Getting a house renovated is never easy but turning a house in to a home takes even more time, effort and thought.
After a big renovation, we’ve been trying to turn our house in to a home. We keep doing bits and pieces in each room, but never finishing one room completely. So I decided the only way to get the job done was to focus on and finish one room at a time.
The room that I decided to take on first was my daughter Anya’s room and so I thought I would share some tips and ideas for decorating a small kids room as our daughters room is small at around 10ft x 10ft. My mission was to fit everything necessary in there but also leave space for play and make sure she wouldn’t outgrow the room in a hurry.
The first step was choosing a colour for the walls. We decided to go for grey and just as we decided, a collaboration came my way with The Little Greene Paint Company. It’s the power of putting things out to the universe – seriously it works! And they had just the shades of grey that I wanted.
Little Greene have a range called ‘Colours of England’ that include true historic shades as well as contemporary shades. We loved two colours – Lead and French grey. Lead was a darker grey whereas the French grey was softer and lighter. We let Anya decide and she went for French Grey – I couldn’t be happier with the colour. It looks so fresh and complements the natural wood and dusty pink touches in her room so well. Once we chose the colour, it was time to get planning and decorating and I’ve shared my ideas for decorating a small kids room below.
Ideas for decorating a small kids room:
1. Choose a wall colour that will stand the test of time
A friend of mine’s daughter loved pink and wanted a pink room so my friend painted her daughter’s room pink, of course. But a few months later, her daughter decided that her new favourite colour was turquoise and wanted a turquoise room. You get the idea here, right? So it’s best not to go for the colour of the moment but instead choose a timeless colour and you can always add decor accents in their favourite colours which can be changed easily. My favourite colours are white or grey for a kids room. Both of these can be mixed beautifully with any other colours.
2. Go for good quality paint
I was really happy to partner with The Little Greene Paint company as their paints stand the test of time. Not only is the paint super easy to apply with a roller and brush but also, with 2 coats you’re done. The paints are washable which is perfect for a kids room. We went for the French Grey in a matte finish.
During our recent house renovation our builders used some cheap paint and every time I stuck anything on with just blue tack or even washi tape, the paint peeled off. So I’ve learned that it’s so worth investing in good quality paint as nobody wants to re-paint a room every year or touch it up every other week.
3. Create a mood board
A mood board really helps! Everybody knows this but still so many people don’t do this before planning a room. A mood board not only helps you create a colour scheme and see how the colours come together but you can also add decor styles you like and create a whole look. This helps you focus your style and ideas rather than randomly buying things which may end up looking like a hodge-podge of lots of different ideas. And with pinterest out there, there really is no excuse not to create one.
4. Plan the layout to maximise floor space
Kids love sitting on the floor and playing especially when their friends come over. This is true from toddlerhood to tweens. So give them as much floor space as you can. As we have a small room, I have put all the cabinets against one wall and the bed next to them to form an L-shape. So the middle is all floor space. There is a canopy in one corner but the other wall just has some hooks to hang stuff. Placing the furniture in an L-shape can really maximise the floor space even in a small room like ours.
5. Closed storage is your best friend
I am a huge fan of lots of closed storage for a kids room because I don’t want to see the mess! While the idea of open shelves is great in theory, I know my kid at least, will not put stuff back neatly. But if there’s a closed place to put it, then even if the cupboards are messy inside, the room can still look tidy. So I went for as many cabinets as I could fit along the length of one wall and I also went for deep ones.
6. Keep the big furniture to the essentials
What will your kids mostly be doing in the room? For e.g. I always thought I would get Anya a desk and chair when I did her room. But when I thought it through, I realised this would be a waste of space and money as she always does her homework at our kitchen table. And I don’t think this is likely to change in a hurry. But if it did, it’s easier to add a piece of furniture when you need it rather than buy everything at once and then try and squeeze it in, especially if the room is small. And this leads me on to the next point about being a bit creative with your furniture.
7. Plan the furniture in relation to the space you have
When we’re doing up a bedroom, we immediately think we need a bed, wardrobe and some storage. While we do need these things, can you think a bit creatively about it? As Anya’s bedroom is small, I didn’t want a bulky wardrobe taking up space and also becoming this big elephant in a small room. So I decided to make a DIY open clothes rack with a chest of drawers underneath. This looks so much lighter than a full on wardrobe and also kids don’t need as much wardrobe hanging space as they do need drawers so it felt like the right solution.
8. Mix budget decor with expensive
Most of the furniture in my daughters room is not expensive. But we’ve mixed in higher end design stuff like the hooks and the duvet cover to create a look that is stylish but won’t blow the budget. I follow this principle throughout my home as it’s a great way to not spend a ton of money while still achieving whatever the style you want.
9. Use their things as decorations
Kids have lots of stuff! So instead of spending money on anything decorative for their room, just display their nicest stuff. Cute soft toys, wooden toys, dress up gear, books, blankets and even clothes all make great decorations in a kids room. And then you won’t need to find a place to store it elsewhere. I’ve used loads of Anya’s stuff as decoration including her spare blankets and wooden hula hoop which I love.
10. Keep colours similar
In a small kids room I think it helps using fewer colours and using similar shades. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Instead use different fabrics and textures to add interest. We’ve got wood, cotton, rattan baskets and a linen canopy all in natural wood tones, greys and dusty pinks which all complement each other and don’t make the room feel too busy. Too many colours and contrasting shades in a small space can feel chaotic rather than calm. A mood board (see point 3) will really help in getting this right.
If you’re interested in checking out Little Greene’s paints, you can find them here. And don’t forget, I’ll be sharing the how to on the DIY hanging clothes rack very soon as well more details on all the stuff I’ve used in this room.
If you’ve done up your kids room and have any tips to share, leave a comment below.