A Kids' Room Makeover the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Step into this California kids' room where designer Brian Patrick Flynn uses a bold color palette, sophisticated patterns and classic furnishings to create a space that works for both kids and adults alike.
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November 25, 2014

Bold + Sophisticated Kids' Room Makeover

To avoid having a kids' room design that doesn't flow with the rest of the home, consider the colors used in the surrounding areas. In this Sherman Oaks, Calif., home, the girls' bedroom is given a tropical palette that works harmoniously with the autumnal colors of the home's common areas.

A Tropical Color Palette

From the unexpected color scheme of celery, olive, blue-gray and tangerine, to the clever space planning, this children's room is just as appealing to parents as it is to kids.

A Space for Kids + Parents

The left-hand seating area is just inches from the daybed, making conversation and family hangout time easy and comfortable. With the center of the room left open, there's ample room for sisters Ava and Jane to hang out.

Colorful Window Treatments

To give the children's bedroom pizzazz that's colorful and bold enough for kids, but chic and mature enough for parents, the windows were dressed with orange-and-white-toned botanical print draperies. Paired with woven wood blinds, the window coverings add privacy and filter out the strong California sun.

Comfortable Seating Area

Parents and children often spend time reading together just before bedtime. To ensure a comfy spot for all, incorporate a small seating space. Choosing armless chairs takes up less visual space and gives the illusion that the room is slightly larger than it is.

Graphic Fabrics

A common mistake in designing children's rooms is limiting textile choices to juvenile prints, which often feature characters a child may outgrow quickly. To spend money on upholstery wisely, choose colorful, graphic fabrics that are fun and vivid enough for a child, yet classic, timeless and sophisticated enough for parents. To ensure durability, consider having the fabric treated to be stain-resistant. The cost is usually determined by how many yards of fabric a chair needs. Since most small armless chairs only need about four yards of fabric, the total treatment cost is minimal in comparison to the price of the chair.

Mobile Furniture

Active children often need their rooms reoriented as their choice of activities change. To make life easier for Mom, Dad and the little one, choose furniture on casters. This comes in handy for moving things around quickly and easily.

Multipurpose Pieces

As kids grow, their taste in activities changes. To ensure the most bang for your buck when choosing furniture, always consider multipurpose pieces. This grassy-green steel occasional table is currently being used as a side table between two armless chairs, yet it was built for use as a stool. Down the road, should the child need extra seating for friends or for craftwork, the same piece of furniture can be reoriented for a new use.

Layers of Rugs

When it comes to flooring for children's rooms, parents often prefer wall-to-wall carpet for its softness and ability to absorb noise. Since children are prone to spills and messes, high-end, wall-to-wall carpet can be ruined quickly. To help add longevity to carpet, consider layering a plush area rug on top. Not only does this make cleanup easier since the rug can be taken out of the room and washed, but also new colors and patterns can be introduced just by replacing the area rugs.

A Daybed She Can Grow In

To add longevity to a room's design, consider using a daybed. Twin mattresses turned parallel to the wall save valuable space in the room and allow beds to double as lounges. During tween and teen years, lounge spaces quickly become the best hangout spots in the house.

Playful, Custom Furniture

Custom furniture doesn't always require a large price tag or materials too delicate for kids. The daybed in this children's room was custom-made with affordable pine, constructed in a modern design by installing 1- by 4-inch planks horizontally. This achieves an architectural style parents can enjoy, as well as a fun, painted finish perfect for kids.

Grown-Up Prints

When choosing accent fabrics, such as pillows and bedding, look for prints that are fun and bold, yet don't limit a child to a particular theme. Not only will this save money in the long run, but also it offers parents the potential to rotate accent pillows into other areas of the house.

Nostalgic Accents

Classic children's stories never go out of style. Whether passed down from Mom and Dad, or picked up at flea markets or antique stores, vintage books add a sense of history and great texture to kids' rooms.

A Mirror for Her

As children grow to become kids, then tweens, then teens, they gradually become more interested in their appearance, making a mirror a must. To incorporate mirrors in an age-appropriate but designer-caliber way, it's smart to choose decorative styles that are also large enough in size to be used for getting ready for school.

Hand-Me-Down Artwork

A sense of history in a child's room helps honor his or her family's past. To add personal touches, it's nice to mix old with new. Above the bed in this children's room is a handed-down embroidered art piece. It not only serves as a nod to older generations but it carries the accent color, orange, throughout the room.

Grass-Cloth Wall Covering

While paint is the fastest and most cost-effective way to add color to a room, it lacks texture and, for the most part, warmth. An excellent alternative is grass-cloth wall covering. It wraps a space with warm, organic texture, yet also introduces color.

Wallpapered Ceiling

Placement of wallpaper on the ceilings instead of the walls gives parents an excellent alternative, particularly if they have concerns about graphic wallpaper making a room's design appear too busy.

Mod Fixtures

When it comes to lighting, consider replacing basic, contractor-grade fixtures. In this bedroom, a 4-foot-long white plastic pendant helps ground the space, but it also adds plenty of overhead lighting. Additionally, the white plastic diffuses the light, giving off a flattering glow.

Charming Study Space

Furniture from other rooms often finds new life when repurposed for use in children's rooms. Here, a console table previously used in the adjacent hallway was reoriented as a kid-sized desk. It's paired with a modern chrome Bertoia chair, a piece that can be used in any room of the house. The floor lamp that used to sit beside the living room sofa is now a desk lamp that's the perfect height to provide overhead lighting.

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