Not all of us at KDI have children. One of us, who shall remain nameless, had the audacity to stop at just one (GASP!) because she nailed it the first time (bwahahaha) and also because her child came with enough personality and sass for three kids. So it’s like a 3 kids in 1 kind of deal.
I mean, don’t get us wrong, we’re not evil kid haters or anything, it’s just that designing kid’s spaces comes with a lot more gratitude than actually growing children. We’re like designer grandparents. Except, we actually listen to a parent’s wishes. (Did you catch that not-so-subtle grandparents burn?)
Anyway, it’s probably pretty safe to say that kids don’t care about décor. Playing and snacks, that’s their jam.
We’re all about honoring your child’s interests and personality in their own space, but we’d like to humbly remind you that you’re the one paying the bills, so the case could be made that it’s actually more important that YOU love your kids space.
I know, “OMG, these bishes selfish!”
You know who’s selfish? Your two year old. And he doesn’t pay taxes.
When it comes to kid’s rooms, we aim for three things:
- Cool: We can reflect their personality in a way that isn’t Frozen themed. After all, we want our kids to strive to be their happy and unique selves and that self is likely not a fictional princess. Plus, what are we supposed to do next week when little Bella is suddenly too grown for Frozen?
2. Adaptable: I will forever protest the use of toddler beds. Not just because the scale is ridiculous and impossible to work with, but because they are big enough for little Jon-Jon for approximately three days. Toddler beds make zero sense. Resist the urge to buy that little red race car and save your cash for a new twin or double sized mattress. Same goes for any other investment piece that won’t stand the test of time. Their furniture needs to easily adapt through all the stages of childhood. Besides the crib, there’s no need for baby-specific pieces like changing tables. There are so many other ways to go about your dirty diaper changing. Get creative. Convert a dresser or find some crazy cool chromed out thingamajig like Nate Berkus did:
3. Functional: Storage, storage, storage. And more storage. Kids come with about 58,978,416,848,436,873 accessories and then somehow accumulate 5,413,189,798,561,661 toys before the age of 2. It’s bonkers. Let’s be honest though. We alllll know the toys are actually gonna live on the floor. The real reason that kids need storage is because at some point mom or dad blow a gasket and Sally and Johnny gonna have 2.4 seconds to get that room picked up or else Santa isn’t coming.
We all know how kids “clean” too. Shove, cram, dump and then make one area nice and pretty in order to trick us into thinking they did it all that way. Then, three days later we find all the toys and part of a sandwich in their sock drawer.
You need the storage, though, because when company is coming over we have to real-quick try to pretend that we don’t allow such nonsense. Like, “We’re an organized, well groomed family, that enjoys praying, eating healthy and togetherness. Yep. Those aren’t REAL hot dogs you see in the fridge.”
I digress. The point is, that kids need as much kid-friendly storage as possible. Something that allows them to dump and run like we know they’re gonna do.
Daybeds with drawers for instance…
Make full use of the valuable square footage underneath their beds. If you think you’ll be in your home for the long haul, why not invest in timeless built-ins that can easily hide loads of toys and books? This is a great idea for smaller rooms where arranging furniture is nearly impossible. Taking full advantage of the longest wall and putting as much furniture up against it as possible opens up the floor for some serious play time.
After all these fundamentals are taken care of, we get to focus on the fun part: deciding on a design concept for the room. We have a few pointers for making sure that your kids’ room reaches it’s full potential…
White gets a bad rap as unimaginative and plain, but if it was good enough for Picasso, then we can probably work with it too. Contrary to popular belief, white demonstrates restraint and sophistication. It also provides the perfect canvas for our ever- changing design sensibilities, allowing for real character and quirk to be seamlessly sprinkled in.
We want to be this kid…
He or she is already the coolest on the block.
Dark colors don’t have to be moody. High contrast can be used in fun and imaginative ways that play into a child’s learning. Avoid unintended psychological influences of the ever popular primary color scheme. Hint: a little red and yellow goes a long way if you ever want sleeping to occur in a child’s room.
We’ve cheered for team wallpaper. I mean, we’ve never been the captain, but we’re definitely on the squad. It’s endlessly expressive and peel and stick wallpaper is easily changeable. It can add just the right amount of whatever vibe you’re going for when applied correctly.
Don’t forget the fifth wall! Ceilings are too often ignored…
And if you absolutely can’t help yourself and you gotta go pink or blue as the baby gods command, here are some creative variations on the theme.
We’re here to advocate for loving ALL of your spaces. True, you have a precious, adorable, (terribly messy) new tenant that you would give your life for. But that bum doesn’t even pay rent. You CAN extend your personal style past that threshold. It can be cool. It can be funky. And your child WILL ABSOLUTELY try to destroy it.
We want to hear from you! Are there any of these styles that you would be excited to try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Contribution of all KDI team members, Kelle Dame, Angela Malone, and Megan Schultz.