Work AND Play
once your child starts school, a desk is an absolute must. Buy as big a desk as the space will allow, position it near a natural light source if you can, and don’t forget to dedicate an inspiration area for favourite photos, art and mementos. choose a comfortable chair and add a throw or cushion for extra comfort, height and support. All work and no play is no fun at all, so make sure you create a cosy nook where your little ones can relax and take time out. ‘It can be something as simple as a soft rug and a pile of fluffy cushions or as elaborate as a fort in the corner of the room, hung with textiles and fairy lights,’ suggests stylist emily Henson. Lighting needs to be able to adapt to the activity at hand, so use a combination of fittings. ‘A central pendant light with a dimmer switch can help children to wind down towards bedtime, both physically and emotionally,’ advises Susie Stubbs of totter + tumble. An adjustable table lamp on the desk will help with homework. ‘If your child is scared of the dark, consider a bedside light that doesn’t pump out too much wattage and which can be left on as a night light to scare away any little shadow monsters,’ says Mandy colliss, creative director of Funky Little Darlings.
make learning seriously good fun by transforming a quiet corner into a bright, cheerful reading area with Alvar Aalto’s 60 stool, £180, Aram. Here, Harlequin’s Bella Stripe wallpaper, £50 a roll, makes a feature of the bespoke bookshelf that takes full advantage of the width and height of the space. Play with the illusion of space by keeping the flooring dark and the walls light: this will help to make the room feel bigger. Get a similar look with China Blue vinyl flooring (£29sq m at The Colour Flooring Company).
most children are maximalists, so a dedicated playroom that’s big on storage is a real bonus. Here, roselind Wilson Design worked alongside architect michaelis Boyd to create a complete wall of bespoke storage, along with upholstered portholes that serve as cosy hideaways for playing and reading. ‘The room was designed to allow the children to relax but also to have a space to be active,’ explains roselind. To facilitate this, a climbing wall has been built onto a background of black chalkboard paint, with extra support placed inside the wall to secure the hooks for climbing. roselind improvised the climbing rails by using bar handles as metal ladder rungs. Allow a budget of around £36,000 for a similar scheme, including all joinery, furniture and wall fixtures.