designing kids' spaces

designing kids spaces

Designing a fun, safe space for your child can be both exciting and intimidating, while also time consuming and overwhelming! Parents want to know: How long should this design last for? Where should I invest and where should I save? How do I know my child will actually enjoy their space? As a designer and mom of two, I have some tips. 

 The Floor sets the Stage 

Most kids I know enjoy playing in an open yet warm space. Start from the ground and work your way up—pick a rug that will last, is comfortable, and has a medium or low pile. (Pile refers to how thick or deep the rug is. High pile rugs eat toys, markers and beads, making things impossible to clean up or find later!) Decide ahead of time where this rug is going - a nice exposed area for playing on is great, but it can also ground the room by sliding under the bed or desk. Don’t shy away from a fun, statement rug (this animal one is so cute), or use the rug to calm and anchor the space and save your splash for other places.  

Make it Cozy 

Even the most active kid needs a space to relax and snuggle, and especially if you’re redesigning their bedroom, I highly recommend making a “cozy” space that can transition into a reading nook as your child ages. If you’re already in the elementary school years, a space to curl up with a good book - or marker and paper - is a must. I love incorporating various items and textures - a big poof, a simple but colorful clipboard, bins with board books, or bookshelves with room to grow. Feeling fun and have a little one? How about this adorable teepee hideaway

If you’re designing a bedroom, make sure the sleep area is well defined. Try a blanket with some personalization, a duvet cover (that can be machine washed!), and a fun set of sheets -  this set  is versatile and playful. If you want to include your child in the process, letting them pick sheets is a nice, low cost way to involve them. 

Animals Never go Out of Style 

I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t have a favorite animal. Tap into that. Add a soft fur rug (faux of course!). Frame some photos of their favorite animal face. Add a huge stuffed animal to sit in the corner (hint, this can also be a cozy reading friend as they grow older). This lion would add a lot of color and fun to your little’s room! Younger kids might love the actual animal, but older elementary school kids often prefer a subtle nod like animal print. 

Mix & Match 

Don’t be afraid of mixing colors, patterns, and textures. Parents often tell me that they’re scared it will look too busy, but are always thrilled to see how it comes together. Various textures add depth and multiple scaled patterns can make a place feel more inviting. This cadence in scale can help draw your child's eye to key areas in their new room. Prints are also a great way to add a graphic element, and they’re easy to change out as your child grows and their interests change. Loving this graphic interpretation of a race car for any little boy’s nursery! 

Bring the Joy 

This process should be enjoyable for you, too! If your child has a favorite color that you dislike, steer clear - maybe add it in with an accent piece, but you should also enjoy the space. As you incorporate your child's interests into their new space the hope is they’ll find ways to use their imagination, feel comfortable & relaxed, entertain themselves, and grow with it, rather than out of it!

Betsy Blazar is a Graphic & Interior Designer based in Newton, MA. She launched her company, blazar design studio, in 2015 and specializes in small business branding, marketing collateral, website creation, infographics, and event suites. Betsy believes that each design should reflect the passion and vision of the client—that the process of discovery should inform the final design. Prior to starting her own business Betsy worked at The New Yorker Magazine as a production specialist and Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA as the Director of Marketing and Communications. 

 A mom to two young children, Betsy holds a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design from the New England School of Art and Design, a certificate in Interior from the Parsons New School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies and Italian from Connecticut College.

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