SLEEP HARD PLAY HARD: THE AKD APPROACH TO NURSERIES & CHILDREN’S ROOMS

We all know that beautiful interiors and kids are not a natural match made in heaven, but with a little perspicacity and a dollop of imaginative fun, children’s rooms can be a calm, colourful and (relatively!) tidy haven.

STAY CLEAR FROM THE OVERLY ‘CHILDISH’

Children change their minds so often and grow up so quickly that creating an overly ‘childish’ space isn’t a cost-effective nor long-lasting interiors decision. Even in nurseries, we look to create spaces children can grow into, not out of.

To keep a child’s room from having a ‘kiddie’ vibe, avoid primary colours and pick clever furniture that will last, such as cots that morph into day beds. Neutral colours are great for longevity, but they don’t have to be boring. Turquoise greys, powdery blues and dusky pinks look smart and stand the test of time.

In our    Jersey Road    project, we chose a base palette of soft greys with pops of pink and turquoise for an element of playfulness. Wallpaper by Matthew Williamson.

In our Jersey Road project, we chose a base palette of soft greys with pops of pink and turquoise for an element of playfulness. Wallpaper by Matthew Williamson.

INTRODUCE PATTERN AND PRINT

An instant way to add a sense of fun and whimsy is with textile pattern and prints. Mixing and matching means accessories can easily be swapped out if they grow tired (or worn out!) without re-styling the whole room.

Playing with different patterns brings a sense of whimsy to the girl’s bedroom in our    Raglan Street    project. Wallpaper by Cole and Son.

Playing with different patterns brings a sense of whimsy to the girl’s bedroom in our Raglan Street project. Wallpaper by Cole and Son.

Look to abstract florals, watercolours and classic stripes for a playful atmosphere that won’t date too quickly. For gender neutral florals, we’re particularly fond of Willie Weston’s fabrics designed by Indigenous artists.

RE-THINK THE COLOUR PALETTE

We often ask children what their favourite colour is, but this doesn’t mean we just go slapping aqua paint all over the walls! We approach colour in a more considered way, finding subtle methods to integrate their special colour into the décor. A painted rattan bed frame, a world map mural, inset grass cloth into joinery or colourful hardware are simple but effective ways of infusing a sense of play into kids’ spaces, whilst keep a neutral (and long-lasting) colour palette for the major design elements of the room.

When choosing a palette for bedrooms, be conscious that colour should have a calming and restful effect. Playrooms can take more vibrant shades, but bright greens and reds can stimulate a child’s impulsivity and should be avoided in spaces designed to relax. It’s easy to overdo it, so we always recommend a muted palette with pops of bolder colour.

In the little girl’s room of our    Wentworth Street    project, we avoided pinks that were too saccharine and opted for dusky rose hues with pops of coral.

In the little girl’s room of our Wentworth Street project, we avoided pinks that were too saccharine and opted for dusky rose hues with pops of coral.

DESIGN FROM THE GROUND UP

Consider the space from a child’s-eye view and design from the ground up. This is especially true when it comes to storage solutions. There’s no point having great storage spaces if children can’t reach them, so look to fun-size furniture, child-friendly shelves, baskets where items like socks and shoes can easily be tossed, beds with drawers underneath and closets with a reachable bottom rod.

Pint-sized nooks and hidey holes infuse kids’ rooms with a sense of adventure, and tiny chairs ensure kids feel a pride of place in an area designed just for them.

The child-friendly desk and storage space in our    Mosman House    project create a sense of ownership for this little person’s room!

The child-friendly desk and storage space in our Mosman House project create a sense of ownership for this little person’s room!

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Pint-sized chairs in our Victoria Street and Mosman House projects.

MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

No room is a bigger magnet for clutter than a child’s bedroom, so be realistic about how your family actually lives – your kids’ room won’t look like a magazine shoot 100% of the time. Keep your child’s habits in mind: if they like to fold clothes, rather than hang, look to drawers they can reach. Joinery pieces that double as storage units are a no-brainer when it comes to housing the ever-expanding selection of toys, clothes and accessories.

Storage space hidden into the joinery provides a clever way to hide “playroom mess” in our    Hunters Hill House    project.

Storage space hidden into the joinery provides a clever way to hide “playroom mess” in our Hunters Hill House project.

LEAVE OPEN PLAY SPACE

Feed your little ones’ imaginations and maximize their creativity by having a space where they can play. Define the area by a plush, soft rug, even if you’ve opted for all-over carpet.

Clever levels can also create imaginative play zones, as we installed in our Hunters Hill House playroom. Raised platforms signify a separate space, inviting children to play games or simply hang out with their friends in their own area.

Don’t be afraid to layer rugs over carpet, as we did in our    Jersey Road    project.

Don’t be afraid to layer rugs over carpet, as we did in our Jersey Road project.

It’s pretty magical in our    Hunters Hill    playroom thanks to this raised platform.

It’s pretty magical in our Hunters Hill playroom thanks to this raised platform.

LET YOUR CHILD’S PERSONALITY SHINE THROUGH

Involve your mini people in designing their space and let it reflect their hobbies and interests. After all, it’s their special place and if they view it as such, kids will be more likely to take pride in their room and keep it tidy. Details like animal-shaped rugs, paint murals, shelves to show off their toys and display walls featuring their own artistic creations add a sense of self to any kids’ room.

Animal inspired soft furnishings  at our    Victoria Street    project are a simple way to imbue a sense of self into your kid’s room

Animal inspired soft furnishings at our Victoria Street project are a simple way to imbue a sense of self into your kid’s room