Inside Out (Australia)
Sick of plastic playrooms and mismatched mess? Follow our tips to find your child’s stylish new room
Ditch the Disney merch and mismatched clutter.c Here’s how to create a child’s bedroom you’ll actually like
1 bespoke bunks
space-saving, flexible sleeping It’s the age-old question – where to put your kids’ pals when it comes time for lights out? Sure, an air mattress will do the trick, as will a trundle. But for a more permanent option – ensuring you’ll never be caught out when a play date turns into an overnighter – bespoke bunks are worth considering. Built-in and sturdy, these aren’t the rattling, swaying bunks we grew up with. By building upwards rather than outwards, you won’t need to compromise on all-important floor space. Incorporate shelving or storage into the build, or a larger double bed on the bottom – perfect for when grandparents come to stay.
2 make the connection
a seamless extension When planning a kid’s room, it can be tempting to choose soft, fluffy items with very short use-by dates. One way to ensure your kids’ spaces will remain relevant after they’ve outgrown the baby phase (and perhaps even graduated to the tweens!) is to allow your home’s existing style to influence their space, including art, furniture, the colour palette and soft furnishings. It may be a case of hanging similar artworks to what appears in your living space, or carrying on a vintage theme. Ensure that your kids’ personalities can shine through, perhaps in the bedding, toys or books they choose to display.
3 retro playroom
nostalgia meets primary colours for a fun space If the thought of a plastic-filled room sends shivers down your spine, consider upcycling. Lovingly restored wooden seats and a lick of paint on an old table will create a playful look the kids will love, but that won’t assault your senses. Grandparents can be an untapped source for furniture in need of a new life, and the added sentimental element won’t be lost while watching your children play with the items that might have come from your childhood bedroom. If you’re game, allow the kids to help in the sanding and painting of the new-old pieces.
4 palette perfection
select a colour to follow through the space Kids’ rooms can be many things – messy, a mismatch of themes, a confusion of colour. To ensure a considered look, give the kids a chance to pick their favourite colours, then tone it down to suit the overall look of your home. If neutral is your preference, plain bedcovers and natural floorcoverings are a clever choice. To avoid overwhelming the space, choose one area to play up, such as a feature wall or shelving display. Opt for graphic wallpaper or a painted pattern and build the rest of the room around it. Keep window coverings plain and steer clear of multicoloured clutter.
5 small-space solutions
fit all the basics, even in a smaller room Ever seen a ‘must buy’ list for a baby’s nursery? You’d be forgiven for thinking you need an additional three rooms just to house it all. The reality is, with some space-saving hacks, you can fit everything you need with ease. Multitasking furniture is essential, such as a cot with attachments that allow you to also use it as a change table and even a bath. Shelves are a lifesaver, making the most of bare walls to keep clutter tucked away. A monochrome palette will visually expand your space, with the black accents adding depth.
6 arts & crafts
create a special nook Whether it’s filling a sticker book, finger-painting or moulding Play-Doh, giving kids their own special workspace is a good idea, as it keeps grown-up zones clear of mess. An unused corner or under-stairs area with plenty of natural or artificial light will do the trick. Get your hands on a small table – don’t spend a fortune because it will inevitably be covered in paint, glue and glitter – some stools and plenty of storage. Get creative with wall shelving, crates and a pinboard to display their masterpieces, and avoid carpet or rugs to make the clean-up quick and easy.
7 personal spaces
highlighting passions & hobbies Nurture growing minds with a room tailor-made to their passions. If they’re consumed by adventure, a world map and treasure chest of toys will inspire their imagination, while nature-lovers will adore a forest-inspired space. Team printed wallpaper with a timber-framed bed to create a magical, mysterious canopy overhead. Natural textures, a colourful mobile and playful accessories and toys will complete the look.
8 theme selection
choosing a concept that won’t date Themes for kids’ rooms can be tricky, mainly because children tend to have a new ‘ favourite thing’ every second week. Consider a broader topic that your kids are keen on, such as animals or outer space, and go from there. Subtlety is key, so go with non-permanent fixtures that can be removed down the track. For example, bright cushion covers can be replaced with plain options, and ornaments can be put away when it’s time to move on. Try to keep the more permanent pieces, such as window coverings, furniture, wall colour and bedding, neutral. This way, when the time comes to select another theme, you won’t need a completely new canvas.
9 changing with the times
a room to grow with Ensure your child’s room can grow with them by choosing versatile pieces. Pack away any reminders of babyhood and usher in an aesthetic that’s a little more grown-up. A simple stool can double as a bedside table, while cushions and throws offffer an immediate update. Give them a sense of ownership by allowing kids to choose their own wall colours (but stick to one or two!), and for art inspiration, look to pieces that will complement the space but won’t date too quickly. Add a reading light and include plenty of storage, and your child’s bedroom evolution is complete.