When it comes to storage solutions for children’s rooms, it is always hard to combine playfulness with practicality. Whether they are 6 or 16, it might be an idea to bring them in on some of the design decisions – and if they feel they are part of the design process and have some control of the overall look, it might even encourage them to keep it tidy!
- A teenager’s needs
A house can vividly express the personalities and lives of the people who live in it. This becomes perhaps even more relevant for teenage girls and boys who are no longer children and yet not quite adults. They no longer play on the floor but sit at their desk in front of their computer, or lie on their bed listening to music. Suddenly the bedroom that doubled up as a playroom might become a study instead – as well as a walk-in wardrobe, DJ practice room and somewhere to sit with friends. In terms of design and storage, this is the time to recycle and re-think. Where you once had two clothes rails in the wardrobe for child-sized outfits, keep only one and add a mirror to the inside of the wardrobe door. The boxes that used to keep their toys can be customized to hold shoes and accessories instead. You may need to install larger format shelves to hold all the school text books and folders. Upholstery can also play a large role in transforming the room into something more ‘grown up’: you could try re-upholstering the childhood toy trunk, or hanging curtains to divide the space into different areas.
- A bed with height
If there isn’t enough room for an extra cupboard or wardrobe, think about elevating the bed to make room for storage below. You could even consider a semi-bunk bed, with a desk, a chest of drawers or small shelves underneath. Setting the under-bed furniture on wheels makes it easy to bring out during the day and put back when it’s not needed.
- Multipurpose furniture
Think about pieces of furniture that can double up as something else, such as this beautifully multi-functional Dice furniture, designed by Torafu Architects for both children and adults. This three-sided piece of furniture can be flipped over to reveal different functions: a children’s desk, small shelves and a stool for adults. Torafu also make a wonderful children’s chair that transforms into a dolls house.
- Objects with a new purpose
Beautiful baskets are a great way to store and quickly put away soft toys and smaller items at the end of the day. A trunk is an easy way to store bed linen, blankets and towels, and can also be used as a chair or a table. Common household items like large kitchen jars or containers can be repurposed for holding anything from crayons to Playmobil. Try labelling boxes, drawers and containers using photos or drawings of the items inside as a playful way to remind your child which things go where.
- A wall devoted to storage for the little ones
Toys and things that are used most often are best stored in lower drawers. Drawers are also a good place to stash away items that can look messy, such as boxes of games, or piles of Brio train sets. Special keepsakes and seldom-used items can be stored higher up. That way, a favourite teddy bear or book is easily accessible while more fragile things are neatly displayed off the floor and out of reach.