificates, school artwork in simple frames on the wall or propped up on shelves. Make clever use of space through under-bed storage drawers, a blanket box doubling as a window seat, hooks for bags and fairy wings, a clothes rail for fancy dress outfits, magnetic pinboards for keepsakes and party invites and shoeboxes for trinkets and bits and bobs.
Use this opportunity to have a think about the layout of the room and if this works as well as it could. Consider the different activities the child will want to do in their room and try to provide a space for this e.g a low table to make lego models on, use the top of a low bookcase to set up a ‘shop’ with toy food and a till, floor cushions are great for relaxing with a bedtime story. Children love to have ‘zones’ in which to read/hide/construct. Consider lighting in line with this, a clip on light on a bookshelf by the bed encourages bedtime and early morning reading; a table lamp will help with focused activities like building.
If you decide you need new furniture, opt for durable, wipe clean and simple. White furniture always works and you can add colour and personality via a rug, cushions, storage boxes, wall stickers and a paint colour that can easily be updated. Don’t write off old items of furniture if they could be given a new lease of life. ‘Upcycling’ with a pop of paint colour and new doorknobs/handles can transform a chest of drawers or cupboard unit.
If the carpet has seen better days, consider a large rug to provide somewhere comfortable to play and relax. If the bedding is too young for them now, update with something cheerful but timeless, avoid themes and instead try geometric prints in a fresh palette.
When you’re done, hopefully the space will feel a lot more ordered. If everything has a place to live it will make tidying up a lot easier after they’ve had friends round to play and you can’t see the floor. Ok, that’s that job over with for another year…..now the rest of the house!
www.korlahome.com – for cheerful fabrics
www.aspace.co.uk – for great children’s furniture & bedding
www.duckeggdesigns.com – for personalised toy boxes
www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk – for fabulous wall stickers
www.grahamandgreen.co.uk – for a great range of doorknobs & handles
Nest Interior Design offer a friendly and informal service from one room to a full-house project, a one hour initial consultation is free of charge and obligation. We would be delighted to offer M&D readers a 10% discount on design board services, just quote M&D Spring when contacting us.