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an astronaut in my bed

kids bedding austronaut by snurk

Awesome! This space themed duvet set is the latest addition to Dutch label Snurk‘s amazing bedding designs. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, so as far as I’m concerned this is great for boys’ and girls’ rooms.

The Astronaut kids’ duvet is part of a new line of kids’ bedding by Snurk that will be launched by the end of this month. Previous designs included the fabulous Bob the dog and Ollie the cat duvet covers. I cannot wait to see what’s in store next.

(image: snurk beddengoed)

kids’ bedroom storage ideas

ideas for kids bedroom play room storage green room

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.

kids room play room storage ideas blue room

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.

kids room play room storage ideas pink room

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.

childrens room play room storage yellow room

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.

kids room play room storage ideas timber

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.

childrens bedroom play room storage ideas white room

Happy organising!

x Ursula

(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)

room to bloom in livingetc kids’ rooms

26 January, 2013 in in the press

Living-Etc kids rooms design feature

January is nearly over, and I nearly forgot to post that I was invited again by Livingetc to share some tips and ideas for modern kids’ rooms! The Kids’ Rooms feature in their January issue shows you how to create a perfect space for your child in four easy steps – it’s packed with useful advice on style, storage, walls & floors, furniture and lighting.

I was in good company too: Jenny Dalton of LittleBig magazine, Caterine Hooper from children’s boutique Little Baby CompanyJane Bonsor at textile house Korla, and Matthew Tillman at home technology specialists Tillman Domotics all shared their best design tips for children’s rooms in this inspiring article.

Missed the Kids’ Rooms issue? Fret not. There’s still a chance to read the article on my Press page here.

(images: livingetc)


hibou home children’s fabrics

Hibou Home children's fabrics

Looking up one of Hibou Home’s children’s wallpaper designs for a new client, I happened upon this triptych of Hibou’s new children’s fabrics range. I love the subtle play of colours and the styling is super cute too.

The new designer fabric range complements Hibou’s wallpaper designs beautifully, but I think pattern like this works best if a little is used and given room to shine.

If you haven’t come across Hibou’s stylish wallpaper for kids (I doubt that very much as they have become hugely popular all over the world since their launch at the end of 2011), check out the full range on their website here.

You can read more about Hibou Home in an interview with founder Emma Lycett here.

Happy decorating!



what colour is best for a baby room?

baby room colour ideas

I’m guest blogging again over at My Baba with some tips and advice on colour for your baby’s room.

As you know I’m all for venturing away from the more traditional, gender specific choices of pastel pink for girls and baby blue for boys. But hang on – do I spy a blue and pink theme in the collage above? Find out more on My Baba.

x Ursula

(images: kml design, stokke, helmen talossa, la redoute, oeuf)

photowall mural winner

10 January, 2013 in children's design & decor

wallpaper mural nu agency via photowall

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Photowall mural competition that I ran over Christmas and New Year. The random number generator picked number 51, which means Jo Kelly is the lucky winner. Congratulations Jo!

Many thanks to Photowall for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway, and to all of you who entered – there were some amazing ideas there. I have some new competitions for you in the pipeline, so if you’d like to be kept up to date make sure to sign-up to the Room to Bloom newsletter at the bottom of this page.

x Ursula

(image: nu agency via photowall)

my room: danthe

grey boys bedroom with car bed

This cool boy’s bedroom belongs to Danthe who is two and a half years old. He lives with his family in an old farmhouse in de Meern, The Netherlands.

Danthe’s super creative mum Antoinette designed his bedroom using grey as the main colour. She found the Jeep on Marktplaats (a Dutch version of eBay) and turned it into a bed – complete with working lights. Antoinette made a lamp out of a washing machine drum, and the framed collage you can see above. (If you would like her to make one for you, contact Antoinette by email at abrundel[at]gmail[dot]com).

Antoinette’s best advice for designing your child’s bedroom is to let your imagination run free – the sky is the limit. Create a colour plan beforehand, but take care not to repeat colours too much, as this will tend to make it look too matchy-matchy and a bit boring.


Now let’s find out a bit more about Danthe! Tell us Danthe…

♥ What is your favourite food? Fried eggs.

♥ What is your favourite colour? Green.

♥ What is your favourite animal? Cat.

♥ Your favourite book? Dikkie Dik [adventures of very curious cat].

♥ What is your favourite thing in your room? My car bed, I love playing with it.

♥ Which is your favourite duvet cover? The one with the stars.

♥ Which are your favourite pyjamas? The ones with with diggers and tractors.

Thank you Danthe, it was lovely to meet you!

(images: Ursula Kemp)

happy new year

31 December, 2012 in children's design & decor

Lena star lights from XO in My Room

Thank you everyone who’s been visiting, commenting, browsing my blog… I hope to see you again  in the new year with lots more tips and ideas for kid’s rooms. Happy 2013!


(image: wooden star light from xo-in my room)

photowall mural competition – worth up to £500!

21 December, 2012 in children's design & decor

Today I have an amazing competition to share with you… Photowall have teamed up with Room to Bloom to give away a made to measure wall mural worth up to £500 in a design of your choice! You can choose from one of their amazing mural and wallpaper designs or you can upload your own design. It’s a great way to create a feature wall in a nursery, kid’s room or playroom.

fine little day spruce wallpaper

Wall murals are made to fit the exact dimensions of your wall. The design of your choice is made up of 45 cm wide numbered panels which are hung edge to edge to make up the complete image. Photowall offer two types of wall murals: the standard range, which is applied with paste onto the wall, and the self-adhesive range.

owl wallpaper by mini empire via photowall

What you can win

The prize you can win today is for a design up to 4 metres long in the standard range for domestic use. You could choose a wall filling image that you love or choose a design that covers just part of the wall. I’ve selected some images with designs that I think work great in kids’ rooms, but you could choose anything from Photowall’s extensive library or design your own!

nature wallpaper mural kids room

To enter the competition, here’s what to do:

1. Leave a comment below to tell me what type of mural you would go for to decorate your child’s space – I want to hear your ideas. There’s no “right” answer, the winner will be picked at random from all the entries. For inspiration visit Photowall’s website or have a look at the kids’ rooms I’ve selected which all feature photo wallpaper.

2. Go to Room to Bloom’s Facebook page and share the competition on your own Facebook page.

3. There is no number 3, leave a comment, share on Facebook, that’s it.

This Photowall competition is open to UK residents only. It closes 6 January 2013 at midnight. I will contact the winner by email and you have until the end of January to claim your prize. Best of luck everybody!

snail trail wallpaper team hawaii

Design your own photo wallpaper

To get your creative juices flowing, here are a couple of ideas for design-your-own photo wallpaper that I spotted in Dutch magazines Ariadne at Home Kinderen and VT Wonen a while ago. Scale up a high-res image (scan or photograph) of a favourite piece of fabric and have this printed on wallpaper to create a feature wall. A vintage embroidery sampler was the source of the first image and you can see the fabric used for the wall in the second image on the chair in the foreground.

embroidery sampler wallpaper

photo wallpaper with scaled up fabric design

I hope you feel inspired to come up with a unique design of your own. There will only be one winner, but if you enter promotional code ‘roomroom0022‘ at the Photowall checkout before 13 January, you’ll receive a 10% discount.

(images: 1. spruce wallpaper by fine little day via my second hand life (available from photowall),  2. owl wallpaper by mini empire (available from photowall),  3. nature murals: natalie krag,  kiet’s room via esther veereschild - find similar at photowall,  4. snail trail by team hawaii at photowall,  5. ariadne at home kinderen,  6. vt wonen)

my room: lise

girl's bedroom on a houseboat

This super sweet bedroom belongs to Lise who is four years old. She lives with her parents Bas and Wendy and her little sister Mette on a houseboat in Zaandam, the Netherlands. The boat used to be a commercial barge and was converted by Bas & Wendy into a light and spacious living space. You can take a peek aboard their amazing home here.

Lise’s mum is a spatial designer, and her dad is the founder and owner of, a company that is involved in projects near or on the water. Their best advice for creating an amazing space for your child: keep children’s scale in mind when designing the room. Create small nooks that make your child feel comfortable and secure – cabin beds or beds built into walls are a great example of this.

Now it’s time to find out more about Lise! Tell us Lise…

♥ What is your favourite food? Pasta and pizza.

♥ What is your favourite colour? Blue, white and pink.

♥ What is your favourite animal? A polar bear and a normal bear.

♥ Your favourite book? My fairytale book.

♥  Dresses and skirts or trousers? Trousers.

♥ What would you take to a desert island? My bed and my polar bear.

♥ Which  part of the world you like to visit one day? China.

♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? A Pilot.

♥ What do you like playing with most in your room? My pirate boat.

♥ What is your favourite duvet cover? The one with Little Red Riding Hood.

♥ What are your favourite pyjamas? The ones with the polar bear.

♥ Is there anything else you want to tell us about your room? I also like foxes and wolves but I don’t have any of those in my room.

Thank you Lise, it was really nice to meet you!

(images: featured in 101 woonideeën, photography via InsideHomePage by Louis Lemaire, styling by Gieke van Lon)

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