Celebrating good design
Rita Konig, interior designer and journalist, explains how to create children’s bedrooms with enduring style.
Can we ditch Disney? Rita Konig isn’t a fan of style pigeonholes and when it came to decorating her daughter, Margot’s bedroom, she sought the charm of a little girl’s room without the fairy motifs.
Konig counsels considering your child’s space: plenty of easy-access storage, a few key vintage bits of furniture and rooms that are generally not too ‘matchy matchy’. Read on for advice on how best to adopt lighting and the importance of eiderdowns to nail a stylish slumber.
What should we consider when decorating a child’s room and ensuring it is stylish and yet kid friendly?
I am not big on ‘nursery furniture’ or ‘kids stuff’…in fact I am not sure I like style pigeonholes at all! When it came to doing Margot’s bedroom, I wanted to make it somewhere that had the charm of a little girl’s room without the fairy motif curtains and nursery furniture. I
bought a lot of pictures and some wall stickers which made me feel I’d done more than just pick out the curtain fabric and wallpaper. Caramel does some lovely prints, I particularly love the herbs and spices and Paris city print.
Another thing to consider is that the room is your child’s space. So yes of course you want it to look lovely, but it also needs to be practical for them. I think plenty of easy-access toy storage is key and makes tidying up much easier.
Any colour palettes that you suggest that make a good foil to plastic toys/ hurly burly of real life?
Margot would tell you that the best colour palette is ‘everything in pink’…. If your child really likes a particular colour, it’s better to incorporate touches of it rather than going the whole hog. I also prefer rooms that aren’t too ‘matchy matchy’ so a varied colour palate
is preferable to having a very strict colour scheme with everything in the same two or three colours. It looks more relaxed and natural.
What are the items of furniture that are worth investing in?
Vintage rattan headboards and beds look great in children’s rooms – have a look on ebay for fabulous and often rather bargainous originals.
Any tips on lighting in children’s bedrooms?
Lighting is as important in your child’s room as it is in the rest of the house. Just as you would in your sitting room, use lamps to light the room and break up the line of the furniture. There are also some great fairy type lights and gorgeous night-lights available; they create a cosy, twinkly ambience that I’m often rather envious of!
Any tips on layering/ bedlinen or fabrics?
Eiderdowns are old fashioned but look so lovely on a child’s bed. They’re also practical on warm summer nights as you can just fold them down sleep under the top sheet. I’ve recently had some made for a client’s children with soft, puffy quilting in square and diamond patterns; they look great. The pillows and cushions from Caramel’s home range lend themselves wonderfully to layering and mismatching. Pick a colour palette that works and then don’t be afraid to mix up the patterns within it.
Should we approach decorating a child’s room as something that will
last for 10 years or is that unreasonable?
I think it is possible to create a beautiful children’s room that feels as right for a three year old as it does for a thirteen year old. Choose staples that aren’t specifically designed for children. Margot’s room has furniture in that I owned before she was born and will take her through to adulthood and I love how these more classic pieces mix with her brightly coloured toys. You can then have fun with other things that are easier to change as they grow – the pictures on the wall, the bedlinen etc.
Margot wears Brezel Dress in Candy Pink
Rita Konig is founder of www.ritakonig.com
Photos by Emma Donally