12 small kids' bedroom ideas you're going to love this year

These small kids' bedroom ideas will give you all the inspiration that you need to turn that, ehem, box room, into a space they will love and remember way past 2020

Children's bedroom by Norsu Home
(Image credit: Norsu Home)

If you're starting to think of small kids' bedroom ideas for 2020, you're in the right place. You might have a vision of an energising and vibrant space, that is organised and uncluttered, – ideal for homework and play –  but the reality is that this is far easier said than done! 

When it's often the case that our dear offspring tend to get stuck with the box room that once happily homed the vacuum cleaner and drying rack so comfortably, it's time to think outside the box (room) – sorry – and to get more innovative with your decor ideas. 

Don't let the challenge of a tricky room put you off, as we're experts in transforming awkward spaces into 'I love you forever' kind of spaces and we've rounded up 12 key  tips and tricks that will help you create the perfect environment for your little rascal(s) to grow up in.  

To help nail your project even better, be sure to check out our guide to designing a child's bedroom.

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.

Sweat dreams 💭 Elin Wallin

A photo posted by @studioelwa on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:27pm PDT

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.

Bedroom by cuckooland

Bedroom furniture by Cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

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.

Check our more storage ideas for kid's rooms

Ikea Trofast storage system

(Image credit: Ikea)

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

Check out our step-by-step guide to painting a ceiling

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. 

This bed from Little Folks Furniture  is a chest of drawers, bookcase, desk, and a bed in one. Literally, what more could you want? Well, more toy storage ideas would be handy for starters.

Colour blocking in a children's room

Mid Sleeper with drawers, bookcase and roll out desk, £850, Little Folks Furniture. For similar grey paint, try Down Pipe modern emulsion, £45 for 2.5ltrs, Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Little Folk Furniture)

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 creating a chalkboard wall 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.

We have a handy guide to how to install a floating shelf if you like the look of this small kids' room. 

Nursery painted using Dulux Spiced Honey

Nursery painted in Dulux Soft Stone and Spiced Honey

(Image credit: Dulux)

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. 

Bedroom by Norsu Home

Bedroom by Norsu Home

(Image credit: Norsu Home)

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

We've rounded up the best wall stickers (for both kids and adults) so go and take a look at those for more inspiration. 

blue scheme kids bedroom with space themed wall from koko kids

(Image credit: 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.

(Image credit: California Shutters)

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

Pink kids bedroom with neon lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

12. Go bright and bold with your colour scheme

While the general rule for small spaces is to keep thing light and neutral, we think you can make an exception in a small kid's room. This tends to be the room in the house where you can really be brave with your colour choices, so pick out something bright and bold, like this wonderful orange. Copy this trick and just paint part way up the walls so the colour doesn't overwhelm the small space. 

Want more inspiration for your kid's bedroom?