LivingEtc‘s January 2015 issue includes an extensive feature about kids’ rooms, with lots of inspirational images of children’s spaces and expert tips from interior designers – including yours truly. Get a copy whilst you can!
Before we go into 2015, I wanted to share one of the children’s rooms I designed this year: Phoebe’s grey nursery. Having worked on her big brother’s room previously, it was great to be back and create a little haven for his new baby sister.
We needed to do quite a lot of work to get the room up to scratch before we could start decorating – you can see progress photos and read more about this here.
Phoebe’s mum asked for a peaceful nursery that would last, and didn’t want the room to be too girlie or pink. The inspiration for Phoebe’s nursery was a pretty baby blanket made with Liberty fabric from Sture & Folke. With an eye on the colour scheme for the rest of the house we chose a soft grey for the walls and woodwork, adding pretty bunny wallpaper behind the cot. The grey furniture has a vague fifties feel to it – which connects with other pieces in the house in this style.
The room was accessorised with violets, plums and a hint of pink. I am thrilled with the result, it feels so peaceful and pretty but not too cutesy. More importantly, Phoebe’s parents love the nursery too – in their words it’s now the best room in the house!
(images: design & styling by room to bloom, photography by brett charles)
This beautiful toddler bedroom belongs to Beau who is four (nearly five!) years old. He lives with his parents Maaike and Jeffrey and his brother Luca in a townhouse in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Beau’s bedroom was designed by his mum Maaike, who is an interior designer, graphic designer and art director at My Deer. The room was inspired by the green travel chest which used to belong to Beau’s great-grandfather. The deer print above Beau’s bed is by Maaike and available from her shop.
When designing your child’s bedroom, Maaike advises to start with a calm base colour (white) and add colour using accessories and eye-catchers such as a wardrobe, a toy chest, or an entire a wall. Don’t be afraid to combine different styles of furniture, like vintage with contemporary design, as this is what gives a room character. Store small toys in baskets or boxes, and large unattractive toys in a closet or a toy chest, out of sight. Keep the best looking things out for display on a desk or shelf as decoration.
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Time to speak to Beau now! Tell us Beau,
♥ What is your favourite food? I like lots of different foods, but pasta is the best!
♥ What are you into right now? I love drawing and playing with my Lego.
♥ What is your favourite colour? Black is cool, but I also like blue and green.
♥ Your favourite animal? A tiger! But dinos are also cool!
♥ And your favourite book? The Big Dino Book.
♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? Spiderman or Batman.
♥ What is your favourite thing in your room? My horse swing is super cool!
♥ Which is your favourite duvet cover? The really soft white one.
♥ Your favourite pyjamas? My dino pyjamas!
Thank you Beau, it was super cool to meet you!
(images: My Deer)
Staying with the back-to-school theme today with some interiors inspiration around kids’ desks – these are currently some of my favourite images. I’ve noticed there are a lot of vintage school desks in there (instant whimsy), and I seem to have a penchant for simple desk tops suspended on wall mounted brackets. These offer plenty of room to spread out and make a practical work and play space to share.
There are many ways to make sure a desk doesn’t feel isolated on a wall. You can use wallpaper behind, or maybe just an accent strip like the supersize hare below. Wall stickers, prints or postcards can do the trick, and of course, shelves. I like the playful effect of box shelves, plate racks and vintage tins for storage and display. The house desk above also does a clever job at anchoring the desk and creating a cosy nook.
If you study these images, you’ll spot some nifty little ideas, like keeping pens and pencils off the surface with wall mounted pots, and using wall hooks to keep things out of the way. Space saving fold-down desks are great for small rooms of course (leaving room for sleep-overs), and no desk is complete in my opinion without a bank of small drawers for little treasures.
image sources, clockwise from top left | 1. vintage wooden school desk, tree desk, geo bamboo kids desk, blue vintage school desk | 2. desk with dog wallpaper, double vintage school desk, house desk, alcove desk | 3. bed with fold-down desk, vintage desk, desk in front of window, suspended timber desk | 4. yellow desk with book rack, desk with hare wallpaper, blue bed with desk, yellow fold-down desk
I used to favour the kitchen table, and later my bed or the couch for homework. But when it was time for serious revision, my mum made me sit at my desk to help me concentrate. So what are the things to bear in mind when creating a space for study? Make sure that your child is seated comfortably and correctly, especially if in front of a screen, and that there is adequate light. For older children it’s important to have enough room to spread out their books and personalise their desk space – add a pinboard if you can. Good storage around the desk is a must – if not part of the desk, use drawers on castors, stacked crates, or shelves and display boxes on the wall.
Sources: 1. harvard children’s desk 2. laurette L50 desk 3. vintage school desk 4. les gambettes romy desk 5. lola dolls house desk atelier sans souci 6. irene writing desk xo in my room 7. sebra white metal desk 8. K desk with internal storage rafa kids 9. geo bamboo kids desk
This super cool bedroom is shared by Frank, 7 years, and his brother Robert, who is 3 years old. They live with their mum Agata and dad Arek in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Their apartment is located in an old city building.
The boys’ bedroom was designed by their mum Agata, who is an architect and co-owner of kids’ furniture company Rafa Kids. She and her husband founded the company after their sons were born, with the aim to design high quality, good looking products for children. Their distinctive, imaginative designs have taken the world of kids’ design by storm!
Agata’s advice for designing kids’ rooms is to simply listen to your child. Watch their needs and activities – which are specific to their age – as this will help to divide a room into zones, which is a good start. You can read more about how she designed her boys’ bedroom over here on the Rafa kids blog.
Let’s find out a bit more about Frank now. Tell us…
♥ What is your favourite food? Jacket potatoes.
♥ What are you into right now? Making bracelets from elastic bands.
♥ What is your favourite colour? Orange.
♥ What is your favourite animal? Falcon.
♥ Your favourite book? Donald Duck cartoons.
♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? A footballer.
♥ What do you like most in your room? I like my books and I like reading. I’d love a bedside lamp to help me read at night!
♥ What is your favourite duvet cover? I’d love to have one with cars!
♥ What are your favourite pyjamas? The ones with the white stripes [from polarn o.pyret]
Thank you Frank, it was great to meet you!
(images: rafa kids)
If you’re on Pinterest or Instagram, you’ll have seen that monochrome decorating is a super strong trend in kids’ room design right now. This simple black and white style forms a great background for colourful kids’ stuff and is easy to pull together. Stop it from looking flat and unwelcoming with my tips for monochrome kids’ rooms over on My Baba. Happy decorating!
(image sources: 1. zigzag wall, teepee, grey bed, mini library 2. scallop wall, zigzag wall, car track, star wallpaper 3. wallpaper tree, house bed, dollhouse, green star 4. bunk bed, car lamp, stripe rug, yellow apple 5. play kitchen, playroom, rocking horse, blackboard)
The boys’ playhouse was designed by their mum Anne Lene, who is a musician and blogger with a keen eye for interior decoration. Her blog Ralfefarfars Paradis if filled with beautiful photographs of her home and the updates she makes to it.
Anne Lene’s advice for decorating kids’ rooms is to make it an inviting, cosy and safe place. Avoid filling it up with too much stuff so there’s room to play.
Let’s find out a bit more about Alexander now. Tell us…
♥ What is your favourite food? Pancakes.
♥ What are you into right now? Exploring nature, finding small animals and insects.
♥ What is your favourite colour? Yellow.
♥ What is your favourite animal? Fish.
♥ Your favourite book? Barbapapa.
♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? A fisherman.
♥ What do you like most about the playhouse? The small furniture. I like to play with lego there.
Thank you Alexander, it was super to meet you!
(images: ralfefarfars paradis)
I recently used this adorable raccoon in pyjamas art print to decorate a nursery (photos this summer!). The print is by Little Hands in Portugal, a company led by illustrators Marta Belo and Leonor Feijó, who specialise in whimsical children’s art prints and wallpaper murals. The prints are available in A3 and custom sizes, and the wallpaper murals can be made to fit your wall. Cute or what?
This bright and colourful shared kids’ room belongs to Antoine (4) and Leonor (1.5). They currently live with their sister Romy, mum Peggy and dad Eric in Malmo, Sweden. Their home is in a 100 year old building that was meant to be hotel, but due to WW1 it was filled with apartments instead.
Antoine & Leonor’s room was designed by their mum Peggy, who is a professional blogger. Her blog Paul & Paula showcases the latest international kids’ design & lifestyle, whilst her new blog Paul & Paula Mum focusses on covetable style for mamas.
Peggy’s number one rule for kids’ room design is to keep the wall colour simple – meaning white ; ) As kids usually have lots of colourful toys, books, etc., white walls will let those live and shine. Wallpaper or coloured paint would be too much for her taste.
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As Leonor is still so little, let’s talk to Antoine and find out a bit more him and his room …
♥ What is your favourite food? Porridge.
♥ What are you into right now? Writing my name, because I just learned it at school (and its not a very easy one so I am very proud).
♥ What is your favourite colour? Green.
♥ What is your favourite animal? Lion.
♥ Your favourite book? It’s Voyage en train.
♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? A fireman.
♥ What do you like best about your room? That there is a lot of space to build a biiiig train track.
♥ Which is your favourite duvet cover? The one with the blue parrots [Mini Rodini].
♥ Your favourite pyjamas? Spiderman (really cool vintage style!)
Thank you Antoine, it was great to meet you. Say hello to Leonor!
(images: Paul et Paula)