6 Kids’ Bedroom Design Tips for First-Time Parents

From wise investments to accents (like sheet protectors!) that will save you a headache later. 

There’s a lot that goes into designing your kid’s bedroom. It usually takes until the second or third go around to figure out the tricks of the trade, and by then, you’ve already overspent on impractical pieces that will be tossed when your baby morphs so quickly into a big kid. Or when—surprise!—you have to transition your room for one into a room for two in what feels like a matter of seconds. The thing you come to learn as a parent is that nothing can fully prepare you for what’s next. To work through some of the common quandaries that arise in designing a timeless and practical kid’s bedroom (and to spare you the headache of a full redesign in just a year’s time), we reached out to Vogue alumni Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia, both mothers of three and the founders of Maisonette, a new online luxury shopping destination for all things mini (not to be confused with maisonette, the French term for a small private dwelling within a larger house) as well as CeCe Barfield Thompson, mother of two and New York City interior designer.

Invest in a Few Timeless Pieces

“You want to invest in things that will serve you long-term, like timeless artwork or a modern dresser,” says Roccia, pointing to pieces like this geometric Zoe Bois painting and Nursery Works’ stained ash and ivory dresser available on Maisonette. “If you choose the right pieces, they will grow with your kids and won’t need to be replaced.” Don’t worry about overspending on the baby-centric touches; Thompson suggests incorporating “a sweet mobile that is cost efficient and easy to store when no longer needed.”


Graphic prints and a not-too-kiddy color scheme keep this boy’s room in a New York home by Kapito Muller from feeling childish.

Fill in With Transitional Furnishings

“The key is to acquire items that can grow with your kids,” suggests Durrett, and she means literally. “Start with a piece like Babyletto’s 4-in-1 crib, which converts to a toddler bed and then to a big kid bed.” A changing table with a removable top that transforms into a dresser, like this one that Babyletto also makes, is another easy way to turn a nursery into a big kid room. “If you lose space in your kid’s room over the years, a good twin bed can always be repurposed as a daybed in another room,” she adds.


Keep the Decor Ageless

If you’re hoping to grow your family and eventually turn your kid’s room into a room for two, it’s important to keep the decor of the room ageless. “Keep the mini tables and mini chairs for the playroom,” Roccia advises, “and stick to a neutral color palette to keep the room cohesive.”


Be Prepared for Midnight Visits

“Keep a storage sack at the end of your baby’s crib for anything you may need in the middle of the night,” Thompson says, “It is a life-saver when you need a quick pacifier or burp cloth at 2 a.m.!” Your favorite tote will work, or you can snag this quilted diaper stacker from Maisonette for a slightly more intentional.

e2b6228cdf7d3a6ee5f9495b139f4beb1b6aeab8-watermarkedAt the Manhattan apartment of designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, diapers and supplies are all within easy reach in daughter Poppy’s nursery.

Douglas Friedman

Stay Organized

Thompson swears by under-crib drawers and baskets to keep her kids’ room organized. “An under-crib drawer, like this rolling one by P’kolino, is ideal for items you don’t access daily such as bulk supplies or seasonal clothing.” For linens and everyday items, she adds, “I am a huge fan of baskets, especially this one by Olli Ella. Keeping things organized, categorized and efficient is worth its weight in gold.”


Save Yourself the Headache of Constantly Cleaning Up

From babies to toddlers, kids are messy. To avoid washing the sheets after every accident, Thompson suggests, “fitting your crib with two fitted sheets with a waterproof pad between them. If your baby has a late-night accident, all you have to do is take off the first two layers instead of removing the entire mattress for a bedding change. Another trick is to use a sheet protector like this one by Petite Vigogne, under your baby’s head at night. This is especially helpful in the first few months.” When her kids got older, she used play mats as a way to protect her rugs from stains. “I like to use a large blanket like this pretty one from de Buci Baby so that my daughters can have sister play-time with lots of room for all their toys.”

contemporary-childrens-room-martyn-lawrence-bullard-design-los-angeles-california-201303-2_1000-watermarkedAt Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s L.A. home, son Zachary’s room features a playful blue rug and Martyn Lawrence Bullard–designed daybed.

Photo: Roger Davies
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