Room to Grow

By Designer Kate Davidson, Kate + Co Design Inc

Like raising kids, designing rooms for them is a lot of fun, but it’s not without its challenges! You want a space that suits their personality – whether it’s bubbly, sweet, curious, rough-and-tumble or all of the above – while meeting their needs, both now and in the future. But as any parent will attest, the little ones grow fast, and so too do their tastes, needs and moods. Creating a room that evolves with them means you won’t have to redecorate it again in a few years, months or even weeks. Here are some tips to win big with the littles.

Step 1: Get inspired.

When pulling together a dynamic kids’ space, we start with a source of inspiration, such as a fun wall covering, fabric or an eye-catching area rug. Drawing inspiration from a designed element that already appeals to you, like a rug or upholstery, will help take the guesswork out of your colour scheme, patterns and the overall motif.

Once you’ve narrowed down your colour palette, stick to it. I recommend choosing three to four colours, with two being the dominant hues and two as your accent colours. Once you’ve made your selections, stay true to them throughout for a sense of continuity, and to give the room a thoughtful, polished aesthetic.

Step 2: Create a focal point.

Whether it’s a small or large space, enjoyed by an only child or shared among many, adding some statement pieces will draw the eye and deliver the “wow” factor that every great room demands. Resist the urge to overdo it and over-stimulating the space with too many elements. In this case, limit your choices to one or two focal points.

TIP: You want a bold focal point, but you’re not willing to make a long-term commitment to your decorating whims (think wallpaper on the walls or ceiling!) place emphasis on something that’s easy and low-cost to replace, such as an area rug, bedding or artwork. Same “wow” without the vow.

Step 3: Get personal.

Even in a shared room, or perhaps especially in a shared room, its important to give each child their own area to customize and personalize, for example, a reading corner or a bookshelf to display personal items. Then, closets and desk areas can be shared, to help save valuable space.

Step 4: Get cozy!

In spaces where comfort is key, such as a kids’ bedroom, play area or a family room, use layers to create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Layer pillows and throws on chairs and at the foot of the bed. Of course, cozy bedding and blankets are a must-have. Bean bag chairs are a great place to flop down and curl up. Of course, a plush rug underfoot warms the body and soul.

Step 5: Think long-term.

Invest in good flooring, wall-coverings and durable fabrics for window coverings and upholstery. It might cost you a bit more upfront, but you won’t have to replace it any time soon. With this in mind, when it comes to the big-ticket items, choose classic colours and motifs, and opt for timeless finishes that can grow with your child.

Kids have a tendency to think outside the box – something that many of us adults can certainly be doing more of when it comes to our homes and our lives. Plan with practicality in mind, but don’t forget to put some personality into it, too.