Children’s Rooms

Kristen Sheikh of Bruit De La Mode  and Billie Marie Tharaldson of Julian Inc.  share some designer tips regarding designing children’s rooms.

Kristen shares “When designing children’s spaces, I have multiple clients that I need to take into consideration- the parents and the kids, who will be growing and evolving as they use the space over the years. As a parent myself, I understand how it isn’t as quick and easy to update a play space as it is for an adult bedroom.  Things like furniture scale, from crib to “big kid” bed, will change over the years and the interests of the child will grow and change. Children’s spaces need to be flexible so they can evolve with child. It needs to be a space that can foster creativity and a retreat where they can feel safe, cozy and relaxed.” 
Billie who grew up in the design industry,  has always had a passion for children’s room design. “Storage is key, it is one of the most important factors in designing children’s rooms. You have to make the storage accessible, easy and fun, otherwise children will not want to use it. Prior to going out to the space, I have a conversation with the parents to confirm we are on the same team, we discuss the budget and expectations.  Most children don’t have much input on their room until they reach about 12 years old. It is at this age they want to have a space that is all their own, and they want it to reflect their personality.”
What are the things that one should keep in mind when determining the design?

A few key things to keep in mind when I am designing a children’s space: 
  • Keep the design aesthetic and harmonious.
  • Scale: What are the ages of the kid(s) that will be using the space? If kids of multiple ages are using the same space, adjustments will need to be made to ensure all the kids will have spaces to call their own. 
  • Storage is a paramount need. As a mother I know that it is a fantasy  to believe that all the toys live in only one spot. Kids need options of places to put toys and books that are easily accessible. Being able to see all the items that they have to play with can help minimize what I call the “toy box terror” when kids pull out every item from a toy box looking for one particular toy and creating a toy explosion.
  • Life cycle of the furniture, how is it going to evolve over time. I try to speculate the needs of the client 5 years out, to give them a space that can save money in the long run, not needing a major update in a few years. 
What are some ways to maximize storage in a children’s room?
  • As previously stated, STORAGE IS KEY! You need to incorporate dual purpose furniture, I love beds with storage underneath, bins are so easy to use!

Where do you get your jumping off points and inspiration?
  • Inspiration comes from everywhere!  When I started designing my son’s room, my inspiration came from a pop-art painting I bought at the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis. Using that painting along with color inspiration from the adjoining living space, I built the palette and began  designing off of that painting. 
  • Many times inspiration can come from children’s artwork, this is always a great starting point.  Add a chalk board wall into the space or colorful pin up boards. This is a simple way to give them lots of space for creativity and make the room unique to them. 
Tips on designing a room that can easily transition through the years?
  • Invest in furniture that can grow with the child, pieces they can take with them when they are off to college. If you invest in quality furniture, it will last for years! Pull fun prints and colors into the design in the bedding, wall color and a fun pillow or two. Also don’t over do a child’s  bedroom with lots pillows, chances are they won’t want to spend time putting all of the pillows back on.

Theme rooms, yes or no?


  • I am personally not a fan of over the top theme rooms. I think its really easy to be drowned by a theme room that is coordinated down to every last detail. I feel a theme can be conveyed through a couple of collected items. 
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