All kids need a bit of space at home to call their own. Ciara Elliott asked Irish experts for their tips to optimise a child’s sleep area…
1 Make a plan “I think it’s great to get your child involved in planning their own bedroom,” says Emma Lynch of Lamb Design. “When children love their room, they’re more likely to enjoy spending time there. Help them choose art pieces, paint colour and wallpaper. Wall decals are also great if you’re renting, as they’re easy to remove.”
2 Room to grow When transitioning a child’s bedroom from baby to toddler to school-goer, think of fluid areas that will adapt to suit their different needs. “Creating longevity in your furniture choices makes best sense,” says Mark Ryan of Babateen. “If you invest in a piece like a cube cot, that transforms from cot to cot-bed to desk, you’re in business.”
3 Proud display All children love to display things – from their collection of Scout badges to mini Lego figures and dancing medals. There are lots of clever and easy ways of doing this with corkboards, pinboards and magnetic boards. A vintage printer’s tray hung on the wall makes a brilliant piece to display precious things.
Bunny & Clyde Harrison crib, Coco Crib, both Lamb Design, Hausschwein storage unit, Cybex by Marcel Wanders.
4 Bedding down “Invest in a bed that is four-foot wide rather than the standard three-foot bed,” suggests Leigh Tucker, kidswear designer behind the Willow brand at Dunnes Stores. “This allows you to get into bed with them when they need you. This has been a godsend for us.”
5 Tight fit If you’re short on space, consider wall-hung storage, which will keep the floor free. Rows of pegs and hooks are endlessly useful for coats, hats, dressing gowns and, of course, all those fancy dress costumes. You can also hang a series of different coloured cotton string bags from the hooks to store various smalls, such as socks, tights, hats or gloves.
6 Blank canvas “I recommend white walls for a child’s room, as white makes a great backdrop against their colourful toys and bedding. But more importantly, it’s so easy to touch up. I keep a little tester pot of white on standby to cover up those pesky scuff marks in minutes!” advises Maria Ryan, founder of Irish kids’ clothing brand Lollipops and Day Dreams.
7 Forward focus “When designing a child’s room, it doesn’t have to be busy and noisy,” says Stephanie O’Sullivan of Irish online kids’ brand Frank and Nora. “One strong, fun focal point, such as a picture wall or cool bed, can make a design statement that you, and your kids, will love forever.”
Wand-knitted grey wolf, Hip Little People, Oak wall hooks, Lucie Kaas.
8 Luxe linen “Plump for decent bedlinen for your little ones. A nice good quality neutral for a six-year-old will probably still be good when she is 16,” contends Leigh Tucker. “And let’s face it, we all sleep better on good bedlinen.”
9 Night, night Young children tend to wake up as soon as it’s light, which in summer can be as early as 5am, so if you want to give yourself a little extra time in bed, try window blinds with room darkening fabrics. Luxaflex has some pretty designs for children’s rooms.
10 Love light For Bronwyn Thomson, founder of Mira Mira children’s store in Sandymount, it’s all about well-thought-out lighting. “It’s amazing the difference something as small as a new lampshade can make to the mood of a room. You can create an instantly cosy and inviting mood in your child’s room with a series of fun, playful lamps and cute nightlights.”