So many designers admit that their first ‘project’ was their own bedroom. It seems that designing their own rooms sparked a lifelong passion for interior design, which made me think about how our childhood bedrooms are so influential in all of our lives.  Childhood bedrooms are a place of independence, where little people can carve out their own space in the world. It’s where they go to sleep and dream, read and play – and sometimes for time-out! It’s a place to keep their books and the things that are precious to them. Kids bedrooms should be a space to spark imagination, feel safe and comforted.

I love kids’ rooms that let them be kids. There should be an opportunity for them to put their stamp on the space, even if their preferred ‘colour palette’ may not flow with the rest of the house. After all, it’s their way of expressing themselves through their surroundings, which is so important! However, at the end of the day, we need to balance their ideas with what will look good. In my experience with my daughters, their influences range from the plastic fantastic Barbie Dream House to Sylvanian Family country cottage. They need guidance!

The best kids rooms happen when their ideas are integrated into the concept for a room, but executed in a more refined way. Above all, the space should show their personality. So if that means a crazy stack of books here, a fleet of plastic trucks there, or a Barbie campervan, then so be it. They won’t be kids forever!

When I design kids’ rooms for my clients, I love to ask the kids a few questions so that I incorporate their ideas. Some kids have never given what their bedroom looks like a second thought, while others provide mood boards! It’s a lot of fun. Be careful what you wish for though, I have been asked to do a cactus/outer space theme… that one was challenging!

Dulux ‘Pancake Mix‘ elevates this nursery to the perfect shade of neutral. Photo – courtesy of Dulux Australia. Stylist – Bree Leech. Photographer – Lisa Cohen.

Dulux ‘Pancake Mix‘ elevates this nursery to the perfect shade of neutral. Photo – courtesy of Dulux Australia. Stylist – Bree Leech. Photographer – Lisa Cohen.

Dulux ‘Pancake Mix‘ adds warmth to this nursery. Photo – courtesy of Dulux Australia. Stylist – Bree Leech. Photographer – Lisa Cohen.

This is how to create a pretty pink room, while avoiding the princess clichés! The home of Melissa Harris and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids rooms don’t have to be just blue or pink! This old gold colour painted to dado height is bright and fun yet sophisticated. In the South Yarra home of Mardi Ola. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Room by Studio Giancarlo Valle. Photo –  Stephen Kent Johnson.

Room by Studio Giancarlo Valle. Photo –  Stephen Kent Johnson.

There is hardly a more classic combination than navy and tan, which is perfect for a nursery that will carry through to their teen years and beyond. Room by Nest Design Studio. Photo – Kate Monotti.

Using an over-scaled design keeps a floral look young and contemporary. Room by Aimee Tarulli of Archer Interiors. Photo – James Greer.

Room by Sisalla Interior Design. Photo – Tess Kelly.

Room by Sisalla Interior Design. Photo – Tess Kelly.

Room by Sisalla Interior Design. Photo – Tess Kelly.

Room by Nest Design Studio. Photo – Melissa Lau.

Kids rooms don’t have to be just blue or pink! This old gold colour painted to dado height is bright and fun yet sophisticated. In the South Yarra home of Mardi Ola. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids bedroom from the home of Melissa Harris in Box Hill. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids’ bedroom from the home of interior architect Edwina Gelann and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A kids’ bedroom from the Melbourne home of interior designer Karin Altman. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids bedroom in the home of Rachel Castle and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The teenage bedroom from the home of Chloe Quigley and family. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The Sorrento weekender of Kate from Kip & Co features clever under bed storage in the kids bedroom. All bedlinen and blankets from Kip & co.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kids’ room in Jac + Ash Rowan’s Fitzroy North home. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Front-facing perspex bookshelves from Ubabub, in the adorable kids’ bedroom in the Fitzroy apartment of Imogen Milford. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Plywood crates by Like Butter, in the kids bedroom in the home of Georgie Cleary and Pino Demaio. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Gorgeous kids bunks in the home of Alex McCabe of Kip & Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A tent-style bed in Finn’s bedroom in the Fitzroy apartment of Imogen Milford. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids quadruple bunks (!) in the gorgeous Eltham home of Sunni Hart and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids bedroom in the Warrandyte home of Emma Clark Gratton. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A sweet kids bedroom in the former home of Poppy Lane and Scott Gibson and family in Eltham.  Photo – Annette O’Brien.

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