Dream bedrooms for kids used to be the preserve of high-profile celebrities or those with the funds to pay for established interior designers with hefty price tags. The digital age, with its plethora of social platforms and virtual mood boards, means there’s now a wealth of interior inspiration, ‘how-to’s’ and hacks at everyone’s disposal.
The challenge is not so much how-to makeover your space but which wonderful DIY tips and styles to steal.
We’ve indulged our inner child and virtually visited some homes to see how parents the world over are transforming their kids’ rooms with some extraordinarily smart style ideas and diligent DIY techniques. We defy you to browse this gallery and not find yourself reaching for the toolbox and paintbrush!
Stickers and Stencils
If you’re not quite ready for full DIY immersion, stickers and stencils are a great way to dip your toe into the world of decorating. In most cases they’re removable, so it also allows for greater margins of error and these methods are an excellent option for the restless renovators.
There’s no shortage of inspiration for IKEA’s infamous Duktig with some of the most adventurous projects out there in danger of trumping the central kitchen in the home. For the novice designer, a quick and easy way to turn the heat up on your play kitchen is a simple but effective sticker set like this one from @limmaland. If only washing machines and stoves could be conjured up this quickly in real life.
Upcycling isn’t just for those on a tight budget. Whether it’s a labour of love to breathe life into something old or motivated by an environmentally-friendly ethos, there’s no greater satisfaction than transforming the ordinary into a work of art. That’s precisely what Rachel @buttonandbark did with a set of jungle leaf sticker stencils by @austinandmonkey.
Placing the stencil stickers first on the Ikea TARVA pine 6-drawer chest with blue tack, Rachel could ensure she had a layout she was happy with. Note how they have been placed across drawers to fill the space more evenly – a blade run through to separate the stickers between drawers. Two chalky coats of white Frenchic paint and the peel and reveal unveiled this gorgeous upcycled Scandi leaf chest of drawers. The knobs, legs, sides and chest tops were left unpainted to achieve a natural wood / white look.
Brush Up Your Diy Skills
Somewhere further across the DIY expertise spectrum are these two beautiful examples of a steady hand and bags of patience. They aren’t entirely out of reach to the novice, but they do require a modicum of planning and prep work to get the finishes you see here.
We love this inspired rainbow treatment, connecting two disparate pieces of IKEA furniture, uniting them in stylish arcs of Frenchic’s Wise Old Sage and Apple of My Eye. The Middle arc is a 50/50 mix of the two colours. It’s amazing what you can do with a piece of string, masking tape, a spirit level, paint and a brush! Even the drawer handle played in part in the creation. The string was looped to the handle and a pencil tied to the other end used to draw the arcs before painting.
Fun-kissed, sun-kissed. We love Darina’s sunset-inspired half-wall mural. She admits being inspired herself by a full mural by @peaceofusx.
After choosing her earthy colours, Darina experimented with different patterns in Photoshop and then sketched it out freehand on the wall with a pencil. She does confess to getting through a tonne of industrial erasers during the sketching process, but her perseverance paid off. Using three small brushes, she traced the lines and filled them in with a bigger brush. She has some words of wisdom for anyone wanting to give it a try, “the beauty of this project is that the lines don’t need to be straight and if you go over the shape you drew, just go with it! I ended up making some parts thicker than I had originally drawn, and it worked out great!
When house beds first arrived on the homes interiors scene, they tended to be the creations of high-end bespoke designers. It didn’t take long before a legion of savvy mamas and papas worked out that they too could get their little ones off to an early start on the property ladder with their own little slice of construction heaven.
This wonderful slope-roofed abode started life as IKEA’s KURA reversible bed. With a modification here and there, it’s acquired a chimney and a character all its own with some low-level storage to boot.
This bespoke house bed nestles perfectly into the angled wall; an ingenious use of space and a cosy nook for sleep and play. Elise sketched out the bed design and her husband built it by hand from the ground up, complete with its own little picket fence come bed guard at the front. Low to the ground, this DIY construction follows Montessori principles that children should have freedom of movement to aid and nurture their development. And what self-respecting house bed would be complete without its own twinkling illuminations?
Child’s Play DIY
It needn’t always be a large piece of furniture or full room scape that becomes the object of your DIY efforts. Sometimes it’s all about revisiting your own childhood and recreating memorable past times to share with your little ones.
Oh, the fun to be had with a discarded cardboard box! A few strategically placed marker pen lines create the bodywork and some deftly cut-out windows dressed with @stadthus hand-sewn playhouse curtains reveal a campervan full of adventure. Pull up a chair (in this case, Stadthus’s Hocker stool) and imagine stories by the campfire.
Teaching your child the importance of goal setting from an early age can do wonders for their development. Perception, judgement and hand-eye coordination are all on the agenda with this home-made basketball goal. Crafted using a ½” sheet of plywood and mitred 1×2’s, the frame was glued and nail-gunned together. Next, it was painted using antique oak and whitewash wood stains before being taped up and sprayed to define the frame and the net target. It’s a slam-dunk!
There’s no shortage of storage hacks out there in the ether and if there’s something every parent could use a hand with, it’s the constant taming of toys and tidying up after toddlers.
Keeping kids treasures in check is easy with this stylish configuration of an old IKEA Leksvik unit and a collection of Aykasa’s finest crates in pale blue and milk tea. We always love to see an exciting combination of IKEA with another brand to elevate it out of the run of the mill. The crates fit perfectly on the width, but the gap at the top allows room to see the contents without the need to tip the whole thing out onto the floor. We hope!
A place for everything and everything in its place. What a wonderful creation to house all manner of things in. This neat little hack of the IVAR cupboard renders it unrecognisable from its mediocre MDF status. The cut-out windows and exposed roof add the perfect detail to this mini storage house.
Handmade Hide-Ins for Happy Hideouts
Escapism is a rite of passage in childhood. It goes hand in hand with imaginative role-play and make-believe friends. And where better to escape to than a hide-in created just for you?
These lofty creations invite a sense of independent living and a space for creative freedom. We love how each has its own unique design elements. The white house with its loft ladders leading to a grown-up kitchenette and a nesting rattan ball chair for soothing reading with a gentle sway.
The centre hide-in channels Manhattan loft living, making use of premium space with a resting place to make a hasty retreat to when the high life gets too much.
And how divine is the magical minty treehouse with its painted tree trunk lurking beneath? The sense of outdoors is echoed in the climbing wall and handcrafted football pitch mural.
And So To Bed…
Is there any DIY project more fulfilling than the one that sees you creating a safe haven for your precious bundle to lay their head down on? Awkward shaped rooms and space restrictions are just two of the reasons that parents reach for the MDF and toolbox. For others, it’s the pride and achievement of designing a dream bed and seeing it come to fruition that motivates them.
The internet is awash with examples of remarkable architecture and high-level handiwork.
Aude makes the most of this room configuration with her handcrafted cosy coop cabin bed affair. The built-in storage beneath optimises space further, and the raw wood and white combo complete the Scandi vibe. The only question is; ‘Is Daddy enjoying it more!?’
Don’t worry if you have a burning project in your head that you just haven’t quite got around to yet. Dani, the creator of this majestic house bed, confesses to building her daughter’s bed over and over in her mind long before she got started. She began with a sketch based on Möbel Schweden’s Nordli bed and a mammoth shopping trip to the hardware store. She admits it takes up a lot of space but that it is multi-faceted with internal shelf space and under bed storage. It took only two days from start to finish, and the height and fort-like appearance was achieved by cladding a simple frame with varying lengths of wood.
Clever DIY hacks that deliver functionality and awe-inspiring aesthetics in equal measure are always a bonus. A bed based atop storage units maximises space and adds height to the adventurous mountain theme. Peaks cut into a piece of MDF are given a touch of white paint to create snow-capped alps. There’s only one thing for it. Hunker down and cosy up!
How fitting that we close the shutters on this DIY exploration with this sweet little creation by Ashley Dixon @alexanderreneedesign. This home-made loft bed was an early Christmas gift for her two children and the perfect place for them to hang out and chill. Compact and bijou and with the most adorable wooden shutters to shut out the world and annoying adults.
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