Interior designer Amelia Carter shares 6 tips on how to use clever storage and simple solutions to manage a lot of stuff in small spaces.
As a mother and interior designer, Amelia Carter knows from experience that children often get the smallest room in the house – and yet they usually have the most stuff to accommodate. In this design lowdown, she shares 6 ways to work small bedrooms and playrooms to their maximum advantage.
1. Keep it Flexible
Little ones grow and change quickly so you need to have flexibility in your furnishings to ensure they are easily updated to suit the latest age, and interests that go with it. One easy way to do this is with the cupboard doors. Here, we have covered inset panels of cork board in a fun fabric. This brightens up the design in the room and also gives the children a spot to display artwork. It’s also a really easy element to change as the children get older and their style changes.
2. Storage Solutions
How is it possible for one little person to have so much stuff? Clothes, toys, games… they seem to multiply overnight. Underbed storage is key in any bedroom, it’s the obvious place to stash all that gear. We had this bed frame custom designed to have a large pull out drawer where all the linens and out of season clothing can be stored.
3. Chuck It In The Bucket
As parents know, toy storage is the issue that just will not go away. But you can make it more stylish with fabric buckets for children. They are useful for toy storage, dirty laundry, clean laundry and just about anything else that needs to be tucked away or sorted. They are also light enough for little ones to carry around and learn about ‘tidy up time’. Our favourite is the Bin hamper from Canadian Pehr Designs (who ship to the UK), which comes in a variety of printed patterns and is the perfect size to store in the Kallax range from Ikea.
4. Tidy Up Time
Mary Poppins used magic to inspire children to put all their toys away at the end of the day but every normal parent struggles to make it painless. To help on this mission, in this playroom we have designed huge buckets which are on concealed castors. This allows the children to pull them out and move them around the room easily when they are playing, it also makes tidying up easy as they can just throw their toys back into the buckets and tuck them away. Job done!
5. The Art Of Organisation
In small spaces use a chest of drawers that doubles as a change table during the baby days and stays useful as kids grow older or if little ones share a room with older siblings. We have had some fun adapting clients’ antique chests and switching the handles to make them more child appropriate. These Forest Menagerie knobs from Anthropologie are colourful and cute, while the Higher Ground knob is on trend in a brass finish.
6. Mess and Excess
Hooks hooks hooks! These are essential in any nursery or children’s washroom. The last thing you want to do at the end of the day it be picking clothing off the floor. If you can hang things up quickly as you go (or encourage your little one to hang their own towel on the elephant), it keeps everything organised. Remember to hang them at child’s height. We love this ceramic elephant.Amelia Carter started her own interior design business in 2011, having honed her skills at Katherine Pooley. Canadian-born, she has lived in London for many years. Follow Amelia on Instagram.