Richmond, 1930's refurbishmentContemporary Kids, London
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Snake up the wallsVivienne Westwood’s Squiggle wallpaper, seen here, has become a modern classic. It’s a gentler take on geometrics, with its soft outline and curvaceous motif, and, in orange, this version is the equal of the brights that tend to feature in a child’s room. Here, cupboards and shelving in grey make for a contemporary pairing with the shade. In general, grey can often be a good and somewhat toning foil for a vibrant paper, while black or white will encourage the pattern to leap out.
Orange and brown – but in small dosesThen, it was perfectly acceptable to have an orange and brown bedroom, in tones rich enough to match the Angel Delight in your cut-glass dessert dish. Today, these tones are right back in fashion, but the proportions in which they’re employed have been reduced to accent rather than main shade, and with a healthy helping of neutrals to tone them down further.
Help your kids declutterOf course, presents are a big part of Christmas and, let’s face it, the main recipients are usually kids. However, children’s bedrooms can become overwhelmed with extra toys, and, with other youngsters in the home, things could become quite cluttered and chaotic. Help prepare your children’s storage space by encouraging them to have a clear-out of their existing toys and books, and ask them to donate some of the items they’ve outgrown. You could also avoid having a home full of unwanted, or unsuitable, presents by creating a gift list for your family to buy from.
Encourage your kidsGet your children involved with a 30-minute clear-out in their bedrooms. Empty just one cupboard or toy box, and ask your child what they would like to do with each of the items inside. If they no longer play with a particular toy, ask them if they would like to give it to another child to play with, and introduce the idea of giving to charity. Start small and avoid overwhelming them with lots of decisions. When one cupboard is tidy, you could give yourselves a reward by playing together with the toys they’ve decided to keep. You can declutter another cupboard or toy box next time.
Go for adaptable storageIf you’re opting for built-in furniture, go for floor-to-ceiling wardrobes to maximise storage. Otherwise the top of shorter wardrobes end up as a dumping ground for suitcases, old toys and dust. Ask your designer to create space for open shelving, either at the very top of a wardrobe or alongside it, as seen here. This provides a useful place to stash soft toys while your kids are little, but it can then become a space for storing books and paperwork when they’re older.
Keep the younger child out of mischiefAllow the older child a place to keep their ‘special toys’ where the pesky younger sibling can’t reach them. Give them some storage that only they can reach – a few higher shelves or wall-hung storage buckets are all that’s required.
Tuck in a teddyThere’s something wrong about storing teddies in a cupboard or drawer – it’s almost as though they need to breathe. That’s why baskets make great soft toy storage. Available with painted finishes, they can also add a cheery shot of colour to a child’s room.Browse 10 ways to store kids’ toys