We're lucky enough to be working on a particularly interesting project at the moment. A childcare centre! Technically speaking it is a commercial project but none of the rules apply it would seem. Of course everything needs to be safe and sturdy to provide a good environment for our young ones but there the similarities stop. On the other hand the finishes and materials need to be extra sturdy, even more than what they would be in a "regular" commercial project. I like to joke that tsunamis, tornadoes and young children are most destructive forces in the world. And the first two stop after they've wreaked havoc. Our kids are amazing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, but if there's a weakness they will find it. Ha! Those exploratory little fingers stop at nothing. An in doing so they melt our hearts.
So when it comes to designing their space we think safety first, colour scheme later, nightlights last. And funny enough we often don't think about lighting too much when it comes to furnishing the kids bedroom, do we? Even then if comes as an afterthought. General lighting and maybe a table lamp. A cute one.
Cannot help but wonder what other lights I could use. Hmmmm... Let's see....
When it comes to lighting a kids room the same rules should apply. Identify task lighting, ambient/general lights and accents. I know it can be hard to imagine task lighting in a nursery but I only need to mention nappy change table and you get the idea. Another important task lighting is needed in the robes or drawers where you keep the clothes and/or toys. You will most likely need some small table lamp for reading stories and the like and you'd probably want to keep it low key as bulk of the story reading happens in the evening just before bed. There's plenty of options readily available in all furniture and kids things shops.
Now when it comes to general lighting most people would jump at the fixed angle downlights preferably with broad beam angles or - God forbid - the old fashioned oyster lights. This bathes the room with light and reduces the shadows. Admittedly, it has its advantages but may not be the only option. I prefer to treat the kids room like any other thus focusing on lighting the vertical surfaces. This way, the room appears brighter - yes brighter than with previous options and has a pleasant ambient.
When I say vertical surfaces I am not referring to walls only but also to cupboards and robes so if you happen to have tall robes with light coloured finish you may combine the task lighting with lighting the vertical surfaces. Essentially killing two birds with one stone. AS mentioned before the only thing that one needs to take into account is the colour of the wall/robe. If the surface is dark, lighting it may not be ideal for the overall light levels.
In the perfect world I would get a flexible option. A good looking omni light (light fitting that has glow more than direction) and lights that would shine onto the wall or into robe. That way I could alternate and adapt to all shades (pun intended) of vibrant and busy day in kids life. As for the decorative lights, sky is the limit to the imagination.
However if you feel you're not up to the task just ask an expert. We're always happy to help.
(Image source : DHgate.com )
(Memory Baloon light by John Moncrieff)