House Beautiful

10 Awesome Ideas for Kids Rooms

I don’t know about you, but I think every single female I know either just pulled the goalie, has a bun in the oven, or just popped out kid #3.  The days of going to 19 weddings each year have come & gone, and now it’s Babypalooza.  So in honor of all my favorite Fertile Myrtles out there, I thought we would dedicate a post to tackling décor for the little people.

And before we start, here’s what I want to tell you:  You DON’T have to do a design-from-a-can, paint-by-numbers nursery.  Honest.  You know, those rooms where the curtains match the drapes  that match the pillow piping that match the crib mattress that also match the light switch cover. You’ll be spending so much money on diapers and college funds pretty soon that I wanted to give you guys some ideas on how to make the coin you spend stretch a little bit further.

First, start by choosing pieces that you know your child can grow with over time (e.g., perhaps go with the dreamy flokati rug that’ll still be cool when they’re teenagers v. the pink and yellow barnyard animal rug?).  And second, know that you can do one or two of the ideas below and make a BIG bang in Tiny Tot’s room without a lot of buck.


Sara Gilbane Interiors

Few things can make as big a splash in a room as a amazing light fixture.  It elevates everything and makes the room feel “finished,” even if the rest of the space is very pared-down.

Nursery design by Nicole Davis

Blue Murano chandelier against a monochromatic creamy backdrop

cote de texas

Tord Boontje’s Midsummer Light in Houston Designer Lisa Rowe‘s daughter’s room

faith blankeny’s Boho fixture would be AMAZING in a nursery

So would this, which some crafty soul DIY-d

The Capiz shell pendant puts off a soft glow and is always a winner

calais | pink scalloped | starburst | intricate lamp | leafy chandelier | midsummer pink | malibu | acanthus leaf lantern | chrisholm hall



Feeling the need to fill up every wall and having no idea what to put there is a conundrum I hear from more people than I can count.  Why not hit the easy button on this one and choose one amazing piece you love – artwork, photography…  or even a map or a tapestry – as a focal point? You can put it up in between your kids’ mattresses or above their beds. Speaking of mattresses, you can find the perfect one for your nursery at this store.  Bang, yer done.

the boo and the boy

nathan turner for amanda peet

the boo and the boy

paul smith


photo via | poster available here

Engineering prints for $4.99 at Staples

scarlett bailey paintings – lonny


photography by laure joliet

We all know a can of paint on the walls is the easiest and most cost-effective way to change the mood of a room.  But what about painting the furniture??  Thrifted or already-have-it-in-the-attic furniture can be brought back to life with a bang.  And by bang, I mean can of spray paint.

hgtv canada

emerson made at home via high street market


jessica helgerson

source unknown

coral dresser makeover


etsy dresser


Muffin & Mani wallpaper by way of Babiekins Magazine

There is next to nothing dreamier, more awesome or more whimsical than a wallpapered kiddos’ room.  This is the one option I’ll tell you isn’t cheap or easy, but if it’s in your budget to do or is the one big element you want to add, it can transform the room.

miranda brooks’ home

milk magazine

all the pretty horses

Emily Meyer’s little girl’s room

Cole & Sons Palm Leaves paper is my personal favorite.  Soothing, beautiful color, and would be cool until long after they left for college.

Don’t forget that you can also wallpaper the ceiling!

Coastal Living Beach House – Room by Urban Grace Interiors

Amber Interiors

Another beautiful option is to frame wallpaper panels / remnants as artwork, or mount them in acrylic frames, like Jenny did:


rikshaw design

Talk about bang for your buck.  Pom Poms & Paper Lanterns are readily available at places like Luna Bazaar, World Market and Etsy, and can make a huge statement in a room.  Hang ’em on the wall, over the ceiling, or in a cluster over the crib.

milk magazine

source unknown


Chic Coles

The dark color will make it a statement wall, and your kiddo will love doodling on it as soon as they’re able to hold a piece of chalk.  Until then, you can doodle your own diddles, beautiful messages, and designs on it.  If you wanna really let ’em go nuts when they grow up to be toddlers, you can also paint a layer of magnetic paint underneath the chalkboard paint.  Then it can really double as a cool place to hang their artwork later on (and even a home office for you once you take the room back over).

little green notebook

I actually don’t think this is chalkboard paint in this room by le suere interiors– just lovely deep navy/black paint.  But how good does the gold lettering look against it?

elle décor


Shel Silverstein quote found on ignite light

I’ll tell you something: if there is ever a mini-me running around, that kid’s room is going to have pages from The Giving Tree framed.  Using the pages from a favorite book is a wonderful way to add some history, heart & soul to a kid’s room.


Framed Shel Silverstein poems, found on Amy Meier’s blog

Designed by Kim Zimmerman, Photographed by Pieter Estersohn


martha stewart

martha stewart

Hanging their artwork is also a really cool option.  My dear friend Vani gave each member of her family a small canvas and asked them to paint an animal on it, and she hung them in a cluster in her baby’s room.  How sweet is that??


house of turquoise

The ceiling might be the most forgotten area of any room, and yet when you give it a little love, it makes a HUGE difference, leads your eye upward, and completely changes the mood of the room.  I LOVE a gorgeous chandelier hung against a colored ceiling.  As another option – and not for the faint of heart – but you can also make a killer impact by painting the trim.

martha stewart

elle decor



The glow of Christmas lights always adds a little wonder and a little ambiance…  they also double as a night light.  My hat’s off to the overachiever who made that Christmas light tree above…  You can also go a little more basic and hang the lights around something you want to highlight – like a piece of artwork or a mirror.

source unknown

source unknown


source unknown

This could be a great move for anyone renting who isn’t allowed to paint.  Echo some of the colors running through the rug in the rest of the room’s decor like they did in the room above, and it’ll feel cohesive without feeling matchy-matchy.

I love the rich pigment of this deep-sea-blue rug.  Also, I imagine that the child who lives in this room is very pensive.  And probably smarter than me.  Design by genius Estee Stanley.

This is an old one from Domino, but I believe these are actually pink carpet tiles.  BANG.

That rug is cracked-out cool.

Does that help take some of the guesswork out??  You can use any one of those ideas above (or combine a few faves) and give your kid’s room a lotta pizzaz.  Or, you can incorporate several of the elements at the same time, à la Jamie Meares, who magically makes every crazy mix look great:

What’s my pick, you ask??  Okay I’ll tell ya.  This might be one of the loveliest nurseries I’ve ever seen, by Estée Stanley and by way of Nursery Notations.  It’s simple, it’s soothing, and everything in that room (with the exception of the crib) can translate later on into an adult space.

PS, for more nursery and kids room ideas, check out my Pinterest boards:  NURSERY | KIDDIES’ ROOMS

PPS, what else would be helpful for you Mamas & Papas?  Gender neutral nurseries? Lemme know and we’ll rig a post for ya.

Happy Decorating!

note:  the top two images of adorable lucca valentine are from THIS POST, which contains some of the most beautiful family photos I’ve ever seen.

1 Response to “10 Awesome Ideas for Kids Rooms”

Leave a Reply