Photo Gallery: Editors' Favourite Kids' Rooms

House & Home design editors who are also moms have experienced firsthand the challenges of balancing beautiful design with Spiderman bedding. Read the tips design editors Morgan Michener, Sally Armstrong, Sarah Hartill and Stacey Smithers learned from decorating kids' rooms, and their product picks for timeless design. 

  • Invest In A Bed

    Don't skimp on this staple.

    "You want a bed to last as long as possible," says H&H senior design editor Sally Armstrong. She advises selecting a modern, neutral version with built-in drawers or a trundle. Senior style editor Morgan Michener likes a bed with "history," using hospital beds that have stood the test of time in both her kids' rooms.

    Watch a video of this boy's room makeover here!

    Photographer: Jason Stickley
    Designer: Sarah Hartill

  • Clear The Floor

    Give kids room to move and play.

    Abutting twin beds with built-in storage in the bedroom of senior design editor Sarah Hartill's son Tate won't eat up space so he can play freely on the floor with cars and Lego. "I bought a beautiful rug for my daughter Phoebe's room," says Morgan. "When she saw it she said: 'I can't dance on that!'" 

    Source: House & Home February 2014 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Sarah Hartill

  • A Map Grows With Kids

    Editors agree this is a kids' room must-have.

    Style editor Stacey Smithers put a map up in her son's room because it adapts as the child grows. "In the beginning it's all about the colour, but as kids mature and start reading, they can really learn alot about the world through maps," she explains. Large-scale maps (typically ranging from $80 up) can sub in for wallpaper, for far less.

    Watch a video of this entire kid's room here!

    Photographer: Jason Stickley
    Designer: Stacey Smithers

  • Create A Reading Nook

    Nuture a love of books with a special spot.

    Homeowner Susan Dyer has two areas in daughter Penelope's bedroom where she can lose herself in stacks of books: the cosy teepee or Eames rocker.

    Source: House & Home November 2012 issue
    Photographer: Virginia MacDonald
  • Add Softness

    Pick a generous-size rug for comfort.

    "I had area rugs and they were a bad investment," says Sally. "They were constantly bunching up, it drove me nuts. It's better to do wall-to-wall carpet or a pick a really generous size rug." The bedroom (shown) of Ali Yaphe's son Charlie has a sophisticated neutral palette that will grow with him, and a rug is more comfortable to play on than a bare floor.

    Source: House & Home January 2014 issue
    Photographer: Donna Griffith
    Designer: Mazen El-Abdallah, Mazen Studio

  • Create A Dedicated Workspace

    Make it easier to concentrate and study.

    Even young children need a spot to draw craft. Sarah Hartill made sure the bedroom of three-year-old  Joaquin, son of La Merceria owner Sandra Rojas-Chinni, had a small table and vintage-style chair. "I struggle with tech," admits Morgan, whose children are older. "Make rules: the computer and phone have to stay on the desk in Jack's room or they end up falling off the bed."

    Watch a video of this boy's room makeover here!

    Photographer: Jason Stickley 
    Designer: Sarah Hartill 

  • Offer Display Opportunities

    Let your child express their interests visually with their own display area.

    In the room of Sarah's son, a dresser displays some DIY art and mementos. "Grayson makes his own Lego creations and he likes to show them off," notes Sarah. Morgan says her kids each have a big wall where they can hang posters and play with washi tape. "I don't fret over it, I make it their place to be creative."

    Source: House & Home February 2014 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Sarah Hartill

  • Let Kids Choose Their Own Bedding

    A practical outlet for embracing passing trends.

    This is one battle parents may be willing to lose. Even though the bedding in the home of Katherine Yaphe's daughter, Sophie, is lovely, sometimes kids push for a more unconventional option. "Everything changes so quickly," notes Sarah Hartill. "If my kids want Spider Man pillowcases, I let them have them rather than indulging in a whole theme room. Bedding will still match with my stuff, and sooner or later they will be onto something else."

    Source: House & Home April 2012 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Provide Easy Storage

    Encourage neatness with open shelves.

    Keep storage options at a low height for children so they can access it themselves and keep their rooms tidy. In this bedroom designed by Sarah, crates are an easy and inexpensive alternative to shelves. "Rooms are more successful when there is less "stuff" in them, they need storage to hide things," explains Morgan. 

    Watch a video of this boy's room makeover here!

    Photographer: Jason Stickley 
    Designer: Sarah Hartill

  • Our Top Kids' Room Staples

    Morgan Michener's list of must-haves. 

    From blackboard paint to bunting, Morgan lists 9 classic products that never go out of style in childrens' rooms. 

    1) A Schoolhouse Electric map is visually stimulating and captivating, and serves as instant wallpaper that's easy to change. 

    2) Don't just think of black, go outside the box! See Annie Sloan's line of colourful chalkboard paint.

    3) Add a festive feel with an inexpense paper party banner.

    4) A task lamp is key for reading spots, try this version by Home Depot.

    5) A Hudson's Bay point blanket is a worthwhile bedding investment that always pays off.

    6) Provide easy storage for fast tidying.

    7) Create a workstation with a desk surface that easily folds away in small spaces.

    8) Unleash imaginations with a play tent.

    9) Get items off the floor and onto a good looking bookcase (make sure tall items are always secured to the wall for safety).

    Source: House & Home February 2010 issue
    Stylist: Tanya Linton
    Photographer: Donna Griffith
  • Kids' Rooms: 28 Designs

    See more inspiring kids' rooms. 

    For more tips on themes, painting, furniture, bedding, lighting and rugs for kids rooms, see this gallery of 28 more kids' rooms

    Source: House & Home March 2008 issue
    Photographer: Kim Christie