|All photos except EWD c/o Spotlight Stores|
The room should be vibrant but restful, so don't overdo the wall art. Plain walls work best if you want to put art up. Remember to value the children's creations too, so either invest in clipframes to make the pictures easy to switch in and out, or provide a display wall where the children can put their work up. Magnetic paint works well with lots of fun fridge magnets to hold their masterpieces up, or you could have a chalkboard wall for on-going creations (these can also be magnetic, so two birds with one stone!).
Keeping the walls plain means that you can change the bedding, soft furnishings and accessories as they grow, going from cutesy dinosaurs to something more sophisticated when they're older.
Plain needn't mean boring though, with the wide range of duvet covers, throws, fabrics, quilts, curtains, rugs and storage available in a host of characters and styles. Whether they love Disney, dragons, princesses, pirates, ballet or basketball, you'll find a range of accessories to suit. How about this brilliant selection of Finding Dory-themed fun from Spotlight Stores kids range, perfect for any young fishy fan!
A bulletin board above a desk or writing table is a great place to pin up postcards or small prints of famous art works after a trip to the gallery, as well as being perfect for displaying children's writing, from the pre-writing stage on. Make sure there is more than one flat surface available, or add a fold away table if space is limited.
A wall or display of inspiring role models is a great idea for growing kids, especially girls. Show them that they can be whatever they want to be with photos of scientists, politicians, astronauts, sporting greats, authors, artists, explorers, historians, whoever you think great. Let's show our kids that there is more to success than pop stars and reality TV!
|Emily Wilding Davison|
Make storage easy, accessible and straightforward. We swear by units of square cubbies with boxes or baskets inside for little bits, and simply open for larger toys. Large plastic or straw trugs and baskets work well for cuddly toys and dolls. We try to avoid plastic toys in the bedroom, keeping just soft toys there and the rest in the playroom area, as this seems to promote a gentler, more restful atmosphere for sleep.
When investing in larger pieces of furniture such as chests or wardrobes, remember that they will need to last 20 years plus, so invest in good quality modern items, or scour second-hand, thrift and antique shops for good quality brown furniture that will continue to stand the test of time. Items like this industrial-style bedside cabinet and bedstead with a nod to the antique is a look with longevity.
A combination of old and new looks modern and stylish, particularly if you can pick up mid-century teak, post-war utility pieces or Scandinavian style pieces in pale woods. Do shop around though as some dealers are really starting to push prices up for this stuff now! Local second-hand furniture shops run by charities are still your best bet. Modern wooden furniture like the pieces below will also go with everything.
Make art and writing/studying equipment storage inviting and attractive, with all equipment ready for use, including appropriate paper types, card, canvases etc. We use open shelves for paint and craft kits, different sizes of drawers for craft supplies, stickers and paper, and various baskets and other containers for pens, pencils, paintbrushes, stamps etc. Floating shelves on the wall or a shelving unti would work perfectly.
To make equipment truly accessible, ditch all the unnecessary and distracting packaging, chose interesting containers to suit your theme, and make everything easy to access and assemble when project inspiration strikes. Add occasional prompts, new materials or ideas to have a truly inspiring, engaging space.
Ultimately, the room, especially if it's bedroom too, should be inviting and relaxing. Add snuggly blankets, throws and cushions to sofas and chairs - great for rainy day den building too. If you have room leave a tent or teepee up as an escape pod/cool down area for tense moments, a place to chill out and read or daydream, or the perfect space for telling stories and acting out adventures.
The bed itself should be comfortable, and the best you can afford, but when it comes to duvet covers and throws, let your child pick their favourite characters. Affordable items such as cushions, sheets and quilt covers can be changed often enough, so if they suddenly decide they can't bear Frozen (yeah right), you can swap it. For older children, maybe a more neutral theme would be more appropriate
When decorating a child's space, always think from their point of view, their interests, their aspirations and hopes, even their height. Try to put yourself in their shoes and think 6 months, a year, several years ahead, as well as now. if you're not sure about now, get those lines of communication open and ask them what they like, what they enjoy doing and what they want from their space. Together you'll create something amazing.
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