Discover the 13 Essential Items Every Child’s Room Should Have to Support Healthy Development

Written by Lee Orlian​

Interior decorator, product designer, & co-founder of Teepee Joy.

With the right child’s room design, your little one can feel comfortable, inspired, safe, creative, peaceful, and adventurous all in one space.

But where to begin?! Every parent wants their child’s room to be a special place that supports their development, but many parents don’t know where to start.

That’s why I have created the following guide to help parents like you express their love through meaningful design.

This guide will help you design the perfect kids’ room that promotes healthy development and allows your child to learn, play, and sleep better.

As a kids’ décor shop owner, product designer, and interior decorator, I’m happy to share my experience to help parents design dreamy rooms that get endless smiles.

Since 2017, I have helped thousands of parents transform their children’s rooms into stylish and functional spaces they can be proud of. And I know you can do it, too!

With this guide, you can start planning the perfect kid’s room or discover what your child’s room has been missing.

13 Essential Items Every Child's Room Should Have to Support Healthy Development

While some of these items may seem obvious, there are certain details that parents often overlook. These small details can make a big difference in your little one’s health and development, especially regarding sleep and creativity.

Colors

Designing for a kid is the perfect excuse to add bright and fun colors to a room. However, you’ll want to use color thoughtfully and make sure it doesn’t look like a Crayola box exploded.
Try to stick with no more than three primary colors unless you’re going for a very bold and colorful aesthetic. Be sure to balance bright colors with soothing, neutral tones as well.

If you want the room design to grow with your child, I suggest using neutral or calmer colors as a base, such as natural wood, grays, and softer hues. Then, you can add pops of color with wall art, pillows, “cozy corners,” and more that are easy to change out as your child gets older.

Plentiful Storage

From stuffed animals to toys to craft supplies, it seems like kids’ stuff multiplies like rabbits!

Custom closet storage is ideal, as kids’ clothes don’t tend to take up a lot of space. You can utilize the extra space around their little clothes for added storage. Even DIY closet systems that you can cut to size at Home Depot or Lowe’s work great!

Outside of the closet, get creative with storage. You can use colorful baskets, storage carts on wheels, and furniture pieces that include storage, like a bed with drawers underneath.

You can even utilize plastic totes designed to go under a bed and hide them behind a dust ruffle.

Eye-Catching Graphic

A graphic wallpaper, decal, or paint job can instantly elevate a design from bland to bold. You can set the tone for the entire room’s design and express your child’s personality or interests.

It is also a fun and easy way to incorporate one of your child’s favorite things, like fairies, trucks, animals, or stars.

Many graphic applications, like stick-on decals and DIY painted graphics, are relatively affordable and easy to update as your child grows.

Just keep in mind that kids’ tastes change as fast as their shoe size. So, be sure to select a design that they won’t outgrow in a year or two.

Chill/Play Space*

For healthy sleep habits, it’s best to keep the bed for napping and sleeping only.

A designated space for chilling and playing is the solution. A cozy chair, pillow corner, and soft rug are excellent options.

An enclosed space, like a curtained bay window or a play teepee, can make it feel even cozier and more special.

The idea is to create a space that is all their own, where they feel safe, and their imagination can run wild.

Learning/Creative Area

Just like for adults, it helps to have a designated workspace as well as a chill space.

When creating this area, prioritize organization above all else. That way, you can easily tuck away the craft supplies, homework, and other bits that seem to pile up so quickly.

Of course, being organized doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics. You can personalize the space and add character with a display area of their favorite collectibles.

The work area is a smart place to invest a little more in quality products since it will get used so often.

A quality table or desk and accompanying organization can grow with your child or at least withstand their messiest phases.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is an excellent way to display your child’s favorite items, as well as provide some additional storage.

However, be careful not to rely on open shelving too much for storage, as it can quickly look cluttered.

Keep a designer’s eye open when deciding what to display and store on the shelves. Try to mix items like books, figurines, and favorite toys.

Lighting

Consider lighting for different times of the day, and even for each activity your child often does in their room.

For instance, you may want a bright desk lamp for homework or craft time, soft lighting for their cozy area, and a cute nightlight to keep the monsters away.

Cozy Bedding

Finding cozy bedding is sometimes easier said than done, with too many cheap options on the market that rely on a cute design rather than quality fabric.

Take your time to check what materials are used and to read reviews.

If your child has a hard time sleeping on their own, consider a weighted blanket (if it’s safe for their age).

Also, don’t forget to consider the seasons as you may want different bedding for cold and warm months.

Window Coverings*

Window coverings are not only essential to the design aesthetic but also to your child’s development.

I always highly recommend blackout curtains as they support healthy naptime and sleep habits (in fact, all of the curtains in my store are blackout). Blackout curtains block light and can help block sound and regulate temperature, too.

Even if you have blinds in your child’s room, I suggest adding curtains to add to the design aesthetic as well as to control the natural light better.

After all, windows are a significant focal point of any room. So, you should make the most of the surface area to create a design statement.

Personalized Clock

Clocks can serve more than a basic function- they can add character, too. A clock will help your child learn numbers, tell time, and eventually follow a schedule.

When my daughters were younger, they had a bedtime, as well as a “don’t come out of your room before” time! They learned to consult their clock before waking the whole house.

But don’t let a clock be a functional afterthought. Incorporate it into your design, whether it’s a big wall clock or a small bedside clock.

Books

The wonderful thing about books is their covers are artwork in themselves.

Be sure to plan a place not only to store their books but also to display their favorites. It’s always fun to switch out the display books based on the seasons and their changing preferences.

Wall Art Area*

Wall art is essential to any design, but I like to take it up a notch in kids’ rooms.

It’s the perfect opportunity to add color and make a bold statement to inspire creativity in your children while adding character to a room.

Simple frames that will work with all kinds of art are ideal. That way, you can swap out the art over the years without having to purchase new frames (which is the expensive part!).

Consider reserving some of the frames for your child’s artwork, too.

Room for a Sleepover

Once you check off all of these essential items in your design, your kid’s friends are going to want to sleep in their room, too!

So, I suggest having a plan in mind for containing their fun within the room, even if it means moving a few items out of the way.

Our teepees are a big hit for sleepovers, especially for smaller children, but they can also be easily tucked away in a closet or slid under a bed.

Consider which items in your design can be shifted as necessary to accommodate more kids and more fun!

More Design Help (3 Options for Any Budget)

It’s always been my mission to help any parent and every parent create a special and beautiful space for their child to grow up in.

I’ve helped 1,000s of parents across the country, and I’d love to help you, too.

The following are personal services I offer to help parents based on different design skill levels and different budgets:

1. Do it yourself: Shop from 1,000s of pre-designed decor products.

Shop and checkout in minutes. For parents looking to enhance their child’s room with one or more pre-designed decor products offered in our store while still being able to add empowering and personalized messages to the purchased products.

2. Do it with us: Bring your ideas to life with our unlimited custom product options to fit your design and size requirements.

The best option for parents who have a clear vision of their child’s room. With this option, you get to work with one of our digital designers to bring your product ideas to life.

Once you approve the designs, we will fabricate and deliver the products in a matter of days.

3. Do it for you (Coming Soon!): Our A to Z design service offers parents a complete design plan of their child's room with shopping links, layout directions, and paint selection.

This process starts with a short interview to allow us to learn everything about your style preferences, budget, theme, and color palettes.

Then, with the information collected, our designers create a 3D design of your child’s room that includes actual pieces of furniture and decor products you can instantly buy with exclusive discounts.

Contact Lee (That’s Me!)

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, I urge you to reach out to me.

I’m a real person and a real parent, just like you. And, I’m a real interior decorator!

So, don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of service. I love what I do and I’m always here to help 🙂

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