When I saw the home makeover competition being run by Tots100 & ratedpeople.com I knew I had to enter it!
You see, the prize money of £2,500 to makeover a room in your house would enable us to do things that are currently far beyond our reach. My home is far from perfect, in fact its not in particularly good shape at all. I won’t even show you pictures of our half missing ceiling in the living room (yes its fell down twice almost killing us) and I’m still waiting for the second repair. However its not repairs for my living room that I have on my mind, nor is it the thought of a beautifully decorated home… No no! It’s actually the children’s rooms, especially that of the little mans.
It pains me to show you any pictures of my sons room. It’s horrid and its current state is not helping his sensory needs or that of his sleeping problems. But as I’m seriously struggling to pay for this room to be fixed up (on top of others) I feel I actually cannot afford to miss this opportunity and therefore must. Firstly let me explain some of our issues. We discovered his ceiling was actually made from Polystyrene which is a serious fire hazard so needed ripping down. Of course it was hiding something! His walls are also crumbling and the housing fixed the floor board by covering it up with rubbish hard board which has staples all over it.
Ok… I’m doing it I’m actually uploading the horror for the world to see…
Little man has Aspergers Syndrome with sensory processing difficulties within all areas of his senses. His also a very poor sleeper. For us this would be so much more than a nicely decorated 12 year old boys bedroom! It would be our sons sanctuary, a bedroom come sensory room! This is something that would make a significant difference In his life and that of ours, his family. I honestly believe it would improve his extremely poor sleeping pattern and therefore mend mine a little.
I have so many ideas when it comes to the creation of Little mans sensory room. It would be an environment that provides him with a very laid back, chilled out space. It would be filled with things to help relax him, therefore enhancing his moods, providing sensory stimulation and importantly a great nights sleep. We know sensory rooms are a key part of little mans school routine and we know such a space could change a lot of behaviours and difficulties. I’ve tried my best to make it as inviting as possible but in all honesty at the moment its a poorly used space that as you can see, isn’t fit for use… A few sensory lights are all he currently has to jazz. It up
Below are some of my ideas…
Colour: its very important for us to ensure little mans room is very visually inviting. Bright colours are something that form a big part of this vision.
Foam mats: Little man is really into WWE Wrestling at present and its a very intense (special) interest. This means that he is forever acting out the moves displayed by his favourite wrestler. He currently has no carpet and the noise is unbelievably loud. He throws himself around the room like crazy regardless of the hour (neighbours have actually felt the need to knock at 4 am). The mats would be perfect for his sensory room. He would be safer (less bumps and bruises) and our house may just stop vibrating giving us a pleasant relationship with the neighbours!
Teen style: Its important that regardless of little mans needs and that of his room having a sensory element to it, his room still has that stylish WOW factor about it. He is 12 years old and well on his way to becoming a teenage boy. He wants a room that don’t only provide sensory comfort but looks the part too! This is why I’ve chosen the super cool sliding door wardrobe, he would absolutely love this.
Mood Lighting: A massive part of any sensory room is its lighting.The lighting in the collage background above is LED night lighting which I know he would love. His a big fan of the lava lamp and the one above would fit perfectly. As you can see from both the above image and that of the one below, a variety of mood lighting is the key to the creation of a great sensory room.
Cool down area: With the addition off some cushions, bean bags and a little dim lighting you find you have created the perfect chill out space. What’s great about a sensory room is how you have the one room yet a number of different spaces within it. A sensory room is designed to be calming and inviting. But it can provide a space designed to stimulate the body and mind. The chill-out space in itself would be the ideal place to help little man shake of any stress or simply recover following a meltdown.
Hammock: The hammock would help little man with the difficulties he experiences due to his out of sync vestibular sense. This means that he often experiences poor body awareness (where his body is within space) A great way to describe this feeling would be to imagine what it feels when you go on a fairground ride that throws your body about in all directions, lifting your feet of the ground at speed or dropping you from a great hight. A hammock or swing would actually work as a therapeutic aid as well as a relaxing space.
The sensory curtain in the above picture is fantastic. Little man recently saw one like this at an expedition and instantly took to it! It’s a very tactile curtain and would be an ideal feature for his very own sensory room.
As for the bed, again i’ve taken into account his need for a stylish space as well as a sensory one. This bed is fantastic! It continues on the bight colour theme what with its striking green wood and very modern design. It’s also a great bed in terms of storage (something his room is currently lacking). I’ve also chose the funky tall unit with brightly coloured storage boxes to store all them wrestling figures and truck loads of Lego.
One of my favourite aspects of a sensory room is how tactile they can be. Little man is very tactile defensive and needs a lot of tactile input to help him adapt and improve his tactile sense. Given he loves Lego the idea of a Lego wall is a great one. It’s very tactile and will further enhance his imagination.
I’ve really enjoyed pulling my ideas together for this challenge. I’ve had them floating around in my head for the last few years and although certain elements have slightly changed (like chosen items and colours) the overall desire to create such a wonderful space remains very much the same.
As a self diagnosed pin head, pinterest is yet another place you can find more of my sensory and autism related boards! I’ve also created one especially for this competition. You can find it by clicking Here
So… There you have it… Our current dream of a sensory room and some very shabby existing interior.
Please note: If like myself you are wanting to create a sensory room, I recently discovered a post on a blog called PlayPennies on creating sensory rooms on a budget. Really worth a look.
Disclaimer: This post is my entry into the Tots100 and RatedPeople.com Home Decor Competition.