Tips for designing a practical kids bedroom

Kids bedroom

From making dens, to sleepovers (with very little sleep), these are some of my fondest memories growing up. Yet, the best thing about having my own space was it was where I could let my imagination run wild. When it comes to kids’ bedrooms – it’s where the decorating fun really is.

When I’m writing for These Three Rooms and Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine, I love it when a kids bedroom feature lands on my desk. The colours, the patterns, the teepee tents…the cuteness overload that follows is all sorts of happy. Have you seen those beds with slides attached, or bunks shaped like helicopters? I wonder what the age limit on those is… Ok, back to business. Decorating a space for your kids is just as much fun for you as it will be for the kids when it’s finished and, really, it’s an opportunity to introduce some bright colours, fun prints and den-worthy accessories into your bedroom.

Don’t forget (Miss Sensible coming here), the design has to be safe and practical, too. Before you go all-out for rainbows or a cool space theme, here’s what to remember…

Go for sensible storage
For kids, bedrooms are not just for sleeping in, they’re also a place to, (let’s be honest), make a whole lot of mess in. As well as being a play area, it will soon develop into a workspace too – especially once they hit the teenage years. So, the first step is to create a storage checklist. This will help you make informed decisions on what to keep and discard. Bear in mind, you should think about choosing a material that’s durable as well as stylish, such as a solid wooden box that not only adds a new design element but gives you the option to keep toys hidden away. Remember to keep it varied with either fabric baskets and lightweight open-top designs, for example. They are good options when placed on the floor or lower shelves as they offer easy access, and more importantly, encourage your child to tidy away after they play.
Bedroom storage Grey storage baskets in bedroom

Add textures with rope storage baskets. Available from Great Little Trading Company, they are priced at £24 each.

Lighting is key
While getting your kids to sleep is a challenge all in its self, keeping them asleep all through the night often proves to be even harder. However, it could be made better by simply updating your window dressings. Firstly, you need to make sure that their room is dark enough. This is especially important for early nights and light summer evenings, when even for adults it’s hard to hit the hay. Go for black out blinds and cordless designs which are safest for kids bedrooms, but as they grow you can opt for a corded design. I remember I always had to keep my door ever so slightly open when I was younger, just enough that I had some light coming through. A nightlight is very reassuring during the night and to light the way should they need to get up at any time. As they get older and homework starts to pile up you’ll want to think about placing directional task lighting and table lamps to create ambience when they’re hanging out with friends or socialising.
Night light

Add personality with this Cloud Silhouette battery night light, £12.99, available from Lights 4 Fun.

Think about layout
As with any room, to get the layout right, it takes careful planning. It all starts with a good design, which offers everything you need for your kids bedroom to be able to work, rest and play. For a bit of fun, look out for multi-functional beds that incorporate storage and more importantly, space for a den underneath. A cabin bed with drawers and cupboards either side, or perhaps a mid-sleeper with a desk below, is great for adding personality into the bedroom, as well as making it a multi-functional space. I used to share a bunk bed with my sister, and while they are great for maximising floor space, I mainly used it for getting up to mischief by climbing onto the frame, pretending to be bats (this is not recommended). So, if your bedroom is compact, the added room will give your little ones the option for sleepovers with friends too. Some bunks can also be split into two single beds, which is ideal as children get older.
Kids bedroom

Pastel shaded furniture adds personality into this space. The Nidi Bedroom, priced at £800, and available from Go Modern Furniture.

Right, all this talk of beds, is making me sleepy – I’m signing off for a power nap.

Featured image: Add fun into your scheme with a quirky bed. This Kids house bed, is priced at £545, and available from Cuckooland.

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