CoolKids Furniture themes
Design Ideas for Forest Theme
Artist's rendering of a room with the Forest theme.
Behind the farmyard, through the creaking gate, one followed the trout stream which one occasionally had to cross and recross on stepping stones and fallen logs. Steep banks rose on either side and little waterfalls happily poured pure sweet water into the mysterious deep pools below. The trees unexpectedly began to shut out the sunlight as we hurriedly picked our way through the blackberry brambles, their fruit almost ripe, to the magic clearing in the forest. We had heard stories about the Freezia Fairies who lived in the little mossy caves under ledges and gnarled tree roots in the forest. If they didn't feel threatened (and if they liked you), they would come out to play, all dressed in billowing lilac, yellow or rust red dresses, with matching caps and bonnets tipped with green. They were said to dance in the moonlight in their fairy circle, which was fringed with tall red and white toadstools, and sing in melodious tinkling voices. I had my doubts about this tall tale, but here indeed was the fairy circle, unmistakable, with its mossy floor and attendant spotted mushrooms. Expectantly, we sat down to wait, breathing in the delicious perfume from the beautiful carpet of freezias and the heady flowering eucalypts.
A quiet excitement pervades the very idea of a forest. The earth has its own old magic that is truly tangible in the half light of the forest floor. This theme affords a gentle but rich level of stimulation: A wonderful inspiration for narrative and role play, it has been the favored setting of many a children's author. Full of opportunities for learning an imaginary walk through the forest reveals a treasure trove of plants and animals, insects and flowers to examine and study: The birds and butterflies, the rabbits and frogs, the deer and the dragonflies, the bears, raccoons, squirrels, mice and indeed perhaps even the unicorn, munching away on lush vegetation.
Infant: Soft greens and duck egg blue, sunshine yellow and butterfly pink
Toddler: Rainbow shades.
Child: Robin's breast red, lush green, buttercup yellow and deep crocus.
Teen: Forest green, blackberry reds and purples, wild iris mauves and mushroom white.
Opportunities for Learning:
The names of climbing plants, wild flowers, medicinal herbs, trees and fern, types of moss and mushroom. Learning about plants and animals is a fantastic study that can occupy a whole childhood or indeed a whole life. In preparation for designing the room, you may want to begin with a visit to the library; pick animals and plants that appeal to the rooms inhabitant(s) - learning where they are found and the conditions in which they like to grow. The theme itself can be used to encourage children to learn to respect and love nature, and to find inspiration in its beauty and magic. These capacities will afford them considerable pleasure throughout life. Furthermore adults who can still allow themselves to believe in a little magic, are likely to be that much more aware of it when it makes its appearance in later life.
Comforting and Reassuring:
Introducing cute insects in the form of cuddly toys and rocking animals. Bringing these creatures into the home and the heart of a young child will ensure that later encounters with the real thing, are made less frightening or stressful. Learning to be at ease with 'creepy crawlies' and to be able to look for the beauty in the half light of natures hidden glories, without fear of the unfamiliar.
The forest is all about wood and earth, if we are lucky there will be a pond or a stream or a river flowing through it. The element that is most notably lacking is fire / metal, so consider a mural set in a clearing rather than deep in among the trees, or better still, a mural with a scene of a clearning, from among the trees. Either of these will afford an opportunity to introduce a nice big, bright image of the sun. For a little extra fire energy you might want to introduce a metal bed perhaps.
Budget vs Time and Talent:
Find a store with a good selection of silk plants and go wild - There are some really amazing (very persuasive) faux plants available - look out for ferns, wild roses, blackberries and orchids, ivy and moss, fresias, daffodils and mushrooms with which to decorate the room.
Bunk beds may be turned into tree houses or camouflaged hides for watching animals. If a hammock can be safely hung from ceiling beams, low enough so that no-one gets hurt, it might be a fun idea. A splendid mural with birds, butterflies, dragonflies, squirrels, bunnies etc. would of course be the real glory of a forest themed room.
One can make a great headboard, like an old farm gate, out of dry branches, some fairly straight and others contorted. Experiment until you find a combination that works and assemble it sturdily so that it can be hung on the wall or fixed to a frame. It can be decorated with silk leaves, flowers, brambles etc.