Make your child’s room a special place with optical tricks and colour

Horizontal stripes on the wall can help small spaces look a bit bigger. Photos: dpa

A child's room is supposed to be a place where they can retreat and hang out with all their toys, away from the watchful eyes of their parents.

To make this room a special spot, parents should set up lots of storage space, especially for smaller rooms, as well as make the space seem bigger by using a few optical tricks.

Mareike Hermann, from the DIY Academy in the German city of Cologne, recommends moving away from walls that are painted white, which can come across as cold.

“Bright, friendly colours are better, for example pastel tones,” says the expert. “They optically open up small rooms, create width and make the walls pull back,” says Hermann.

By painting the bottom third of your child’s room a different colour than the top third, the space will appear bigger than it really is.

“Small rooms can also be structured with colours, with different shades used for sleeping, playing and learning areas,” she adds.

A carpet can also help divide the room up, as can different light sources – just try to avoid using one central overhead light, which can cause the focus of the room to directly be on the middle.

“An indirect light, including any with a dimmer, belongs near the bed or a corner devoted to cuddling up,” according to Hermann.

“For smaller kids’ rooms, a mirror on the wall or on the cabinets can help make the room appear bigger,” says a press spokeswoman for the German furniture industry association, Christine Scharrenbroch.

A corner wardrobe can add additional storage to your child's room without taking up much space.

The bigger the mirror, the stronger the effect – Scharrenbroch recommends one that’s 50-100cm wide and 1.5m tall.

How the room should be furnished depends on its shape: “For a quadratic room, the bed should go behind the door. That way, when you enter the room, it doesn’t look so crowded,” advises Scharrenbroch.

For the child, the spot behind the door usually makes them feel cosy.

Corner wardrobes are ideal for a square floor area.

“The advantage is that the space that the wardrobe takes up is divided between two walls, instead of it taking up an entire wall,” the spokeswoman says.

Rooms that are more rectangular should not be made longer with wide furniture – it’s better to place a bed against one of the shorter walls, says Scharrenbroch.

The perfect spot for a cosy reading nook in your child’s room –under their lofted bed.

If the room has sloped ceilings, she recommends getting a custom-made wardrobe that can fully use the space, or placing a small dresser with several drawers in the spot.

Children have even more space in their room with a lofted bed.

“Underneath, there’s room for a writing desk, plus a shelf or a spot to play or cuddle,” says Scharrenbroch.

Parents can also consider beds that are slightly raised, which offer more storage capacity through a built-in drawer or under-the-bed storage containers.

It is worth noting that lofted beds are suitable only for children who are five years or older, since they can better comprehend how high it is and the risks involved, says a German association for child safety. – dpa

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