Hello gorgeous vintage finds, dusty rose velvet and heavenly raw french oak - I see you and I want you!!
Gone are the days of gaudy Disney emblazoned themepark kids rooms and overtly cutesy pastel nurseries. Kids rooms these days are befitting of the highest standards of interior design and look right at home across the pages of leading décor and design publications. This is not to say that the current generation of too-cool-for-school parents steer away from practicality. In fact the design ethos behind most kids spaces is even more intuitive with kids developmental needs and ergonomics than ever before. What millennials are embracing though, is the concept of their tiny human's rooms being an extension of the home and the family identity and style as a whole, rather than a separate planet of plastic vom fest. Thanks to pinterest and digital media the layman has stepped up their interior game, and design literacy is at most peoples finger tips.
We are seeing a big emergence of micro-trends at the moment with greenery and leaves, giant flowers, cacttii, sophisticated marsala, mustard and midnight hues, and tribal influences still endure. But before we look at this styling DETAIL I decided to kick of the blog refresh with a comment on how to collectively pull these styling trends together into a bigger look or approach for a room or space.
So I had a look at considered what I would say are the three consistently biggest genres that are being favoured by parents and designers alike and fillling our insta feed with awe inspiring spaces filled with the most gorgeous of things. What are these blanket ‘trends’, why are they so popular and effective and how you can achieve each look.
So what are these three ‘styles’ I speak of? I have narrowed it down to what (imho), would be the most discernible characteristics of an academic interior ethos: ‘Scandinavian’, ‘Parisian Chic’ and ‘Bohemian’. Of course, there is often a lot of cross pollination between these, and we often see a bit of a mix in most kids rooms. All three have an element of vintage re-use, and allow for a degree of eclecticism which is why they are so adaptable to an ever growing and changing kids space. They also lend themselves equally well as a base palette to nearly any of the micro trends which you can generally layer on in styling smalls as the mood changes and your kids individuality emerges.
But in their purest form:
So this should need no formal introduction at this stage. We've all seen it, lived it and loved it and there is no doubt this look still endures with a stong hold over baby and child specfic design.
- White, bright and airy
- Minimal, clean and simple lines
- Natural materials - Raw oak, gently weathered timber offset against the whites and monochromes
- textures, furs, chunky knits - cosy luxury
- Modern simple design furniture - nothing ornate
- Use of geometrics
- Sparingly used light muted colours
Get this look with a dominantly white room (feature walls in charcoal also work), use monochromatic and grey details, pine tree prints (scandi pines), grids, triangles, wall stickers and mountain wall murals. Great scandi wall art is so easily achievable with framed pastel geometric designs and word art, animal prints and don't forget the quintessential stuffed / origami animal head as a homage to mountain lodge chic (the stag head being the most favoured). Keep furniture minimal, limited to maybe 2-3 pieces (cot / bed + chest of drawers + Occasional chair) and simplicity in their design is key. House frame beds are probably the most prominent piece used in scandi inspired kids rooms, and cots are very reciti-linear and unfussy. Do open up the floor space for play, and while I like the large area to be a simple single tone rug (grey, cream or charcoal), we often see stunning monochrome activity play-rugs with teepees and wooden toys which serve as both play - and decor in their own right. Storage is critical to declutter and keep things looking minimal - think big toy bags (I love the tellikido ones), storage bins and toy boxes (there are amazing giant lego ones from Room Copenhagen). Finally the indulgent use of texture is the one softening element needed to add that layer of 'aspen chic' is to use accent furs or chunky knit throws. Mostly just keep it simple and shop within the grey, white and black look to start and it will come together.
Sophistication, luxury, and decadence are the defining features here, so if you are an antique-loving traditionalist at heart this will be right up your alley. This look is decidedly more girlie and foo-foo, but it certainly can be adapted to a boy - I love this nursery below where they have used a vintage walnut dresser between the white cots to create a more neutral look for boys.
- swans, watercolours, vintage toys, florals and alpine greens
Similarly to Scandi, the best place to start with this look is a predominantly bright white room. Again there is a primary base palette that is often strongly monochromatic, but here we see the more liberal introduction of vintagey colours like dusty pink, teal and duck egg blue which start to soften the whole look. Don’t be afraid to introduce some glamour with a feature 'grown up' pendant light chandelier if your ceilings are high enough. Metal frame beds and cots lend themselves perfectly to this look and I think work best offset against an antique dresser/ chest of drawers. Canopy tents feature extensively in this look, and their floaty elegance adds to the delicate softness. Vintage dolls, toys and bears sit perfectly in this context and add that playful layer to remind us that this is a child space. The floor often takes centre stage here with a feature rug and works equally well in a bold geometric for a more modern look, or a vintage/ distressed Persian for a softer more traditional look. The foundation of this is juxtaposition - modern mixed with classic. So if you go for more modern furnishings offset that with a vintage look rug, or if you have a feature antique cot or dresser, offset that against a modern geometric and other more simple furnishings.
Probably the most versatile of these three and lending itself to a more indulgent use of colour, is bohemian. This is a unashamedly eclectic mix of furnishings, genres, robust tones and texture and unapologetic curation of realism (yes kids live here, and they’re messy little devils). If you favour a simple clean-lined, minimalist look this is not your bag – stop reading now, refer back to the above. If you are a free-spirited chillaxed hipster, let the kids run wild but still want sh** to look relatively curated and pretty type, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
-Industrial re-use furniture - hello metal frame dormitiry beds
-Persian or tribal rugs
- basket weaves
-rustic distressed / weathered timber
-Midnight blue, burnt orange, forest green
-bold mix of colour
-Open shelves, toys on display - curated chaos
Freedom is the name of the game here, so indulge your child's colour appetite and individuality. Vintage revival takes centre stage in this look, so start by choosing one feature piece, be it an amazing vintage cot or bed, or a vintage wardrobe and build your room sparingly around that. I luuuuurve the rattan cribs and daybeds that are making a big revival and are a definitely a win with this boho feel. Texture and layering are fundamental here, so build a collection of throws, woven baskets, multiple rugs and feature print cot sheets. Decor that works best with this look: Macramé, arrows and tribals, desert cactus and greenery, dreamcatchers and feathers. Teepee or canopy, anything goes really. Trick here is to create collections or focal areas of never more than 2 or 3 items together, and that will help order the chaos, draw attention to your key pieces and keep a fresh simplicity.
What is your favourite look?
I have decided to refresh Nila’s big girl room in 2018, so which direction will I go??....Watch this space (pun intended)