If child friendly interior design sounds to you like a complete contradiction in terms, you’re not alone. Even the most on-trend mamas and papas can feel like throwing in the designer towel when confronted with the avalanche of ‘stuff’ needed to keep a little person alive and thriving.
Seeing our curated, minimalist spaces being colonised by an army of bright plastic contraptions is enough to make any parent give up. Many of us accept that – at least for a few years – we will have to get used to living in a place which resembles a garish shopping centre play gym…
I’m here to challenge that assumption. There IS a way to create a harmonious haven which meets the needs of our children to play, learn and experiment, without making your eyes water each time you enter the room.
Many brilliant brands here in Australia and internationally are creating clever furniture, toys and homewares which are designed with the dual purpose of enhancing modern interiors and making caring for little ones a breeze. With soothing neutral and natural tones and tactile, organic materials, these sanity savers allow parents to create the serene and stylish homes they desire, with plenty of fun and learning opportunities incorporated.
Throws, cushions, bed linen and window furnishings don’t have to feature Disney characters, or be a primary colour, to be appropriate for children. And good design isn’t synonymous with beige and boring, especially when it comes to kid-friendly brands like Rachel Castle’s brand Castle and Things.
Their range of tasteful-but-fun knitted cushions, throws and sheets for children’s rooms feature a warm palette of mustards, powder blues, dusky pinks and greys. Check out the Doggie and Weenie knit cushion covers, as well as the divine velvet range – they’re perfect for adding a pop of fun and soft colour to your space.
Speaking of soft colour and cosy knits, have you discovered The Knit Studio yet? This bespoke knitting mill (in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula) produce the loveliest organic knitted blankets in any colour and design you want. It’s child’s play to match back to a particular accent colour when you get to choose the exact hues you want for your blanket, as well as the size, pattern and more! The team then knit your blanket from the finest organic cotton or wool and ship it straight to you.
Indoor Play Equipment
Any parent will tell you; most children love to climb. Indoors or outdoors, they’ll find a way to scale anything they see in no time; trees, furniture and small animals included. Having something safe and purpose-built for children to climb on in a living or playroom which looks gorgeous and is endlessly entertaining lets them exercise their spirit of adventure, without summiting the sideboard.
Australian-based MOOV Baby leads the field in handmade, customisable timber climbing systems for babies through to pre-schoolers. Their beautifully constructed wooden play equipment is informed by paediatrician Dr Emmi Pikler’s teachings and are designed to aid gross motor development. The MOOV system is modular, with triangular, round and cube-shaped bases accented by towers, slides, ladders and climbing ramps. Everything is made with the finest natural materials, using premium plywood and native timbers, and coloured elements (like the grips on the rock-climbing ramp) are available in stylish palettes including pastel, neon, sunset, rainbow and vanilla.
Bunk and loft beds are brilliant. They create more space in a bedroom, they make a great base for a cubby house, and they designate a separate nook for room-sharing siblings to call their own. The downside is, they can be incredibly ugly!
But they don’t have to be. If your home is infused with a chic, Scandi-inspired vibe, you’ll love the Plyroom’s smart, minimalist range of beds and bedroom furniture for children. From babies first cot – a sleek, pale and stunning plywood cocoon – to essential storage solutions (check out Peggy, the Peg Board!) these are the products you need to create a light, neutral backdrop to your children’s room.
Other brands which combine style with smart, child-friendly furniture design include Raja Homewares for great rattan accessories and storage, and Mustardmade for ubercool metal storage lockers in a range of on-trend colours.