Create a space that you'll love as much as they do, filled with plenty of practical solutions as well as fun touches, cute colour schemes and inspiration for growing imaginations
When planning a room for your child, there are a few simple rules that you should follow to ensure that you create a scheme that you and your child will love for many years to come.
Make sure your child’s room has plenty of natural light to ensure maximum brightness and to prevent young ones from straining their eyes. While the decor of your child’s bedroom should reflect his or her personality, it’s important not to get too lost in the worlds of bunnies, unicorns and dinosaurs. Focus age-sensitive themes on easy-to-update items like bedlinen, artwork, cushions and lampshades.
Establishing a blank canvas by using neutral colours on walls and floors is sensible, but it needn’t be bland. Bright white can be surprisingly effective. Combine with natural wood flooring and rattan storage containers for Scandi charm, or use it to bring the bold colours of children’s toys and bedding into sharp relief.
Buy the best quality furniture you can afford, preferably featuring solid timber that’s firmly constructed with durability in mind. Beds should be sized to fit an adult – toddler beds are really only a stop-gap measure. Some iron beds are also deemed unsafe for children under four due to the risk of head entrapment.
Want more children’s room inspiration? READ: Playroom ideas everyone will love
Did you know?
Although pink and blue are still used for girls and boys respectively, until 1940, pink was deemed best for boys, and blue for girls. no one knows what caused the change!
Use fabric creatively to inject an element of adventure. ‘Children adore the excitement of camping out in a tent, which can be simply recreated using a canopy hung from the ceiling on four hooks and a couple of wooden poles,’ says Claire Vallis, Design Director of Harlequin’s Style Library. ‘Make the canopy reversible with two different fabrics to change the feel of the room easily. Following the camping theme, beanbag covers and oversized floor cushions are perfect for bedtime stories and play dates. Add hooks, so they can be hung on the walls to keep the floor space free.’
Get the look
Buy now: Curtains and bedlinen, Sail Away, 120231, £35 m, Harlequin
Buy now: Blind, Boogie Woogie, 130766, £32 m, Harlequin
Buy now: Ceiling sail and cube, Check, 130783, £32 m, Harlequin
Buy now: Wallpaper, Sail Away, 110531, £36 for a 10m roll, Harlequin
Proving that you don’t need to go OTT with primary colours and plastic to appeal to younger children, this sweet room in soft greys with natural accents is understated yet playful. Layering textures, such as soft wool blankets and throws, faux fur stools and sisal rugs, will create a snuggly environment that’s conducive to sleep. The adorable outsized buttons can be switched for something more grown-up when the time comes.
Get the look
Buy now: Buttons single bed, £359, Barker and Stonehouse
Buy now: Buttons two-drawer bedside table, £165, Barker and Stonehouse
Buy now: Be Brave cotton wall banner, £8, Barker and Stonehouse
Fit for purpose
Country homes blessed with alcoves and nooks are ideal candidates for fitted bedroom furniture. ‘As fitted furniture is built to grow with your child, it’s important to take a flexible approach with the design,’ says Ashleigh Hanwell, Lead Creative at Kindred. ‘A den created with an adjustable curtain pole and tab-top curtains can be updated to a desk area, while a timeless Shaker-style door is a choice that suits all ages.’
Work with the space
With only one window and multiple angles, this cute attic bedroom presented an interesting design challenge for Megan Oliver, Associate Director at Godrich Interiors. ‘To make the space feel lighter and taller we created interest in and around the window,’ she says. ‘By using the same wallpaper for the ceiling and walls, attention is immediately drawn to the area in front of the window, which is the lightest part of the room. Classic panelling provides a welcome contrast against all the angles within the room.’
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Get the look
Buy now: Bespoke wallpaper, Collection Wall Mural (Vintage) range, Catherine Hammerton
Buy now: Similar bed, Evie day bed, £325, Feather & Black
Buy now: Bespoke canopy, £540, Violet & George
Sleep on storage
‘Children continuously accumulate new toys, clothes and books so it’s virtually impossible to have too much storage in their bedrooms,’ says Jonathan Warren, Director of Time4Sleep. ‘The beauty of choosing a bed with built-in storage is that you gain really useful, easily accessed space for stashing away belongings, without taking up floor space.’ The higher the bed, the more storage you’ll gain, but do think carefully about access, not least for ease of changing sheets.
Get the look
Buy now: Hudson cabin bed in white washed oak, £399, Time4Sleep
Make sure your child’s bedroom is sleepover-ready by investing in a bed that conceals a slide-out guest bed below. Some versions have extending legs that transform A single into a double, which may also prove indispensable when adult guests come to stay. ‘Bunk beds work well as they maximise floor space, leaving more room for play. Blue Almonds is our go-to for well-made, durable bunk beds, which are available with an optional curtain rail to create a fun den beneath,’ says interior designer Katharine Pooley. ‘I like to choose white or neutral coloured bunk beds and then add interest and detail through soft furnishings and patterned wallpaper.’ Mixing prints adds a fun dimension. Stick to a simple colour palette to keep it easy on the eye.
Get the look
Buy now: Classic bunk bed, £1,925, Blue Almonds
Buy now: Curtain rail, £75, Blue Almonds
Buy now: Children’s bedrooms design, from £20,000, Katharine Pooley
Need bedroom inspiration for older children? READ: Teenage boys’ bedroom ideas for sleep, study and socialising
A softly padded bed offers a luxurious look to a child’s bedroom and protection against any bumps in the night. ‘An upholstered bed may ring alarm bells when thinking of maintenance, but in fact they can be cosy, super-comfy and easy to keep clean,’ says Jacqueline Dunton, Founder and Creative Director of Sweetpea & Willow. ‘Make sure you choose a durable fabric with a high rub count. It is also worth looking out for additional fabric protection.’
Get the look
Buy now: Petite Laurent bed, from £1,300, Sweetpea & Willow
Lights can make or break a room, and for a child’s space there are many more details that are worth considering. For night lights with a difference, consider adding fibre optics above the bed to create your child’s very own starry sky. ‘They can be left on overnight at a low level to provide reassurance if your child doesn’t like the dark,’ says Sian Parsons, Senior Designer at John Cullen Lighting.
How will you be decorating your space?