Inspiring kids’ room decor ideas: ways to feed mini imaginations

living creatively
by holly TUCKER


How do you create an imaginative space for kids growing up? Help them express themselves in wonderful ways…

How can I create an inspiring kids' room? Remember how it felt to be a kid

Personally, I think the best kids’ bedroom and playroom ideas start with them. When I grew up, my bedroom was so important to me. It was a place of creative expression and inspiration, but also a calming space. Somewhere to represent and reflect my personality. The room then adapted with me as I started to grow into who I am, and I think it’s a parent’s job to support that.

With my son Harry, every few years we’d change the colour as his tastes changed and it was something he looked forward to. Whenever we went away he was allowed to choose a memento to bring back, too. So I put up two shelves for him to keep them all on with a sign saying ‘Harry’s Nik Naks’, which became a kind of gallery of memories.

Kids’ furniture and accessories: reuse and repurpose

When Harry got into Lego, I covered a table top in those flat plates you build it on, and he used it for a good four or five years to create ‘Lego City’ — a world he made that had everything from shops to high-rises and lifts. Then as he got older, he got into music so we used the same table to put his mixing deck on and bought hooks for him to hang his guitar. He's always loved his trainers, too. As a parent, you can see and encourage them; be like a mirror to reflect who they’re becoming. Each change is like a mark on one of those height charts, but showing their development. Then when they get older, they become mini interior decorators themselves. I once got my mum’s bedsheets and staple-gunned them to the ceiling to create clouds. Needless to say, she was not entirely happy about that…

How to create a fun kids’ room

The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how you do this (these things never go as planned in my experience anyway!) but just think creatively. How can you use even the most ordinary aspects of a space to inspire children, while making them feel cosy and safe? What can you repurpose to achieve your look? This is all about innovation, and building a room around their dreams and ambitions. If you’re not sure where to start, try this:

If they’re really into one thing, use it as a theme — just make sure it’s not something that’s likely to date quickly or it might work out to be expensive!

Figure out the ‘spaces’ you’ll need — this will depend on their age but think about clothes space, desk space, sleeping space and so on. If they’re sharing, have they each got reading nooks or creative corners and so on?

Work out the kids’ furniture and kids’ storage — a wardrobe, drawers, desk perhaps? What else will they need?

Choose your decorations — a one-of-a-kind clock? A jar to keep action figures in? A washing basket shaped like a rocket because that’s what they’re into? I find kids love to play with perspective too, so either massive things like giant ice creams or mini things like fairy doors are fun if that's what they're into, and texture is important. A velvet wall hanging can really add some warmth (and wit).

Add artwork for kids — what will inspire them as they grow? How can you bring out the best in them and teach them to think outside the box? Art doesn’t have to be hung on walls. What could you paint on the windows? What could you create on the floor? I got Harry a rug with roads on it when he was little and he would drive his mini cars round it for ages. I also made a whiteboard for him to do his pen ‘battles’ on but I put it by the floor so he could sit cross legged in front of it which he loved to do.

What are some popular themes for imaginative kids' rooms?

Yes there are the usual suspects; something nature inspired, space aged or fantasy based perhaps — your superheroes, princesses and pirates. But there are also more niche ones that really tap into their true personal passions… Gorillas? Reading? An ice cream shop? Try our less ordinary collections for ideas. And how can you include unexpected elements to bring it alive? And as I said, the more ‘them’ it feels, the better. Remember, the theme doesn't just have to come across on the walls.

What colours work best to stimulate kids' imaginations in their room?

What’s their personality? Loud and cheerful or calm and thoughtful? Let them help choose the colour as for any budding Frida Kahlos like me, colour will be incredibly important and it can really affect mood. In the ‘80s there was a shade that psychologists called Drunk Tank Pink as it was used in prisons and discovered to calm agitated prisoners — might be a good choice for some teenagers I know actually...

How do you choose great kids’ furniture and kids’ storage solutions?

Furniture and storage solutions can be transformed into interactive play or work areas and the key is to keep it creative. Kids’ rooms provide a real opportunity to have fun. Just think how it can also help keep them organised, and encourage tidiness and independence too. And if you think of a way to gamify getting them to put their clothes away properly, do let me know.

Are there any lighting ideas that can spark kids' imaginations in their room?

Fairy lights, reading lights, kids’ nightlights? For neurodiverse children, some find having a personalised control to be helpful, and fibre optic light is supposed to be good for those with ADHD. Of course light only affects one of the senses too. Think how you could engage the others? Scratch and sniff wallpaper? A sound button they can press to play calming ‘bedtime’ music? What might make it magical?

What types of wall art can encourage imaginative play in kids' rooms?

I mean, nowadays there’s just a world of inspiration. You could…

  • Use captivating wall decals and stickers
  • Paint a mural or meaningful words
  • Choose unique wallpaper (or design your own. I had a cool graffiti print made for Harry’s den when he was younger and he loved it)
  • Or paint the room a simple colour and hang children’s prints and art (that way, you can change them as they grow)
  • Create walls they can draw on (using blackboard paint or similar)
  • Make a gallery wall for them to add their own artwork to

Whatever you choose for the kids’ room, have fun and be the springboard off which they bounce. It’s a chance to provide children with spaces that foster growth, learning, play and creativity. So from themes and colours, to furniture and lighting, I hope this has helped inspire you. I can’t wait to see who they become.

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