Renovation Solutions: As school nears, it may be time to remodel kids’ bedrooms

Published: Friday, Aug. 16 2013 7:21 p.m. MDT

For a child's bedroom remodel, consider the lighting, shelving and bed choices carefully.

Kevin Bunnell, Renovation Solutions

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Summer is winding down, and it is almost time to send those little darlings back to school.

With just weeks or days remaining before the first day of school, you might be able to sneak in a mini-remodel on a child’s bedroom.

A bedroom can be a fun project that does not have to cost a fortune, can give you a lift and may add value to your home.

Remember, any upgrades should be compatible with your whole house style. Even though your “client” may be a child, don’t do something that is so quirky or child-specific that it has no connection to your overall design concept.

The majority of what you do today should move you closer to your remodeling goals, as opposed to creating more work — and costing you more money — when it has to be dismantled in the future.

With that said, function is as important in a bedroom as in any other room. The three most important things to invest in for a child’s bedroom are shelving, good lighting and — you guessed it — a bed.

Generally, there are three transitions in the life of a child’s room: The first is the move from a crib to a big boy/girl bed at age 2 or 3; the next is the changeover from the toddler room to a child’s room encompassing ages 6-12; and finally, another redecoration for the teenage years.

Therefore, when you are redoing an older child’s bedroom, don’t go with a twin bed. This can be a prime example of not thinking ahead, since that little boy who is 4 feet 10 inches now may be 6 feet 3 inches in a few years. Buy at least a full-size bed if the room is big enough to handle it.

With that in mind, it may make sense to spend money on high-quality beds and dressers early on, which can last both functionally and aesthetically throughout these transitions.

For this reason, some families move children into full-size or queen beds even in the elementary years. It makes sense if your budget and the room can handle it.

As with any project, consider the activities that will take place there.

Storage is key to any successful room, and shelving can play a big part in a bedroom.

Built-in shelves and even built-in desk space are great for children’s bedrooms, and they will also be useful in the future if the room morphs into a study or den when the child eventually leaves the family home.

In the meantime, shelving offers a place to display family photos, as well as a child’s treasures and/or collections. In addition, having plenty of space for books encourages children to read.

Lighting can have a huge impact on how a space feels and functions.

The right lighting and lighting placement can help a child focus on homework, sleep better or add a modern touch in an easily replaceable element. Adding fun and creative lamps can make a room more trendy and age-appropriate without spending a lot of money.

When you are redesigning your child’s bedroom, get your child involved. Decorating a room provides a great opportunity for children to express their personalities and can be a great opportunity for parents to learn more about them. Get inspired by the thousands of photos on Houzz.com, Pinterest or other similar sites.

You should carefully plan your children’s involvement, giving them choices in elements that can be easily changed (such as curtains, bedspreads, paint color, etc.) while more permanent items (such as doors, windows, flooring) may be best for you to choose.

Accessories are another great way for a child to express their personality because they are relatively inexpensive.

Give your children assignments, both to save money and to get them invested in their space.

With some training and supervision, teens can paint their room. Ask children to create artwork for the walls or to find items that go with the theme to create other handmade décor.

Getting children involved will make them feel ownership to their new space. They may even be more likely to keep it clean!

One of the side benefits of remodeling is that is forces you to sort through everything in the room before you begin.

It is amazing what just a little de-cluttering and reorganizing can do for the flow and function of a room. Good luck! We are certain you will join with us in warmly welcoming back the school year!

Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the Principal Architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com

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