Kids Rooms

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Your child is one-of-a-kind… So why should their room be just like every
Cameron, Justin and Ashley’s?

There are many great choices for kid’s room decor out there and the media is picking up on it.

Debra Smith a writer for the Daily Herald in Everett, WA. got it right when
she said in her article titled, Making the Scene, Options galore for
decorating kid’s rooms

"Not too long ago, just about the only choice when it came to kids’ bedroom
walls was what color to paint them.

Now more choices than ever are available…"

She goes on to mention a few of the companies offering fantastic choices out there for Kid’s Rooms. Along with a couple of ‘The Big Kids’ like Pier 1 and Pottery Barn Kids, our "Look What I Drawed!" KidArt Company was also listed. (Yeah!)

It is exciting to know that other companies like us recognize, "cookie
cutter" kid’s rooms are not what every child or their parent wants.

That creativity, artistic expression and individuality are as important for
the growing child as they are for the mature adult.

Thank God there’s finally starting to be some choices out there!

After all, how can we keep telling our kids the importance of being
themselves, and then keep decorating their rooms like everyone else’s?

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Well … Messy kids rooms may be a reality in most families’ homes, but is it really a necessary part of your child’s development?

After reading the article Preteens & Messy Bedrooms and all the comments from parents and their children, I could see that the issue of messy bedrooms is a hot topic for more people than just myself.

Parents want their kid’s rooms clean and kids want their parents to relax.

My gut says they’re both right, there just isn’t a plan in place to make it work for either of them.

From my experience, without a system, the kids get ‘in over their heads’, and the mess becomes an ‘insurmountable task’.

And I have yet to meet a kid that likes to face an ‘insurmountable task’! So they don’t.

Parents nag…. kids hate that.

Kids want to do it their own way…. parents hate that.

Result… messy room!

So what to do?

Talk to your kids. Ask them how they would like to set up their rooms so that both of you are happy.

Do they want to hang their clothes, or put them in drawers or baskets? Do they want things to be hidden out of view or to be displayed so they can see it?

Give your kids tools to make the job easier. If they can’t figure out where to put it, they will put it on the floor!

Kids need tons of storage. Book shelves, dressers, rolling bins with drawers, display shelves, under the bed storage, etc. If it is a tiny room, you need to plan storage for every square inch.

Pick your battles. It is OK to have a few hard fast rules like, "All food and dishes must be removed from room everyday." (Tell them it could cause a rat or insect problem, most children would prefer not to have rodent problems in their room!)

But be more relaxed about making their bed nicely or leaving out a few things. Certainly do not invade their privacy or throw away things without their permission. Everyone deserves some respect, especially kids.

Do a little every day. If you remind your child each night to throw their clothes in the hamper, and put the books back on the shelf, then the room won’t get so terribly out of hand.

Praise them. Every time they tidy their room on their own accord, tell how nice it feels to enter their clean room. Really ‘play it up’ how more relaxed you feel when you enter your own clean room and how good they must feel to be in theirs.

Your child needs to get some direct benefit from cleaning their room other than just doing it because you said so. Otherwise why would they do it?

Think about it, would you feel motivated to clean your house just because your spouse told you to? I think not!

And as far as a messy room being part of your child’s development, well I don’t know.

I think that your child learning the skills of organization, responsibility and the desire for comfortable surroundings is a bigger part of their development than just letting them have a messy room.

But that just my opinion!

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Are you so completely buried in wonderful kids art that you no longer know where to put it? Is the fridge so full, stuff keeps falling on the floor? Are drawings and posters leaving your kid’s bedroom walls feeling like a pin cushion?

The solution… Magnetic Paint!

Just as fun and creative as chalkboard paint, magnetic paint can now be used on just about any surface to turn it into a ‘virtural fridge door’. Use it wherever you want a place to hang artwork, photos and those important bits of paper you want to have close at hand.

The cool thing about magnetic paint is that you can paint any color latex paint over the metalic primer. The greyish primer actually contains real metal filings making the surface it’s painted on magnetic. Paint it over with regular latex paint and no one will even know it’s there.

Magnetic paint is a much easier and flexible option than the typical corkboard or white board and way nicer to look at. Your child can feel free to hang their art and memorablia any where they like without the mess that’s left behind when they move it.

You can even use magnets as part of the decor. If your child has a garden theme you can put magnets on silk flowers, ladybugs and butterflies. For a fish themed room think, fish magnets and seashells to pull together a moveable dispay.

I think it would be fun to paint other objects with the paint as well, such as the side of a desk, a bookcase, on a room divider, or a closet door. You could also create a multipurpose wall by first painting with magnetic paint and then covering it with chalkboard paint. The idea is to get creative!

To read more about this cool paint check out this article called "Make your walls talk with fun, functional paint".

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Maybe I’ve been in denial …

Surely my children’s rooms won’t be as messy when they get older and more mature?!

This is just a phase. They will soon outgrow all these toys and then there will be less stuff in their rooms to get strewn about. Right?!!

I just read this article about a messy teen whose room was being tackled by a professional organizer. (Seems organizers all the rage now… Have parents finally lost the battle?)

The article was kind of funny since the kid wasn’t mine.

The mother kept twisting her ankle on the stuff on the floor and the boy’s girlfriend would have cried if she saw their prom pictures under the pile of clothes and junk in the corner. 

Turns out the flooring was actually carpet and not spagnum moss as they had thought before the room was cleaned!

Anyways, it looks like the same problems that plague a young child’s room affect the older child’s room too, if they are not dealt with.

Too much stuff. Not enough storage. Units too big and stuff gets lost or too small and stuff won’t fit . So guess what, it doesn’t get put away!

Storage pieces that are hard to use. Old hand-me-downs with rickety shelves and drawers that stick are very common in kids rooms.

No logical system in place for putting things away, is also a big problem for kids rooms. Electronics mixed with toys , books and clothes makes things hard to find and difficult to put away.

Let’s face it… If it’s not dead easy, it’s not going to get done. At least not by your child.

So looks like I should probably head out to Walmart and Ikea for more storage bins and boxes and see if I can’t help my kids set up a system that will work for their rooms.

I just can’t bear the thought of things getting any worse in their once cozy little rooms!

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Working on a variety of decorating kids playrooms and bedrooms articles, both my husband Doug and I have been reminded again and again about our own childhood bedrooms.

 

Maybe you remember the bedroom paint colors… a quilt… or a picture perhaps? Or does a special toy, or a cozy seat by the window fill your memories when looking back into the past?

 

There is always something that you can remember from your child bedroom decor. As you try to bring your minds eye to those little things about your room, a flood of other childhood memories come rushing in.

 

Talking with Doug about his childhood bedroom, he remembers the nautical decor, the aquariums and the radio that took all day to warm up enough to listen to.

 

My dad remembers the attic bedroom with the arched ceilings he shared with his two brothers, and the tall dresser in which he got the bottom drawer because he was the youngest.

 

My mom remembers a bleak, drab bedroom with little to no ornamentation. A room that was always cold and shivery to her.

 

As for me, I have cozy peaceful memories of the bedrooms I had when I was a child.

 

My sister and I shared a room in every home we lived in as children, except one. There was even a time when my brother also shared our room.

 

I tend to remember things spatially. The way the room was laid out, where the closet was and how the beds were placed.

 

I don’t really remember any of the bedroom colors except for the one turquoise striped room I didn’t really like that much. Mom and Dad found a good deal on wallpaper and bedspreads for my sister’s and my room while we were at school and surprised us with them.

 

I remember being pleased our room was getting updated but never had the heart to say I didn’t like the color. 

 

It wasn’t like I hated my new room; I just didn’t feel very comfortable with the bedroom colors. I was never angry with my parents for ‘choosing for me’ but I never felt like it was really mine.

 

To give my sweet parents some credit, I remember one of my child bedrooms with great fondness. It was the one time I had a room of my own.

 

I really wanted to have one of those wallpaper murals that covered the whole wall with a scene. They were expensive and my parents weren’t sure whether they were worth the money. I loved this one that was a country road lined with trees in fall color and I wanted it really bad.

 

I was twelve at the time and could picture myself taking long walks through those beautiful trees.

 

They bought the mural for me and hung it on the wall with quite a bit of difficulty. The squares of wallpaper had to be lined up perfectly or the picture looked all wrong.

 

I remember lying on my bed dreaming of peaceful outings by the hour and being thankful that they had put it up for me.

 

The one thing in common in every child bedroom I had, was a picture of a puppy investigating a little green frog at the edge of a pond. No matter how old I got I was never too old for this picture.

 

I think some how you never outgrow what you love and understand.

 

This little picture now hangs in our daughter’s bedroom along with the paintings we made of her drawings and the photo of her first cat.

 

It is funny how much your own past child bedroom decor can have such a big impact on you as an adult.

 

I think as parents, how we remember our own childhood bedroom also affects they way we go about decorating our children’s rooms.

 

Were we given the opportunity to express our own personalities in our rooms? Were they our own rooms or just extensions of our parent’s house?

 

Were our rooms cozy or bleak? Were they creative, original and filled with art and treasures? Were they filled with the things we loved or were they decorated in someone else’s tastes?

 

When our children were very tiny, Doug and my tastes tended to dominate their rooms.

 

As they are growing and discovering their own likes and dislikes we are seeing changes in their needs to influence how their rooms are being decorated.

 

Their rooms are the one place in the house that is truly theirs alone. Big discussions have to be made now when we are interested in adding or removing any elements in their rooms, such as furniture, bedding, toys and artwork.

 

Since our memories are so strong about our own childhood bedrooms, we are assuming theirs will be too, and want their memories to be of comfort, individuality and empowerment.

 

We are hoping that our children can look back on the memories of their own childhood bedrooms with fondness. We also hope they hold onto a few of their precious treasures to share with their own children when their memories are just tiny snapshots in their own minds eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If your family is anything like mine, then your kids’ messy rooms are a continuing issue your house.

Right this very moment my daughter is attempting to tackle her disgusting dirty clothes ridden room and my son’s bedroom floor is so littered with Lego and K’nex pieces that trying to maneuver them in the dark is like maneuvering a mine field! Not exactly what I pictured when I was helping them decorate their rooms in the first place!

In fact this ‘messy room’ issue is so common there are huge industries devoted to dealing with this very problem.

There are TV shows, designers, magazines and books dedicated to organizing and decorating kid’s rooms. And there are countless storage products to make this job a little easier.

There is even a contest running in Chicago "Looking for the messiest kids’ rooms" that will give the winner the opportunity to have their child’s room tackled by a professional organizer.

But where is the real problem?

Have we not properly trained our children to pick up after themselves? Do they have logical places to store things? Is the ‘system’ we’ve designed for them too hard to do? i.e. Racks and hooks too high, drawers too sticky, toy box so big they have to empty it to find things.

Do they just have too much stuff, which makes organizing it a nightmare?

Are our own standards too high that they are impossible for them to achieve? Or maybe so low ,that things get way beyond what our child can tackle, before we do anything about it?

So what do you think? Should we as parents do a better job of training our kids or should we resign to a messy room being part of the parenting experience?

Tell me your messy kids’ room stories.

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