Small children’s room ideas – to create a space your child will love

Don't let space issues keep your kids from having a bright, lovely bedroom

Looking for small children’s room ideas? Small children’s rooms can be a challenge when it comes to decorating. We all want our kids to have a bright, uncluttered place to play and do homework, but they’ve often been stuck with the smaller or oddly-shaped rooms due to space issues. Not to worry: with a little bit of inspiration, it can be easy and inexpensive to turn these into fun, attractive, and organised spaces.

Whether you are looking for girls’ bedroom ideas or boys’ bedroom ideas, it is important to start with the essentials: bed and storage. From here, there is plenty of opportunity to indulge in charming decoration and that crucial bit of extra aesthetic effort. Although the possibility of your child growing out of a design should be considered, there’s nothing to stop you from making sure they have their own lovely space for both rest and creativity.

Want more children’s room ideas? Take a look at our dedicated children’s room landing page for more advice

Read on for our top tips for decorating a small children’s room.

1. Create more floor space with a high rise bed

small children's room ideas 1

Image credit: Jeremy Lawrence

Floor space is precious in a kids room, it’s the building zone for lego, trains, fairy kingdoms, and hours of fun. In a small room keep the footprint of the bed small by using a high rise bed. In this room the space under the bed has been turned into a lounging den for reading. As your child grows up this space can be adjusted to house extra storage for clothes or a desk.

2. Leave space for a built in desk

small children's room ideas 2

Image credit: Ti-Media

In a small room built in storage can be a life saver in making sure the room feels spacious for your child, but still fits all their belongings in. When fitting a built in wardrobe alone one wall, leave a small cut out for a slim laptop desk. A board like the one in this room can be added above the desk to attach pencil pots, lamps and even a house plant to. This will help leave the desk clear so there is plenty of space for them to do their homework.

3. Put a peg rail above the bed

small children's room ideas 3

Image credit: David Brittain

It is important to make use of all the wall space so that you can keep the floor as free as possible. The space over the bed is often only used for wall art and stickers, but double this up as extra storage by placing a peg rail over it. Your child will be able to to grab their dressing gown as soon as they step out of bed, and they’ll never be able to complain about loosing their PE bag again.

4. Paint floorboards a similar colour to the walls

small children's room ideas 4

Image credit: Colin Poole

From looking at this room you would never be able to guess the size of it. Despite the tent that has be squeezed into the corner this room looks far from cluttered. This is thanks to the light colour scheme which has been extended from the walls to the floorboards. Carpets might feel a more natural choice in a kids room, but the bare floorboards make the space feel more spacious than it is, you also have the option to play around with rugs.

5. Swap bookshelves for floating shelves

small children's room ideas 5

Image credit: Colin Poole

If you’re child is a keen room, but their small room means there isn’t enough space for a proper book shelf, try installing some floating shelves. They might not be able to hold up the last few Harry Potter books, but anything less than 300 pages should be fine. It is also a great way to create a feature wall in a small space that is functional and stylish.

6. Keep the colour scheme balanced

Small children's room ideas

Image credit: Colin Poole

Small rooms can become easily overwhelmed by clutter and busy colour, leaving them feeling cramped. For this reason, it pays to keep a compact space white, but this doesn’t mean colour and pattern can’t be used to add fun and character. Window treatments and bedding are the perfect vehicles for colourful scenes and patterns, and will bring the bed and blinds or curtains into sharp relief in a white room. Add scatter cushions and rugs to increase the impact. Alternatively, knock colour back to a few key accessories, such as table lamps or wall art for a more controlled scheme. Bear in mind that objects and toys targeted at children are often brightly coloured or patterned, so that once the room is a little more lived-in it may appear more balanced than when first painted.

7. Buy the right bed

Small children's room ideas

Image credit: David Brittain

Often the focal point of the room, the bed is a crucial consideration. Traditional bunk-beds are the perfect space-saver if you have a small room shared permanently by two children. It is also worth considering buying children’s rather than adult-size furniture, as one way of increasing floor space. This bed, for example, can be bought in narrower and shorter sizes. However, you will need to weigh this up against the added expense of having to buy again once your child outgrows everything.

Whichever path you choose, make the bed feel specifically incorporated into the design, rather than a functional necessity. Paint colour can be used to add interest to a backing plain wall and play-off a simple design. This mountain scape in warm orange is a lovely addition and makes a feature of the open shelf and the bed below, complimenting the pale wooden furniture. A thought-out decorating style keeps a room from feeling too untidy.

8. Limit wallpaper to one wall

Small children's room ideas

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

With so many adorable options out there for children’s wallpaper, it’s easy to fall in love with some bright, bold pattern. Don’t despair: although simpler is generally better with small spaces, it can be done. If you keep the print to one wall and ground it with furniture in front, you can achieve both cute and charming. The rest of the room should be relatively simple in contrast, but with some smaller spots of vibrancy to keep the scheme balanced, ideally picking out and continuing a colour. Here, the orange bedside lamp calls back to the orange wings of the owls, and the patchwork quilt has detailing which harks back to the blue.

9. Assess the shape of the room

small children's room ideas 6

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Awkwardly shaped rooms can be tricky to decorate. Make use of alcoves by building in storage like the shelves and drawers in this room – think about going bespoke if you are struggling to find something that fits. Instead of a bed frame opt for a futon or low platform bed that can be slotted under a lower cieling.

If your room is in the eaves, squeeze in  few bean bags into the corners to make a cosy lounging area. Any beams can also be used to attach rails or pegs for clothes, instead of trying to wrestle a wardrobe into the room. Make a splash in the room my fitting a hanging chair to the highest ceiling point in the centre of the room, just make sure you hang it from a sturdy bean.

10. Invest in multi-use furniture

Small children's room ideas

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Cramming too many things into a small room is a sure-fire way to feel claustrophobic. Because of this, it’s important to prioritise what your child needs and what they don’t. Children’s clothes don’t require full-length hanging space so a half-wardrobe, half-drawer option can be a real winner in a small room. Here, a small desk doubles as a bedside table, with a chair that can be used both by mum for a bedtime story, and by child for homework or colouring-in. The soft contrast between the pink and the blue colour scheme keeps the eye moving around the room so it doesn’t feel stagnant.

Always measure carefully when ordering furniture and hunt down a piece that matches your measurements as closely as possible.

11. Make the most of high ceilings

Small children's room ideas

Image credit: Colin Poole

If floor-space is small but the ceiling is quite high, drawing attention to the latter can make the space feel roomier than it essentially is. The best way to do this is with choice, trailing decorations that draw the eye in specific places without making the room unbalanced. Here, a string of fun, brightly-coloured spherical lights lifts the attention away from any potential playtime clutter on the floor and towards the clean, high walls. Fun alternatives could be butterflies on a invisible wire that seem to fly away, or cute hanging charms round a light fixture. Do be cautious: such decorations should be few but pointed, or else the room feels too crammed with embellishments.

Will you be using these small children’s room ideas to give your child’s room a magical makeover?

Written by Izzy Palmer and Jennifer Ebert

All the latest from Ideal Home