Giving children room of their own
With a little imagination and creativity, children’s bedrooms can become a hideaway spot, a place for play, or somewhere to store treasured possessions.
Nest Design Studio creative director Belinda Nihill says she always asks parents to find out from their child what they would like in their room, including favourite colours and activities.
Belinda, who has been styling children’s rooms for close to nine years and offers online design services for clients across Australia, says there’s one thing she avoids when styling a room — and that’s licensed products, particularly for the bed linen.
A mother of three young boys herself, Belinda says she finds ways to incorporate something similar that children will still like. “There are ways of getting around it,” Belinda says. “I’d never use a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle doona cover, but I’ll bring in cute little turtle prints or something similar. “I had a client who did like the Turtles and we found some prints that said (their catchphrase) Cowabunga. It’s not Turtles per se, but it’s what’s in the show.”
Belinda makes a point of ensuring there’s adequate storage in each bedroom she styles.
“I try to discover how the family uses the space,” she says. “My children don’t have toys in their bedroom, so we only need storage for books and their special little pieces.”
“Some parents keep the toys in the bedroom so we need to accommodate Thomas the Tank Engine trains and Barbie dolls and doll houses, so storage is key.”
When it comes to how it looks, Belinda suggests trying for a blend of both how you want the room to look and also a room that the child will like.
“You always need the bed, the bedside table and a lamp — and I try and make that a soft glowing lamp rather than a reading lamp for little children,” she says.
“I also like to include storage shelves and then add in layers like the linen, cushions, artwork and rugs.”
Belinda prefers sticking to doona covers that are quite simple and then adding in pattern with the cushions.
Teepees have been popular in children’s bedrooms and playrooms for some time now and Belinda says she incorporates them if the clients want them.
Canopies have also become popular.