A new baby is like the beginning of all new things – wonder, aspiration and a dream of possibilities. Being a parent for the first time is an emotion that can seldom be defined in a few words. You may get caught up in a whirlwind of new-fangled exhilaration and joy, a state of mind where you could become susceptible to overlook some pragmatic aspects, especially when designing your little one’s room.
While planning and executing the interiors we tend to get too caught up with gender defining color themes and other stereotypes that provide little comfort and functionality to the child. To curate the room considering the child’s safety, security and learning; all clubbed with a bright and airy undertone is of utmost importance to me.
The smallest feet can make the largest footprints. The child’s days is filled with important floor activities like spinning in circles, running around aimlessly and colliding frequently. Hence we need to give them enough space to crawl, tumble, and explore whilst keeping the ground unencumbered from the clutter of sharp edged wooden furniture!
Since I know it is impracticable to constantly monitor them while they are scampering about and playing, I would desist from using any hard flooring i.e. marble, mosaic, porcelain tiles etc. in the main play area for my little one as I would be incessantly worried. My recommendation would be to use softer flooring options like inter-locking foam or rubber tiles. They can be fused over smoothly finished flooring and can be removed when the child comes of age. This non-slippery option is also conducive to deep cleaning as hygiene can never be compromised while we are still building on their immunity.
Children have a full time occupation and its called “play”. Playtime helps a child grow and discover – in fact it helps them learn how to learn. We as parents can help them in this by giving our tiny tots the freedom to explore. In this situation I would invalidate the idea of using wall papers (even though they look stunning)
as walls can be the canvas where the messy scribbles turn into wonderful memories!
Egg shell or satin finish latex paints on the walls are a great solution for keeping grime and stains away from the activity den. When the child engages in spontaneous “Juice Wall Decor,” you’ll be glad that these paints can be scrubbed and that most blotches will dissipate with sponging of water and mild soap.
We also need to make sure that the paint we use has low or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds- it’s the stuff that gets released into the air as the paint dries and can cause headaches and dizziness).
We are living in times of equality, striving every day to expunge gender bias. Gone are the days when blues were for “cool boys” and pinks represented “cute girls”. Dropping discrimination is the flavor of this year’s trending concepts just as much as renouncing bright hues of primary tones.
As far as my take on colors of the room is concerned, I prefer keeping the walls neutral and airy. I would resort to casing the room with soft clay whites teamed up with monochrome shades of a mellow pastel to spruce up the space.
Most kids love to chill in bed expending their time ceiling gazing while latched on to their bottles for their daily dose of lactose, water, juice and other liquid nourishment.
The best way to know that there is good lighting is when they don’t notice it directly. Flashy and glaring beams are a complete no-no for the mini humans but we have to ensure that the room is bright and adequately lit at the same time. The function driven era of tube lights and jarring spot lights have finally lost relevance to the more thoughtful era of sensitive energy saving lighting plans. Dimmable hidden spot lights, tray coves lit with strips of warm LED and wall lights seem to always work. Decorative pendant cloud lights suspended from the fifth wall of the room are trending at the moment and are also my personal favorites. Tech- savvy parents are indulging in rotating projector lamps. These projectors come with filters that can create fascinating images in the room ranging from the mysterious under sea world to the enigmatic space lit up with stars to always keep the precious little ones engaged and in awe.
One can furnish a baby’s room luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in. The ‘less is more’ concept is flawlessly decorous when we draw out the fittings and fixtures plan for a tot’s room. Children need room to romp around so we should apportion them space to spread out their “play du jour”.
The mini munchkins sleep about 14 hours a day. Keeping that in mind, the single imperative piece of furniture that needs attention is the bed. I would highly recommend large, low upholstered beds over wooden ones or bunk beds. The low height ensures the inevitable tumble will not be a disturbing one. You can further break the fall by providing a soft cushy rug on the side. The bed size could be double to accommodate an adult with the child making it apt for storytelling or when they need company.
Modular cupboards and other storage units can be wall mounted, preferably a meter and a bit above the floor level which can be re positioned lower when the child is older and does not need any crawling space. I prefer upholstered convex storage systems than acute fringed hard wooden ones. If you must have wooden furniture then remember to strap the edges with child friendly rubber corners to avoid unnecessary accidents.
It’s so true what Aristotle said eons ago “the quality of life is determined by its activities”. Our task is to prepare the children to climb their own mountains. Your baby's activity centre needs to have a wide range of toys that help them with strengthening their muscles and working on their fine motor skills. The list of options is endless ranging from large building blocks, lego, a mini slide to a mini ball pool. The paraphernalia of toys could all add up to being a part of the decor or you could choose to tuck it away post play time.
Accessories make everything prettier. It is always the small pieces that make the big picture. The way you accessorize the embellishments, define your vision for your child’s room and all things you love.
Wind chimes, pastel pom-pom cushions, dangling stuffed puppets in baby colors, neutral color soft toys and glow in the dark stickers are some of my favorite picks in this section. Make sure you select the ornamentation that accentuate and blend in with your chosen color tones with the rest of the room.
We need to remember that a new born does not necessarily need a new room as they are happy nestling with their parents. It is only when they become toddlers do they need their designated spaces. Designing a child’s room is not child’s play! We need to exercise caution while drawing up budgets which guide you to allocate your funds before-hand rather than squandering your resources. The challenge lies in creating a meaningful and comfortable surrounding that balances between nurturing, protecting and guiding on one hand and allowing your child to explore, experiment and become independent on the other.
Picture Courtesy: Circu Magical Furniture