Saturday, May 5, 2012

Children and the home

Something that has been bothering me lately: Kid-ification. Or the opposite, sterile rooms.

I know you know what I'm talking about. You can see it in every magazine and nearly every interior design website on the planet. Either a room has never - and will never  - see a human under the age of 18 and is designed so that not a tuft of carpet is out of place OR the room in question has a racecar bed and ridiculous wallpaper with hello kitty and sleeping beauty.

We've all heard the stereotypes but they really are true!

This just isn't practical. In 3-8 years the children are just going to be embarrassed by their rooms.
The other end of the spectrum isn't pretty either. It's as though the rooms were made for germaphobes or royalty. Minimalism or opulence. Either way they're always easily breakable or easy to dirty.

This is just a poor idea. The rug is easy to trip on. The stark whiteness of it leads me to believe it will be dirty before the day is out. And I feel like if anything is moved, misplaced, or broken then the room is no longer presentable.
This really is the same as above, it's not just a matter of how white is your living room but how it is designed and arranged. If I were to live here I would be using it and it wouldn't look like this for long. If children lived here there would be chocolate on the arm chair and boogers in that rug in no time. eww.

I love how light and airy this is....but pointy and easily shattered tables really are a no-no. Also, shag rugs. They really just are my pet peeve. I'm only 23 but even I know they're a bad idea. I did in fact grow up in a bedroom with yellow shag carpeting adjoining a bathroom with lilac shag carpeting. It was a bad idea in both rooms. They just aren't hygienic and to be honest, they don't look that great either.

I know this is just an entry hall and why should I pick on it for looking so lovely and bright but can you imagine walking through here more than once or twice a day. Where do you take off your shoes? Where do you put your keys? What happens when your dog walks in with muddy paws? So many of these just aren't practical, not just for children but for everyday life.

mmm sharp pointy corners at head height.
I've noticed that these have been gaining in popularity lately and I can see why, they can be quite darling and reflect light around a room. But, I think they need to be done properly as I've heard too many horror stories of these shattering because someone's child closed the drawer too hard or drove their remote control racecar too close to it.

Something like this would be better. It's still beautiful but it's a little higher from the ground. It's not entirely encased in shatter-able material either. It looks sturdy but lovely.

Now I realize that lately there has been an effort to avoid these extremes, especially when it comes to children's rooms. But I've been finding a lot of them fall flat because they're designed for one age group only (think closets that are only 3ft tall) or they're inspired by a t-shirt from the seventies.

 Why do we need to have such crazy colours for children. They've got enough of it in their clothing and in their toys. If it's too bright for your bedroom then it's probably not a good long term colour combo for your child's room.

 I'll be honest here, I would have killed for this ceiling for nearly 10 years of my life. But, the wall mural is too much I would have outgrown that or felt embarrassed by that as soon as I turned 8.
 Just wait 'til your sixteen year old tries to hang up his hoody when his closet only comes to his navel. fun times.

Yes, this was actually designed for a teenage boy.  What were they thinking. They actually had to pay that model to sit in that room.

I think what it comes down to is you shouldn't design a room as if it won't be used and you shouldn't design a room that looks like it has come out of the Blue's Clues Universe.  It doesn't make anyone happy.

I would say just design a guest room where you expect the guest to stay for a month or three. Things should be functional, calm, and nice to look at. They shouldn't be stars and stripes. Think, if you were staying for a long period of time in this room would you appreciate a vanity or in the ugly, boy's room above, a work space for studying or drawing?  Yes.

If you design just a regular guest bedroom the posters and crayon drawings will naturally be added. There will be stuffed animals that decorate the room whether you want them or not. The point is you really don't need to decorate a child's room it will just happen over time. All you need to do is pick out furniture that will grow with them and last.

That, and don't make over done rooms that you can only image one person living in. They're pretty but they're not welcoming. I love the way you've decorated it but I'm afraid to touch or move anything. You've all been to that person's house. We all know one or two.

SO, if you have some lovely pictures or ideas. Please leave them in the comments. I would love to see how your ideal, children's rooms would look and how your people friendly homes look. :)

 PS I had had to add this. I know it would make a terrible bedroom but it is so cool to look at!

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