I have two confessions to make. One: I, Gabrielle, don’t have kids (but Vanessa has 3). Two: I really really love kids and I want my own someday, but I feel like sometimes people’s design quotient drops significantly when it comes to decorating kids rooms.
Maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe when I await my own little bundle of joy I will suddenly feel the urge to paint the nursery in a Pepto Bismol pink, add garlands, owls, hand painted poems, cupcake shaped pillows, tee pees, pom poms, mesh butterflies, ruffles and dusty mosquito nets… And if I do, I’ll be the first to apologize and say: you were right! And you’ll get to say “I told you so”.
But while I still have an ounce of – call it naïveté – in me, I still believe that it is possible to make a kids room look stylish and not like you’ve stepped into a bad headache inducing aisle at Toys-r-Us or fall into the clichés of nursery decorating. Do you allow me to share my thoughts on decorating for the little ones?
In exchange I’ll fully admit that I’m batting way out of my league and you can totally dismiss anything I say if it sounds completely silly to an accomplished mom or dad. With this full-disclosure, here are a few ideas that I think can make a kids’s room elegant but playful.
1. Here’s a thought that has consistently crossed my mind every time I see a nursery: how often is a baby staring at a ceiling? Better make it interesting. I love the idea of stars (especially Ralph Lauren’s Northern Hemisphere Wallpaper) or a circus tent ceiling like the one above (also can be achieved much more easily with this DIY) but frankly, any pattern or wallpaper will do as long as it captivates the imagination.
2. Consider a more grown-up nursery. If there’s one time in a child’s life when parents willl enjoy their kid’s bedroom more than them, it’s when they’re still babies. Who says a nursery can’t be a restful haven for an adult while still being lovely calming and quirky enough for a baby? I think this nursery exemplifies this quite well.
3. Grasscloth wallpaper is truly brilliant, but it’s even better in a kids room. It’s soft, textured and playful and has a vague adventurous feel. Plus, it’s a great backdrop to hang kid’s art!
Oh and while on the topic of walls, stay away from the obvious color schemes. I know how skin crawlingly tempting it must be to want to paint a girl’s room pink or a boy’s room blue but think of how many other colours are in a rainbow! Sometimes the best color picks are the most unexpected so be brave and try something new!
4. I had bunk beds as a kid. There’s nothing that made me feel more safe than being in my bunk. I guess it’s the closed off cocoon space it provides that makes it feel so special. And if there’s only one child in the room, well one of the bed becomes instant friend sleepover space. No need to pull out the fold out mattress!
Of course built-in beds are my favorite (because anything built-in makes my knees weak) but that being said, there’s an easy way to achieve the cocoon look with a standard bunk bed: just hang curtains canopy style around the bed. It really does the trick.
5. Daybeds are fantastic to turn a room form playroom by day to bedroom by night. They’re incredibly versatile and perfect for kids that love to play, and the parents that want to be there to play with them, comfortably. They’re also a great space saver. See how small the bedroom below actually is and you’ll understand.
Now I’m really curious, am I totally out of my league here? What are your best tips for decorating a kids room?
Gabrielle | Savvy Home
Sources: 1. Claude Wasserstein’s daughter’s room 2. Laura Garcia 3. Delphine Krakoff 4. Lee Kleinhelter 5. Alessandra Branca 6. Jamie Meares 7. Lucas Studio Inc. 8. Lulu de Kiatkowski 9. Kristen Panitch Interiors 10. Westbrook Interiors