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Four reasons to fall in love with this children’s bedroom

Activity zones designed into the space make this bedroom multifunctional.

Bedroom with skylight over a bunk bed

When Amy Matthews began thinking about designing her forever home, the 2021 This Old House Modern Barnhouse, she knew her son’s bedroom needed to be more than just a room for sleeping. It needed to give him options for studying, playing with friends or having extended family visits.

“I think the best thing you can do for kids is to give them a space that has its own uniqueness and let them do what they want with it,” she said. “Having a 15-foot ceiling allowed me a lot of height to play with. It's almost like the room has two levels.”

And with two levels, Matthews created a wonderfully whimsical room that her now elementary school-aged son has plenty of room to grow into. Read more about designing bedrooms that age gracefully as the child grows older.

Here are four things we love about this children’s bedroom.

Built-in desk

Matthews used reclaimed wood she found in the barn on the property to create a built-in desk in the room’s southeast corner nook, which has a grey accent wall. Simple, but beautiful in form, the nook desk provides a place for focused schoolwork or for creative activities and will be as useful today as when he’s in high school.

“I wanted him to have an area where he could focus,” she said. “I wanted the desk area to be a nice dark nook with really cool, moody, interesting lighting in there.

Built in desk bedroom grey wall plant

Bunk bed

Fun and functional, the bunk bed makes it easy to have friends sleep over or handle extra house guests when the extended family visits.

Loft area

Using the ceiling of the closet in the next room, Matthews built a small loft accessible by a rolling ladder. This fun hideaway is ideal for reading or playing video games.


Bedroom skylight shades closed

Natural light and fresh air

A skylight and a large window fill the bedroom with natural light and fresh air, a good idea because children’s rooms are known to have the worst indoor air quality in the home. Natural light and views of trees also provide a strong connection to the natural world, something increasingly missing from our lives.

Inspired by the skylights in the This Old House Modern Barnhouse? Sign up for a chance to win two VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights with shades and installation for your home by entering the VELUX Skylight Sweepstakes.

Next: 3 Interior Design Lessons from Emily Henderson’s Mountain House

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