Here are a few ideas for kids rooms from a magazine feature I did in Home Owner a year or so ago and lots of pictures of little Bailey’s bedroom.

What are the essential components of a kid’s bedroom?
Naturally, the first essentials of a child’s bedroom is similar to that of any bedroom: a bed, side table and a cupboard/drawers. And then other items that I too have found very important is a rug and good lighting both overhead and on the side table.

In terms of décor, what are the new trends when it comes to kids bedrooms?
There is a trend to move away from “child-only” furniture and decorations, especially when it comes to the larger and/or more expensive items in the room. Parents are purchasing items that will be part of their child’s room for tens of years, instead of a few years. A designer chair or lamp, for example that can easily transcend the years.

How does one minimize clutter? Do you have any storage advice and tips?
Kids have “a lot of stuff”. So it is vital that storage is priority first and foremost. Therefore look to every piece of furniture for possibilities: Buy a bed that can fit or already has drawers underneath. Opt for side table with a drawer/cupboard, or forgo a small table for a dresser instead. Fit out the cupboard with multiple levels of shelves and drawers (kids clothing is relatively short) so make use of the space below by fitting in more shelves and or stacked baskets. Make the most of the walls in the bedroom and fit in multiple shelves for books and toys – consider a shelf all the way across the wall – much like would have had a picture rail in the past.

How do you suggest one goes about creating a colourful, fun and practical kids bedroom?
Create a room that reflects the personality of your child rather than a “cookie-cutter” version of a TV character. What type of style is your child drawn to (traditional? glamourous? playful?). What is their favourite colour? Do you they particularly enjoy a specific sport, book, hobby? Ask what will your child do in the bedroom in addition to sleeping: Will they or you read to them – you will need a chair and side table and lamp? Will they do their homework there – you will need a table, chair and lamp? Will they play in their bedroom – a large area rug and easy-to-access storage baskets or boxes for toys. Will they do arts and crafts – a small table and chair etc. By asking these questions this will ensure your child has a room that is really “theirs” and for them to enjoy.

What should homeowners consider when creating a kid’s room?
Be forwarding thinking. Plan your child’s room for at least 5 years of use: so if your child is 5, plan a room that she can enjoy till she is 10. Not only is this sensible but it enables one to rationalise more expensive purchases for example wallpapering a wall or buying a vintage dresser.

What is the ideal location for a kid’s room?
The only real consideration for the location of a child’s room I would say is to be close to the bathroom and near the parent’s bedroom. Also, if your child is going to be using the room as a playroom and bedroom, consider it a better option to give your child the largest room in the house. Especially, if you only sleep in your bedroom, and you prefer to work/watch TV/read in another room. That way the living area is an extension of your bedroom rather than your child’s bedroom (and all the paraphernalia that comes with it) taking over.

Do you have any practical advice when it comes to practical lighting, décor placement and security?
Often lighting is overlooked in a child’s bedroom, and it has a profound effect on a child’s eyesight. Therefore it is vital to ensure that there are multiple sources of light in a child’s room, namely there should be natural light, but this to must be able to be eliminated entirely with the use of curtains and/or blinds to ensure a good night’s rest. Overhead lighting must be able to illuminate the room entirely. A side table lamp and a desk table lamp are important for nighttime reading and homework. However, this is one area I like to splash out on and I make the lighting a feature in the room and opt to purchase a “grown-up” overhead light that would ordinarily be found in a lounge or adult bedroom. Also, there are some really sweet night lights for kids on the market…

How do you ensure a long lasting room that’s not age restrictive and allows the kid to grow into?
As mentioned before, this s where it is important to design a room for your child and their current and future interests. For example, my daughter Bailey loves all toy animals, but instead of creating a room focussing on animal TV characters, I opted for a more grown up version of pretty PiP Studio birds and blossoms – and then with the addition of her actual toys, the room itself is still for a child, but can easily become that of a young girl.

Quick and easy décor tips for a child’s bedroom
1 – Buy three or more store bought frames but get custom colour boards cut out and frame images from your child’s favourite book.
2 – Buy three or so matching storage baskets that are of a good quality and add chalkboard tags and pretty satin bows.
3 – Designate a space on the wall for your child’s art and either string up a line and let them peg on their artwork, or hand them a roll of washi rice paper tape to stick them to the wall.
4 – Transform your child’s room by adding a rug on the floor, not only does this make the room more colourful, but hopefully if there is an accident it will be on the less permanent rug.
5 – Buy some wall stickers, not only are they cheaper, less permanent and easier than wallpaper or paint – but there is such a wide range of gorgeous options and they can make a very simple room look that much more stylish in seconds.
6 – Purchase a top quality, high end quilt for your child’s bed, this immediately transforms the bed from cheap to chic, and you will find surprisingly easier for your child to make their own bed.
7 – Cut back on the clutter. Every year a month before their birthday, “cull” your child’s toys, you will be amazed what is accumulated and actually never used. If you are worried your child will miss them, place them in a box for a month and if no one mentions them – donate them to a local charity or sell at a second hand store, and use the money for some of the new toys.
8 – Children love photos especially of themselves growing up, family and friends. So be sure to frame photos or pin them to a giant pinboard in their bedroom.