Number one on my clients’ wish list for kids’ bedrooms or playrooms is more space and less mess. Sounds familiar? Then read on.
The question I’m often asked is how achieve this. The answer, almost always, lies in clutter control and storage. January may be nearly over, but it’s never too late for your new year’s resolution to get organised and turn your child’s room into something special this year.
Lighten the load
So first of all – really, really try to lighten the load a bit – declutter. A good clear-out enables you to see the potential of the room, but an even more compelling reason is that a huge amount of toys and stuff crowds in on your child’s mental space! It overstimulates, drains energy and stifles the imagination. If you’ve spent lots of money on your child’s possessions or don’t want to appear ungrateful for gifts, then at least rotate what’s out on display, so everything gets a chance to be played with.
For those of you who are storing lots of your own possessions in your child’s closets – try and rehome your stuff elsewhere. It’s important that your child’s space is just that – a place to call their own.
Open vs closed storage
When addressing storage in your child’s bedroom, start with the big picture. Think about a mix of open and closed storage, but keep a good proportion behind doors. Invest in built-in storage if appropriate to the room, or buy a large free standing piece that will house clothes and toys (I love up-cycling shallow vintage wardrobes for this purpose). If space allows, consider buying two identical or compatible pieces, one for toys, one for clothes.
If your child’s bedroom is on the small side, look out for dual purpose furniture – beds and seating with drawers, desks with heaps of integrated storage – you know the drill. It may not look as cool as your favourite designer furniture, but you will be thankful as possessions accumulate.
Pack it up
Next, store loose small stuff in appropriately sized containers – trunks, boxes, suitcases, baskets, bags, jars. By “appropriate” I mean storing small bits in small boxes, not mixed in with larger items in huge trunks, which have to be turned upside down to get to things.
And now for the most important and easiest bit! To keep things looking calm, organised and lovely, try coordinating your containers a bit. Choose boxes in compatible styles, colours or materials, so you don’t create more chaos with a jumble of different sizes and colours stacked on top of each other (unless you know how to make that look chic). Don’t go for see-through boxes either, as this just looks messy (and ugly). Instead, label containers with text or images to tell them apart.
Keep floors free
Finally, keeping the floor free will make the room look more spacious – well, we can try. Use wall hooks and bags to store loose toys and hang up clothes. A cool looking laundry bin and paper basket will also help to keep the decks clear - repurpose unusual things like metal buckets or trunks for example.
(images clockwise: green – 1. la maison d’anna G. 2. pure style home 3. kirsikkapuu 4. h&m 5. bungalow - blue – 1. stil 2. kast van een huis 3. cox and cox 4. maisons du monde - yellow – 1. bolig magasin 2. dezeen 3. dana van leeuwen 4. desire to inspire - pink – 1. the boo and the boy 2. lovely undergrad 3. berry red - timber – 1. red online 2. nonjetable 3. swoop bags 4. living etc - white – 1. weekday carnival 2. fancy house road 3. vitra)
Today you can win this colourful kids storage house! It’s perfect for little collections of stones, shells, hair things, beads, buttons, crafting bits, etc.
The cardboard house is from Cox & Cox and I customised it with different patterns of vintage wallpaper from Inke. The insert at the top shows what it looked like originally. If you would like to make your own, pick colours and patterns that fit in with your child’s room décor.
I cut out little squares of wallpaper, 0.5cm larger than the drawer fronts, and glued them onto the front of each drawer, folding the edges around the sides and top. I used spray mount adhesive, but you can use wallpaper glue, or any other paper glue instead.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO TO WIN THE STORAGE HOUSE (rabbit and carrots not included ; )
1. Leave a comment by clicking ‘leave comment’ at the bottom of this post, and tell me what you or your child would store in this little house.
2. Go to the Room to Bloom Facebook page to ‘Like’ us.
Done! The competition is open to UK residents only and will close Thursday 19th July at 12pm. The winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email. Good luck to everyone!
(images: room to bloom)
There was one thing at Bubble London this week that popped up at display after display: vintage suitcases and trunks. Stacked on shelves, stools and on the floor, they were present in all shapes and sizes and from all eras. Many of these beauties looked well-loved and well-used, which to me is part of their appeal. Not only do they look great, they make excellent storage too - many of the exhibitors commented how handy they were to transport bits and pieces to the show.
Vintage suitcases and trunks make great storage for a child’s room. They form a cool contrast against a contemporay background and mix equally well with a retro inspired or shabby chic decor. So where to get hold of them?
1. Your parents’ or grandparents’ attic – they’re even better with a bit of history : ) The suitcases at Organic Zoo above belonged to the exhibitor’s well-travelled great grandparents and they’re often used in the brand’s photo shoots!
3. Charity shops on your local high street.
5. Vintage shops – I personally enjoy the hunt for hidden treasure, but if you don’t and are willing to pay a little more for fully restored items, then try specialist shops such as London Vintage Luggage (online + an amazing store at Stables Market in Camden), or retro furniture shops such as The Old Cinema or Crystal Palace Antiques Warehouse.
What’s your favourite place to hunt for vintage treasure? Share it with us in the comments below!
(images: room to bloom)
Whilst visiting trade shows Top Drawer & Home last week, I discovered some lovely new child-friendly products and was reacquainted with others. I’ll try and cover some of these finds over the next few weeks or so. The first I wanted to highlight was a Danish company called Manostiles, whose children’s bedding and patterned storage boxes I particularly liked. Owner Mette Lindeberg was ever so helpful in helping me to get a good picture of the stand with a quick restyle, but the product shots on her website are waaay better, so let’s stick with those.
Manostiles’ children’s bedding is not quite the same size as standard UK junior duvet sizes, so you’ll need to check whether it will fit. I still wanted to show you these images as I love the use of colour in a mostly white room. Perhaps Mette can be persuaded to produce UK sizes too? Remember that duvets are not recommended by health professionals for babies under 12 months as there is a risk of overheating. Take a look at the John Lewis website for guidance on buying children’s bedding from a safety point of view.
To keep a baby room clutter free, Manostiles’ patterned storage boxes would keep your changing supplies nicely organised – use them without their lid on the changing table for example. They’d also make great coordinated storage for small toys, hairbands, pins, jewellery and other trinkets.