...Our Three-Year-Old's Room Tour
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When decorating a kid's room, there are many things to consider. You want to cater to your child's need for play and design a space they'll enjoy. Because kids grow so quickly, it's important to incorporate pieces that can grow with your child. And, don't forget to build in ample storage!
If you have a modern or minimalist design aesthetic and/or a small space (yes to both!), achieving this can be even more challenging. As in my post on the most stylish (least hideous) high chairs, I find myself wondering: do kids' manufacturers have a secret mandate to make their products stand out, clashing with everything else in sight?
In this post, I'll show you how we decorated and organized our three-and-a-half-year-old son's bedroom, using modern, minimalist design, without spending a fortune.
When my son, Owen, was a little over two, we got rid of his crib and transitioned his room from a nursery to a toddler room (or 'big boy' room, if you ask him).
This predates the blog. So, unfortunately, I don't have any useful 'before' shots. (You may recall I also regret the dearth of 'before' pics in my kitchen reno post----hindsight is 20/20)!
Congruent with our usual approach to home decor (and life in general), we wanted to transition his room as efficiently and economically as possible. So, of course, we relied heavily on IKEA for the transformation. If you've been reading along for a while, you'll know I'm a big fan of IKEA and IKEA hacks. Keep an eye out for an upcoming compendium of the IKEA hacks in our home!
As with the rest of our house, we wanted to create a light, airy, modern, and somewhat minimalist feel in my son's room. In addition to it's small size, another design challenge in his room is poor natural lighting. His window is north-facing and partially obstructed by the house next door. For this reason, we kept the colour scheme light with pale grey walls ('Passive' by Sherwin Williams) and white furniture.
His bed, the IKEA KURA (reversible) bed, can be converted to a loft bed with room beneath for a play space or a desk, ask he grows.
We painted the 'natural wood' portions white for an airier feel and a more cohesive look throughout the room.
We also installed IKEA curtain rods to the sides of the bed, and added some white IKEA curtains (hemmed to length by Grandpa). These serve a dual purpose: blocking out a little of that early morning sun (so-called 'blackout blinds' only do so much and I'll take all the help I can get when it comes to getting my son to sleep in on the weekend) and they encourage play; Owen loves turning his bed into an enclosed fort by draping a blanket overtop of the bed frame.
Crib-to-bed transition tip: we placed his mattress directly on the floor, instead of installing the raised base of the bed frame. This allows for the mattress top to sit a couple of inches below the edge of the frame (hard to tell with the duvet on the bed), and protects against rolling out of bed.
Shop these ideas:
As mentioned, my son's bed is the IKEA KURA painted white. This Canwood Loft Bed comes that way if you're looking for that monochromatic look, minus the DIY paint job.
If you're looking for a more traditional toddler bed with more protection against roll-outs, this one from Delta Children has a nice, stream-lined, modern look.
Ah, the Oeuf Loft Bed...If money were no object, this would be my kid bed of choice.
My son's rug (above) is from IKEA (that exact model's discontinued). This one is fairly similar.
In terms of storage, my son's room has three drawer units (all from IKEA) to house toys, books, and clothing (in addition to his bedroom closet). To keep his room (and the rest of our home) relatively clutter-free, the majority of his toys are stored in the basement in rotating bins. He's allowed to have one bin out at a time, and it's got to be put away before he's allowed to play with another. See this post for more on this!
His bedside IKEA STUVA storage bench houses his favourite bedtime books, which he's able to access and put away on his own.
The vertical IKEA STUVA dresser (now discontinued) at the end of his bed houses more books as well as the select few toys he's allowed to keep in his room.
This IKEA KALLAX shelf is extremely versatile. When my son was in diapers, we rested a change pad on top and used it as a change table...
Currently, it contains my son's sock and underwear drawers. As much as I enjoyed Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, there's no way I'm folding socks the way she suggests!
Also in the KALLAX are a basket full of yet more books and my son's 'junk basket.' As previously mentioned, I'm a big fan of basket storage and junk drawers. We put all of the things that don't belong in his room (i.e. toys that belong back in basement storage) in the canvas basket for redistribution.
Shop these ideas:
SAKUYV Canvas Toy Storage Bin ($11.59).
Swiss Cross Basket ($24).
KidCraft Bookcase and Reading Nook. Wouldn't this look great beneath a window?
Our laundry basket is from UMBRA (now discontinued). This one is similar ($13.99).
The closet in my son's room is actually a decent size (for a small, century-old, Toronto home, that is)! To maximize storage, I use two hanging clothing organizers, which allow for the storage of folded clothes in bins, and his bed linens.
For further storage, I hung an over-the-door shoe organizer on the inside of the closet door----what can't you do with these, right??? (For how to hack one of these shoe organizers into a vertical garden, check out this post). When my son was an infant, this was an easy, accessible place to store onesies for the multiple daily changes due to spit-ups and poo-splosions. Did I mention I don't miss those early days? Like, at all???
Now, we keep his undershirts and thermal underwear in here ('cuz, well...Canada), as well as other accessories like belts, sunglasses and hats.
Shop these ideas:
StorageWorks Hanging Closet Organizer ($25.99).
Alternatively, this Kids Daily Hanging Closet Organizer by Handy Laundry ($9.99) would be a great way to get your school-aged kids' clothes set out for the week, saving precious prep time in the morning!
For decorative and practical reasons, we installed floating shelves for book display. If you want to read more about this, I have a separate post all about styling floating bookshelves in your kid's room.
He also has a small play table with chairs, and a toy kitchen, which provides a little more toy storage.
Shop these ideas:
If you like the idea of a book display, but don't want to make holes in the wall, this display bookcase is a nice alternative.
How chic is this Eames-style kids table and chairs set ($149)? I wish they shipped to Canada!
So, that's my son's room in a nutshell! What are your must-haves for kid's room decor and storage ? Let me know in the comments below!
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