Looking to redesign your child’s room? Or perhaps you just moved and are starting over from scratch. You may even be graduating your kid from a nursery to a “big kid” room. Whatever the case, we’re here to help you figure out what to include. We’ve already outlined bedroom essentials in our interior design buying guides—but there are some subtle differences between what’s essential in a kids bedroom vs adult bedrooms.
Check out our complete bedroom checklist post for more basic info on designing a bedroom.
So, today, we want to walk you through a kids room buying guide—complete with the core pieces of kids room furniture you need, as well as accents and decor that will take the space to the next level. Plus, you’ll get all sorts of kids’ room design ideas. Read on for all the essentials!
Core Kids Bedroom Pieces
There are certain pieces that we’d deem absolutely essential in a kids bedroom. (Or any bedroom, for that matter.) Because is it even a bedroom if you don’t have a place to sleep and store your clothes? You can establish the function of your child’s room with these core pieces—while also starting to set the tone for the style of the room.
First things first: a bed. When your child has graduated from a crib or toddler bed, it’s time to invest in a bed that will carry them through the rest of their childhood, and potentially even into adulthood. Twin and full-size beds are the most popular sizes for kids bedrooms, as both offer enough space while transitioning well into later years. (Want to skip toddler beds altogether? Go straight for a twin-sized bed.) Stylistically, we also recommend choosing bed frame types that will transition well with their style and easily grow up with them.
Other things to consider with beds? Sleepovers and shared spaces. If your child loves to host sleepover parties, consider investing in a full-size bed they can share, or get a twin trundle bed for an extra bed that you can simply pull out when it’s needed. For shared kids bedrooms, you can go for two single beds, or opt for a bunk bed. Though, bunk beds can also be fun for kids who don’t share a room. Some styles have the option of removing the lower bunk, so it sits more like a loft bed and the space below can be converted into a homework or hangout space.
A nightstand gives your child a surface to keep a glass of water, a flashlight to check for closet monsters and a stack of bedtime storybooks. Choosing a nightstand with at least one drawer also gives your kid a place to stash any special treasures (or hide their retainer when their friends come over.) Even if your child has a full-size bed, one nightstand is generally all they’ll need (as opposed to one on each side of the bed). And in a small bedroom, you could even opt for a chest of drawers or a small dresser as a nightstand alternative, to give you a 2-in-1 piece of furniture.
Dressers are one of the most necessary pieces of furniture to include in a kids bedroom (or any bedroom, really!). Even if they have a good-sized closet, you’ll be grateful for all the extra storage space you can get. And they don’t just have to be for clothing! You could also stash toys or art supplies in kids dresser drawers! Rather than choosing a dresser with a very youthful design, opt for one that flows with the style of the space both for now and years to come—or one in a style that can be repurposed in another room in the future.
Shop This Look
A fun, plush rug is a great way to add a pop of style, color, and pattern to a kid’s room. Choose a material that’s right for your needs—wool is great for lasting quality, but can be pricey; natural fiber rugs are a great option for high-traffic rooms, but be sure to choose one that’s easy to clean; finally, indoor-outdoor rugs are also a great option if you need something that’s super durable and easy to clean and are ok sacrificing that soft, plush texture. Darker color rugs will require less maintenance over time and show less wear—so that’s worth considering as well. But, above all, you want it to be plush and comfortable, so your child can stretch out and comfortably play or read on the rug!
Not sure what size to pick? Read our guide to choosing the right rug size for your room!
Kids Bedroom Accent Pieces
Once you have the core pieces in place, you can decide what else you have space for and what you and your child would like to prioritize in their room. Are they big into reading? Make sure to include a bookcase and reading area. Distance learning? Perhaps it’s worth getting a desk. What you include from this list of accent pieces depends on how your child wants to use their space.
Additional Kids Storage
Top of the list for kids bedroom furniture accent pieces is additional storage. This will save you sanity as a parent, as your kid will have a dedicated place to put things away when cleaning up. So, it’s worth including some sort of book and toy storage—whether that’s shelving, baskets, closet organizers, a closed cabinet, or a bookcase. (Get some ideas with our round-up of the best storage furniture options.) Just make sure it’s super accessible for your child, as it’s important to make it easy to clean up. And having a dedicated place for everything will help inspire them to put their things away! For easy grab-and-go storage, add simple baskets to a corner or a floating shelf above a dresser to keep things tucked away and easy to grab.
For kids who love to read, consider creating a cozy reading nook area in their bedroom. If you have the space, you can include a full-sized accent chair—otherwise, in a kids bedroom, a beanbag chair, stool and plush rug, or even a tent filled with plush pillows is all they need!
A bookcase will go a long way in a kid’s room. Not only does it provide a space to store all of their books—but you can also place a few baskets on the lower shelves for easy toy storage! If you’ve included a reading nook in the bedroom, it’s nice to arrange the layout of the space so that your kids bookshelf and reading nook can be near each other!
Whether your kid is distance learning or just needs a dedicated homework space, it can be nice to include a desk in their bedroom—especially for teens. Consider desks for kids as an investment—it’s a piece that can be used throughout their childhood and teenage years. And, if it’s a quality piece, it can even move with them into a first apartment, or simply to a home office space elsewhere in your home later on. Looking to save on space but still get maximum storage? Try a wall-mounted bookcase desk. Writing desks can also easily double as nightstands, helping you maximize the square footage of the room.
Kids Bedroom Decor
Once furniture is in place, you can start bringing in decor to add additional style and personality to your kid’s bedroom. Keep reading for some of the key pieces of decor to consider.
Kids Wall Art
Add some fun personality to the space by sprinkling in a few pieces of wall art. This is a great way to bring in your kid’s favorite colors and personal interests—from animals to space travel and outdoor adventures. These pieces of wall art can be fun creations from your kids or a few favorite framed works.
Good lighting will give your kids the illumination they need throughout the day and evening—but kids lighting shouldn’t be too fussy and should be super easy to use. Opt for an overhead light (like a pendant or flush mount) and one or two additional floor or table lamps. That way they can use the overhead light during the day but have more soothing, softer light at night. When choosing lamps, avoid styles with too much extra glass or glitz, which can break more easily around kids!
For maximum privacy and to help promote a good night of sleep, it’s important to consider window coverings. Blinds are one of the easiest ways to secure privacy in a kids space—and with blinds, cordless is always the way to go. Cords tend to break over time and can get hopelessly tangled and present a strangling hazard. So, an easy pull-down shade will do the trick! Skip the expensive curtains in this room for now until kids are older and know how to be gentle around the fabric of curtains. Though, if you can’t stand the idea of blinds, invest in blackout curtains to help keep their rooms dark until it’s time to wake up.
Poufs, pillows, blankets, bean bags—these plush items are fun additions to help bring bits of extra joy and comfort to the space. Accessories like these provide an easy way to style a cute reading nook or play corner. All you need is a comfy rug and a few poufs and pillows. And having some spare blankets on hand is perfect when they get the itch to make a fort!
A full-length mirror is a great addition to a kids bedroom—giving them a place to get ready and helping reflect light. This is especially helpful in a small bedroom! Just make sure it’s bolted to the wall to prevent tipping and in a secure location where there’s not a ton of foot traffic. A leaning mirror, rather than a wall-mounted option, is ideal for tween/teen rooms but isn’t as safe for kids’ rooms. A mirror above a dresser or storage piece is also a great way to include a mirror without it taking up floor space!