Decorating & Design

November 27, 2008

Boy’s Room Design

Q. My 3-year-old son will be attending junior kindergarten soon. I feel that it is time to change the décor of his room to that of an older child. My idea is to paint his room a denim blue colour. I am unsure about whether to paint the ceiling in this same colour or to paint it white. In addition, I have a 7’ high pine antique shelf where I plan to put all his books, collector toy cars and wooden train set. What is appropriate for the room of a child this age?

— G.A.

A. The first step in changing your son’s room is to involve him in the process. Even at age 3, children are developing their own sense of taste. Find out if he is in favour of your colour selection. If not, perhaps a trip together to the paint store to look at some paint chips will result in a compromise. Childrens’ rooms are no longer restricted to primary colours, so the selection is limited only by your imagination.

As for the ceiling, it would be best to paint it white. White reflects the greatest amount of light of all colours. This will be especially important for your son when his room becomes a place for studying and good lighting is necessary.

The shelf you describe sounds beautiful. But it may not be the best solution for your son’s storage needs at this point in his life. To encourage exploration, all your child’s possessions should be at his eye level. A 7’ high shelf is too large for him right now. Although in a few years it will be a welcome addition to his room. For his age, his reach height may be limited to 44” from the floor, making only the bottom two shelves usable by him. There is also a concern about safety. Many children at this age like to climb to get things that are out of their reach and this may be dangerous with such a high shelf. A good solution is to purchase an inexpensive shelf that he can reach easily and safely. Another idea is to buy stackable bins where your son can store his belongings. You may also want to consider a child size table and chair for drawing and writing. This is a good way to get children used to sitting at a desk.

A change from smaller child’s room to older child’s room may be better reserved to take place a year or two from now. At that time, your son will have new needs to accommodate that will take him through to his pre-teen years. There is no need to rush into an older child’s room since children are little for such a short time.