After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own home, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she talks about the top things to consider when furnishing kids’ rooms.
“It is no surprise that children spend a lot of time in their bedroom. It’s a highly multi-functional space used for sleeping, playing and working, and it follows that their (usually fairly small) space should be a reflection of their unique personalities. But as children come with a lot of ‘stuff’, it also needs to keep parents on a quest for organisation happy too! Stylish, practical, fun, cosy and comfortable, with so many different approaches you could take, it is easy to get lost in the vast world of children’s interiors.
Keep our top tips for kids’ bedroom decorating in mind, and tick all the boxes for baby to teens and all ages in-between.
Top tip 1) Fun, functional furniture
The key to successful children’s bedroom design is clever, inventive furniture that provides maximum storage and serves a child’s changing needs.
Kids enjoy space to roam free so avoid cluttering their room with too many bulky items, but make sure that the furniture you do choose provides storage that is practical, accessible and easy to use, so there is a defined place where everything goes.
Plenty of floor space allows for freedom to move and imagine, so when it comes to arranging the room’s layout, try to keep furniture to the outer edges so that there is a clearly identifiable space in which to play.
Children’s furniture features ingenious built-in storage options these days, such as benches with lift-up seats, desks with secret nooks, and play tables with integrated compartments, all providing a great way to use every scrap of space as efficiently as possible. Chests of drawers that have built-in changing tables on top are a clever way to maximise functionality in a baby’s room.
The bed you choose is a key item in providing the perfect solution to a range of children’s room challenges. With some unique cabin-style designs available that incorporate storage, homework space or even built-in toys, these can be a fantastic space saving-idea, and an alternative to buying lots of separate furniture to house all of your youngster’s belongings.
Divan beds with concealed drawers or sliding compartments underneath are another good option, as are multi-purpose day or trundle beds that can transform in to a double bed for sleepovers. If you are furnishing a nursery, go for a cot that can convert in to a small bed when the baby reaches toddler age for an adaptable option.
When choosing furniture, always think about safety for little ones.
Low level furniture should ideally have a wide base for maximum stability. For any tall, freestanding items of furniture such as cupboards, drawers, book cases or wardrobes, make sure they can be securely fastened to the wall or anchored to the floor.
Always choose furniture made of appropriate materials (nothing glass or fragile!) and have non-slip pads underneath. Avoid sharp corners or edges, and ensure any painted furniture is non-toxic and conforms to present day safety standards.
Never place a child under the age of 6 in a top bunk bed, and make sure mattresses fit snugly around all four sides of the bed, with railings or barriers appropriate to the age of the child.
Top tip 2) Super successful storage
Although main items of furniture will most likely provide the bulk of storage, when it comes to kids’ rooms there are a multitude of quirky and smart alternatives to offer both visual variation and another dimension of organisational functionality.
The trick for storage success is to balance your need for bedroom order with plenty of bright, colourful, child-friendly fun. Baskets, trays, boxes, hooks, peg rails, hangers, pocket tidies, toy bins, hammocks and wall organisers are all great options that help to create an efficient space with lots of personality.
Displaying books in creative ways on shelves or in unusually shaped-cubbies mounted on the wall are both practical and decorative and will not take up floor space, leaving it available for playing. Wall mounted cabinets also create a more streamline look and keep toys and other bedroom paraphernalia neatly behind closed doors.
If your room includes a cot or bedstead, coloured boxes or wicker baskets arranged underneath are a simple and clever way to make the most of hidden bedroom real estate – just make sure you choose a design that allows enough clearance to be easily accessible.
Top tip 3) Cute colours and delightful decor
Decorating your little one’s room is an opportunity to showcase their rainbow-coloured identity and channel those child-like qualities of expression, imagination and creativity into a single space.
There are many styles and approaches you can take, from whimsical fairytale through to bold and bright. Depending on their age, this can be a wonderful joint venture – encouraging children to have an input into the colour scheme or theme, and have a hand in how it is planned and arranged, means they are more likely to buy into the idea of the room from the start and take pride in keeping it organised and tidy (with any luck!).
Be open to ideas and suggestions; however think about how you can make the space functional for your little one and encapsulate his/her personality in a way they can grow with over the years with minimal changes.
Probably the best approach is to keep the walls and flooring relatively neutral so you can add pops of colour with accessories and soft furnishings, but it’s also easy to make over when it’s time to change the theme without having to replace big items like the wallpaper and furniture too.
If you do decide to go with a wall covering, try keeping it to one wall, especially if it has a dense or busy pattern. Not only will this create an interesting feature, it will stop the room from feeling too heavy or small. The same goes for painted blocks of colour; avoid dark shades in little spaces, and instead opt for contrasting shades complemented by motifs and prints elsewhere in the room.
Bear in mind colour psychology too; just as different colours can evoke different ambiances, so too can they affect mood and behaviour. Bright colours are traditionally believed to stimulate and energise, whilst cooler shades are thought to calm and soothe. What’s best for your child will be highly individualised, so carefully analyse a range of colours and choose what you think will suit their temperament.
Top tip 4) Amazing art and accessories
If you’re keeping your walls simple, there is a huge range of delightful bunting, vinyl stickers, decals, wall hangings and fun height charts available to dress up a plain backdrop, which can be easily removed and updated to reflect changing interests.
Art is a great way to introduce new visual elements in to a bedroom and embed a colour scheme; you can also create bespoke or personalised pieces to add sentimentality. Small touches like adding different handles or door knobs to furniture are subtle but special ways to bring in detail and a thematic flow.
The importance of lighting should never be underestimated when decorating kids’ bedrooms, and it is something they can be very receptive to. Fairy lights most definitely aren’t just for Christmas and are a magical way to create a cosy ambience. Spot lights with warm white bulbs create a soft effect, task lighting above or beside beds helps to encourage reading and kooky lampshades on ceiling lights bring focus to a room. Falling asleep under coloured lights projected on the wall, or from the glow of a friendly night lamp, can also offer gentle reassurance and comfort to those still a little afraid of the dark.
Ceilings can be a very undervalued area of a child’s room but offer huge scope for individuality, fun and engagement. Suspending a floating mobile or dreamcatcher is a great touch, or you could even paint patterns or apply vinyl graphics to create a sense of interest overhead that will enchant youngsters as they gaze upwards.
Top tip 5) Snuggly soft furnishings
Beautiful soft furnishings really add warmth and cosiness to a child’s bedroom, making them an inviting place to play and a restful space to sleep.
If you’re designing a bedroom to last, keep one eye focused on the future; avoid ‘theming’ a room too much, instead opting to bring in your child’s favourite interests, designs and colours with materials and fabrics, which can be changed relatively inexpensively.
Rugs, curtains, cushions and bed linen all provide opportunities to introduce pattern, colour and texture to your kid’s bedroom. Comfy child-sized armchairs and squidgy bean bags or, if you have space, a canopy, teepee or play tent, all give the chance for children to create their own little home within a home.
Think about fabrics as you choose soft furnishings and go for soft, tactile materials like fleece, faux fur, flannelette, jersey or brushed cotton that won’t scratch or feel too harsh. Avoid items that have exposed zips or fastenings, or potentially unsafe embellishments and small parts. Also make sure all soft furnishings (not just bed linen!) are easily washable, with removable covers for straightforward care when they, inevitably, get grubby.
Kuldea makes choosing fun and functional kids’ room furniture even easier – browse hundreds of styles from the UK’s best retailers, all here in one place!