The Secrets to Designing a Stylish Kid's Room

Designer Anne Hepfer—mother-extraordinaire raising two sets of twins—reveals her top tips.

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Virginia Macdonald

Toronto-based designer knows all about decorating a kid's room. Besides raising two sets of twins (yes, two), she's had the pleasure of designing rooms for many children over the course of her career. With every children's project, the New York native shares her expertise freely, but she strongly believes that the magic happens when a child is encouraged to voice their opinions throughout the decorating process.

"What I love most about decorating a kid's space is getting to know a child and creating something unique that is meaningful to that young person," Hepfer says. "They will always remember their room when they grow up, and I love knowing that I had a part in creating their happy space."

Here, Hepfer reveals her go-tactics for designing a children's room with personality.

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1 Ask Questions
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Virginia Macdonald

When it comes to designing a kid's room, Hepfer suggests having a candid conversation to stimulate the child's imagination and find out what they like and dislike. "The more you involve them, the more they will love their room in the end," Hepfer says. "My creative approach is taking the kid's ideas and turning them into something fantastic. For example, one client's children loved surfing and the color orange. From there, I designed a surfboard-inspired upholstered headboard with orange-and-white vertical stripes and nautical lights."

2 Have Fun
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Virginia Macdonald

"It's important for kids to be surrounded by color, and not to take things so seriously," she says. "They should feel like their home is a place to breathe and have fun. In my own home, I used vibrant colors as an antidote to busy work schedules and school calendars."

3 Experiment with Vibrant Patterns
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Virginia Macdonald

Bold patterns are an easy way to bring a kid's room to life. Hepfer is partial to everything from florals to stripes, but it's worth asking the child you're working with about their favorite patterns. "Show them examples of photos or fabric samples. For instance, in my own home, my son chose a corkboard wall and my daughter decided on a watermelon Quadrille crosshatch wall covering."

4 Don't Forget Storage
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Virginia Macdonald

Storage solutions are essential for a kid's space, and it can be a challenge to find the right option to contain an ever-growing collection of books or toys. Hepfer prefers to use storage that suits a child's lifestyle and personality. "Some kids like to be super-organized and some are more creative and less structured," Hepfer says. "Let them determine how they want to live and decide on what works for them."

While Hepfer has used open storage for books, she's also gone custom, choosing to build drawers into bed bases that she's designed. "I've even taken my kids to storage solution stores, and it’s amazing how they start to care about organizing their closet."

5 Pay Attention to Wall Space
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Virginia Macdonald

"Wall space is always important in a kid's room, so choose a print or piece of art that speaks to the child," Hepfer says. Your selection should add a decorative touch and also be meaningful to the child.

"Even if it's a favorite Disney movie poster, it must speak to the child," Hepfer advises. "And as the child grows and develops, the art can be swapped out for a better age-appropriate piece."

6 Install Sconces
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Virginia Macdonald

"If you read in bed together, install articulated sconces with dimmers in the wall so that you can have directional, adjustable light," Hepfer says.

7 Add a Dose of Luxury
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Virginia Macdonald

"Always add an element that's fuzzy, furry, or h such as a blanket, throw, pillows, ottoman, or bench," Hepfer says. "Kids love to feel things that are soft and cozy."

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