How to decorate children’s rooms in compact condos
Use open space, efficient storage features, good colors to create a happy cocoon for your kidsBy Marge C. Enriquez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
As condominiums become more compact, making the bedroom livable for children can be a challenge. How can the small space still be a blank canvas for the child’s creative urges?
“Put the bed against the wall so the kids have an open area,” says designer and Inquirer columnist Isabel Berenguer-Asuncion of Asuncion-Berenguer Inc.
“They can have a play space. Big houses can afford a playroom so the kids can set up their trains or build their little villages. Although some condos have rooms for toddlers, kids at that age still prefer to play on their own. If they are not provided that space, they’ll end up playing in the living room or in the rest of the unit.”
Storage is an important investment. Combine open storage such as shelves and display cabinets so children can show off their toys, and closed storage to keep clutter at bay.
In condo living, parents should consider using multitasking furniture or modules such as a bunk bed that has a built-in desk and a compartment.
As finishing touch, graphic elements such as bold artworks and comic strips add flair without creating something permanent that children can easily outgrow.
The children’s rooms featured here are parts of model condo units. Thus, the color scheme of the children’s room is based on the palette of the unit.
“We work with a scheme for the rest of the house,” says Asuncion. “We modify so it can work for the kid’s room.”
In real life, however, the child usually has the last say.
The bedroom is barely 10 sq m in space. As a rule, too many colors can overwhelm a small room. Still, various colors and scaled-down patterns make it vibrant. The colors of the artworks match the tones of the stripes in the beddings. “You turn the beddings into an artwork by playing with patterns and lines,” says Asuncion.
To unify all the elements, the art, the beddings, ottoman throw pillows and carpet share the olive or khaki tones. Rust, used in the pillows, serves as contrasting accent color.
This small room can accommodate two beds. To emphasize the verticality of the room, a bunk is built to accommodate an extra bed. Under the bunk bed are a work table and storage unit. The child can study, store his belongings, sleep and entertain another friend.
As white bounces off natural light, it can produce a soothing ethereal effect. Light filters through the sheer curtains, creating that softness and expansiveness. The girl’s room is distinguished by its pink and fuchsia toys, decor and picture frames. “The idea is to have a bright bedroom. It’s the opposite of a cozy space,” says designer Isabel Berenguer-Asuncion.
Cove lighting lends intimacy to this boy’s room. Although the look is modern—clean, spare and rectilinear, it is far from cold. The playfulness is derived from the bursts of colors from the pillows, the toys, the framed comic strips and the artworks. The blue accent pieces highlight the coolness of the space. White is the dominant color scheme of the entire model unit.
While the accent colors for the public spaces are gray, the children’s rooms are enlivened with pinks and blues. “We didn’t want pastels. We opted for happier tones,” says Asuncion.
The color scheme of the unit is neutral, bordering on earthy. The challenge is to use the same scheme in the child’s room without making it look too adult or dowdy. The sand tones of the curtains and carpet are comforting to the eyes while the old rose beddings suggest femininity.
The brown-and-white checkerboard pattern on the cabinet adds playful touch.
“If we used a solid tone cabinet, it would look heavy,” says Asuncion. Salmon throw pillows soften the look of the room.