Decorating your home can become more challenging when thinking up children’s bedroom ideas – satisfying both a grown-up aesthetic and a younger perspective on decor can result in a tête-a-tête or two.
Kids’ bedroom design needs not result in a trying compromise however, and it’s more than possible for both parties to step back and admire the finished result, as these scheme suggestions prove.
Boys' bedroom decor ideas, much like those for girls, are helped by having a theme that can be easily updated.
Children love to have a narrative in their bedrooms in which they feel they’re the main character, be it intergalactic spaceman or intrepid explorer. Therefore, shaping their room’s interior around that theme makes it a much more exciting and enjoyable environment. Interior design is an expression of storytelling after all. But these stories evolve and change at a much quicker pace for children, and so it’s important that boys’ bedroom ideas, be it for small rooms and large rooms, consider adaptability and progression.
It’s something that designer Katharine Pooley (below) considers whenever she’s contemplating kids’ room design, such as in her project pictured: “Home accessories are easily adaptable as a child grows older. Therefore it’s best to use fairly neutral bedroom colours on the walls/wallpaper and build a layered scheme from there.”
Image Credit: Katharine Pooley
Consider a neutral palette that you can evolve over time, but keeping the core pieces of furniture the same. Much like in any room of your home, accessories are the elements that are easiest and quickest to update. Cushions and throws can be swapped out, wooden pieces of painted furniture can be reimagined, rugs changed (far more straightforward than re-carpeting) and even a headboard can be reupholstered in years to come.
If, however, colour is a real must for the walls, choosing a more unusual paint finish is an idea that little kids will love as it’s unlikely their friends will have it. And, as they grow older, they can update other parts of the room so that finish can be enjoyed in a whole new light. A wash effect using blue tones is a good example here.
For a little boy, it will remind him of blue skies and swirling clouds, but as he grows up, it works well with bursts of cobalt blue furniture, contemporary geometric textiles shapes and with any style of furniture. It begins as unusual when they’re small and trend-aware as they mature.
While pink is a colour that’s relevant for boys’ and girls’ bedroom ideas, blush, peony, ballet pump, fuchsia and all of the pink hues in-between remain high on the wish list of girls’ room decor ideas.
If you decide to use colour on the walls, it’s wise to begin with a paler shade of pink – or indeed any colour. For reasons of practicality, it makes it far easier to paint later down the line if a different colour becomes more favourable, which it inevitably will.
Generally speaking, girls' bedroom ideas that show extra attention to detail are appreciated all the more. Think decorative trimmings on the leading edge of a curtain, an elegant trim of tassels detailing a cushion’s edge or even beautiful inlay work on the face of a chest of drawers or bedroom cabinet.
Even at a young age, these pretty touches are loved and noticed. And, as a small bedroom idea for a girl, these flourishes and fancies detract from the fact the room is on the compact side.
Image Credit: Louise Bradley
A popular girl’s bedroom decor idea is one that captures a fairytale feel. This can be made to feel quite timeless though, by carefully choosing a four-poster bed frame that has the option of drapes, and elements of furniture and accessories that can be used in different ways depending on the age of the child.
A small children’s bedroom idea is to use birdcage-style ornaments, which become a place to play with toys but as they grow older, can be used as a jewellery stand. Similarly, beautiful trinket boxes that you would wish to have in any other room of the home can be welcomed into a girl’s bedroom as coveted hiding places for their own treasures and keepsakes. Or, a chest of drawers doubles up as a place for clothes storage and somewhere to sit teddy bears and a bedtime library with decorative finials acting as bookends.
Children’s room ideas often start with the conversation around colour. But if the room is shared by siblings, and each has a strong view on what shade they desire, it can actually make decorating far easier.
Defining a colour palette with two core colours is one of the most well-received boy and girl shared bedroom ideas of all. In the case of Bella Mancini’s children’s room designs, she has combined the two archetypal colours for boys and girls – blue and pink. And it works in every sense. The pale pink dominates the wall mass, but because the cornice is coloured in a stronger, royal blue tone, the two colours are equal in terms of presence, making both room inhabitants happy. The dichotomy between the colours brings both softness and structure to the room too, something which is mirrored in the use of colonial-style wooden daybeds and the pleats and folds of the floral curtains.
The real key is to encourage the children sharing to be involved in the interior design of their room, but for you to shape the choices. So if they select the colours, you define which specific shade of that colour to be aligned with the rest of your home’s palette.
Equally, you could choose a selection of cushions for each bed that complement the rest of the scheme, but suggest they select who has which pillows for their respective bed. It’s an approach that means everybody is part of the design process and feels enthused, but you remain in control of developing a room that suits your home’s overall style.
Image Credit: Greg Natale
An idea for small kids’ bedrooms when the space is shared is to not disregard bunk beds. While two single beds side by side feels more tasteful, bunk beds are still a playful touch for a young child’s bedroom. It’s the only time in our lives when we can have such a bed.
Modern-day bunk bed designs have evolved immensely too. You can get double bed bunks, which feel very indulgent and generally result in them being outgrown much slower – because don’t most children long for a double bed as they get older? Some come with sophisticated brass ladders and deep-toned timber frames and feel very smart indeed.
Or, in a more classic scheme, a traditional wooden panelled bunk bed is perfectly sweet for a period. They can later be unassembled to become two single, freestanding beds when they outgrow the notion of upper and lower bunk camaraderie.
Kids’ bedroom ideas for small rooms are useful when you’re faced with somebody who feels like they’ve lost out by having the ‘box room’. The secret is to celebrate the cosines and employ techniques that make the lack of space the feature.
Timber panelling on the walls and ceiling will make it feel like a little hideaway cabin, a daybed so you maximise the floorspace by giving the illusion of both a bed and a sofa, and a small kids’ bedroom idea for a small room itself is to have a feature wall, like the room pictured with hot air balloon motif wallpaper. It means the attention is focused on that as opposed to the small footprint.
Image Credit: Lucinda Sanford
Or, decorate the ceiling so they’re looking up rather than down. If you choose to have a feature wall, try to pick items of furniture that won’t fall out of favour. This gives you the opportunity to keep the core items the same, and to instead make any changes to the decor about the feature wall. The option for more frequent updates to the look of the room will make both boys and girls excited, focusing less on the negative of having the smaller room, and more on the prospect of creativity and renewal.
A final girl’s bedroom idea for smaller rooms to bear in mind is to not be tempted to overfill it. Although the same principle applies to boys’ rooms too. Too much of anything, from colour to textiles, can overwhelm the space, making it feel cramped. It’s wiser to stick to a palette of two principal shades, a small selection of materials and fabrics, and a few carefully chosen ornaments.
Image Credit: Sophie Paterson
Largely, the furniture choices in the room, except for the bed, is something that children are less concerned with. It means therefore, that your kids’ bedroom storage can involve items purely for your own use and enjoyment. Antique pieces of furniture are a perfect example. These will help you to add weight and gravitas to the design calibre of the room, such as a small cabinet that you use to keep socks and vests with flowers and an ornament or two on top.
Or, if the rest of the room has been mostly chosen by you and your approach is for your child to pick out a few pieces of their own, build on the fairytale theme suggested earlier by showing them a classic armoire as though from Belle’s bedroom in Beauty and the Beast, or a Gulliver’s Travels esque escritoire or bureau for homework that adds to their bedroom’s story, but also scores highly in terms of design credentials.
Image Credit: Studio Ashby
Other kids storage ideas include toy storage, and how to keep them all contained in a way that’s easy for children to access and tidy away, and that isn’t an eye-sore. Seek out a fabric storage basket or an ottoman that provides seating space but also mimics a treasure chest.
Unless you’re somebody who embraces the busyness and clutter of a child’s bedroom, a fail-safe storage idea is to choose items of furniture that have doors, so that everything is hidden. The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ expression comes to mind here as a way to restore calm and order so that you can enjoy the room as much as they can.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
Accessories are a clever area to involve children. Perhaps you’ve chosen to shape the rest of the room yourself, ensuring it’s to your taste, but would like your child to add their own mark.
Accessories can make or break a scheme of course, and if you want to still maintain a degree of control over what will be brought into the room, you could curate a selection of statement accessories from which they can choose, from rugs to artwork.
Lamp bases and overhead lighting are a great accessory in children’s bedroom design, because they come in such a wealth of colours and shapes that can appeal to adult and child in equal measure. For example, Kelley Wearstler’s Black Linden lamp has a space age character to it that children could find fun as much as you find it statement-worthy and architectural. Or her Halcyon crystal lamp’s shining-bright base will light up a girl’s eyes with its beguiling nature, as much as you will appreciate how it reflects light around the room.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend as we well know. Photo frames are another effective accessory in a child’s room, as you can pick out the frame that you feel best suits the scheme, and the person whose room it is can have fun choosing the photos with which to fill them.