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Rooms that Are Child's Play

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If your kids love their roomskids rooms they’ll love to play in them and, when they’re older, stay in them! We’ve checked out kids home style.

Small children can be boisterous, imaginative and messy little beasts and those endearing qualities mean they make a huge impact on your home. Their belongings seem to spread into every nook and cranny, and there’s no way sensible parents want to spend their time stressing about mess or constantly shrieking ‘tidy up’.

So the best approach is to create a bedroom that a child loves, and one where it’s easy to play, feel safe and, most importantly, is fun to be in. It should be their own special space where they can also have their friends, and a snug sanctuary at the end of the day for cosy story-telling sessions just before bedtime. Ideally, the room should be able to grow and change as you child does, so that you’re not involved in constant redecoration.

A few colourful furnishings rather than brightly painted walls, cots that transform into beds, stylish rather than ‘cute’ furniture and versatile storage are all ways to keep costs down. Ultimately the room you create may echo your own childhood one or perhaps the one you dreamt of having. But whatever effort you make, be sure it will pay off - this is a room your child will always remember.


Classic rooms
“Plain white or wood furniture provides the perfect backdrop for bed linen and accessories with colour and personality,” advises Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company.

“Those finishing touches like pretty bunting, pictures and their toy collection make a room extra special.”

The Mamas & Papas furniture range is comprehensive. A sleek, contemporary Horizons range, in a light oak effect with steel handles, is unlikely to date.

Exciting beds
Designers are transforming what is often the largest piece of furniture in a room into exciting play spaces as well as somewhere to sleep. Enchant little girls with a ‘fairy palace’ Galaxy bed, from Littlewoods, which has a pink tower, a tunnel and a slide from the top bunk to the floor. In their range the company also has a snazzy bed for a budding boy racer, in the shape of a bright red car bed, £129, with a back ‘spoiler’ shelf for treasures.

Bargain buy: Ikea’s Kura bed, converts from a low bed to a high one, and can be covered by a magical-looking tent, which mimics a night sky.

Small spaces big style
Little ones often prefer cosy spaces but you need versatile furniture to make the most of every corner of a compact room.

“Just because it’s small, doesn’t mean you can’t maximise the space,” says Fionnuala Johnston, design co-ordinator at B&Q.

“Look for a bed that’s more than a bed - one with storage or an extra bed underneath. And choose extra storage that can hang on the wall or back of the door.”

B&Q’s white painted Wizard range has a bed with ladder, matching pull-out desk, bookcase, and chest.

Hideaway beds are useful especially when children have the inevitable ‘sleep overs’, and Marks & Spencer has a solid oak Radcot Hideaway bed, which includes two mattresses.

Delight in detail
Think outside the traditional decorating box - blue for a boy, pink for a girl - and try restful greens or perhaps a friendly touch of sunshine yellow for some accent walls.

“Have a neutral shade on three walls, a splash of colour for the feature wall, or bring a room to life with decorative borders or wall stickers,” suggests B&Q’s Fionnuala Johnston. B&Q Colours Silk paint in Sunflower, £10.98 for 2.5 litres, and wall stickers: Dora, Thomas the Tank Engine or Disney characters, from £8.98.

Bargain buy: Heal’s irresistible red felt Scottie Dog light (above).