Interior designers are used to incredibly hard tasks. Choosing a colour scheme that lightens up a small space. Designing a focal point or a feature wall that steals your attention. Coming up with a room design that makes clients blush and swoon. However, coming up with a chic, beautiful space for younger children can be challenging.
That is why we've enlisted the help of interior designer, Laetitia Thorp from Thorp, to guide us through the ins and outs of a children’s bedroom. If you enjoy professional content that responds to your everyday needs, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. For luxury interior design products, check out our free, curated directory.
Now, let's go over some basics on children's rooms.
How do I design a kid’s bedroom?
The easiest way to get started is to understand the needs of both the parents and children involved in the project. This will mean understanding their lifestyle, goals and activity levels in the home. With that in mind, you can start to consider the whole room as a collection of multi-activity areas, that each perform a different function, e.g. play, sleep, relax, ideate, study. If there is more than one room at your disposal for the children of the home, you can also think about separating functions into a nursery, an extra living room or even a playroom.
Depending on what those needs are, or will be as the child transitions between ages, you can start thinking about the elements that permit those needs to be met. Of course this will depend on the child; are we talking about teenage girls or a toddler? A soccer expert or a brewing artist? Thus, the chosen elements will depend on each child; some want wall hangings to reflect their personality, others, a seating area to chat to their siblings.
However, there are some fundamentals that all children will need. Deep drawers and cupboards are a great option for all children, as, let's face it, kids can be quite careless with their belongings and make a room feel cluttered quickly. Also, a fun yet relaxing atmosphere, primed for bedtime and sleepovers, will be key for the success of a room.
If it just takes some planning, why does designing for kids feel so challenging for many? Let's cover that below.
Why is designing for children difficult?
As adults, it can be challenging to get into a child or tween mind and design for their tastes. Also, their interests don't usually align with those of a stylish space. Finally, the design scheme must be designed to be flexible across years and different functional, age-contextual needs.
Now that we've covered the possibilities and challenges kids rooms bring to us, let's talk to a trusted professional together. Throughout this interview, you'll learn more about how to design a children's bedroom while preserving a user-friendly layout and a beautiful interior design. Long gone are the days where the kid's play zone dictates a space's aesthetic
Interviewing Interior Designer, Laetitia Thorp
Portaire: How do you strike a balance between creating a playful and engaging space for children and maintaining a sense of sophistication and cohesion across a home?
Laetitia: Children’s rooms are the perfect canvas for introducing colour in a whimsical manner that may be unseen in the rest of the home. A sophisticated base palette of neutrals can be uplifted by cheerful and age-appropriate bed linens, cushions, and artwork – which can easily be switched out as they grow older and tastes change. Your child’s favourite colour can be incorporated into the space through a tasteful wallpaper or upholstered headboard in a heritage floral or striped pattern. These prints offer timeless elegance whilst adding personality and joy to the space.
P: What elements do you have in mind when designing a children's room?
L: We often design loft beds to maximise floor space and allow the room to evolve over time. The space beneath the bed can function as a play area when a child is young, then seamlessly transitions into a study space with a desk or a reading nook with an armchair and bookshelf.
P: How do you encourage children to participate in the design process of their own bedrooms?
L: When approaching any project, we ask our clients a lot of questions to gain as much insight as possible about their lifestyle and how they want their home to function and make them feel. The same goes for designing with children. We ask about their interests – What are their favourite colours? What is their favourite hobby, activity, or sport? What activities do they do in their room (homework, playing, reading, etc.)? Their answers guide our design decisions. But we also always ask the parents’ point of view first to help steer away from or navigate around any tricky topics ie… ‘Do you want a tv in your room?’ What child would say no!
P: What advice would you give to designers who are looking to design a children's bedroom that will grow with a child and adapt to their changing interests?
L: When designing a children's bedroom with longevity in mind, it's crucial to focus on those key elements that can adapt to the child's changing interests over the years. Invest in high-quality, durable furniture that can withstand the test of time both in terms of style and functionality. Choose soft, neutral and versatile colour palettes as a base, allowing for easy updates through accessories and furnishings. Consider multi-functional furniture pieces that can evolve with the child's needs, such as modular storage solutions or convertible beds. Prioritise classic and age-appropriate design elements, steering away from overly thematic or trend-driven choices.
P: What are some of your favourite examples of children's bedrooms that you have designed or seen that exemplify the balance of fun and sophistication?
L: One of my favourite children’s rooms was designed by my mother for our childhood home in the countryside. It has a very calm and airy feel, with a bright white base and light blue accents in the form of a hand-painted chest of drawers and blinds. It has four bunk beds arranged in an L-shape to make the most of the compact space, all featuring under-the-bed storage. It is a beautiful, restful space that perfectly complements the rest of the house.
P: Thank you so much for chatting with us. What products on Portaire could work in a sophisticated yet fun children's room?
The following could be fabulous! You can source them too at Portaire.