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'The rocket mural is wonky but he loves it': 5 design fans share their kids’ bedrooms

Featuring homemade artwork, IKEA furniture hacks, and lots of bright paint colours.

THE OLDER YOUR child gets, often the more ad-hoc the approach to their bedroom’s design.

What might have started out as a carefully planned out nursery for a new baby soon becomes a cobbled together collection of items, as you replace an outgrown cot or changing table with other furniture, or your child insists certain toys find a permanent home beneath the bed.

With everyone spending a lot more time at home right now, including your kids, you might be feeling ready to attempt a spruce-up of their space. 

We turned to Instagram, always a great source of real-life interiors inspiration, and asked Irish design aficionados to share their child’s room – with a particular focus on budget-friendly DIY projects.

Here are some of our favourites, from ice cream-inspired stripes, to a Harry Potter themed bedroom for a ten-year-old…

1. Breda of @dream_plan_do_interiors gave her six-year-old daughter some creative control in transforming a former nursery into a colourful big-girl room…

“Designing a bedroom that fit with the vision of a six-year-old pink-loving princess was challenging. We landed on a colour palette inspired by ice cream. She jumped at the chance to have her walls adorned with vanilla, lemon and strawberry pastels, with the strict instruction that one wall was to be all pink! Her dad greatly accepted the challenge and, under her watchful eye, measured, frog-taped and painted the stripes. Magical touches were added through fabric, lighting, artwork and quirky accessories. She cherishes her room and loves to show it to her friends.”

2. Linda of @makedoanddiy settled on a space-themed bedroom with her son, featuring a mural of the night sky, plus a smart IKEA furniture hack.

IMG_20200418_113040 Source: Linda Duffy

“Max’s room is the only one we’ve done that has a theme. As he was old enough to have
some input when I was doing it, we went with his suggestion. The room is an awkward shape, in the eaves of the house with a curved roof and quite dark, so I decided to work with that by painting a mural of the night sky behind the bed that continues up over the roof and down the other side.

“I used a navy blue paint for this and just flicked a brush with white paint at it afterwards to create the stars. The rocket was painted free hand and is definitely wonky but Max doesn’t mind! We made a feature out of the awkward window ledge by adding some foam to make a cushion and covering it in fabric from a shower curtain found in Tiger. Some Ikea BEKVAM spice racks make great bookshelves, and on the other side, several geometric shelf units from Penneys mounted together give Max a place to display his treasures.”

3. Katie (@whatkatiehealydid) wanted to create a magical bedroom for her daughter Penelope Pearl. But the design also needed to suit Penelope’s physical needs – she has a rare medical condition, pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH).

“We swapped out Penelope Pearl’s cot for a hospital bed a while ago. Her new bed can be raised and tilted electronically to help her sleep in a safe position to reduce the possibility of choking, but selfishly I struggled with the thought of Penelope in a cold, clinical bed. The idea broke my heart, so I decided to dress the bed with the dreamiest bedding. Her canopy creates a safe space for her.

“She struggles with sleep, so we had pink light fitted to make sure no harsh light would disrupt her when we repositioned her as needed. We hung personalised pictures on the walls and added decals and a fairy door in an attempt to reflect just a pinch of the magic that Penelope has brought into our lives. It’s a peaceful room, the smallest and cosiest in our home.”

4. Cork-based Kristin @larollie had to think ahead to the future when designing a shared bedroom for her son and daughter, then six and three. She opted for neutral colours and plenty of storage space, with a little help from her kids on the artwork selection…

rrem Source: Kristin Haberstroh

“When I was pregnant with our third baby we decided to move our two older kids into a shared bedroom to make room for the new arrival. I wanted the room to be a fun but relaxing space for them, and neutral enough to work for both a six-year-old boy and three-year-old girl as they grow older.

“I tried to include them in the process of creating their new shared room. The only rule: no TV/film character themes! So we chose a wall colour together, which, considering they are a boy and a girl, was easier than expected. They also picked the artwork for the room and helped me design and paint the little cosy cave we created inside an unused under stair storage. They both love their room, and the cave is a big hit with their friends too.”

5. Niamh of @waitandsee.ie used a family favourite as inspiration for her son Milo’s room: the magical world of Harry Potter. DIY and crafted pieces add character, with the non-negotiable Harry Potter bedspread as a finishing touch.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 16.03.51 Source: Niamh Scott

“We are big Harry Potter fans in this house, we’ve seen all the movies and are half way through the books! I wanted to create a cool space for my ten-year-old son Milo to enjoy and one that would grow with him for a few years.

“It’s just the right amount of grown up for Milo, the room will still be cool in a couple of years. I also wanted something different to the usual football or blue-and-white boy theme. Milo loves his room – but his only ‘design’ input so far is how messy it gets every week…”

More: How three Irish kitchens were transformed from drab to dazzling>

About the author:

Emily Westbrooks

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