Kids’ furniture doesn’t automatically have to fall into the old cliché of that strictly pink or blue-only, superheroes and princesses look. There’s no reason why their space can’t look as stylish, individual and creative as your own, full of furniture that will stand the test of time.
In this guide, we’ll touch upon kids’ furniture essentials, as well as those little extra pieces that’ll help transform a bed and four walls into their dream room.
Instead of individual chairs, why not try adding a sofa to their room? Mini versions of grown-up sofas will make them feel, well, more grown-up and give lots of space for stretching out and sitting with friends or siblings. If they need a bit more space, add some matching (or artfully mismatched) armchairs.
In general, shrunken versions of your grown-up furniture are a great way to help them feel like their rooms are their own. Scaled-down Moda chairs in bright colours are classic enough to keep in their rooms for years as they grow up, and matching tables make for a charming homework or drawing area.
Stools are also useful extra seating for playdates or having friends over as they can be stacked and stowed away when not in use. Colourful Tolix-style stools also make lovely side tables or nightstands to place next to their beds. Older kids and teens can use these as step stools too.
Storage units are another key part of any kids’ room. It’s worth starting off with a small-ish chest of drawers that they can reach, though it may be worth buying a full-size chest of drawers when they’re nursery age that you can use as a changing station and then adapting that.
Shelves are one of the smartest storage solutions for kids’ rooms, as you can reposition them as they (and their collections of toys, videogames and books) grow, and add and remove extra shelves when you need them.
And storage boxes, crates and mini drawer units can be a lifesaver - keep an eye out for modular storage and things that can be folded up, wheeled around and stashed away when not in use.
Like any part of your house, lighting is key to kids’ rooms. Rather than choosing a light in the shape of their favourite character or football team that will date as they get older, you can create the same sense of fun with colourful shapes and statement, Vegas-style lighting and light boxes.
Use Vegas-style lettering lights to spell out their name on the walls, or create a focal point above their bed with a heart, anchor or star.
Up high, pendants are a good choice for ceiling lights as the shades or bases can be swapped out when your children get bored with them. And what with all that homework, desk lamps are a must for kids’ rooms too. You might want to invest in adjustable versions to keep the light on the right level as they grow.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for their room, it’s time to have fun with accessories. Get them involved with picking the colours and finishing touches and you’ll find you’ve created their dream room in no time…
If you want to add some colour but aren’t sure about painting the walls (a concern, knowing how quickly they can completely change their mind!), try a rug. Vibrant zig-zag, splashed paint or block colour rugs look good in boys and girls’ rooms and can be quickly changed or used elsewhere in the house. Throws, wall stickers and coloured pendant lights can also help create a quick, non-permanent transformation.
Big toys like teepees that they can hide in or retro-style cars that they can wheel around can also serve double duty as toy storage when they’re not being played with. And sculptural toys like Kay Bojeson’s wooden animals are more beautifully-crafted than most, and will continue to look beautiful when they’re older.
Beyond the basics, there’s no end to the amount of ideas for customising kids’ rooms - after all, they should be as fun as they are functional. Here are a few of our favourite tricks:
Shelving is one of the most versatile additions to kids’ rooms out there - it’s not just useful for storing toys! One of the ideas we’ve seen on the internet is using shelves inside an alcove or wardrobe to create a play area - like a pretend kitchen, or an enormous dolls’ house for them to play with.
You can also create a doll’s house-like effect by stacking up shelves and painting the roof of the house as a simple triangle at the top (or using thick washi tape to create the lines).
Wooden crates can give a retro, clubhouse-like feel to their room and are even more functional when you add castors to the base. If you’re really crafty, turn them into a toy train that their teddies can sit in. You can even add legs to them to make standing book storage, or affixing them to the wall as floating storage.
One final tip is that it can be a good idea to buy furniture with simple wooden finishes - you can paint this with them as they grow and they want a different look.