School's out for summer, and as you look forward to all those things you can finally get done during the holidays, you might be turning your attention to your children's space. At colour + shape, designing rooms for the younger members of a family is one of my favourite things to do, to know I'm creating an interior that can inspire and delight creative little minds is a real treat. So if you've got a decorating or re-style project planned this summer, here are some top tips to take on board...
Whilst you want to create the perfect space for your little one now, it's always good to remember that as they grow and develop, so will their likes and dislikes, and it may be a costly challenge to keep their room exactly as they would want it. That themed cabin bed maybe a winner now, but not so as you journey from toddler to teenager. If you get the building blocks of their space right, opting for flooring and furniture that is simple, contemporary, durable and relatively 'ageless', this will act as a flexible backdrop that you can adapt to suit their changing needs and preferences. Soft furnishings such as curtains, bedding, cushions and rugs can be more easily replaced to update the look of the room over time.
TO WALLPAPER OR NOT TO WALLPAPER?
From rabbits to robots and daisies to dinosaurs, there's a huge range of wallpapers out there for children, and surrounding them with their favourite things can be a great way to give your child a personal space that they love. The problem is in a few years that obsession with space rockets or sea creatures may be long gone, and you're left with a weekend of steaming and scraping the walls. Here, a lick of paint can be the ideal solution, and this doesn't have to mean walls with no interest. Painted patterns or murals can let you create a truly unique space and can be more easily adapted over time as preferences change and favourite themes come and go. However, if you do decide to wake up the walls with paper, then sticking to a simple pattern can be the way to go. Stripes, spots and shapes are great fun for a child's room and look fantastic alongside their treasured toys, but geometrics can also be an eye-catching feature in a more grown up space, super cool when you hit the teenage years.
Whether you're dealing with mountains of nappies, heaps of clothes, piles of toys or bundles of picture books, the abundance of 'stuff' that comes with children is always changing yet never ending! Storage is key when designing a child's room and whether you're lucky enough to have a built-in bespoke solution or are buying freestanding furniture, think about how it will work for you now and in the future. Open shelving and storage baskets within your wardrobe space are great when you need a babygrow to hand, but less so when you have rows of school uniform and only a tiny clothes rail. It's often difficult to fit it all in, particularly in small spaces, but with children's storage try to make sure there's room to grow, and that their things can be tidied away, yet are easily accessible for them. Coloured felt boxes that slot into shelving units are great for gathering all those tiny toys in one place and bring a softer and more tactile surface to your storage.
GO LOW BUT AIM HIGH
With the necessity for most elements within a child's space to be low to the floor and within easy reach, the visual focus will often be disproportionally below adult eye-level compared to the other rooms in your home, but this needn't mean boring blank space. Whilst much of the furniture and playthings will be low level, up high can still be a space to inspire and gaze upon. Displaying their paintings, pictures and photos, pegged to a line like bunting can create interest above, whilst mobiles or bouncing toys on springs are a fun way to introduce decoration at different levels.
MAKING IT THEIRS
Above all, creating your child's space should be a fun experience, one where they can be really involved and you can both indulge in the colours, patterns and furnishings you might not consider for the other rooms in your home. Seeking out unique pieces from vintage sites and independent designers is a fantastic way to really make it theirs. It's great to give your children some of ownership of their environment and whilst some of their ideas might have to be vetoed, having areas where they can decide what goes where will allow them to really interact with their surroundings and bring their interior to life.
a few of my favourite things...
Want to create a gorgeous kid's room? Here's my pick of go to designers and brands...
Relaunching the iconic1970s designs of German designer Graziela Preiser, her daughter Nina founded byGraziela several years ago and the label now has a cult following. If you like a bit of retro colour their array of brilliantly bold homewares is spot on!
For walls with imagination. Wallplayper makes fun wallpapers perfect for children's spaces. Their I-Spy design is brilliantly playful and truly interactive - your little ones can put their own stamp on it and practise staying in the lines by colouring it in. And no telling off needed!
Modern design for kids. Nubie sells a fantastic range of contemporary furniture and accessories for all ages, helping you kit out your child's room and making it look effortlessly stylish. From cots to bunk beds, chairs to bookcases, they've got it covered.
Berry Bright Factory
Lighting can often be forgotten in children's rooms but these rainbow bunting pendants by Berry Bright Factory certainly bring a bright spark to play spaces. Each flag is handmade, creating colourful cables that twist and turn in any way you like.
Want some beautiful wooden toy eye-candy before the plastic takes over? You can't go wrong with classic Brio toys. From blocks to trainsets, their timeless designs are great for learning and play, as well as bringing a touch of style to the space.
A key element in a child's space, storage must be functional, but needs to look the part and bring something more than rows of plain boxes. 3 Sprouts does just this with its range of different sized and shaped storage solutions beautifully embellished with cheeky felt animals.