CHILD'S PLAY

Rooms that grow with your little people

For children, a bedroom is their space which often feels magical to them, where they can play safely, happily and also do their homework. Getting the little people involved in decorating their bedrooms is a chance to distill their rainbow colored personality into a single and usually fairly small room. Chances are if they are proud of their rooms, they will tend to keep their little havens neat and tidy.

Children come with a lot of stuff and often living in the aftermath of a tornado of toys. Organization is key where it is all about creating order from the chaos without becoming a control freak. A huge plus is bedrooms with clever, inventive storage. The trick is to balance organization with plenty of bright, colorful, child-friendly fun. Beds with built-in storage, slim desks and bookshelves are all great ways to use every inch of space as efficiently as possible. Clever furniture and pops of color are neat enough to please the grown-ups while still being perfect for the kids.

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Opt for features that lasts such as a single bed which the child can use till early teens. For patterns, geometrics like stripes are timeless and effortlessly chic.

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For a girl's bedroom, consider classic details paired with plenty of neutrals for a modern edge.

planning the essentials

01 Theme and colour

Start with a colour scheme so that you can ensure any furniture or accessories you choose will work with your child's room. Ask your child if they have a colour preference. Agreeing on a shade with them helps them feel a connection to the space and makes it extra special to them.

If wallpaper is a preference, decide whether this will cover every wall or be a feature on one wall. Wallpaper can be a trickier option than paint, as themed designs may not always be trendy in years to come, and may need to be updated frequently.

Carpets are the ideal choice for a young child's room, as they provide cushioning for little ones if they fall. Go for vivid colours or patterns that will hide stains as there will be clumsy accidents and spillages! In later years, wood-effect laminates are a good option, affordable and easy to clean. All you need then is just add a rug for a bit of warmth.

02 Smart Furniture

Once the 'shell' of the room is sorted, it is time to focus on a suitable furniture. Think multi-tasking and long-lasting. Work out how much space you have and think about how it will function as your child grows up. A simple single bed in a classic style will last for years to come. Alternatively a themed bed, such as Thomas the Tank Engine or princess's castle, will be a real treat but your child will outgrow them fast.

Some beds have built-in desks and storage, which are brilliant in a compact space. For older children, loft-style beds are great and have room for a study area beneath. Where there's plenty of space for a separate desk, adjustable versions are helpful and can be raised as your child gets bigger.

Neutral finishes, such as natural wood, white painted wood or metal, and metallics are sensible choices because they complement almost any colour scheme if the room is later updated. Ideally, you do not want to change the furniture every time you change the colour scheme.

03 Storage is your friend

Every parent knows what it is like to stand on a Lego brick while walking through their child's room in bare feet. Or when you trip over yet another stuffed toy. Storage is important in every room, but never is it more vital than in kids' bedrooms. If you are not careful, the sheer amount of toys can get completely out of hand, so make storage boxes your friend. Clear plastic ones will let you see the contents of the box without having to rake through it, while beautifully patterned and colourful boxes add a decorative touch that completely disguises the contents. There are plus points to both.

For a neater display, choose boxes in the same sizes so they can be stacked on top of each other. Cubby-hole-type shelving units that accommodate boxes are useful, too. Cupboard space is essential as well, for clothes and toys. Plus a bookcase means all of your child's favourite reads will be close to hand.