The sky really is the limit when it comes to decorating a child's bedroom; it's a chance to be creative, have some fun and decorate in a way you probably wouldn't in any other room in the house. Although the bedroom may start as simply a place for your child to sleep, it could soon become a play room, a place to study, socialise and even to retreat to - so it's important that it works for all of these purposes and grows with them.
Children may be vocal about decorating ideas and giving them a room they want to spend time in will benefit you both. Be mindful though, that kids can change their minds quickly and it's best to interpret their wishes loosely or there's a chance you'll be left with a fully themed room that's suddenly no longer what they want. Follow Rita Konig's advice: 'Children’s tastes can be alarming, but by giving them a voice, one can steer them gently in a more palatable direction.'
Kids' rooms are the perfect place to inject some brights with bold furnishings and fittings; think a burst of colour pop or rainbow brights. Customised shutters can be a good way to brighten a scheme but be able to easily undo it as your children grow into teenagers and perhaps prefer something more muted. As our columnist Rita Konig says, 'I would advise using anything cute that you fear your child will grow out of in a bathroom, where they will tolerate it longer than they might in their bedroom.' Alternatively opt for pure fantasy, with soft hues and pretty textiles plus lashings of fairy lights.
If classic kids' room decor really isn't for you, you can still create a practical space your child will love using muted colours and design-led furnishings, which means that they are unlikely to grow out of the room as quickly. Look to Farrow & Ball, whose Modern Emulsion is easy to clean if they decide that the walls are far better than paper for some fun with crayons. In fact, it might be worth considering in the whole house until they grow out of that phase.
When it comes to buying furniture for your little one's room, always choose the sturdiest option. Kids will climb and clamber, so choose products that will last. You may have set your heart on that pretty antique commode, but put it in your bedroom, not theirs. Look to IKEA for staples that can be customised as they grow, or sold back to the shop when you no longer need it with their new 'Buy Back' scheme.
As for the bed, plan in advance; don't forget children grow quickly, so that sweet little bed that they look adorable in now isn't worth the investment if they can't fit into it in two years' time. Think practically too, a pretty princess bed can be re-painted but a themed sailor bed is less easy to adapt. Bunk beds are a great option; even if siblings aren't sharing, it will allow them to have their friends over and most children love them. Alternatively, choose a full-size bed which will carry them through to their teenage years but opt for age-appropriate bed linen.
Wallpaper and accessories
Have some fun with kids' wallpaper, and remember to choose one that scrubs and cleans easily. Marimekko has a great selection. There are so many gorgeous options to choose from, whether it be dinosaurs, cowboys or fairytales. You could also go for colour, choosing a bright, vibrant design like paisley or stripes or a bespoke wallcovering like a world map or cityscape.
It's key to ensure that you have proper storage solutions for the numerous clothes, toys, crafts and homework that your child is guaranteed to accumulate. A simple trunk or ottoman is perfect for throwing everything in, and consider every alcove. Bespoke shelving or cupboards work wonders and it's often the little things, like a book rail attached to a bed, or under-bed storage that make all the difference with keeping things in order. When it comes to storage solutions, you really can never have enough.
This originally appeared on House & Garden UK | Tory Kingdon