Furnishing a Child’s Room: How It Works for Every Age

Do you want to furnish a children’s room and take into account the age of your children when designing? Then here are some basic tips for planning the interior. After all, the child has different needs in each age range. Here you can read everything relevant to the sensible design of a child’s room with different furniture.

In the children's room, everything is ideally at the height and within reach of your child. We provide further tips in our guide
In the children’s room, everything is ideally at the height and within reach of your child. We provide further tips in our guide.
Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Furnish Children’s Room: What Do You Need for a Children’s Room?

What you should pay attention to when furnishing a child’s room depends largely on the age of your children. Each major stage of development makes its demands on furniture, furnishings, and room design. We will help you find the right furnishing style for the children’s room.

1. From Baby Room to Children’s Room

At the latest, when your children are three years old, it’s time for you to redesign the baby room and set up a real nursery. The crib and changing unit are out, the clothes need more space in the closet, and lots of toys have accumulated that should be placed on shelves and in storage boxes – this is how kids learn to tidy up properly at an early age. Preschoolers don’t need much space in their nursery yet, but they need objects that stimulate their imagination. After all, they are creative, learning through experimentation and role play. Since the days are full of stimulation and excitement, many children need rest and protection in the evenings. Here’s what you should remember when furnishing a child’s room.

Tips for interior design in infancy

Design your child’s room to be a Fantasia Land at this age. It should be suitable as a playground with areas for romping, hiding, crafting, and cuddling. The furnishings must be robust. Furniture made of solid wood tolerates scratches well and can be easily repainted if necessary.

What color you paint the walls is still rather secondary – important, however, is furniture and objects that can be used differently. For example, the crib should be a safe place to retreat to while at the same time providing space for a collection of cuddly animals and being sturdy enough to withstand the odd romp. The right floor in the children’s room applies: It should be robust, free of harmful substances, and easy to clean. Lay out a rug made of natural materials such as sisal or wool since children at this age usually still play on the floor.

But besides all this, you should not forget about a few educational elements when decorating the children’s room: Even now, tidying up can be trained. However, furniture such as high cabinets and shelves are not very suitable because the children should be able to get to the storage space independently.

Between two and three years, your child develops a first interest in the nursery, which should have the toys ready at eye level
Between two and three years, your child develops a first interest in the nursery, which should have the toys ready at eye level.
Photo: IKEA

Children’s Room Furnishings for Children From Six to Ten Years

Elementary school children significantly expand their radius of action. They are becoming increasingly independent, wanting to spend more time alone in their room. Friends are also becoming more important, with boys and girls setting themselves apart from each other – this is important when you are furnishing a child’s room.

Planning Tips for Elementary School Children

The older children get, the more they discover and enjoy their realm. Also, the space in the children’s room plays a greater role than before because the kids have more and more books and toys. To prevent chaos from spreading in the children’s room now is a good time to create storage space with more cabinets and shelves. At the same time, kids need open space in the nursery, such as a long but low sideboard, to showcase their self-designed artwork or collected treasures.

Consider buying a loft bed if you are furnishing the children’s room. Most children love it because it gives them an overview – at the same time, the space underneath can be used for other purposes, such as a second mattress for overnight guests or as a cuddle corner during the day. In the small children’s room, the children find space for their first desk, which usually moves in when they start school. An important act: Although ABC shooters often still like to do their homework close to their parents, they should have a place for independent learning and crafts.

The start of school is an excellent time to redecorate the children's room. Now new elements come into play with a desk and a bigger bed
The start of school is an excellent time to redecorate the children’s room. Now new elements come into play with a desk and a bigger bed.
Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

You will give your child particular pleasure if you follow a theme when designing the room, for example, “Fairyland” or “Space Station”. However, since preferences can change quickly, keep the furniture as neutral as possible and pick up on the theme with accessories and bedding – this way, you can furnish the children’s room differently again if necessary.

3. Furnish Children’s Room for Adolescents

Privacy and autonomy are becoming increasingly important to children over eleven. They are less oriented to their parents but rather to their peers. During self-discovery, their room becomes a field for experimenting with their individuality. Parents often experience discomfort when children radically throw everything they are used to overboard – but this step is part of personality development and extremely important when you furnish a child’s room.

What Facility Is Essential Now

Even if the timing varies from child to child: At some point, everyone will want to furnish the children’s room in a more grown-up way. Then sort out the old things with your offspring to make room for new things in the children’s room. The new furniture does not have to be expensive but unconventional and casual. Often, less is even more – the crib, for example, gives way to a generous mattress that, with a bedspread, invites you to lounge with friends – this is joined by a beanbag where you can plop down and relax, this is how easy it is to furnish a children’s room.

When furnishing a child’s room and planning a teenager’s room, creating enough space for technical equipment is important – a stereo system, laptop, game console, or TV are often more important than all the trimmings. But of course, a chic black desk, for example, rounds off the gaming center perfectly. Kids sometimes try out creative decorating experiments, such as painting their room black or placing unusual decorations. Because the inner chaos usually spills over to the outside, children of this age find it increasingly difficult to keep things tidy.

Tip: When designing a child’s room, consider safety and quality. When furnishing a child’s room, you should ensure that the furniture can withstand a lot – the furniture should also be free of harmful substances and of good quality. The LGA furniture testing institute in Nuremberg carries out mechanical tests on children’s room furniture, among other things, and awards the GS mark if the test is passed. “But we are not a monitoring institute,” says Felix Scharnagl, a qualified furniture tester at LGA and a father of three. “Unfortunately, goods keep turning up in the trade that would fail us outright.”

The teenager's room can be furnished in a more grown-up way - but above all; the kids choose their furnishings.
The teenager’s room can be furnished in a more grown-up way – but above all; the kids choose their furnishings. Photo: Maisons du Monde

Furnish Children’s Room According to Montessori

Montessori education allows the child the greatest possible freedom in experiencing himself, learning, and experiencing the world. In this respect, the interior design of the children’s room, according to Montessori, deviates a little from the above tips. Here are the essential principles:

The child is at the center of their world

Get to your child’s eye level or lie with the crawling child on the floor. What does it see from down there – clutter under the bed, furniture feet, and bulky dressers? When decorating the nursery, consider ways to improve the child’s perspective. For example, by hanging pictures lower, moving clothes hooks and mirrors down.

Every child wants to learn

In the nursery, the child can learn when and what he wants. To stimulate activity, present a puzzle, for example, not solved but disassembled into individual pieces in a basket.

Every child learns at their own pace and in their way

When setting up the child’s room, ensure all toys are within reach of the child. The Montessori nursery has no drawers, flaps, or closed cabinets. Instead, the toys are offered on trays or baskets so the child can decide what to play with. By the way: Less is more – reduce the selection and exchange toys regularly.

This freedom also needs discipline and order

Maria Montessori, the founder of this pedagogy, also promotes discipline and order – her teaching is not laissez-faire or anti-authoritarian education. By modeling order, the child takes it on himself. Unlike laissez-faire, where a child draws on the wall when they feel like it, Montessori offers the child a papered area on the wall.

Help the child to help themselves

When setting up the child’s room, for example, place the bed so that the child can crawl into it himself – for toddlers, place the mattress on the floor against the wall. This way, it can decide for itself when it wants to rest or cuddle. Meanwhile, there is even the trend to furnish the bath completely child-fairly – however must be rearranged then of frequently, depending upon size. A stool that helps the child reach the sink might do the trick.

In the Montessori nursery, the child finds a manageable number of toys. It learns to concentrate and to keep order
In the Montessori nursery, the child finds a manageable number of toys. It learns to concentrate and to keep order.
Photo: Living4media/ Jalag / Gewecke, Gudrun

Furnishing a Child’s Room With the Right Furniture

From the first grade on, your child spends some time of the day sitting – all the more important is to take a closer look at the children’s desk and the corresponding chair. But you should also make certain demands on carcass furniture such as shelves, wardrobe, and chest of drawers, which are important when furnishing a child’s room. We have summarized the most essential tips for you below.

Children’s swivel chairs

After all, sitting does not mean sitting still: A good because dynamic chair makes the sitter’s movements. When it comes to desk chairs for children, it is therefore important to pay attention to this crucial point: If the base is too small, a chair, especially one with a tiltable backrest, will easily tip over backward. Look at the seat from above: Do the castors peek out from underneath? Good. If you can’t see them, the base is too small, and the chair is unstable.

Desks for children

In any case, they must be height adjustable, and their top can be tilted. Practical are also tables that can be extended later, for example, for a PC, or so that the roll containers have space. Legroom plays a big role here so that the child sits relaxed.

For younger students, a plastic top may be an advantage because it’s easy to wipe off felt-tip pen marks – but the body should still be made of wood.

Tables with keyboard extensions and swiveling monitor holders are not bad at first glance. Still, they have a weakness: If children sit too long at such a combination table, they get a stiff neck: Because if the table height is set for writing, the keyboard is inevitably too low. If the height of the keyboard fits, the writing surface is too high.

Carcass furniture

A shelf is a shelf and not a ladder. Children need to accept that. For child safety, you should still fasten cabinets and high shelves when furnishing a child’s room.

Care should also be taken with all folding furniture: Bed drawers, chests, and chest benches should be equipped with a folding safety device, especially if small children are in the house. “Because if a child rummages in the chest and the lid falls with force on his head, the neck can hit the edge in such a way that the accident can be fatal,” warns Felix Scharnagl.

Good airbrake holders keep the lid open in any position, and against this resistance, the lid can only be closed with force.

Play beds

Bunk beds and loft beds are often converted into play equipment. But be careful: Children can injure themselves around the bed, on walls, window sills, or the ceiling. If children play in bed, the fall-out protection should be higher. It is difficult to give a general figure in centimeters: When you furnish a child’s room, it always depends on the child’s size and the room height.

If the fence is very high, the child will feel safe, romp more, and perhaps injure himself on the ceiling. As a rule of thumb, the parapet of a bunk or loft bed should be high enough to prevent a child from tipping out while seated. Accidents also happen when children sleep in a sleeping bag, get up at night or in the morning, don’t realize they are in the sleeping bag, and slip on the ladder when they get out.

Therefore, the general recommendation is to use bunk beds only for children six years and older. “By choosing furniture, parents can provide basic safety. But they must properly assess their children to know what they can realize in the nursery. Of course, you can not count on everything. We also have a play bed in our children’s room,” Felix Scharnagl tells us. “But we don’t build it up fully until our children are big enough”.

Imaginative and stable: a loft bed made of natural wood with an integrated play den
Imaginative and stable: a loft bed made of natural wood with an integrated play den.
Photo: Team7

How Do I Place the Bed in the Children’s Room?

When setting up a child’s room, make sure that the bed is placed far away from the window so that the child cannot fall into or through the window in case of a fall. Also, make sure the slide on the bed doesn’t end up in the opening area of the door.

A bed can slip on smooth parquet or laminate: A gap forms with the wall, into which the child slides in the worst case and gets stuck with his head. So follow the assembly instructions and warnings very carefully!

Tip: If you want to furnish the children’s room according to the principles of Feng Shui, you should not place the bed against the bathroom wall, where water is constantly flowing. Likewise, not between the door and the window because the energy flow is very strong here. The best place for the children’s bed is in a cozy corner of the room.

Furnish Children’s Room: The Right Lighting Design

Lighting for a child’s room must also meet certain requirements if you are furnishing it: Refrain from using ceiling washers, floor lamps, and other standing lights, as they easily fall over during romping and running around. At least glass shades and domes are taboo for such lighting. Ceiling or wall lights with indirect light are optimal. Bedside lights should also be permanently mounted on the wall above the bed. In this case, swiveling spotlights as bright reading lights are a good choice when furnishing a child’s room. All lights must meet current safety standards. Look out for the GS seal.

Furnish Children’s Rooms Without Harmful Substances

More than in any other room in the house, you should furnish the children’s room free of harmful substances or with low levels of harmful substances. Because children’s fast metabolism is particularly sensitive to indoor toxins, it is all the more important to live healthily and avoid pollutants. But that’s easier said than done because pollutants are now found in many materials, such as adhesives, paints, and coatings. But aldehydes and terpenes from woods, plasticizers from paints, and solvents from waxes are also among them. Uncoated chipboard, for example, emits the environmental toxin formaldehyde and, like cheap PVC furniture, has no place in a child’s room.

Children’s rooms that make them sick

If the child often wakes up with puffy eyes or headaches, has an unexplained cough, skin irritations, or sleep disturbances, this may have biological causes (dust mites, germs, mold, and fungal spores), physical (noise, electromagnetic radiation) or chemical (toxins in imported cheap products). Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives that are worth their price.

Pollutant-free furniture for the children’s room

Healthy furniture does not release harmful substances and is made of solid natural materials. Even though natural wooden furniture is comparatively expensive, it is worth the investment if you are furnishing a child’s room. To make sure you’re on the safe side, various eco-seals identify low-pollutant furniture. The Blue Angel, for example, the FSC and PEFC seals, the ÖkoControl mark, or the INN certification of the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry.

When buying furniture and furnishing a child's room, paying attention to the quality of the wood and other materials is important
When buying furniture and furnishing a child’s room, paying attention to the quality of the wood and other materials is important.
Photo: Green Earth

Children’s Room Furnishings: Tips for Buying Furniture for Children

Furnishing children’s rooms starts with planning and does not stop when buying furniture. When buying children’s furniture, always look for solid materials and fittings. Domestic wood species such as alder, beech wood, birch, and pine are highly recommended for furnishing children’s rooms. Wood is breathable and improves the indoor climate. Only solid wood furniture treated with wax or oil is solvent-free, and you can repair their surfaces more quickly than others.

You can recognize good artistry by solid metal fittings instead of plastic, screw connections that can be retightened, and the stability of a wardrobe or loft bed. Rounded edges are also an important quality feature: The impact is much less serious than if a child falls on a sharp edge.

There's a lot to consider when buying furniture for your child's room - nevertheless, the furniture and items must first and foremost please you and, most importantly, your children
There’s a lot to consider when buying furniture for your child’s room – nevertheless, the furniture and items must first and foremost please you and, most importantly, your children.
Photo: iStock/JackF

Children’s Furniture That Grows With Them

Ideal children’s furniture not only grows with you, it can also be converted. Who wants to be a princess for eternity? When buying and decorating your child’s room, keep in mind that children like to rearrange their furniture from time to time, especially if they are turning their child’s room into a teenager’s room. Especially loft beds and bunk beds should be flexible and can be “built down”. It is better not to buy furniture such as shelves, chests of drawers and cabinets as a fixed solution. With individual elements that can be bought later, you remain flexible when furnishing a children’s room – it does not matter whether the furniture comes from a furniture program for children or adults.

When looking for good furniture for the children’s room, you should ask the expert advisers in the furniture store the following important questions:

  • What about the material strength and quality of the furniture?
  • Is it free of harmful substances?
  • Does the manufacturer comply with safety standards?
  • What service and guarantees does he offer?
  • Does the furniture grow with the customer, can it be converted or added to?
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