K Is For: Kids’ Interiors


Interior designer and blogger, Donna Ford, offers her advice for updating your kid’s bedroom.

Designing your child’s bedroom can be one of the most fun projects to work on in your home. There are two reasons for this and both are aspects of interior design that I love. Firstly, you inherently consider the little person who will sleep and play in the room and so will more naturally allow their personality to shine through both in the wall colour and the accessories you choose. We don’t often think about this for our living rooms or bathrooms but using this principle can help us create a unique scheme in our homes that we love for longer. And secondly, you are more likely to use colour and make braver design choices that you might not do for other rooms in your home. You can be really creative and fun with kids’ rooms and it’s exciting how that this creativity and confidence in decision-making can spill over into the rest of your rooms. In my own home I tried out some new ideas in my eldest son’s room and as a result it’s my favourite space in the house.

Jack’s room was designed from an image I found on Pinterest (which a great resource and starting point for ideas) where I loved the combination of mid-grey and light turquoise colours. I especially loved how the brighter colour was introduced about three quarters of the way up the wall and then extended onto the ceiling. For Jack’s bedroom I ended up using Brighton by Little Greene on the top section and Purbeck Stone by Farrow and Ball for the main wall and all the woodwork. The reason that painting the ceiling worked in this room so well is the fact that the ceiling was slightly lower than normal due to the extension and building regs won’t allow a pendant light to be hung from the ceiling. This is the reason we have three light sources on the walls which I actually love as it gives such a cosy feel, especially for bedtime stories. What I love about extending the colour up onto the ceiling is that it gives the illusion that the room is higher than it is but it also adds to the cosiness of the room to a much greater extent than if I’d used white emulsion. Sometimes, when we are restricted we are forced to come up with more creative solutions that we may not have thought about otherwise. I love this about interior design! We wanted a woodland adventure theme in Jack’s room and the Indian Summer Woodland Oak fabric I sourced from America was actually the starting point for the room’s colour palette. Then, I got the wonderful Sarah from DoorThirtyFour to customize the drawers for me (which she also sourced). I love the originality and freshness of the room. Note that the skirting boards aren’t white. There is nothing wrong with white skirting boards but there are so many other options! Take a look at one of my first blog posts for more ideas on this.

Since I don’t have any daughters I haven’t designed many girls’ rooms but take a peek at this delightful girl’s room from my ‘Journey Home’ blog series. A lovely dusky pink juxtaposed against the black cast iron bed from ikea and softened again with the cloud fabric and lights. It’s a lovely feminine space but will last Annalisa most of her young childhood years as it’s a step up from a nursery themed room. I know that she is really proud of her new space and enjoys being in here by herself away from her three other siblings.

For a more daring and colourful take on a girl’s bedroom, take a look at Hazel’s daughter’s bedroom. What I love is that it’s full of colour and art. Everywhere! The choice of a rich mint green is not necessarily one you would choose for a kid’s bedroom, but it’s such a nice backdrop for other splashes of colour in the artwork and toys and could work for either a boy or a girl. The playroom in the same home goes for a more neutral background. If you strip away the toys you can see that the walls are grey and the curtain and cushion fabric is black and white. More neutral colours are a great backdrop if you know there is going to be a lot of colourful toys thrown into the mix. You can see more of Hazel’s beautiful and bold house here if you need some more inspiration for braver rooms.

Something to consider with most children’s bedrooms is book storage. Chances are that you curl up under the duvet and read to your children before bed and it’s nice if little hands can reach to choose stories for themselves. There are lots of ways of doing this but I’m a big fan of these ikea shelves. I think they are photo shelves which mean they are narrower than normal shelves so they can be lower to the ground for little people to reach without banging your leg on the edge. I believe Ikea spice shelves are also good for this as well and remember, you can customise them by painting them to tie into the room’s colour palette.

Another thing to consider is the effect that having a newly decorated room will have on your child. For my son, and I’ve heard this for other toddlers too, if they have a hand in making decisions and are excited by the new space there is a chance that it will make them sleep better. I’m afraid I can’t promise this but it is definitely a possibility. When Jack was 21 months, my husband thought it would be a good idea to move him into a single bed. The renovations would be finished and his new room would be ready so my husband’s hunch was why bother moving the cot in to move it out again in a few months time! I personally thought it was a terrible idea but it actually was just what Jack needed. He loved the responsibility and freedom of his new bed and bedroom and started to drift off to sleep really well and stay asleep every night. He never climbed out of bed and would shout for me from under his duvet if he needed me. I was so surprised that it worked out so well! I’ve heard similar stories from friends that even choosing the duvet cover can help excite them about the process of going to sleep. Worth a try?

When thinking about where to start with your child’s bedroom the sky really is the limit. Maybe they have a favourite book and you could consider the colours or themes associated with that. You could even frame pages from the book for artwork on the walls. I’ve been meaning to do this for Where the Wild Things Are in Jack’s room for ages. Someone I’m working with at the minute to design their boy’s room is inspired by photographs taken on Safari in Namibia where his dad is from. These will be a focal point in the room and even choosing the paint colour is influenced by this idea.

I hope that these small considerations about kids’ interiors are helpful in knowing where to start and how to get excited about re-designing or updating your child’s bedroom. It really can be a fun process and my advice is to be brave and go for it! And then, let that confidence flow into the other rooms in your house so that you create a unique home that you love and that really reflects who you are. Get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions. I’d love to hear from you.

Donna x

Read Donna’s own blog here: http://www.skirtingboardsandchandeliers.com/

This post is part of our A-Z of Parenting series where we take a look at the whole alphabet of things that can go right – or wrong – with parenting. A new letter is added every couple of days. Check out what’s happened so far here.
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