Interior design can be a challenging and rewarding career. Designers get the opportunity to turn bland spaces into beautiful, functional rooms that meet the lifestyle needs and preferences of their clients. Some clients have very specific tastes and bold ideas, while others look to the designer for guidance and expertise. For one interior designer in particular, taking on the project of designing a bedroom for her client’s 10-year-old son proved to be an exciting challenge.

The Designer’s Background and Qualifications

The designer in this story had over 15 years of experience in the interior design industry. She graduated with honors from a top design school and then worked for 5 years at a prestigious firm before branching off to start her own residential design business. Her work had been featured in magazines like Architectural Digest and Elle Decor. She also had extensive training in color theory, spatial planning, selecting finishes and furniture pieces. Additionally, she kept up to date on the latest design trends. With her impressive resume and refined skills, the designer felt confident taking on the bedroom design project, even though her client was a child.

The Design Challenge: A 10-Year-Old Client

When the designer first met with her client, the mother of the 10-year-old boy, they discussed goals and parameters for the bedroom design. The client explained that her son loved sports, especially soccer, and also enjoyed reading, building Lego sets, and playing video games. She wanted his new bedroom to reflect his personality and passions, while also being functional and allowing room for him to grow in the years to come.

The designer realized that designing a child’s bedroom came with unique considerations. Since children go through rapid developmental changes, the room needed to be flexible and adaptable. She would also need to address safety concerns and select durable, easy-to-clean finishes. Unlike adult clients, a 10-year-old boy would likely have strong opinions about what he wanted but limited experience articulating his vision. This project required extra creativity and patience.

Researching the Client’s Interests and Needs

In order to gain inspiration and insight into her young client’s preferences, the designer had the boy fill out a questionnaire about his favorite colors, hobbies, and how he envisioned using the new space. She also chatted with him directly to get a sense of his personality. In addition, she reached out to the parents to understand any concerns they might have.

Some key details she uncovered:

  • Favorite colors: orange, blue, green
  • Favorite sports team: Arsenal F.C.
  • Hobbies: soccer, reading fantasy books, building Lego sets, playing video games
  • Needs room for a desk to do homework and art projects
  • Wants space for Legos, books, and awards/trophies
  • Likes cool, modern stuff and technology

The designer pinned pages from catalogs and printouts on Pinterest to start shaping the visual direction. She also gathered ideas from children’s stores, toy stores, and kids’ museums. Her research helped turn vague hopes and wishes into a defined creative brief.

Settling on a Design Concept

After completing her research, the designer presented a few initial concepts to her client and his parents. The ones that resonated incorporated a blend of grown-up modern elements with playful, youthful touches. Specifically, the client liked the idea of a soccer/sports theme combined with a bold graphic pattern as an accent.

The designer’s final design concept included these details:

  • Feature wall with geometric print reflecting client’s interest in bold patterns and math/science
  • Soccer references like pennants, wall stickers, fabric, and equipment storage
  • Modern furniture like floating desk and modular shelving
  • Pops of orange, the client’s favorite color
  • Incorporating client’s Legos collection into design
  • Space for displaying trophies and memorabilia

The young client was thrilled with the concept and ready for the designer to bring the room to life. His parents were pleased that it appropriately represented their son’s personality while keeping within their budget.

Selecting Materials and Finishes

An important step was choosing the right materials and finishes to execute the design concept while meeting the functional needs of a kid’s bedroom. The designer selected:

Flooring: Durable laminate flooring that resembled modern wood planks. Easy-to-clean and softer underfoot than actual hardwoods.

Walls: /Muted gray wall paint with one accent wall covered in an orange and white geometric print wallpaper. Easily changeable as boy gets older.

Ceiling: White ceiling painted to match other walls and highlight wallpaper as focal point.

Window treatments: Custom printed roller shades with pattern coordinating with accent wall. Provides privacy and blocks light.

Furniture: Floating desk, storage bed with drawers, colorful midcentury-style rug, modern bedside tables and sleek reading light. Emphasis on clean lines, durability and kid-friendly finishes/details. Custom built-in shelving for books, Legos and collectibles.

Accessories: Framed custom jersey, wall stickers, pennants, patterned throw pillows on bed. Pops of color and youthful accents.

Lighting: Ambient overhead light, task lighting at desk, and accent light behind shelving. Provides both form and function.

Bringing in Clever Design Touches

Once the foundation of the design was in place, the designer incorporated clever touches to add interest and tailor the room to the client’s personality:

  • Feature wallpaper extended inside closet for a bold pop of pattern
  • Framed collection displaying favorite Lego mini-figures on wall
  • Bedside table designed specially to house Legos and reading material

-Floating wall shelves for book collection at accessible height

  • Soccer ball pendant light over bed added playful touch
  • Map of London, the client’s favorite soccer team’s home city, as artwork
  • Custom upholstered desk chair in client’s favorite colors

Meeting Design Challenges

The designer faced some challenges pulling together the bedroom design. Sourcing all the custom elements within the budget and timeline proved difficult. She also had trouble finding desk chairs and lamps that appeal aesthetically to both kids and design-conscious parents. Additionally, she needed to make sure the scale and placement of everything was right for a 10-year-old.

With resourcefulness and commitment to the goal, the designer worked through every challenge. She tapped connections to get specialty items made affordably and bought key vintage pieces off Etsy. For the desk chair, she had an upholsterer make a custom slipcover to give character to an inexpensive chair frame. By shopping patiently, she scored great deals on lighting. Throughout the process, she solicited feedback from her client and made tweaks to ensure the room suited the needs and dimensions of a boy his age.

The Final Reveal

When the big day arrived, the designer was thrilled to reveal the finished bedroom to the client and his equally excited parents. The young boy was awestruck walking into the room for the first time and seeing his interests and personality reflected in every detail. Although it was his bedroom, the space had a cool, grown-up feel just the way he wanted.

The parents were grateful to the designer for creating such a functional, unique, and genuinely custom room. She had translated vague hopes and wishes into a fully realized space their son loved. It was clear how thoughtful each choice was, down to the perfectly sized bedside table for stashing Legos. The designer’s ability to manage the project skillfully from concept to completion resulted in a space her client would enjoy for years.

Key Takeaways from a Child Client Project

The experience designing a bedroom for a 10-year-old client taught the designer important lessons that can be applied to many interior design projects:

  • Research the client thoroughly and understand their unique needs.
  • Think long-term and design an adaptable, flexible space.
  • Add playful touches based on client personality and interests.
  • Solve functional problems with creative, customized elements.
  • Be extra patient and explain decisions to gain client trust.
  • Work diligently to source items that are both affordable and design-worthy.
  • Adjust scale and proportions to fit the client.
  • Keep key client goal pillars in mind: safety, function, budget.
  • Maintain design vision but allow tweaks to ensure client satisfaction.
  • Have fun and embrace the opportunity to create joy!

While a child client came with unique demands, the designer ultimately succeeded by sticking to core design principles combined with customized creative touches. The result was a space her client loved, and that made the challenges of the project worthwhile. For interior designers, there are always new lessons to learn, even from the youngest of clients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Designing for Child Clients

Q: What are some key things to keep in mind when designing a child’s bedroom?

A: When designing a child’s bedroom, remember to focus on durability, safety, a fun theme, adaptability, and easy-to-clean finishes. Also, get input directly from the child and make custom touches just for them.

Q: Should designers treat children clients differently than adult clients?

A: Designers should give child clients respect by soliciting their input and explaining the process, while also recognizing limitations in experience and communication compared to adults. Extra patience helps, but the goal is still to connect with and understand the client.

Q: How should a designer handle selecting finishes and furniture for a kid’s room?

A: Prioritize durability in all material and furniture choices for a child’s space. Soft textures and rounded edges add comfort and safety. Multifunctional and adaptable pieces allow the room to evolve over time. Vivid but mixable colors and patterns keep it fun.

Q: What are some good ways to add customized touches to a child’s room?

A: Customizer their space with their name, cool wall murals, special built-ins, personalized art/collages featuring their photos and artwork, meaningful accessories like favorite souvenirs, and DIY projects they can help create.

Q: How can designers work with tight budgets on kids’ room projects?

A: Buy quality key pieces, but save on accessories, bedding and smaller items that are easier to swap out later. Check resale sites for deals. Use creative low-cost solutions like repurposing furniture or displaying student art. Focus budget on what matters most to child.

In Conclusion: Key Tips for Designing a Child’s Bedroom

Designing for a child client brings wonderful rewards but also unique challenges. By following these tips, designers can create bedrooms that delight kids while teaching valuable lessons:

  • Get input directly from the child during design process
  • Incorporate plenty of storage for clutter containment
  • Include durable, kid-friendly finishes and furniture
  • Accommodate interests through colors, themes, and custom touches
  • Build in flexibility to adapt over years
  • Focus on safety from product selection to layout
  • Cater to child’s size scale with furniture and proportions
  • Work creatively to maximize limited budgets
  • Have patience and communicate clearly with child client
  • Most importantly, create a space that sparks joy!

This Designer’s Client Was Her 10-Year-Old Son: Key Takeaways

  • An interior designer took on the exciting challenge of designing a bedroom for her client’s 10-year-old son.
  • The project required extra creativity and patience compared to adult clients.
  • The designer researched the child’s interests and presented fun, age-appropriate design concepts.
  • She incorporated soccer themes, bold patterns, and modern furniture balanced with playful, customizable touches.
  • Sourcing affordable custom items and properly scaling the room were two difficulties overcome.
  • The finished bedroom delighted the young client by reflecting his personality.
  • Key lessons were staying patient, making safety a priority, and focusing on creating joy.
  • Interior designers can have enriching experiences designing for children if they follow core principles.