It’s not child’s play…

There is a reason why bright red, green and blue are used on toys for small children, writes Vanessa Brady

Children are small for such a short time, so don’t speed up their growing time and let them play and move around freely at their own pace. Much of the equipment they need is more for their parents’ and grandparents’ pleasure rather than their own. The items available now is quite daunting, nonetheless it is the beginning of the most expensive but most worthwhile investment you could ever make besides your home.

Parents tend to think a lot about the space for the mini furniture and playrooms, typically placing it in the corner of a family room. This seems to be something that parents can do instinctively and yet they are often completely at odds with space planning and scale when laying out family rooms.

Before software and websites provided colour options in situ via interactive planning, we used graph paper to scale and plot furniture. It took hours, but in that process a lot of thought that is now removed with software helped the designer to process the outcome. I can see how children’s furniture is much easier to scale for home owners than to do their own choice of furniture.

Conversion furniture provides the longest usage. Something that starts off in one form and converts into something else is much more cost effective. In years to come it will be fun to view in photographs too as you watch your child’s growth and progress. Great examples of conversion furniture can be a cot with removable sides which converts into a bed and high chairs which convert to a separate table and chair for instance.

Society has adapted and gender no longer predesignate pink bedrooms to girls and blue for boys. These days children are often dressed in black, a colour that would never have been used years ago. As small furniture fits into many environments with ease, you may think it will go unnoticed but make sure you take a note of the warning signs for colour. When choosing colours for painted furniture, choose neutral colours and dress it with different coloured accessories as the family extends. Do not colour coordinate with pastels or with your overall décor too much; there is a reason why bright red, green and blue are used on toys for small children and not on your furniture.

Colour stimulates the mind, it can work as an educational tool but sometimes suppresses children’s behaviour so it’s an investment that should be taken with care. Babies are better suited to pastel colours but children need colour. A toddler eyesight responds better and faster to primary colours, so do not avoid them in an attempt to colour coordinate your rooms.

Dr Vanessa Brady OBE
International Interior Designer, SBID CEO