Dreamy Beds Dreamy Beds

Nothing is more soothing to parents' eyes than their sleeping sweet little toddler. Perhaps that's because they spend the past two and a half hours chasing this toddler around in attempts to get her ready for bed time.

To lure your kid out of the family room and into the bedroom, it may help to make the bedroom as magical a playland as you can. And the place to start is with the bed.

Tip: If you're pressed for cash, you can create your own wonderland with four tall rods, a roll of heavy twine, and a few swaths of gauzy material. First, attach the rods to the bedposts, by tying them and then securing with duct tape. Cover this by tying a small oblong, hemmed piece of the fabric around the bed post.

Next, after measuring the fabric, sew wide hems in each piece. Lace the heavy twine between the rods, creating "curtain rods" along the top of the bed, and thread the curtains with the twine. You'll end up with a canopy bed that evokes a princess' desert encampment.

If you have more money to spend and want to really jazz up the children's room, there are now several models of theme beds for kids, ranging from double-decker castles to race cars.

As always, the first step in deciding on the theme of the room is to talk to the kid in question. He or she should by all means be part of the decision.

Some beds are more versatile than others. Look for one which you'll be able to transform into a "regular" bed when your little one gets tired of sleeping in a tractor, or a sailboat, or a giant telephone.

Think about how much you want to push the theme of the room as dictated by the bed, and consider how easy or difficult that will be. For example, it may be easier to find wallpaper and accessories to match a farm theme than it will be to match a race car theme. But for the race car, for example, you could just paint the walls a bright red with a yellow racing stripe.

Other themes will be easy to emphasize. For example, if you choose a nautical theme, you can paint the walls a pale blue, and you can even paint clouds on the ceiling and a few fish on the walls. It will be easy to find nautical-themed curtains and other accessories.

A cleverly-designed whimsical bed could be just the ticket for taking your kid off to slumberland happily, without the bedtime battle.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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