Designing for kids is a totally different ballgame (here come the sports metaphors! He loves sports). It drives me nuts when I see designers spend a lot of other people's money on things that a kid will hate in 3-4 years: literal themey stuff like Dinosaurs! Pirates! Princesses!, furniture that can't grow with them (size wise but also in function; multi-use furniture is the way to go), and infantilizing decor (let's be honest, pastel cuddly stuff is for parents, not babies).
Jake is a sports fanatic. Like, he could rival my most rabid Red Sox fans friends on any given day, and that is saying a lot. What I love about his fandom is how un-jock, un-bro it is. He loves to dress up in his team jerseys, changing them out several times in an hour, he watches televised softball games and can discuss the differences in pitching between it and baseball, when we play catch it is with seriousness and purpose, AND he still sucks his thumb while cuddling with his blankie. I wanted to design his room to honor of all of these things without making it look like a literal recreation of a locker room or what have you. However, it couldn't be so subtle that Jake didn't see the sportsyness in his new room as 4 year olds are not known for their comprehension of subtlety and he definitely wanted a sportsy room.
When I met him, Jake's room was fine. It had the basics, a furniture arrangement that made the room feel smaller than it is and no finesse. His parents were hilariously upfront about how much they don't know about setting up a room, something I appreciate in clients more than anything. Knowing what you don't know is the best thing to know.
We started with the floor plan. The first problem was the bed placement. Having a twin bed in a 10 x 12 room jut out into the middle of the floor obstructed traffic flow and divided the room into two weird spaces that didn't function well, especially for a kid. Adults like to have space on both sides of the bed but kids don't need it, and in fact they like closed-in spaces that feel less exposed (think forts, bunkbeds, etc.)