When it comes to matters of home design, we entrust the professionals. So when facing a recent decor conundrum, we went straight to the source. Interior Designer, Montana Labelle, a fresh face on the Canadian design scene, but with a stylish eye and well-honed sense of design, her portfolio is impressive. Her mission is to transform the mundane into timeless environments for modern living. We recently sat down with her to gather her top tips for transforming a nursery into a fun toddler room that still has a design sensibility that resonates with the parents.
What are the most important things to consider when creating a sophisticated space for children that will appeal to the child as much as the parent?
Nurseries and children's rooms are an excellent place to have fun with your home's décor. Thankfully, in 2014, traditional children's colors of pink and blue are no longer de rigeur for cool kids rooms. The modern nursery or toddler room is gender neutral, mixing unexpected textures, clean lines, and artwork to create a space that is as unique and fun as they are.
What are the 5 MUST pieces that can help transition a nursery into a toddler room?
1. The bed - Whether choosing a toddler bed (which has a limited time span of use) or a single (twin sized) bed its important to select something that feels fun, grown up and will make your little one excited for bedtime! In my opinion, a toddler bed is well worth the investment. Not only for the excitement your child will feel sleeping in it during the younger years, but also for the older years when it can be used as a cool storage area for toys or a seating area for playrooms. In addition, it can ultimately be handed down to subsequent children for additional years of use.
2. Soft textures - this can be anything from furry throw pillows, blankets, or rugs. Their comfy touch is perfect for gentle skin. Delicate fabric and surfaces make the space inviting for curling up with a book or puzzle or simply playing on the floor with their toys. A soft area rug or carpeting is a must.
3. Artwork - that shows that it is not a baby's room anymore. Traditionally, every kids room I have arrived at is littered with pink or blue paintings of giraffes, cartoon ducks, and teddy bears. This artwork is entirely outdated. Instead, select something unexpected and interesting. I have noticed a trend towards large wall murals in nurseries using unexpected scenes or artists not commonly associated with a child's taste, like the below Goya artwork. Wallpaper is also a fun addition to add color and personality.
A great example of using children's art work as decor and the above mentioned Goya wallpaper, brain child of artist and designer Maryam Keyhani
4. Storage - as babies turn to toddlers and toddlers turn to children their collection of toys and books will continue to grow. Having appropriate storage for all of these toys will help keep the room looking clean, fresh and organized. Whether it happens to be an antique wooden armoire, a modern white lacquered bookshelf, or some simple white or grey felt baskets on the floor, storage is ESSENTIAL!
Storage is the name of the game to keep some semblance of organization in your toddler's room
5. A play area all their own - like a tepee, fort, large doll house, mini kitchen... a make believe element or little hideaway to add some magic to their space.
What are the key takeaways for parents making the investment to redecorate a room for their toddlers?
- A gender neutral room will allow parents to use the pieces for longer as the children grow up, add additional siblings and possibly even use the pieces elsewhere in the home.
- Look for furnishings that serve more than one purpose, that will grow with the child or that can be put to use in another room later on - especially when you're dropping a wad of cash. Good long-term investments include a bassinet that transforms into a toy basket, a crib that turns into a toddler bed, or a rocking chair/reading chair that you can pull into the living room once your rock-a-bye days are done.
We love this chair for a kids room and eventually a study or den
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