A room to grow

If I had to pick the room I enjoyed decorating the most, I would definitely choose my son’s bedroom. I have been the most playful and tried bolder design ideas – whilst remaining renter-friendly. Children’s rooms are the perfect space to let your imagination run free and try fun ideas that can change as kids grow.

Keep reading below for design ideas that can grow along as kids grow, and will not make you lose your security deposit!

Plan it

Before our son’s arrival, we put together a shopping list for the items we would need. We had a budget to stick to, and we were keen to get second-hand pieces or hand-me-downs from friends and family. We needed practical pieces that would have lots of storage, and would last through heavy use.

We didn’t want to lose space to single-use items that would be quickly outgrown and would need storing away; nor have to completely refurbish the room from scratch once he wasn’t a baby anymore.

Getting the basics right

We started with a basic set up. To decorate the room, we decided to paint the walls in Dulux’s washable, Jasmine White (bye Magnolia!) and the wardrobes and the wall shelf in Little Greene’s Pearl Colour to add some fun. To add more colour, I painted colourful pictures and illustrations to hang framed in the walls.

We got his cot as a hand-me-down from an older cousin. The armchair used to be in our living room in our previous flat and fitted perfectly in his room.

Ikea came to the rescue with practical and affordable options; the Hemnes chest of drawers was perfect to store his clothes and nappies as well as his baby-change for the first months. The Kallax open cube is his toy shelf, and it is at a perfect level for reaching for toys.

As he outgrew his cot, we started looking for a second-hand bed. We were looking for a full-sized single bed with a trundle instead of a toddler bed. One of my closest friends was selling her son’s bed, which met all our requirements, so we bought it! We only needed to get a new mattress.

To fit the bed, we re-thought the bedroom layout. Our son loves to sleep in his big bed, he loves sleeping and playing in it too.

Tips to get started

Colour it happy

Ask your landlord about painting the walls in the room. Be bold and try things you wouldn’t do in other rooms. A brightly coloured room will completely brighten the mood and will help you decide on the colour for the rest of the furniture.

Reduce, reuse and make it last

Ask family and friends for furniture they no longer need. If their kids are older, they will be happy to offload things from storage, even if temporarily. Failing that, look for second-hand items. You can find really good quality and barely used pieces of furniture online.

My own cot as a baby was used by me, my brother, a close family friend, cousins and now my son uses it when we visit my mum!

If buying new, look for good-quality pieces that have more than one use. A good-sized drawer unit can be a baby changer if the height is right.

Make it playful!

If you have a chest of drawers that looks too serious for a nursery, paint it or change the handles to something more playful. You can always paint it over and change the handles again when they get older.

We changed the wardrobe colour and handles in the room. These are from Rowzec.

Free space is play space

Try to allow free floor-space in the room to encourage playtime there and keeping their toys in their room and (hopefully) less toys all over the rest of the house!

Try not to over-furnish the room, and you will be surprised how the kids use the space in the most imaginative ways to play.

We are happy that almost no additional furniture has gone into our son’s bedroom since we first bought the pieces that got us started.

Children’s rooms will change as they adapt and grow with them, and that is what makes them so much fun to design!


  1. Most of all you will change the quilt, decor, pictures on the walls and the room will grow while the child grows.

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