The smartest children’s rooms incorporate multitasking designs and clever colour schemes that can be easily adapted and updated. Interiors editor Nicole Gray shows you how
Encourage imaginative play with a secret den and a vast map of the world. Keep toys and games in storage boxes that can be added to over time. For a similar tepee try hedgehogshop.co.uk. For a similar ride-on aeroplane go to alexandalexa.com
Make the room multifunctional
- Colour Paint is a quick and cost-effective way to define different areas in a room. Try tranquil shades such as pale blue and grey for sleep areas and brighter shades for spaces to play in.
- Flooring Chalkboard floorboards and artificial-turf carpets are a fun way to break up a room, as are patterned rugs in different shapes and sizes, which can be changed around easily.
- Corners Nooks in children’s bedrooms tend to get overlooked as awkward shapes, but they can make cosy reading areas when decorated with cushions or beanbags.
- Lighting High-contrast, adjustable reading lamps indicate working areas whereas a string of fairy lights suggest sleep. Animal-shaped lights or neon slogans are perfect for play areas.
Cupboard, £299, mustardmade.co.uk, Canvas print, £61, iamfy.co, Giraffe height chart, £89.99, wayfair.co.uk, Play tower bed, £1,185, cuckooland.co.uk, Cushion, £25.95, birdkids.co.uk, Ice-cream wall shelf, £55, amara.com, Tepee, £115, bobbyrabbit.co.uk
Play with colours and details
- Consider the palette. Strong shades such as bright pink and yellows may be what they are after now, but that could change within the space of a week. Choose colours that can evolve with your child, such as pale shades and neutrals, and bring in bolder colours through cushions or artwork.
- Storage can be fun as well as practical. The latest trend for children’s rooms is custom-built bed designs that lift the sleeping area off the floor, giving space for essentials beneath. Gltc.co.uk sells a selection of playhouse-style beds.
- Make the most of textiles. Piles of cushions create lounging areas and are great for building forts and dens. Layering rugs looks stylish and also helps protect floors from spills.
- Don’t overthink your design or worry about it looking perfect – it’s primarily a space for having fun. Consider a chalkboard wall for them to draw on, and opt for matt washable paints that can be wiped clean easily.
In this bedroom, colour has been used to divide the space and also bounce light around. The pink feature wall and desk make the homework area the room’s focal point, with the orange rug indicating a separate play area. For similar children’s stools try nubie.co.uk
This room is divided into three areas, with a mural providing the focus. To create your own, cut a piece of board to the shape you want and use masking tape to help you paint in the lines. Finish the look with fun wall stickers
Shelf, £65, johnlewis.com, Bear storage basket, £95, cuckooland.co.uk, Kids chair, £124, en.smallable.com, Storage basket, £12.99, hm.com, Bookcase, £92.99, wayfair.co.uk, Table, £106, en.smallable.com, Hanging planter, £9, sassandbelle.co.uk, Climbing ladder £249, ajproducts.co.uk
4 ways to future-proof your child’s room
- Buy a good-quality bed frame. It will be a staple for years, so consider designs that can be repainted and customised to suit changing tastes. A bed incorporating storage will help cut down on clutter.
- Decorate with pegboards and chalkboards rather than spending money on artwork. Children’s tastes change rapidly so paintings or drawings can be swapped around with minimal effort.
- Invest in a well-made chest of drawers. Outfits can be changed up to five times a day, so you will need a durable set of drawers that can withstand years of wear and tear. Loaf.com offers a great selection.
- Use accessories to ring the changes. A new cushion cover, pattern bedlinen and throws are an easy way to update a room and can instantly transform a space without costing too much.
Creating a sweet bedroom for children doesn’t have to involve dramatic wallpapers and novelty bed frames that will date quicker than your little ones grow out of their clothes. The key is to pick a theme to build your palette around, and use it in playful and imaginative ways. Here, varied mint tones create a feature wall that bring a fresh yet timeless feel to the space, and are echoed in the accessories. For similar round cushions, try grahamandgreen.co.uk
Cushion, £35, kittymccall.com, Lamp, £36.50, maisonsdumonde.com, Rattan headboard, £235, tobsandror.com, Bedlinen, £53.95, scandiborn.co.uk, Wall light, £69.99, lights4fun.co.uk, Pegboard, £65, blockdesign.co.uk, Chest of drawers, £237.50, maisonsdumonde.com, Print (without frame), £18.95, desenio.co.uk, Bed, £75, ikea.com