Children’s bedrooms need to be versatile spaces – the best designs will be a reflection of your child’s unique personality and keep the chaos of toys and playtime all contained in one place.
This is the main room in your home where your children are free to be themselves and play without restriction, so it’s important to create a space in which they can enjoy themselves without limiting imaginative play or worrying about ruining expensive interior fittings.
Before you can begin adding your own unique touches, there are a few key design decisions to be made:
Think about age
One of the biggest considerations of a child’s bedroom is how quickly they grow up; the challenge is to create a space that’s versatile enough to grow with them and meet the demands of their changing lifestyle. Look ahead and think about how many years you hope the furniture and room design will work for. Wardrobes and toy collections will invariably grow over time too, so try and anticipate the future with versatile furniture and storage solutions.
Use their imagination
Decorating the bedroom offers a great opportunity for your child to get creative and use their imagination. Involving them in the design process will give your child the chance to express themself and create a space they love to use.
Choose a colour palette
When choosing a colour palette, look for colours and patterns that are kid-friendly but versatile enough that they’ll remain fresh and relevant as your child grows. Don’t restrict yourself to traditionally gendered colours like pale yellow, soft pink and sky blue; there are dozens of shades and tones that can make even the most classic bedroom colours feel fresh, young and vibrant. Children’s rooms are a great place in the home to experiment and have fun with colour. If your son or daughter has a strong colour preference you feel they may quickly grow out of, look for ways to compromise – for example by painting the walls and ceiling a neutral colour and then introducing their colour preference on the doors, woodwork and accessories.
Pick a theme
Choosing a theme is a simple way to create a cohesive design in your child’s bedroom. Look for broad themes – while at a young age a movie or cartoon-themed bedroom might suit, it’s also likely your child will quickly outgrow this theme and make the space feel dated. Think about their passions and interests instead; their favourite hobbies and pastimes will provide clues and are more likely to remain relevant as they grow older.
Create seperate zones
Children’s bedrooms are multifunctional spaces that need to accommodate sleep, work and play. Creating a study corner with a desk away from the bed will help make sure homework time is productive rather than distracting. Remember, children need space to be imaginative and creative, so consider how you can facilitate this in the layout of the room. Separate zones will not only make the room more functional but will help restrict clutter to one area and make the transition between tasks smoother. It’s possible to do this even if the room itself isn’t large; for example choosing an elevated bed with a desk underneath will create a study nook and still maximise floor space for play.
Consider natural light
Sunlight during waking hours can make a space feel bright, happy and welcoming for children. However, early sunrise and the long hours of daylight in the summer can make it more difficult to keep to a sleep schedule, so look for solutions that helps you maximise natural light when you want it and filter it out when you don’t.
Think about safety
Safety impacts everything from layout to the furniture you choose, so it is good to think about this early on in the planning stages. Avoid furniture that is too heavy or has sharp corners and secure large pieces to the wall – this will lower the chance of injuries from trips and falls when your child is playing in the bedroom. Don’t hang anything above the bed that is heavy and could fall. Finally, childproof potential dangers with child locks on windows and covers over power sockets.
Choose furniture your child can grow into and invest in quality rather than trends. The key here is longevity – children grow up quickly and their tastes will develop and change over time. Pick neutral pieces that can be repurposed and choose furniture that is easy to mix and match, so when it comes time to upsize a bed you won’t necessarily need to replace the rest of the furniture as well.
The bed is the centre point of the bedroom and the single most important piece of furniture in this space. Take size, height and storage into consideration; if you need additional drawers you can choose a bed with storage underneath.
A desk will provide additional storage and an area in the room for homework and other creative projects. Depending on the amount of space you have to work with, you can choose anything from a large table top to a desk and chair that folds away. Consider your child’s study habits as well – a large desk may not be necessary if they regularly do schoolwork from the living room or kitchen.
Wardrobe & drawers
The wardrobe and drawers are essential to creating a good atmosphere – the key is to balance the space. There should be enough storage to reduce mess and clutter but not so much that the room feels cramped or overpowered by bulky pieces of furniture. Can storage be built in or would individual pieces work better? Choose options that can be adapted over time – for example shelves that once held toys could eventually be a space to display keepsakes and books.
The finishing touches provide the final flourish to your room and will bring the scheme’s design elements together. Use the finishing touches as an opportunity to bring forward a theme or colour scheme in your child’s bedroom. The advantage here is that these pieces tend to be inexpensive and easy to switch up; when tastes change you can introduce new colours, patterns and textures to reflect this growth without any major investment.
The bed is the most prominent feature in the room, and choosing the right bedding will help to make this space fun, exciting and welcoming for your child. Bedding is a great place to accent the room’s colour palette or highlight a theme. Again, like other aspects of the room, try to anticipate growth and choose bedding for longevity – it’s possible to pick colours, patterns and textures that feel young, fun and vibrant but are still versatile enough to last several years. Bedding should be both practical and decorative. Unless the bedroom is very cold, choose a lightweight duvet – it will trap air and maintain heat effectively without feeling uncomfortable or heavy. Particularly with younger children, pillows should be soft and flat to offer support without strain.
Area rugs are a great way to help divide space and create a soft and comfortable play area in children’s bedrooms. Functionally, they help absorb sound and insulate heat, and from a decorative point of view can help add texture and depth into the space.
Lighting creates atmosphere in the bedroom. Children’s rooms need lighting that’s safe, bright and colourful. Good general lighting is perfect for playt ime and, by adding a colourful fixture to an overhead pendant light, you can add dimension to the space and create a cheering focal point for your child to look up at from their bed. Wall and ceiling fittings are best for younger children, while a task lamp is important for older children doing homework at their desk. If you have a child who is afraid of the dark, a night light or overhead light with a dimmer switch is an easy and energy-efficient solution.
The right curtains and blinds are essential – not only will they help bring together the room’s design but will also help ensure your child gets a good night’s sleep. Blackout curtains are incredibly useful for maintaining sleeping patterns, but if you’re short on space or are worried about younger children pulling them down, blinds can be just as effective. Roller blinds with a spring control will eliminate the need for looped cords or chains and minimise the risk of strangulation.
Extra storage for toys, books and clothing will help to keep the room tidy and create extra space for play. Shelves, baskets, stacking boxes and a toy box that doubles as a seat are all easy ways to incorporate additional storage into your child’s bedroom.