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Interiors 101: Getting the kids’ rooms right

There are lots of different elements to consider when decorating children’s bedrooms. We cover it all – from bedtime routines to fun themes.
Lifestyle
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When it comes to interior design, it’s easy enough to know what you like. But when it’s time to give the kids’ bedrooms an overhaul, you can find yourself – rather unexpectedly – in unknown territory. How do you create a space that promotes independence yet keeps the little ones feeling safe and secure? How do you make sure their bedroom is defined as just that – a bedroom ­– the place that they lay their heads down at the end of the day to sleep? And where do you draw the line on their weird and wonderful décor suggestions (how feasible is it really to have a tropical fish pond installed in the floorboards?).

While decorating rooms for youngsters can be great fun, there’s a bit of logical thinking to be done first. Once that’s out of the way, you’re free to let your inner creative genius reign.

From colour schemes to Disney themes, night lights to secret dens, read on for some top tips on how to get your kids’ rooms right.

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The routine factor

Any parents of little ones will know about the importance of establishing a night-time routine. This helps children wind down from their busy day and set themselves up for sleep. And while it’s not always plain-sailing, a sense of routine is one of the biggest deterrents against those tiring evening tantrums. Getting the bedroom right is an essential part of this process. It’s all about creating a clearly defined space that provides all those ‘time for bed’ signals, which essentially make your job easier. Adults struggle to unwind in rooms that are cluttered, too bright or filled with work stuff, and kids are no different. Just like for grown-ups, their room is their sanctuary.

To give a child’s room the big ‘Bedroom’ stamp, fill it with lovely soft furnishings and make use of low lighting to give it that sleepy ambience it needs. Let your child pick out a night light to place on a lamp table by their bed. There are lots of creative options on the market, from glowing dinosaurs to star-strewn universe globes and Disney figurines – so pick something they’ll look forward to seeing at the end of the day. Next, make sure the bedroom can be easily converted between its two natural states – play den, and place to sleep. Fill the corners with lots of big storage baskets so you can sweep up any mess easily at the end of the day, switching the room into calming, sleep-friendly mode.

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The sleep factor

There’s nothing quite as disheartening as getting your little one tucked up and supposedly off to sleep, only to hear that familiar cry of, ‘Muuuum’ or ‘Daaaad’, five minutes later. While décor certainly won’t be the answer to all your problems, it can go a long way in settling children and encouraging them to slip into a peaceful sleep at bed time. Firstly, think about colour carefully. If your child displays stressful or anxious behaviour prior to sleep, opt for calming shades of blue which can actually lower heart rate, blood pressure and feelings of anger. Likewise, avoid reds and oranges which can be stimulating and hinder the wind-down process.

Another good way to help your child get ready for sleep is by creating ‘zones’ in the bedroom. Make sure the bed is in the sleep zone, and have a separate zone for playing or doing homework. You could define the zones by incorporating different wall colours, or even by draping the bed in a fun canopy to create a cosy den just for sleeping and reading.

And while we’re on the subject of story time – make sure your little one’s book collection is accessible so you can read from one of their favourites as they get tucked up in bed. When you’re shopping for bedside cabinets go for something with an additional shelf underneath so you know you’ve always got a couple of books to hand.

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The safety factor

It’s your job to keep your kids safe, but you can get some help by choosing the right furniture. Our Explorer collection is from the Children’s Furniture company, who put the highest safety standards at the heart of their furniture design, with the reassurance of non-toxic child friendly triple paint protection.

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The fun factor

You’ve got the practical bits out the way, now it’s time to get down to the fun part. And what better way to design the room your child wants than to get them involved in the process? Their imaginations are like an untapped pot of interior-inspo gold, so be sure to make the most of it and run with their ideas. Sure, you may have to temper some of their wilder visions, but most of the time you’ll be able to bring their dreams to life with a bit of clever thinking. Here are some of our favourite themes to get your creative juices flowing:

The Jungle Book: Think bold palm tree prints, green walls and lots of cuddly lions and friendly stencils of their favourite animals. Just be sure to go for pale green as a base to make sure the space feels serene, not overwhelming.

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Dreamy pastels: Pastel colour schemes are incredibly soothing and create a feeling of relaxed spaciousness in the room. Go for pale yellow walls and accessorise with lots of faded pinks, sky blues, and white furniture.

Ahoy there!: Perfect if you want to go for a calming theme – paint the walls a pale blue and dot with fluffy white clouds. Then, go for all things nautical when it comes to bedding and accessories. Think bold stripes, exciting boats and treasure chests.

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Cosy cottage: Gingham curtains, delicate florals, and strings of pretty bunting – going for a twinkly, cosy cottage theme works wonderfully if you want to incorporate lots of textures. Think soft woolly blankets, plump cushions and fairy lights.

Outer space: A base of blues works well for this out of this world theme. Think stars, swirling space dust and clever lighting. Add a touch of sparkle with golds and silvers. You can even buy galaxy themed bedding for your little space explorers.

Kids’ bedroom décor may feel like a minefield at first, but it’s secretly one of the easiest ways to get creative with interior design. With no stuffy, grown-up ideas of sensibility to deal with, the sky – or more aptly – your imagination’s the limit.

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