I'm a decor expert and Mum- these are my tips to future-proof a kids room

I share my simple recipe to achieve an inspiring yet timeless kids bedroom to take them from toddler to teen

Kids bedroom with open shelving storage with toys and baskets
(Image credit: English Blinds)

There is a certain kind of joy when it comes to decorating a childrens room

It's one that starts before they are born when looking into nursery ideas, imagining who your little one will be and continues as they quickly grow up and their own funny, little personalities blossom.

Sure, it would be nice to change up their room decor as often as their tastes change, but unless you have a bottomless pit of cash (and have no regard for sustainability) it's not a viable option.

But nailing a timeless kids bedroom, one that can adapt with them as they grow, is tricky. 

Luckily I am on hand to guide you, with my fail-safe 'cheatsheet' of essential ingredients to create an inspiring, restful and stylish kids bedroom, that won't date too quickly, that you can tick off as you go.

My tips for a timeless kids bedroom 

kids room with painted orange wall mural of mountains

(Image credit: Future Plc/Dominic Blackmore)

With over 12 year of experience working on Interior Magazines, and a degree in Interior Design, I know my way around a successful room refresh. Every space in my home has seen a slow, yet complete DIY overhaul to create the bright, comfortable and colourful home that works for me and my family.

I'm also a mum to one very energetic toddler, (with another little one on the way) so I know how quickly children grow both physically and mentally and keeping up with these changes can be a lot. 

My little boys bedroom began life as our guest bedroom, which I'd already decorated in quite a neutral scheme. So I decided to keep the spotty Sandberg monochrome wallpaper we already had up and just add in a couple of cute, colourful wall hangings and a fun, spotty rug. Nearly 3 years later, the room hasn't dated for us or him, so I'm glad I stuck to a fairly sophisticated theme.

So if you're looking to create your own timeless kids bedroom, no matter if they have a small kids room or large, these are the design ingredients you need to do it. 

1. A built-in bed

A built in bed in a kids room with curtains hanging on either side and cushion that looks like a boob

(Image credit: Future Plc/Tim Young)

A built-in bed is ideal for rooms with limited floor space, as you can make the most of the room's height and stack storage below the high sleeper bed instead. Everything from toys, clothes and shoes can be stashed inside meaning you won't need to squeeze in a wardrobe idea too. 

Here we added custom ply doors to standard kitchen Metod base units, from £35 each and Maximera drawers, from £32 each, both IKEA, which rather than being painted to match a scheme that could date, have been left bare. 

Hanging curtains will turn it into a cosy den for younger children, or give older children a sense of privacy. Try to avoid character-featuring bedding (sorry Paw Patrol) and instead opt for something with a sweet pattern and pop of colour for a timeless kids bedroom. 

2. Their own study station

A green painted kids bedroom with white desk and desk chair and dinosaurs dotted around the room

(Image credit: Little Folks Furniture)

Give them a dedicated spot for doodling, crafting and for older kids, homework, so you can (try to) confine the chaos to one place, as well as free up your own home office desk, or more likely, the kitchen table. 

Choose a plain desk like the Fargo desk in pure white, £275, Little Folks Furniturewith some storage built-in, like a couple of drawers or a cubby space for keeping colouring books and stationery. 

While they are younger (and less likely to keep still for very long) a simple wooden chair will suffice for sitting on, but once they get a little older, a more supportive desk or gaming chair might be worth investing in instead.

3. Stylish wall art

Childrens bedroom with storage unit of toys and three jungle themed prints on the wall

(Image credit: Abstract House)

Bring some personality into the room with prints in matching frames. Opt for cheerful animals, like this selection, from £28 each, Abstract House, geometrics or simple motifs and hang them in pairs or sets of three for the most pleasing arrangement. 

Alternatively, a gallery wall or a picture ledge looks great displaying a few framed pieces of your little ones own artwork, as well as some favourite toys dotted along it too. While wall art is something that can be changed fairly easily and inexpensively, choose designs that match the colour scheme of the room and aren’t too garish.

4. Blackout blinds

Kids room with planet print roller blind and climbing wall

(Image credit: English Blinds)

Those with sleep-adversed youngsters will know the importance of a blackout blind, especially in the middle of summer when it’s still light outside at bedtime. 

If your windows allow for it, fit a patterned roller blind, from £27.99, English Blinds inside the recess to ensure a snug fit that blocks the maximum amount of light, a great option for keeping direct sun glare off a screen during gaming, movie sessions or while doing homework too. 

While roller blinds are super easy to operate so older kids can adjust them themselves, just be aware of any pull cords and chains that might attract younger children and make sure they are either completely out of reach or meet the highest child safety standards.

5. A secret reading nook

Billy bookcases facing each other to make a reading den in a kids room with fabric canopy over the top

(Image credit: Future Plc/Tim Young)

No matter how energetic your kids are, providing them with a calming space to read, listen to music or just chill out with friends will (help) encourage a bit of downtime at the end of the day. 

Instead of placing Billy bookcases, £35 each, Ikea against a wall, face them towards each other to create a special shelving den. Suspend floaty fabric over a swing curtain pole for a magical hideaway canopy, letting it drape to the floor for a fairytale-feel. This can easily be removed as they get older and the units turned back against the wall if a den isn't something that excites them any more.

If space is tight, swap one unit for the back of a bed head, or if kids are sharing, assign them a shelf each, hanging individual hooks at the end for cherished personal belongings or favourite toys. 

6. Accessible storage

Kids bedroom with open shelving storage with toys and baskets

(Image credit: Future Plc/Tim Young)

Encourage children to help with tidying away toys and books at the end of a play session, with a slim toy storage unit like the Oeuf mini library shelving system, £695, Nubie featuring a combination of doors and open shelves, so you can choose what stays out on show and what gets hidden away. 

Don’t make the shelving too high, as you don’t want little ones reaching or climbing to get something they want, and always ensure it’s attached securely to the wall so it won’t topple over. As interests change over time, swap out toys for photos of mates, prized possessions and wireless speakers.

7. Simple wall mural

kids room with painted orange wall mural of mountains

(Image credit: Future Plc/Dominic Blackmore)

A wall mural is a simple way to bring some colour and personality into a kids room, that is relatively easy and cost effective. Plus if they decide they don't love it as much in a few years time, you can easily paint over it (or even better, have them paint over it themselves!).

To achieve a mountain range scheme like this one, choose a cheery paint colour, like Friendly Peach matt emulsion, £42 for 2L, Yes Colours then simply use a ruler and pencil to draw tall triangles above half way up the wall. Paint the triangles and wall below in your chosen shade, leaving the rest of the wall white.

If you're feeling a bit more creative, take inspiration from this Mums diy rainbow mural and create something really special.

So there you have it, my cheatsheet of ideas for creating a timeless kids bedroom, so that you can create a space your little one will love both now, and as they grow to be not-so little ones anymore. 

Holly Walsh
Content Editor

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.