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On Parenting
Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 08/11/2011

Keep the door open on kids’ rooms

Kids’ rooms were traditionally the afterthought of the house. Decorate away in the living room. Design a mini retreat in the bathroom. Transform the bedroom into an oasis of calm. But the kids’ room? That repository of single cleats and gerbil cages? Just keep that door shut.
Children’s room designed by Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey for Washington Design Center’s Spring Design House. Cavin-Winfrey is also a judge for the Kid’s Room Contest. (Washington Design Center)

Not anymore. Parents are increasingly looking to make their children’s spaces both functional and reflective of the aesthetic in the rest of the home. When my husband and I set out to overhaul our girls’ room this summer, we were astonished by the sheer amount of serious attention kids’ rooms are getting from magazines, retailers and amateur enthusiasts.

Take Dwell magazine’s July/August issue devoted to children’s rooms and play spaces. A feature shows kids romping through beautiful, functional rooms with features that are both fun and inexpensive. Design and parenting blogs, too, have fueled the interest as parents trade tips on everything from fitting in a third bunk bed to accommodating a teen’s electronics to hacking Ikea furniture.

If you, too, have tackled the kids’ rooms, now’s the time to show off.

Today, The Post is launching an online Kid’s Room Contest. Editors are looking for the best-designed kids’ rooms: “lively, engaging and fun rooms that are good-looking and meet the child’s needs, whether he or she is an infant, school-age, a tween or a teen.”

The room must belong to a child and cannot be decorated by a professional. Enter by submitting five high-resolution photos online by Sept. 23. The winner will be featured in a fall issue of the Local Living section.

More details are in today’s Local Living section and at

By  |  01:00 PM ET, 08/11/2011

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