Tips for Designing a Child's Room


Reference Number: KB-00750
Last Modified: April 22, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors

QUESTION

I'm interested in designing a room for a child.  Do you have any suggestions? 


 


ANSWER

Designing a kid's room is a unique opportunity to create a fun, comfortable environment that encourages creativity and playfulness.  It is also an opportunity to provide storage solutions for artwork, books, toys and games as well as shelving that display treasured belongings that can be safely reached by children.

Using the Cabinet tools, particularly Shelves and Partitions, you can create a wide variety of unique shelving configurations that are customized to your child's room as well as his or her age.  In this article, a window seat and shelf units are designed around an existing window.


To plan your space

Children often use their rooms for multiple activities: for example, sleeping, dressing, playing, and crafts. Begin by determining how much space is needed for each activity.  The space required by furniture such as a bed, dresser or changing table may dictate how much space remains for other purposes.

  1. Open the plan in which you would like to design a child's room or select File> New Plan  from the menu to open a new, blank plan.

     

    • Before planning how the space will be used, it's important that the dimensions of the actual room be used.

    • In this example, a bedroom measuring 15' x 13' with 3' x 8' of closet space is used.

    • You can create a room label if you wish by selecting a Room Type on the General panel of the Room Specification dialog.


  2. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu.

    In Home Designer 2014 and prior versions, the Library Browser was accessible under the Library menu.


  3. In the Library Browser:

    • Browse to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Interiors> Furniture> Beds or another folder to select an appropriate item.

      There is a bonus catalog offered for some of the Home Designer programs which offers a selection of nursery furniture items, including cradles, cribs, changing tables, etc.

    • When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it will display the Furnishings icon 

    • Click once in the drawing area to place the selected object at that location.


  4. Click on the bed to select it and use the Move edit handle to make any needed adjustments to its position.

    • If you find that the room labels get in your way as you work, you can turn off their display by selecting Tools> Display Options  from the menu and then turning off the display of the Room Labels layer in the Display Options dialog.


  5. With the bed still selected, click the Open Object  edit button.  On the General panel of the Furniture Specification dialog, specify the bed's Height, Width and Depth, then click OK.


  6. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to place other important pieces of furniture in the room.

    • Dressers, chests and bookcases can be found in Interiors> Furniture> Storage Furniture.


  7. Once a bed, night stand and dresser have been arranged in this example, you can see how much space remains in the room for new additions to the room.




To create built-in storage

Built-in shelves and cabinetry can add both style and extra storage space that meets the needs of parents and children. When designing floor-to-ceiling shelving, it's important to first measure the ceiling height of the room in question and then decide on the placement of any pre-built cabinetry items.

  1. Click the Select Objects  tool, then click in an empty space in the room to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.


  2. In the Room Specification dialog:

    • Specify the Finished Ceiling Height so that it equals that of the actual room.

    • Be sure to remove the checkmark from the Default section or your change will not be retained.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  3. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Elevation  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow directly at the wall that will support the cabinetry and shelving.

    If the Elevation camera tool is not available in your version of the software, instead create a standard Full Camera view.


  4. In the elevation view, select Build> Cabinet> Wall Cabinet  from the menu, then click on the wall to place a wall cabinet against it. 



    • Wall cabinets are initially placed at with a Floor to Bottom height of 54"; however once created, wall cabinets can be moved to any height either in the Wall Cabinet Specification dialog or using the Move  edit handle.

    • In this example, a 33" wide, 18" tall and 12" deep wall cabinet is set at ceiling height.


  5. Select Build> Cabinet> Partition  from the menu, then click in the elevation view to place a vertical partition at that location.  Click nearby to place a second partition.  These two partitions will form the sides of a bank of shelves.




  6. Click the Select Objects  tool, then click on a partition to select it. 

    • Click and drag the Move  edit handle at its center to the location where you want the side of your shelf unit to be.

    • If you encounter any movement obstructions, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, or the Command key if you are working on a Mac computer,  as you drag to move the partition to the exact location that you want.

    • Click and drag the Extend edit handle on its top edge to adjust its height as needed. A temporary dimension shows you the total height of the partition as you drag.


  7. Repeat step 6 to position the second partition relative to the first.  These partitions will form the sides of a bank of shelves.


  8. Select Build> Cabinet> Shelf  from the menu, then click to place a shelf. Initially, shelves are placed at a Floor to Bottom height of 45".


  9.  As with the partitions, click the Select Objects  tool and then select the shelf.
    • Click and drag the Move  edit handle to position the shelf at the desired height.

    • In this example, the lowest shelf will have the same Floor to Bottom height as the cabinet to create a sense of symmetry. 


  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to create as many shelves as you wish.



    • Additional symmetry can be created by aligning walls with other nearby horizontal lines, such as the window casing or sill.

    • As you plan the spacing of your shelving, think about the weight and size of the objects that will be placed on them, as well as who you want to be able to reach them. In this case, 31 1/2" long shelving that is 3/4" thick is strong enough to hold toys, books and clothing.

    • Click and drag the Extend edit handles on side edges to adjust its width to meet the partitions. A temporary dimension shows you the height, width and depth of the shelf as you drag.


  11. If you would like to create an additional partition within the shelves, place it in an empty area along the wall and then Move  and resize it as needed. 




To duplicate a storage configuration

If you would like to create identical, or nearly identical cabinet and shelf configurations, such as those on either side of the window in this example, begin by designing only one and leave the other side empty.

  1. When you are satisfied with the positioning of your cabinet(s), shelves and partitions in the elevation view, select File> Close  from the menu to return to floor plan view.

  2. Zoom  in on the area of the plan with the new storage configuration.

  3. Click the Select Objects  tool, then click and drag a rectangular selection marquee around the objects forming the storage configuration.



    • All objects within the marquee except walls will be selected.

    • Be sure that all objects forming the storage configuration are within the marquee.


  4. With the objects group-selected, click the Copy/Paste  edit button, then move your cursor to an empty area in the room and click to paste a copy of the objects at that location.


  5. With the pasted group still selected, carefully Move  it into position.  Hold down the Ctrl key to override any movement restrictions you encounter.





To add a valance and window seat

With the shelving in place, a valance and window box can be added to tie them together.

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Wall Cabinet  from the menu, then click to place a wall cabinet in front of the window.  This cabinet will be used to create a window seat.


  2. Click the Select Objects  tool, then click on the new wall cabinet to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.  In Wall Cabinet Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, specify the desired Height, Width, Depth and Floor to Bottom height of this cabinet.  In this example, the height is 16", the width is 45", the depth is 12" and the floor to bottom height is 0".

    • On the Front panel, click on the double-doors in the preview image on the right and select Drawer from the Item Type drop-down list.

    • On the Hardware panel, specify the desired type of Drawer Handle from the drop-down list.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  3. Select Build> Cabinet> Shelf  from the menu, then click to place a shelf above the window seat. Its Width is changed to 45" to match the cabinet below it and its Floor to Bottom Height is 16".


  4. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu, then browse to Home Designer Bonus Catalogs> Kitchen Accessories> Cabinet Trim and select a valance that appeals to you.

    In Home Designer 2014 and prior versions, the Library Browser was accessed by selecting the option under the Library menu.

    • When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it will display the Furnishings icon .

    • Click once to place the valance at that location, then Move  it into position, holding down the Ctrl key if needed. If you click near a wall, it will snap to the wall but can be moved afterwards.

    • You can also adjust its height values to better fill the space above the window. In this example, the Height is set at 9" and the Floor to Bottom height is 88".


  5. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Elevation  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow towards your shelving to see the results so far.

     


To select colors and textures

Children's rooms give us a chance to use color and textures more playfully than you might in other situations.

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow inside the room.

    • Alternatively, you can select 3D> Create Camera View> Dollhouse View  to create a top-down view of the room that can be rotated as needed to view its contents.


  2. Once in the 3D view, select 3D> Materials> Material Painter> Component Mode  from the menu.


  3. In the Select Library Object dialog: 

    • Browse the Materials library category to find a suitable material for any surface in the view.

    • Click on the material to select it, and when you move your cursor into the view window, it will display the Material Painter icon .

      If you use the Material Painter on walls, bear in mind that all wall surfaces in the entire room will be covered - not just the wall that you click on.



  4. To apply wallpaper or wainscoting to the walls at a particular height, click the Select Objects   tool and then double-click on the floor of the room.


  5.  On the Wall Covering panel of the Room Specification dialog:

     

    *The Wall Covering tool is available in the following versions of the software: Home Designer Pro, Home Designer Architectural, and Home Designer Interiors.

    • Click the Add New button.

    • In the Select Library Object dialog, browse the Materials library category, click on a material to select it, and click OK.

      In this example the Manufacturer Catalog Warner Wallcoverings KID6252, located at Manufacturer Catalogs> Warner Wallcoverings> Kids Club was used.

    • Next, specify where you would like the material to display on the walls of the room.  For example, if you want the material to display at the bottom of the walls, specify the Floor to Bottom height at 0", then specify the desired Width.

    • If you would prefer to only apply a wall covering to a single wall, select that wall instead of the room and repeat these same steps on the Wall Covering panel of the Wall Specification dialog. 


  6. In this example, some of the shelf spaces are backed with the same Warner wallpaper pattern as the wall covering.  This can be done by applying this material to a Soffit.

    • Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  from the menu, then click in an empty space in the room.

    • Click the Select Objects  tool, then click on the soffit to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.  On the General panel of the Soffit Specification dialog, specify a Depth of 1/2" and a Height of 48" (to prevent from being hidden behind the wall cabinet) and click OK.

    • Move  the soffit to the back of the shelves, against the wall, holding down the Ctrl key as you drag.

    • Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu and click and drag a camera arrow pointed at the soffit.

    • In the 3D view, adjust the height and width of the soffit using its edit handles so that it displays where you wish.



    • Use the Material Painter  tool to apply the desired material to the soffit.

    • If the material is already visible in the view, select 3D> Material Eyedropper  from the menu, click on that material to load it and enable the Material Painter tool, then click on the soffit to apply it.



To accessorize the room

With the major furniture and shelving in place, accessories can be added to create space for play and crafts.

  • Toys and children's furniture can be found in the Nursery Items bonus catalog.

  • Pillows, desk frames and wall frames are available in the Interiors> Accessories folder.

  • Window treatments such as curtains and blinds are available at Interiors> Accessories> Window Treatments.

  • Storage baskets are available in Interiors> Accessories> Baskets, Crate & Boxes.

  • Game boxes can be represented using Closed boxes from the Shapes folder. Change the height, width and depth of a box so that it is flat and rectangular.