Playing with design

It’s August and the summer holidays are upon us. Little ones are at home being ‘creative’ and filling our homes with fun and laughter, playdates and bake days. So, this month I thought I would share some insights into design that is tailored to small people!

Having created concepts for a nursery and young child’s room recently, I was astonished at the range of child-focused design on offer. Whatever your child is into, there is likely to be a wallpaper or bedding set to match!

I personally like a child’s bedroom to be primarily a place for them to sleep, so not too overwhelmed with design and colour (keeping their rooms free of toy clutter is, however, an ongoing battle!) Also, it’s their designated space so, when considering the design scheme, give them a bit of a say too. If they are older children, they might want to design their own mood board or interiors collage. A great creative exercise for their imaginations when stuck indoors on a rainy day!

Here are some of my favourite companies for kids’ wallpaper:

  • Lust (as mentioned in a previous column) is great for colourful, vibrant wallpapers. I found a great range of beautiful and unique pictures and patterns.
  • Hovia wall murals are delightful! From jungles to underwater scenes, there is something for every child. Bright and pastel, bold and beautiful…you can even get personalised murals.
  • What if you’re renting and want to brighten your child’s room without losing your deposit? Etsy hosts a range of artists who create gorgeous designs for young people which are labelled ‘removable’ – they have a low tack paste already applied. Or look up ‘peel and stick’ wallpapers for easy application.
  • Alternatively, consider buying wall stickers. Try Not On The High Street for a great range of options. (I used these for my daughter’s nursery when she was a baby so I can personally recommend them!)

Paint features are also a great way to decorate a child’s room in a rented property as you can simply paint over them at the end of the tenancy. Get creative! Paint your own pictures or, if you’re not very artistic, have a go at stencilling animals, rainbows or the moon and stars. (Whichever option you choose, ensure you get approval from your landlord first!)

Kitting out their room

Moving on to furniture recommendations. Storage is a must for a child’s bedroom, and Ikea offers a great, flexible range of solutions, ideal for toys and all those precious pieces of artwork they like to bring home from school!

For the really little family additions, Mamas and Papas can’t be beaten for good quality and well-designed cots with lots of gorgeous accessories to match, enabling you to build beautiful bedroom schemes. Look out for cot-beds that can extend to various sizes, saving you money long-term as your child grows.

Dunelm however, is a great cost-effective alternative, with lots of furniture options alongside fun bedding, creative lighting and colourful ready-made curtains. They also offer some lovely options for children moving into their teens too.


Perhaps not strictly local, but only approximately 45 minutes from Tandridge is Nubie Kids. They offer a really modern and unique selection of kids’ furniture and accessories.

Deborah Smith is the founder and design director at Menagerie Interiors. Please send enquiries to and follow her on Instagram.

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