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How you can redesign kids’ rooms for just under Rs 1.5 lakh

Take cues from your child’s recreational interests. Ease of use is key, so children can feel a sense of ownership over the task of tidying up.

August 28, 2021 / 08:44 PM IST
Neutral and monochromatic colour schemes are here to stay for children's spaces. (Photo: inDairé - ZERO9 © Ishita Sitwala)

Neutral and monochromatic colour schemes are here to stay for children's spaces. (Photo: inDairé - ZERO9 © Ishita Sitwala)

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced children across age groups to spend most of their time indoors over the last 18 months. This has interfered with their regular schooling, cognitive learning, and physical routine.

We spoke with design industry experts – interior designer Vinithra Amarnathan, founder and principal designer, Weespaces, Bangalore, and architect Prashant Chauhan, creative director, ZERO9, Mumbai – about how homeowners can redo the designs of their childrens’ spaces on a budget.

Assessing the shift

Given the uncertainty around the pandemic, even in terms of how much longer children might have to stay at home (at least for most of the day), it might be a good idea to incorporate simpler design changes in the spaces your children use.

“Children, much like adults, have had to spend extensive hours confined to the indoors while navigating the newfound challenges that accompany remote education and the absence of any interaction with peers. Kids’ spaces have detached from the notion of being merely fun and bright; they have to now gravitate towards becoming sanctuaries within which children can learn, rest, and play flexibly,” said Amarnathan.

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It is also important to remember that in urban dwellings, space can be a constraint and young parents need to walk the tightrope with respect to budget. “The freedom of children to step outside has been replaced by the need to stay indoors. This has hampered their physical routines while challenging their need to stay stimulated,” said Chauhan.

One space, several functions

Resting, learning, and playing are integral to a child’s holistic development. These activities often need to coexist within a single space. Parents can consider multifunctional furniture, and create an uncluttered central space.

“Homeowners should be investing in multifunctional pieces of furniture that can fulfil a spectrum of needs. Bunk beds in the range of Rs60,000-65,000 with resting spaces on the top tier and spaces to play/read at the bottom are an option. Murphy beds also can be folded up onto the wall, freeing up space. Many trundles and pull-out sofa cum beds can be acquired within the range of Rs50,000-55,000 at popular retail destinations,” says Chauhan.

“In compact blueprints, we feel the emphasis should lie upon ideating a responsive layout. Umpteen usable floor space is a promising intervention. Envision storage and the placement of key furniture pieces along the walls, creating an uncluttered central space. This could be a makeshift area to rest or read on a comfortable rug/dhurrie, an area for crafts, or a space to play,” adds Amarnathan.

Children's spaces need to anchor the functions of resting, learning and unwinding cohesively in a single space. (Photo: inDairé - ZERO9 © Ishita Sitwala) Children's spaces need to anchor the functions of resting, learning and unwinding cohesively in a single space. (Photo: inDairé - ZERO9 © Ishita Sitwala)

Adaptable design ideas

Children and their sense of identity changes with time. This results in a shift in the design language of the spaces they inhabit, becoming a medium of self-expression. Parents can take cues from a child’s recreational interests and make provisions within a space.

“Allow the larger investment pieces in the room, of essential function like the bed, desk, seating, etc., to don a neutral palette. Steering away from a thematic scheme, personalize the walls that can be changed inexpensively in the future. Framed posters, art prints, decals, printed murals and wallpapers can elevate the canvas of the room,” says Amarnathan.

“Themes are a common request in children’s space, our advice is to modernize the same if an overruling theme is selected. One can take cues from a child’s recreational interests and make provisions within a space. An inexpensive sturdy ceiling hook can double up as an indoor swing holder or a boxing bag holder. Wall climbing pegs can dot a dedicated wall, creating an additional activity within the room that can be dismantled with ease. Tactile interactive painted chalkboard walls are a popular choice among kids, and they can simply be painted over,” says Chauhan.

With increased hours spent indoors, kids' rooms need to look after the holistic needs of a child. (Photo: Nursery Makeover - Weespaces © Katya Antoni) With increased hours spent indoors, kids' rooms need to look after the holistic needs of a child. (Photo: Nursery Makeover - Weespaces © Katya Antoni)

Forecasting trending colours

While neutrals are a great choice, parents can also consider pastel hues and light candy colours.

“Neutrals are an evergreen choice. Allow the room to be immersed in pared-down shades in the spectrum of whites. Layer visually with accents of colour in the form of upholstery, art, or bric-a-brac. Pastel hues and light candy colours are also a great pick,” shares Chauhan.

The notion of shades of blue for boys and pink for girls is obsolete and thoroughly overdone! While colours can uplift a space effortlessly, the colour schemes in children’s spaces have seen a dramatic change.

“We’re seeing the trends lean towards more enveloping monochromatic palettes wherein colour makes a debut with restraint in kid’s spaces. Bright overwhelming doses of bright hues are being swapped out for sage greens, soft yellows, dusty pink and olive green,” adds Amarnathan.

Neutral colours are a great choice for the kids' bedroom. Parents can also consider pastels and light candy colours. Neutral colours are a great choice for the kids' bedroom. Parents can also consider pastels and light candy colours.

Storage hacks

Storage, too, is a key factor in the design of most Indian homes. Childrens’ spaces need to be accessible and practically designed, keeping in mind the young end-users.

“The key is ease of use, so children can feel a sense of ownership over the task of tidying up. Cubby-holes, built-in units, and ergonomic bookshelves (typically starting at Rs8,000-10,000) are great additions for toys, books, and other paraphernalia. Double-duty furniture like storage benches and ottomans are smart picks too,” says Amarnathan.

“Mirror-faced shutters of storage units can take the focus away from the utilitarian role of the cabinets. One can create offset double-wall panelling systems to create concealed storage areas for larger items. The inclusion of ceiling-height loft systems is a fitting addition in the long haul too,” says Chauhan.

Childrens’ spaces are an extension of their personality. The pandemic has highlighted how much the spaces we inhabit at home mould our lifestyle. It is possible to make the spaces our children occupy better at catering to their multiple needs, with only minimal design changes and affordable additions.

Children's spaces have seen a big shift in purpose during the pandemic. (Photo Warm White - ZERO9 © Suleiman Merchant) Children's spaces have seen a big shift in purpose during the pandemic. (Photo Warm White - ZERO9 © Suleiman Merchant)
Lavanya Chopra is a Bengaluru-based architect and design writer.
first published: Aug 28, 2021 08:31 pm
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