Children’s Bedrooms: designing a young person’s bedroom with Jackie Hoyte
Designing a child’s bedroom can bring out your inner child, says Bath-based interior designer Jackie Hoyte, and gives you the opportunity of providing a stimulating, rationalised space for your child to take endless pleasure in.
Involving your little one in the process of creating a bedroom for them will ensure it will be a space that feels personal to them, no matter their age, and a place of comfort and safety. It is easy to let their imagination (and yours) gather momentum without considering the practicalities, so here are some top tips on how to create the perfect bedroom that will be fun and fabulous but also realistic.
Tip One: planning Before you start, sit down with your child and make a list of what the room will be used for. Start with the essentials and then the ‘would love to haves’ as you might not have space for all the elements. First and foremost the bedroom is for sleeping, but it may also be used for homework, playing, reading and hobbies. How much and what sort of storage do you require? Is the room an awkward space? Creating a basic floor plan will help visualise the layout and decide what furniture you need and where to place it. Free apps such as Room Sketcher and Magic Plan are a great alternative to pen and paper. Do also think about how long you would like the room to last and your budget, to guide your decisions.
Tip Two: colouring in A child’s bedroom serves multiple roles including playroom, space to work and personal sanctuary. But its main purpose is to provide a place for them to sleep and therefore it is key to keep the colour scheme tranquil rather than over-stimulating. With the often rapidly changing tastes of the occupant, consider a neutral colour for the walls which will serve as a blank canvas on which to add colour, interest and pattern through window dressings, wall stickers, accessories and art. Neutral doesn’t necessarily mean white though. You can choose from a myriad of gentle and delicate shades of green, blue, pink and grey all of which will, in turn, complement any stronger colour choices your child may have, which can be indulged in via the accessories. Brands such as Fenwick & Tilbrook, Little Greene and Graphenstone all offer low VOC paints ensuring your little one won’t be breathing in any nasty fumes.
Tip Three: furniture It really pays to plan carefully when looking at furniture for your child’s bedroom to ensure that what you choose will both work hard and last for – or at least not need rethinking for – at least five years. For instance when choosing a bed, select one that they can grow into and one that serves multiple purposes. A truckle bed that has a pull-out is a great idea for when they have friends to stay for sleepovers or you could consider a bunk bed or cabin bed which will give you space underneath for an extra mattress.If you have the space and budget it is worth investing in well-crafted built-in wardrobes which can offer not just storage for clothes but also toys, games and books. If you prefer freestanding furniture, buy some pieces that children can grow up with and hopefully will become family heirlooms. Timeless and good-quality items such as a chest of drawers or wardrobe, if chosen well, can stay in the room scheme from toddler to teenager and beyond. Don’t shy away from vintage and antique pieces as these are very often built to withstand the test of time. You can source drawers, wardrobe and storage trunks from vintage experts such as Louisa Grace Interiors and ST Decorative Antiques or from vintage fairs including IACF Fair at Shepton Mallet which is held every few months. Smaller storage items such as sets of trunks and baskets allow easy access to toys and books, and the chance to add pops of colour and texture to the room, as well as keeping it clutter free.
A truckle bed that has a pull-out is a great idea for when they have friends to stay…
Tip Four: make it personal Now is the time to fully recruit your little teammate and get their input into the final touches. The room will need to adapt and change as your child grows so while they may absolutely love Harry Potter right now, you can be sure this will change quickly. Take them along on a shopping spree to choose pieces for their room; you can add affordable fun prints, bedlinen, blinds and lighting which can be easily switched as their tastes change, so take them along on a shopping spree to choose pieces for their room. There are many options for easy-to-measure, order and fit designs which offer both a practical black-out blind solution as well as a pop of fun at the window. Think about utilising any bookshelves to curate and display trinkets, souvenirs and artwork as well as that precious Lego model they refuse to dismantle! Print out some favourite photos from your phone and peg them to a string of fairy lights for an extra personal touch which can be easily updated.
Tip Five: space to work and play If space allows, incorporating a play tent or reading corner adds an extra dimension to the room and most importantly encourages creative play. Including a desk will be perfect for drawing and playing when they are young and then when the homework years hit they will have the perfect space to study. Adding considered, creative and practical elements will ensure your child’s room remains a much-loved space that stays useable for years to come.
Jackie is part of the Decor Buddi team: a group of interior and garden design experts who work closely with their clients to create unique spaces tailored to personal taste and aspiration. You can learn more about the services offered by Decor Buddi on their website: decorbuddi.com. You can also see more of Jackie’s work on her Instagram: @decorbuddi_bath_jackie