Tips for Redecorating a Kid’s Room


My two kids have happily been sharing a bedroom/playroom since we moved to Toronto 5 years ago but my daughter Molly turned eight this month and I decided, she was old enough to warrant a room of her own! I only had a few weeks to get everything in order for a birthday surprise; my plan was to sneak a few final touches out of her current bedroom after she fell asleep and have her wake up to a completely move-in ready space on the morning of her birthday.  Here’s how I got it done. 

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For starters, it certainly helped that I knew my client well! :) Between my design aesthetic, her eight-year-old fantasies and the essentials that would compose the room, here were the transformation boxes that I knew I had to tick:

-       A bed canopy

-       A desk or ‘creation station’

-       Extra cupboard space to hold toys, creative supplies, trinkets etc.

Here are the mantras, ideas and tips I used to get the job done:

-       I love kids’ rooms that aren’t filled with matching furniture sets from children’s ranges. It’s an adult design concept (the layering of unique furniture to create a stylish composite) that can absolutely be transposed to a kid’s room. There’s no need for everything to match.

-       In any room, finding meaningful, beautiful pieces gives a space personality. It takes time, but I find the best interiors develop organically. Because this was a makeover, we already had a few! Some I had been collecting for a while, such as a fun, pink swan planter. Others we already owned (these were the the things I snuck out of her room after she fell asleep!) like the large letter ‘M’.

-       I love a pop of colour against a beautiful palette of neutrals. In Molly’s room, the unexpected contrast of the gold velvet canopy certainly added a punch to an otherwise calming colour scheme.

-       I had a great starting point with the tall white walls. If you’re going for a layered look, sometimes a simplistic background is best. In our case, they made the perfect canvas for pretty vintage pieces and the beautiful Anewall wallpaper. I didn’t know when I purchased it that it would end up on Molly’s wall, but it had been stored away anticipating its optimal use.

-       This was a room I wanted her to be able to grow into. Molly and I like pink (depending on the pink!), I chose to subtly apply accents of lovely dusky rose and coral pinks throughout the space. You’ll find them in the wallpaper, cushions, rug and bed throw. And of course, in selecting a piece of my own art to gift Molly, she received the pink / coral edition Blurred Lines.

-       I used natural fabrics like linen and velvet to bring warmth, layering and texture. In addition to it’s pop of colour, the gold bed canopy adds a touch of old world vintage charm, which helped tie in with the other vintage finds scattered throughout the room. Think about what ‘connective’ items you’ll be introducing into your space.

-       When purchasing or repurposing, think about personalization or changing things up. Many things I was fortunate to already have on hand went into the space as is, while others got new life. The vintage cupboard and brass wall lamp were perfect as is while the vintage school desk got painted white. Photo frames were personalized with recent summer memories from Lake Huron.

-       For me, the design had to be true to the ‘Interior Environmentalist’ theme; I certainly utilized what I had on hand and re-purposed it and more were upcycled (the retro chair was a street-side find). A few ‘new / modern’ adornments were added: the round velvet cushions, the side table and the peg board. But they were compliments, rather than centre pieces. Aside from being part of my design mantra, I would recommend especially considering interior environmentalism in kid’s rooms, where we know they’ll continue to grow and change their spaces. 

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This was the best birthday gift I have given and I received the best gift in return - Her adoring reaction! 


Anna Dalton ChurchComment