Re-decorating a child's small bedroom? The dream is to have a vibrant, inspiring, uncluttered place in which to play or get homework done, but the reality is that our offspring usually get stuck with the box room that was previously used to house the vacuum cleaner and the drying rack.
We know it can be tricky to know how to transform these small spaces, but we think our inspirational ideas to take a small kid's bedroom from the box room to the best room are fail-safe.
1. Embrace a small bedroom's cosiness
Think back to your den building days, piling up all the sofa cushions and blankets to create your own little space. Well, take that idea and upgrade the sheet fort to encompass the entire room. Use a bed canopy, plenty of cushions and throws and put up some fairy lights to turn a small room into a den-like space. Bliss.
2. Create a light colour scheme that grows with them
Just because they said they love Minions today, that doesn’t mean they will love them next week. So to avoid constantly having to repaint the walls or strip off blue and yellow wallpaper, opt for a scheme with staying power. Obviously listen to their suggestions, but always keep one eye on the future by picking a neutral colour that will serve as a blank canvas to more decorative accessories, and the ever changing preferences of the room's occupant. The other plus side? Light neutrals make small kids' rooms look larger, too.
3. Go for a multi-functional storage system
We all know that the key to a well organised bedroom is good storage, but nowhere is it more important than in a child's small bedroom. We say the best way to go is a multi-purpose storage system that can be adapted to suit your space and storage needs, and their changing needs.
Ah, trusty Trofast. Where would parents be without you? This Ikea system is really versatile and there are so many elements that can be changed up as your child grows.
4. Wallpaper the ceiling
Okay, we may have said to keep the walls simple as possible, but the ceiling is a perfect place to add colour and pattern to a smaller bedroom without it overwhelming the space. You could of course just paint the ceiling or take some inspiration from @thehousethatgreybuilt, and use a bold print wallpaper that has a limited colour palette. You can find similar wallpaper to this playful cactus print on Etsy.
5. Invest in multi-functional furniture
Furniture in any small space has to work hard, so make sure you choose pieces that can double up as something else. A chest of drawers that can also be a changing table, a toy chest that doubles as seating, a bed that can be used for storage. You get the idea.
6. Get creative with a chalkboard wall
We are aware that doodling on the walls is usually strictly forbidden, but painting a chalkboard wall is a way for kids to customise their own bedroom. It’s also a great idea if you are decorating on a budget, because you can easily DIY one yourself, just check our step by step guide to find out how.
7. Save space (and add extra storage) with picture ledges
Picture ledges and wall mounted shelves work wonders in small rooms, they take up barely any space but can display a ton of decorative accessories that are so essential in a kid's bedroom. Use them to display your child’s favourite books, toys and knick knacks – adding personality to the space plus some handy extra storage, win win.
Bear safety in mind though – don't position anything heavy or electrical at a height where little ones will be able to reach them and pull them down on themselves.
8. Make use of an alcove
As kids get older they are going to need a space to get homework done, or at least pretend to get homework done. Finding space to squeeze in a desk can be tricky in a smaller bedroom so look for neglected spaces that could be put to good use – alcoves are perfect for this – then install a small desk or even a shelf and you've got a work space.
No alcove? No problem. A wall mounted drop down desk with a few wall shelves will create a mini workstation and won’t take up too much precious square footage.
9. Use wall stickers as (temporary) artwork
Easy to put up, inexpensive and (usually) pretty easy to remove, wall stickers are a great alternative to wallpaper in a small kid’s bedroom. This is where those beloved minions can some into play, since stickers' peel-off properties means you can give in to their ever changing obsessions and just switch up the stickers as they grow up.
There are tons of different designs out there, but what kid wouldn’t love these space themed wall stickers from Koko Kids?
10. Choose practical windows treatments
Curtains are always lovely in children’s bedrooms, as the soft drape of fabric will only add to the whole cosy vibe we mentioned earlier, but if space is limited blinds or shutters are always your best bet. Solid shutters are ideal for blocking out light if your child (and by extension you) have forgotten what sleep is. Blinds are functional too, just make sure you choose one with a black out lining and fit a safety device to keep the cord out of the way.
See more window treatment ideas for children's rooms in our design gallery.
11. Layer the lighting
A kid's bedroom sees a lot of different activities from dreaded homework sessions and play dates to bedtime reading and (hopefully) sleeping, so make sure you have multiple light sources to cater to all of these. If your child's room has a desk or work space make sure there is some kind of focused task light near by, incorporate some soft lights around the room for more relaxed activities and if you can, always have a bed side light that your kid can turn off themselves to avoid those 'muuummm can you turn light off' moments.
For a more in depth run down of bedroom lighting, check out our guide to designing the best bedroom lighting.