Tips from an expert on kitting out a kid’s room

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Abbey’s bedroom is pretty in pink with splashes of purple and yellow. Pictures: JoC Design/Lee Bird Photography

Decorating your young child’s bedroom can be so much fun.

It’s the chance to experiment with some creative licence and let loose with colour and pattern.

But it’s worth bearing in mind children will know when you’ve created something for yourself and not for them.

This is the reason Josie Camilleri has a rule when designing a child’s bedroom.

“My No.1 rule when designing spaces for children is ask lots of questions, listen and design for them — not you,” she said. “Children are rarely afraid of colour, so have fun with that.”

The interior designer, whose company is JoC Design, said it was all too easy to get caught up in making the room look perfect and forget who the room was actually for.

She has first-hand experience with the process, having recently completed the bedroom of her six-year-old daughter, Abbey.

Interior designer Josie Camilleri, who recently made over daughter Abbey’s room.

Work together

Ms Camilleri said if your child was old enough, get them involved in the decorating decisions.

“It is going to be their space, so find out what they love,” she said. “Take inspiration from the things that excite them and that they are passionate about.”

In this case, Abbey wanted yellow, pink and purple in her bedroom. She also loved to draw, so a built-in desk was incorporated into the plan, something her brothers didn’t have.

“It was really important to try and celebrate her love of drawing, so I designed a little desk that is unique to her room,” Ms Camilleri said.

The desk is a sweet-looking but practical inclusion.

Meeting the brief

While purple was one of Abbey’s must-haves, it could be a challenging colour to decorate with, Ms Camilleri said.

But as shown here, loving a particular hue doesn’t mean everything has to be that colour.

Ms Camilleri has cleverly woven purple into the bedroom, along with shades of pink and punches of yellow.

“Consider each piece and each aspect separately,” she said. “Look at how you can incorporate things subtly but in a way that you are still meeting the brief.”

In this case, the art print and bed cushion bring in the purple, while yellow is found by way of the side table and desktop where Abbey draws. The room’s base colours are pink and white, which tone down the look and make the bright colours shine.

Abbey’s favourite shade, purple, has been woven in.

Practical magic

Making your child’s room practical should be a priority.

You will need to consider the right-sized bed, good storage and possibly somewhere to do schoolwork (if your child doesn’t do it in another room).

There should also, ideally, be space to play or just hang out.

“I think this is important for kids because you want them to play and be engaged,” Ms Camilleri said. “Creatively designing spaces encourages them to do just that.”

She said rugs were a good way to create a play zone.

“Even if you already have a carpet, it just adds a bit more colour and texture and it’s a great way to divide the room into different zones,” she said.

Good storage is essential. Even when your child eventually outgrows their piles of toys, it will come in handy. In Abbey’s room, a built-in storage bench doubles as a place to sit and read by the window.

“If you are clever with your design, or have the luxury of designing a room from scratch, always include storage,” Ms Camilleri said. “It is often forgotten, but you never regret including it.”

A built-in storage bench will always come in handy.

Handy hints

Here is more advice from Ms Camilleri on decorating kids’ bedrooms:

■ Ask your child lots of questions to understand what they want and what they’ll be doing in their room.

■ Buy things you know your child will like, not just pieces that speak to you. Involve them in making some of the choices.

■ Inject colour and a sense of play into the room to make it truly unique.

■ Resist the temptation to fill every corner of the room — your child will collect other things over time.

■ Consider what your child will like as they get older, so you don’t spend a lot of money on things they will quickly outgrow.

■ Include an item that has sentimental value, which will offer them a unique piece with a story and a lasting keepsake.

■ Upcycle older pieces. Not everything has to be new, so consider what you already have and how you can make it work.

Abbey is delighted with her new-look room.

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