Smart Storage for Kids' Rooms
As long as you're taking the time to plan adequate storage for your child's room, it's wise to think about how that storage
The Giving Tree
Celebrate your child's imagination with unexpected design elements, such as this whimsical bookshelf. A few good books and your child's favorite animal friends make reading time the best part of any day. Photo courtesy of Susie Fougerousse
Pop of Pizzazz
"Kids are natural collectors of things," says Susanna Salk, designer and author of Room for Children. "Collections can look like clutter unless you plan a way to display them attractively." An earthy palette of white and brown allows colorful toys and accessories to pop with energy and attitude. Photo courtesy of Susie Fougerousse
Carry the Hue All the Way Through
A gender-neutral palette of gray and warm yellow extends to the wall art, and an understated animal theme pulls the decor together in a way that's approachable and fun. Photo courtesy of Project Nursery
Floating Focal Point
When arranging items on floating shelves, remember the motto "less is more." A few toys and books, artfully combined, look more elegant and modern than a crowd of treasures. Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors
Coordinating wall art with crib bedding gives this nursery a pulled-together designer look. Unless you want to redo all the artwork in a couple of years, it's a good idea to choose colors and motifs that will work just as well for a 5-year-old as for a 5-month-old. Aqua and hot pink make a great combo that’s both baby and little-girl appropriate. Photo courtesy of Project Nursery
Space It Right
Built-in wood shelves span an arched recess, creating plenty of space for favorite books, pictures and toys. If you're installing fixed shelves, pay attention to the spacing. In this room, books will likely replace toys over time, and the shelves are spaced to accommodate this gradual change. Project Nursery
Transitional Closet Systems
Look for a system with adjustable shelves that can move up and down or out as the size of your child's clothing changes. When your baby is small, you may want to use the lower portion of the closet to hold a dresser, bookshelf or extra toy storage — but plan ahead so it can accommodate a second rod for additional clothing storage in the future.
Even the best-executed closet can't force kids to keep their things neat. But the easier you make it to put things away, the more likely they are to do so. Think shelves and bins, not drawers and cabinets; hooks, not hangers; and curtains, not doors.
Wall-mounted shelving makes the most of vertical space and helps keep essentials easy to access. Instead of crowding the surface of your changing table with wipes, cotton swabs and more, arrange them in low-sided bins on shelves hung nearby. The space above a dresser or desk is another great spot for shelving. Use these for displaying artwork now or favorite collections as your child ages. "Kids are natural collectors," says Susanna Salk, designer and author of Room for Children. "But all those collections can look like clutter unless you plan a way to display them attractively."
What type of shelves should you choose?
Floating shelves, which have no visible supports, are one popular option. They're easy to install and have a clean, modern look that doesn't compete with the objects displayed on them.
Choose a more traditional shelf-and-bracket system. You can buy basic L-brackets at any hardware store, or look for something a bit more decorative for a personalized look. "Sometimes I buy a bracket system but not the shelves," says Houston-based decorator Christie Chase. "I'll get wood shelves cut to fit, then paint them a bright color for a more custom effect."
Ready-made bookcases are a great storage option. Look for sturdy construction and adjustable shelves. Shelves deep enough to store oversized picture books, and boxes or bins for toys are best for younger children. Older children may prefer shallower shelves that paperbacks won't get lost on.
Whichever type you choose, take the time to secure the bookcases to the wall with a furniture anchoring system to prevent dangerous toppling.