Down with the Kids


Down with the KidsYour children may not know their Eames from their le Corbusier, but they certainly know what they like when it comes to their own bedrooms. As they grow, from cute babies to cool teenagers, they develop tastes and preferences and this holds particularly true when it comes to their personal space.

It’s important for young people to feel as though they have somewhere to retreat to that reflects their personalities, where they can chill out and do their own thing, and, of course, get a good nights sleep. It’s all easier said than done, though; it can be extremely difficult to decorate according to their tastes while still working within the boundaries of style.

To make it all go as smoothly as possible, we have put together a guide to decorating your child’s room in style, with hints and tips that will help to keep everyone happy.


  • When your newborn beds down in his or her first bedroom, it’s important that it’s a calm and comfortable space.
  • Most people, when decorating their baby’s nursery, will begin with the colour scheme. “Babies need bright colours that will stimulate and attract them to their bedroom” says Neville Knott of Crown Pains. “Colours should not be aggressive as at night time your children will find it very hard to sleep and may not get the best rest possible. A great colour to use for this is Crown’s Easyclean Just Lemon. Easyclean is excellent for children’s bedrooms as marks and stains simply wipe off – perfect for little mucky hands! Also remember that all of Crown’s emulsions come in a breath easy formulation which are virtually odour free – ideal for painting kid’s bedrooms as it does not leave any lingering smells.”
  • When it comes to furniture, convenience is paramount; you need an extremely well organised space to contain your changing table and storage, so that all you need for changing baby is close to hand. One complete unit is the most organised and sensible option, and if you can’t find exactly what you’re after or what will slot neatly into your nursery then consider having a carpenter make one that will
    specifically suit your needs.


  • When small people are starting to sprout their personalities really being to develop and both parents and children can have a lot of fun picking and choosing bright colours and cute furniture for their bedrooms.
  • Whereas babies don’t actually have many requirements when it comes to furniture, toddlers are at a stage where their needs are constantly changing as they grow. Take a long term view and anticipate what they will be growing into and growing out of. It’s an age where all of their ‘stuff ‘ also grows, in both size and number, from clothes to toys, so storage is paramount. “Storage wise deep drawers are essential for hiding away toys and quickly tidying up a room” advises Dorothy Power of Roche Bobois. “It’s also important to have a display area for more treasured toys. A notice board is great as it creates a tidy but colourful display area for photos, party invitations, certificates and reminders about upcoming events.”
  • “The type of furniture that you buy all depends on the type of consumer you are” says Myles Doyle of Mimitoys. “Some people are looking for furniture that will last their child until they go to college, while others want to enjoy their children’s tastes as toddlers. The materials that you choose will depend on what you are aiming for. If you are looking for longevity, go for good quality MDF with strong vinyl covering. MDF is good because it doesn’t break, it will last longer than mass produced timber.”
  • When it comes to colours, aim for shades that create an atmosphere that is both cheery and calming. “Soft Lime is perfect for younger kids and is a bright cheerful colour, while also soothing children at bed time” suggests Neville Knott. “Sunlight will energise this colour. The colour also works very well with children’s furniture. Other colours like softer blues and greens, especially duck egg blue and greens will work really well too.”


  • This can be a difficult stage of a child’s life, as they leave the innocence of toddler-hood and approach their teen years. At this point, children are most likely to begin to express particular tastes and preferences, so encourage them to get involved and create a space that is truly their own.
  • “When planning a children’s room it’s important to think ahead over coming years and not just focus on the current needs of a baby or young child” notes Dorothy Power. “A children’s bedroom is multifunctional, it’s used for sleeping, doing homework, playing, entertaining friends and expressing their own personality, and all these needs must be catered for.”
  • When choosing beds for children, it is vital that you ensure that it is completely safe and meets exacting standards that will not only give you peace of mind but also protect your child to the greatest extent possible. “A child’s mattress has to have fire retardant properties that must be CE approved, similar to adults,” says Myles Doyle. All mattresses sold in Europe must comply with certain safety standards, and anyone who sells mattresses that aren’t CE approved is breaking the law. It’s also important when buying mattresses to note that standard British and European mattress and bed sizes are different, so that you pair the correctly-sized beds and mattresses with each other.”
  • “At this stage in a child’s life art and craft still plays a huge role” points out Neville Knott. “Their creativity should be nurtured and encouraged as much as possible. Here purple is an ideal colour to use in their bedroom as it is known to stimulate inspire creativity. However do not use very strong purples here as they can also over power a room and make uncomfortable to be in. go for softer shades and tones to achieve the perfect look.”


  • Your kids won’t lose their cool if you take their tastes on board to create a practical yet still good-looking bedroom space for them.
  • Teenagers really value their privacy, so take the time to chat to them about what they would really like included in their bedrooms. You need to take into account their recreational pursuits, as well as their study needs. Practical solutions are always to hand, and since space generally tends to be at a premium it makes a lot of sense to opt for high functioning furniture, such as bunks with built-in study space
    underneath. And don’t forget that tons of storage is essential for the many accoutrements that teenagers will typically accumulate, from trainers to textbooks.
  • Bear in mind that teenagers will spend a lot of time hanging out in their rooms, particularly when their friends come over. “Low seating is ideal for entertaining friends and also comfortable for watching DVDs and playing video games” suggests Dorothy Power. “For the first time this year Roche Bobois have introduced a mini Mah Jong. It’s composed of hand sewn, rolled edge, quilt seat and back cushions upholstered in Kenzo fabric. The cushions are an array of floral prints and stripes that inject a bit of fun into the room. It adds a great splash of colour to a bedroom, it’s soft and durable for tumbling around on and great for hanging out on with their friends so it’s suitable for younger
    and older children.”
  • Tone down teenage angst with an appropriate colour scheme. “As blue is considered to be a clean colour it will work well in a teenager’s bedroom because it creates a serene and calm atmosphere” advises Neville Knott. “When light is reflected in a ‘blue’ room it helps create an air of freshness. Blue also stimulates clear thought so it’s perfect for any children studying in their room.”

Top Shopping Guide:

  • Childrens Furniture Company, available to order online at
  • Crown paints: For your nearest Crown stockist contact Tel: 01 816 4400.
  • Diamond Living, Airside Retail Park, Swords, Co Dublin. LoCall: 1850 454 443; EP Mooney Retail Centre, Longmile Road, Dublin 12. LoCall: 1850 454 444; Unit C1, Becaon South Quarter Retail Park,Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin 18. Tel: 01 293 7848. Web:
  • Flanagans of Mount Merrion, Mount Merrion, Dublin. Tel: 01 288 0218; Buncrana, Co Donegal. Tel: 074 936 2000. Email: Web:
  • Ikea, Holywood Exchange, 306 Airport Road, Belfast, Co Antrim. Tel: 0044 845 355 1113
  • Kilcroney Furniture, Bray, Co Wicklow. Tel: 01 282 9361.
  • Luxaflex: for your nearest dealer contact Tel: 1850 304 051 or visit
  • Mamas and Papa, the Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15. Tel: 1890 882 363; Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16. Tel: 1890 882 363.
  • Marimekko, available to order from Scarlett, 8 the Square, Main Street, Co Cork. Tel: 021 463 8986; Inreda, 71 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 8. Tel: 01 476 0362; Aria Boutique, 7 Poplar House, Co Kildare. Tel: 01 871 333.
  • Mimitoys, web: LoCall: 18990 520 025.
  • Oakline, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Tel: 01 497 7435. Web:
  • Roche Bobois, Unit D1, Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18. Tel: 01 653 1650.
  • Sandberg: Irish stockists include Brian S Nolan, Dun Laoghaire. Tel: 01 280 0564; Collette Wars Interiors, Aughrim, Co Wicklow. Tel: 086 275 0676; Town & Country, 47B McCurtain Street, Cork. Tel: 021 450 1468; Kevin Kelly Interiors, Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Tel: 01 668 8533.

Source: House & Home Magazine

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