How to create cool kids rooms (without the clutter)

You want to throw all the toys out of the window you say? Momma, I hear you. I remember the days, before having kids, when my husband and I would look at each other in horror after visiting a bomb site at a friend’s house. “I can’t believe the state of their house. Honestly, the amount of plastic toys…surely they could tidy up, right? If we ever have a family, I will never have so much junk.” *laughs hysterically*

Yeah. I have a three-year old and a five-year old now. Boys. They have a a lot of stuff: toys, clothes, sticks. Pants and socks everywhere. And I ain’t got a lot of time. Or energy. You get the picture. Things get messy sometimes. Oh sure, I do try. I buy nice storage boxes (which subsequently get turned into mini bath tubs for toy cars – or used as helmets in superhero dress-up games) and then it stays tidy for a while. A day maybe. One day, when I am old and the boys have flown the nest, my house shall be clutter-free. Until then, I shall give them a warm, loving home while I browse Pinterest and Instagram and dream of stylish, tidy rooms.

Here are some examples of kids rooms that just look great and probably are more stylish than your own bedroom. (I also bet no kid was allowed in them before the photo shoot was over and done with. I would love to see what they look like on a daily basis – ha!). Do you have kids rooms at home that you’d love to show off? How do you handle the clutter? Do let me know!

A gorgeous room in blue, mustard and natural wood via The Boo and the Boy
I want a swing in my room. How lovely is this? Via Style me Pretty
Sweet. It even has a little plant on the bedside table. I love the midcentury modern lamp too. Great eclectic room for older girls. Via The Boo and the Boy
Lots of cuteness here in this vintage style bedroom. The Boo and the Boy
Gorgeous wallpaper used in this room. Oh, how I wish to be a kid again! Via Fawn & Forest
Simple, but stylish and a bed on a budget. Buk & Nola
Who says kids rooms have to be in pastel colours? Add some ‘oomph’ with black and mustard yellow. And bears, you need bears. Via The Boo and the Boy
Add some serious wow factor with a mural like that! My Domaine

Project: from kids room to teenage boys hangout

Recently I had the pleasure to redesign a boys bedroom in a beautiful house in Stirling. The boy is turning twelve soon, a teenager, so it was time to change his room into something a little more grown up. Thankfully some things were already pretty good to work with, including a black cast iron bed and a lovely grey-green colour on the wall. The denim blinds and striped curtains were also to stay. I decided to go for a rustic / vintage / industrial look: iron gas pipe and wood shelving, lots of (upcycled) accessories that tie in with the boy’s love for sports and – as requested – a highly practical modern wardrobe. Then there was also the storage for books and trophies to include, a chill-out corner for reading and playing games and a functional (vintage) desk.


I was immediately drawn to metal lockers, black anglepoise lights, as well a NUD wrap around bulb and cable, and denim accessories to add in some blue accents to match the colours of existing curtains and bedding. A graffiti pattern drum lampshade would make a nice statement piece in the room.

For all images see the project Pinterest board

Interestingly, this whole project was done via skype and email, which went surprisingly well considering I wasn’t on site to take measurements etc. It worked however with my client giving me a tour around the house via skype on her iPad so I got a good feel for the style of the rest of the house and the room I needed to redesign. I set up a collaborative Pinterest board with my client to which we both added images we felt matched the look we were trying to create. Then I produced mood boards of the different corners/walls of the room to get a more realistic impression of what the new space will look like. A plan design shows the client where each item of furniture should go. In this case I also produced a shopping list for the room, including all items that needed to be bought. This is what I came up with:

A lot of the more quirky, upcycled and vintage pieces came from Etsy. The wardrobe is a PAX unit from Ikea, the gas pipe shelving unit is from a company called Breuer in England, who make custom-made shelves and other furniture with rustic wood and pipework. For a similar bed, just do a search online for ‘black metal beds’ and you should be able to find one to suit your taste and budget.

I think it is safe to say that the room has grown up a bit and is ready for its teenage resident to hang out in for years to come.