Your little one’s room affords the perfect opportunity to be playful, but it’s all about getting the balance right when it comes to decorating baby’s bedroom, says Oonagh Turner.
A vital space where your little one adapts, changes and grows into the world, your baby’s bedroom is a key area of the home that shouldn’t be overlooked. Striking the chord means investing sensibly, finding furniture that will adapt with to child’s tastes, while keeping the overall look of the home consistent. With the right tips, your child’s bedroom can be the ultimate blank canvas to have fun with.
Top Tips for Decorating Baby’s Bedroom & Kids Rooms
The nursery is the all-important foundation that sets the scene for your child’s ongoing relationship with bedtime and sleep, and is where your child first begins their journey in the world. At such an early stage, designing a nursery is all about keeping things calming, so it’s important to introduce tranquil and peaceful hues.
If you are keen to inject some colour or a certain theme into the room without it being unsettling for a newborn, Hannah Yeo from Benjamin Moore advises starting slowly and straying from the typical format of pastel blues and pink: “Start the colour selection process with an object that will be used in the room, like a piece of artwork or a comfy quilt.
“Let the colours of this item help guide your wall colour choice as it will complement your point of inspiration. Think about what emotion you want to promote too. Greens are refreshing and nurturing while softer yellows and blues are calming.”
Emma Lycett, founder of Hibou Home prioritises calming furniture in a nursery. “Hand woven rattan cots or a Scandinavian wooden bed work well, and layer with organic cotton bed linen in toning colours and patterns to create a cosy and inviting space,” she explains. “A linen canopy draped over the bed is a final magical touch.”
Remember this is an adult’s room too, so pick your furniture wisely. The parent will be spending a lot of time in here, whether it’s nursing or late-night comforting, reading stories or rocking. A solid, comfortable chair for parents to relax into is therefore of great importance to your nursery. Look at The Baby Cot Shop, TeddyOne or Blue Almonds for luxurious and comfortable rocking chairs made from a fine choice of fabrics and beautiful finishes.
Finally, the nursery needs to be practically considered. A baby will need a cot but make sure it is kept away from the window. Think long-term by investing in a piece that transforms into a daybed as your child reaches that next stage of life. Look at floorboards that reduce noise, or a soft rug from the likes of Lorena Canals that are easy to wash and muffle footfall as you creep out the room at night.
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A Place to lay Their Head
When they are a little older, it is important that your child’s bedroom is considered their own safe space where they feel a sense of independence. Designer Sophie Allport suggests getting your child’s opinion involved in the process: “When choosing themes, ask for your children’s input too, what do they love right now, is it dinosaurs, tractors? Then find fun statement pieces that showcase this.”
One such statement piece that allows you to inject fun and personality into a bedroom is the bed itself. Acting as a focal point of the room, there are ample ways to make the child’s bed the crowning centrepiece that also works to establish a harmonious relationship with sleep.
Little Lucy Willow, Cuckooland, Sophie Allport and Viktor & Eugenie produce luxury beds that will ignite a child’s imagination as they drift off to sleep, from fantasy castles to cosy campervans.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the potential in a design that can release a child’s creativity,” says Ambassador at Viktor & Eugenie, David Ham. “Our designs are created by trying to step into their world, to give them the tools to live their dreams. I would have loved something like that in my day!”
Alternatively, for older children, bunks are a fantastic bed choice that can seamlessly maximise space. “A high sleeper bed is a great option for those who are looking to make the most of the available floor area. The underneath can become a useful area to store toys and a space to play, which can then easily be changed into a functional desk area for learning when children are older,” say Alex and Kris Tolofson, founders and directors of Nöa & Nani.
Wigwams can also be a fun bedroom hideaway for event the littles tots, or secret dens where your child can enjoy storytime. Look to the likes of Scandiborn, Latzio and Acorn & Pip for inspiration.
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Continuity and Flow
As your child grows, their personalities and opinions on aesthetics grow with them, but at a young age these fads change fast, so it’s crucial that your interiors are flexible. One idea for easy-to-update interiors is to deftly select your paint colour. Long gone are pastel blues and pinks, swapped instead for mature shades that won’t look out of place when the bedroom becomes the backdrop for homework.
“We are seeing neutral colours become increasingly popular in nurseries and children’s bedrooms,” says Hannah Yeo from Benjamin Moore, “such as Bunny Gray 2124-50 and Stonington Gray HC-170. Gender neutral colours such as Subtle AF-310, a soft yellow, and Rainforest Dew 2146-50, a pale green, are also among popular nurseries colours.”
Elsewhere, Lucinda Croft, creative director at Dragons of Walton Street finds that “choosing beautiful fabrics on the curtains and soft furnishings that are quite neutral allows the room to grow and adapt with your child. As they swap a cot bed to a first bed and a changer to a chest of drawers, the colour palette is already in place.”
Another way to softly inject character is with temporary wall decals. According to Emma Deterding from Kelling Designs, “if you are clever you can create an amazing look. That way as they grow older you can remove the decals and the furniture and instate something a little more sophisticated.”
Sian Zeng creates beautiful fabric wall stickers, each produced from hand-drawn illustrations that depict fantastical characters, jungles and woodland creatures, instantly transforming a space into an adventurous scene yet are still easy to remove.
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Weaving in the Practical
Functionality, safety and storage are the practical elements to consider when curating your child’s bedroom. That’s why getting the balance right with furniture that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical is key.
“For children, there are plenty of bookcases and shelves available in fun and unique shapes that are functional but also full of personality,” says Sian Zeng of the eponymous furniture brand. It’s also wise to think about the flooring, too. Look out for durable, stain-proof, scratch-proof and anti-slip surfaces.
Grace Tindall, founder of Scandiborn recommends fit-for-purpose flooring: “I’d always recommend a hardwood or laminate floor in a bedroom, inevitable spillages are much easier and less stressful to handle, especially in the middle of the night.”
Storage is about thinking creatively and outside the box. For Hannah Yeo of Benjamin Moore, colour can be part of the organisation process: “Colour coding storage is also a great way to organise the space. It not only plays a functional role helping your child to learn how to match and organise, it also serves as a great décor piece.”
Lucinda Croft’s number one tip is all about storage: “Storage is so key for a child’s bedroom, I would advise adjustable shelving as when your children are little the books are large and as they get bigger the books get smaller so it’s good to be able to move the shelves around.”
Finally, accept that however beautiful the bedroom, children are born to scribble, scrawl and spill. For Victoria Cramsie from PaperBoy Wallpaper, wallpaper should be versatile. “Think about how to clean up those sticky child paw prints. Most wallpapers and paints