When I was a kid, my bedroom used to be a place I slept in or was sent to if I'd been naughty. It had a bed, wardrobe, a set of drawers and a chair. When I reached my teens, I was allowed to put up a few posters. These days, children's bedrooms are big business. There's a whole industry in designing furniture, rugs, murals, wallpaper, and bedding. Philosophy and child psychology are also a part of it.
There is even guidance on Feng Shui for children's bedrooms, tempting perhaps for parents of hyperactive children who are desperate for them to be at peace with the world. I'm not sure about Feng Shui being the answer but I do think children's bedrooms should be havens of calm. Call me old fashioned, but I think there are too many distractions in children's bedrooms now. How can they do their homework or even get to sleep when they have unlimited access to their favorite TV programs or they're trying to reach the next level on their game. Some kids live in their rooms, only coming down for ice cream. As well as living in a fragmented family and never seeing them, you don't know what they're up to. You don't know whom they're chatting to on the Web. In this stressful world, children's bedrooms should offer a quiet refuge, to think, to read and to sleep.
Typical modern children's bedrooms have all the state of the art items once confined to the living room. There is a TV, DVD player, cod player, and games system. It's not much of a punishment to be sent to your room these days.
Designing children's bedrooms comes with a lot of advice on color co-ordination, themes for the bedroom, and efficient storage systems. You do have to be some sort of wizard to fit all their things into a small bedroom, and there are a variety of different storage boxes and systems to choose from. Nicely decorated boxes may even encourage them to tidy up now and again.
Of course, children do keep evolving, which is really inconvenient. Just when you're admiring your handiwork on the jungle animal theme, complete with hand drawn stencils, your child has reached her teens and is demanding something more grown up, like a re-creation of Marilyn Manson's latest album cover.
It's a good idea if you have two siblings who share a bedroom, to make two distinct areas for them. It gives them more of a sense of ownership. My six-year-old daughter's half of the children's bedroom was covered in fairies and my four-year-old son's half was plastered in trains. They were both very happy with it. It's even more important for twins, who are desperate for a separate identity.