Kids’ bedrooms: practical design ideas, from storage to layout

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 that it was where I could let my imagination run wild. When it comes to kids’ bedrooms – it’s where the decorating fun really is.

I love it when a kids’ bedrooms 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…

Okay, 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.

And let’s not forget, as with every room in our home, the pandemic has meant our children use their bedrooms differently to how they used to. The rise of home schooling, to having it as their own personal retreat to get their own space, it’s worth thinking how kids’ bedrooms have changed in these funny times.

Now, let’s look at some cool kids’ bedrooms and how you can replicate them at home, shall we?…

Parisot Stim 2 kids bunk bed, £889, Cuckooland.

Storage under the bed
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. Children’s bedrooms aren’t usually blessed with lots of space for storage, either.
So, we need to be smart with where we put their bits and bobs. One of the best places is under the bed. From toys, to sheets, utilising the area under the mattress will provide ample room for all sorts of stuff.

This Adorable Bunny Nightlight can turn his head to listen to the bedtime story, perch him on a bookshelf, windowsill or side table and he will become a treasured companion. £89, Ella James.

Storage on the walls
Ok, so we’ve spoken about the bed – but let’s not forget about the walls. A great source of places to put things such as shelves with boxes, book cases, and hooks. For instance, in my little girl’s nursery, I’ve hung baskets up with hooks above her changing mat, filled with nappies and wipes for ease.
Bedroom storage Grey storage baskets in bedroom

Rope storage basket in grey, £24 each, Great Little Trading Company.

More traditional storage 
Create a storage checklist. This will help you make informed decisions on what to keep and discard, and what you need. Will some freestanding storage, such as drawers and box shelves, be enough – or would fitted wardrobes work better in the space, for both clothes and toys? Why not make the storage fun to look at, this could help encourage the little ones to put things away* (*although, how likely this is, we can’t say!)

Fargo High Sleeper Loft Bed with full length desk (Ivory White), £835, Little Folks Furniture.

Desk area
Is home schooling and homework currently done alongside you working from home on the dining room table or kitchen island? Even if you little one’s room is small, there are ways to create a desk area in their space. From a high bed, with a table underneath, to a sliding desk. Or, why not include one that folds up onto the wall?

Kids Bedroom Blinds that Glow in the Dark, from £52.30, English Blinds.

Get those blackouts
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 blackout blinds and cordless designs which are safest for kids bedrooms, but as they grow you can opt for a corded design.

NightSky Children’s Collection, from Lights4fun.

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.

Fish Classic Wallpaper – Blue Green – Sian Zeng, £189 per roll, Lime Lace.

Be smart about decorations
If you were to ask your little one what they want, chances are their answer would change on the weekly – and why not? After all, there’s so much out there that can attract their attention. However, when it comes to their room, it’s best to incorporate the latest things your little one loves in a way that can be easily changed.
Yes, an all-pink princess dreamland might be well received now, but think about how quick your kids change and look to the future. They might not like the same thing in a few years, or even a few months, and having to redecorate the entire room will bring plenty of upheaval – so opt for more neutral, but still warm, shades on the hard-to-change items and add the princess (or dinosaur, or football, or underwater…) theme through accessories.
Whimsical child's bedroom

Who had glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling when they were little? This children’s bedroom not only features bright colours, it also puts a modern spin on the classic glow-in-the-dark stars. Cole & Son’s Whimsical Star wallpaper is available from John Lewis & Partners for £80 per roll.

Think about layout
Although this seems like an obvious thing to do, really think about how your child is going to use the space. Is this mainly where they sleep and keep their clothes, or is it doubling as a playroom or work space? This will really influence the size of furniture, and the amount of storage you include in the scheme.
Don’t be afraid of colour
I know, I said to choose neutral colours for the wall and big-ticket items earlier, but that doesn’t mean you have to hold back elsewhere. This is your child’s space and easily one of the most fun rooms to decorate, and as such a healthy dose of brightness won’t go amiss. Pink and blue are, of course, the classics, but why not stray away from what’s been done thousands of times and go for shades of yellow, green, orange… whatever strikes you and your kid’s fancy, really. Paint the door, too – it can easily be changed when tastes change, but is sure to add a fun accent. If you’re happy to do some more painting, you could also choose furniture that can be repainted, so you can update it as and when you need.
Kids bedroom

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

Safety first
This is a slightly more boring point, but also serious enough to mention. Children get themselves in all sorts of pickles – some bigger, some smaller – thanks to their heaps of curiosity. This extends to their bedroom, of course, which means it’s paramount that you ensure everything is as safe as possible. Don’t choose blinds with cords, as these pose a strangulation risk; instead, choose a cordless system or curtains, which will be much safer. Make sure furniture is sturdy and, where needed, anchored to the wall so it’ll withstand even the wildest adventures, and if you choose a bed with slats – such as one designed to look like a little house – make sure your child’s head will not fit through the gaps.

Use neutral shades to create a relaxing atmosphere in your kids’ bedrooms. Similar kids’ bedroom design by Kelling Designs, from £1,000.

Involve your child
This one is short but sweet: unless they’re really little, don’t spring the change on your kids – let them be involved in the design process, instead. That doesn’t mean they’ll have to choose everything, or that you’re not allowed to say no, but especially more sensitive children might not take too well to such sudden, big changes.
Let them pick colours or decorations, for example, or even just ask them what they really like right now. This way, it’ll be plenty of fun for the both of you and everyone will be happy with the result.

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

You might also like   20 storage beds to help you get your bedroom organised

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

Post updated on: 01/07/21

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