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2023 interior design trends for children’s rooms

Creating personalised space, comfort, a connection with nature (biodynamic design  and sustainable design) and cosy nostalgia are the underlying themes of  interior design for 2023. In child friendly homes this would translate into the use of organic shapes, colours and textures along with joyful colours and warm neutrals. The interiors of the 1970s will be a huge influence on interior design trends for 2023- so rounded furniture, brass fittings, earth hues especially shades of brown as well as the use of strong pattern and bold shots of colour will be used widely in 2023.

 As we spend more time in our homes there is less love for open plan living – so there is an uptake on room dividers to give more flexibility.

Personalised space

Your home should be a reflection of your family and after the last few years it has become clear that we are all spending more time at home and want our space to bring us comfort and joy! As well as being our office, gym and after school care that is. never going to go out of style, showing who you are through your design choices is evergreen and therefore personalising your space should be the main interior design trend of 2023 that you take on.


Adding art, photographs and mementos to your home will instantly make it feel more personal to you- the same can be said of letting your children collect treasures which they can then choose to display in their rooms. Letting them surround themselves with items and possessions they love will help them feel comfortable, confident and relaxed. It may even help them to develop an interest.  See blog on happy home


Colour schemes should make you, the home owner, feel happy and comfortable. Embrace more colourful interiors and be more individual in 2023. A great way to try this out is to start by adding colour in your child’s room, playroom or downstairs WC. Start small and you will see what a difference adding colours to your space can make. If painting walls seems too permanent or too much like hard work then consider adding colourful and textured layered textiles, unique items of art with a mix of old and new furnishings to create your own personal haven. 

Be careful when you choose your shade as colour can affect your mood and change your perception of space. The effervescent use of colour, texture and pattern has been termed Dopamine Dressing. Your child’s room can be a great expression of this cosy, joyful, relaxed style which will greatly enhance their happiness. See my post on how to get children to sleep better and the effects of colour

Use your children’s artwork in surprising ways

Have a little fun and be playful with your child’s room design.  Incorporate your children’s art in their room decor ( and around the house too)  in surprising ways using collages or custom screen-printed textiles or by getting their art made into a rug (see This unique piece will create an instant wow factor and make the space so personal to your family. 

Your child’s artwork can be made into a beautiful rug by


Rich, tactile materials 

Reflects our longing for connection and interaction after surviving a global pandemic. With humans seeking tactility, sensibility and natural materials while pursuing wellbeing. Tactile fabrics and furnishings, lime stone and plaster walls, varied textures will all be used as part of this interior design trend.


Hanging chairs are a great example of a cocooning chair especially for a child. Bunk beds also back – cosy up in the bottom bunk all nestled in. Feeding into the trend for coziness and for kids needing smaller, safer places to cope with the repercussions of Covid. A desire to cocoon in our homes is still prevalent – with the focus on self care spawning spathrooms and more space in the home being given over to wellness. 


A connection with nature through Biophilic design and the use of sustainable furnishings as well as the use of a colour palette based in nature are part of the trend for connecting with the outdoors. Ways to bring nature into your child’s room design are using child friendly plants, natural materials and colours based on nature’s palette. I can’t go on more about the benefits of bringing the outside in and of connecting with nature! See the Benholm Group’s guest blog about Biophilic design for children’s rooms

Biodynamic lighting 

Biodynamic lighting where artificial lighting is designed to mimic daylight will be used in 2023. In fact making better use of lighting generally and using lighting fittings as art will also be on trend this coming year. The use of more flamboyant decorative light fittings as well as better designed lighting plans will come to the fore. 

Sustainably sourced materials

Sustainably sourced materials such as cork flooring and reused and up-cycled furniture will be of growing importance this year. 

Organic shapes/ soft curves and handmade furniture and fittings are another expression of our connection with nature in 2023. Tying in with the search for individuality in our interiors. Think local and craft made items to enrich your environment. 

Low VOC  and clean furnishings are taking centre stage to keep children’s rooms toxin-free. 

Cosy Nostalgia

Reusing and moving pieces around

Setting up your furniture and playing around with layouts in your home is a great way to reuse what you already have and create a cosy feel in your home. 

A smattering of heritage

Heritage pieces add to a sense of wellness and belonging in your home by using vintage pieces along with your personal treasures and your new sustainably sourced furnishings (like low VOC mattresses  for children) your home will gain that cosy nostalgic vibe. Stripes, checks, tartan, statement rugs, patterned wallpaper will all be used to create that cosy nostalgia feel.


Shades of brown, rounded shapes, brass fittings, patterns and shots of bold colour. 

Room dividers

Innovative ways to break up our open plan spaces to provide zones for different activities are being sought as we spend more time in our homes still working from home, entertaining and relaxing. 

Multi functional design 

This includes zoning for different activities as in my method for designing children’s rooms as well as multifunctional furniture like stools that turn into desks.  See my blog post on how I design children’s rooms.

Non-binary/gender neutral design

The trend for more sophisticated abstract wallpaper designs in children’s rooms with broader range of colour options will continue to grow. I personally love gender neutral rooms as I feel they allow the people who inhabit them to explore and grow. here are some examples of using sophisticated wallpaper designs in gender neutral rooms on some of my recent projects.

Colours for 2023

Natural palette – greens blues earth tones, sunset tones including gentle gold and  Dulux’ s Colour of the Year – Wild Wonder a gorgeous warm neutral based in nature.

Exuberant, happy colours such as Pantone’s colour of the year “Viva Magenta is a “hybrid” shade that’s symbolic of our existence in the physical and digital world. ” are also going to be popular in 2023.

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Designing and Organising the Indoor Environment for children: How the rooms I design help your child’s cognitive, physical and emotional development. 

Environment affects mood and behaviour

Studies have shown that children with a positive perception of themselves grow up to achieve good social and academic skills later in life. To enable this it is essential to encourage your child’s hobbies and interests and let them explore a variety of activities that will allow them to develop essential skills. A well designed indoor environment can increase efficiency, improve mood and develop talents. 

When I design child-centric spaces, be it a bedroom, playroom or family room, I constantly refer back to my list of essential play zones. I know that each of these are essential for the early years and can be worked into any space. As children grow these zones merge and some disappear all together so a fluid approach and flexibility need to be woven into your room design to accommodate the changing needs of your child. 

I like to break up the zones so that (though sleeping is the main focus of the room) your child’s other needs (play, exploration, relaxation, music etc) are also catered for and given the space to be encouraged. 

a monochrome concept for a Montessori inspired toddler room.
A Japandi style toddler’s room concept using the principles of Maria Montessori where everything is accessible to the child.

The zones

1- Gross Motor Play Area

This usually involves ride on toys, swings or climbing and is mostly catered for outside. With enough space and creativity it can be included in an indoor setting. For example by adding a swing seat or climbing wall to a playroom or bedroom. 

2- A cosy corner

As a quiet area or reading nook. Twos could be on a bed with easy access to books and a light or it could be in a den or tepee, cushions in a corner near a bookcase. To create a cosy, contemplative space for relaxation and quiet time. Popping a book shelf within reach of the bed or cosy corner will encourage a love of reading and make it a habit for the rest of their lives. 

A maximalist teen study room with practical storage and a cosy reading area.

3- A fine Motor Station

Usually involves a child sized table and chair with access to puzzles, threading toys, games and kits which would be stored in a nearby bookcase or storage unit so children can independently access them (and tidy them away!). this could equally be at the kitchen table with a little more supervision for younger toddlers so that all the puzzles don’t come out at once!

4- A Construction Area

Where children use building bricks, wooden blocks, train tracks and other types of linking toys to stack, link and connect parts to create structures. This often falls part of their small world play – creating a backdrop for their action. 

5- An Arts and Crafts Area

Often the kitchen table with an area set aside for storage of all the supplies – often a cart or art box works best. To encourage self expression through the creation of visual art such as sculpture, junk modelling, mark making, drawings and paintings using a variety of mediums. If you are lucky enough to have a separate playroom then this could be the ideal spot for an easel, table and chairs with art supplies on shelves within easy reach of children that can then be out away(out of reach of younger children) when you are not there to supervise! 

A Toddler concept room with child height table and chairs for fine motor skill play and plenty of storage near open floor space for construction, small world and imaginary play.

6- A Sensory Area

To allow children to stimulate their senses of touch, sight and hearing need not be a defined zone. It could involve having a sand/water tray outside, exploring bubbles in the bath, playing with play dough at the kitchen table. 

7- A Small World Area

This involves having floor space near to where the small world toys are stored so that it is easy for children to access the toys and they have enough space to play with them. This is where children create small worlds to tell stories and often re-enact real life situations to reaffirm their learning. Farm sets, doll’s houses and character figures are all examples of such toys. 

8- An Imaginary Play Zone

This is where children make believe and tell stories. Having free access to costumes and fancy dress, play kitchens, baby dolls, phones and puppets helps children in this type of play.  A child height clothes rail or hooks with costumes or hats along with a play kitchen or shop are great ways of implementing imaginary play into your home. 

A pre-schooler’s room with plenty to explore.

9- Musical Play Area

This involves having some instruments such as drums, a keyboard or a whistle so that your child can explore making different sounds and music. These do not need their own physical space but should be stored together near a floor space so that they can be pulled out and easily played with. 

Be Flexible

These zones are fluid and really require each type of toy being stored together within reach of a place to play with them and within reach of your child. So small world, musical and construction toys need to be near a floor space where they can be played with. Fine motor toys near a child sized table and chairs, arts and crafts in an easy to clean area either in the play room or at the kitchen table, some sensory experiences around the home and gross motor skill toys like a tricycle, outside. I highly recommend creating a cosy area for reading and quiet time in the child’s own room to promote a connection with their own space and encourage their notion of privacy.     

The zones will amalgamate and change as your child grows so the physical space needs to be flexible. 

These zones work in tandem will allowing your child to express their individuality and interests in their room, so that they can forge a strong sense of individuality and good self-esteem. 

To encourage open ended play it is crucial to have accessible toys and space to play with them. I cannot stress enough the importance of a tidy, quiet and calm home environment for the development of self-regulation (the ability to understand and manage your own behaviour and actions) in children. Good design will encourage your child to feel proud of their home, filling them with happiness and a space to explore and thrive. 

Design your child’s environment in a way that will respect them and help their cognitive, physical and emotional development. 

I hope that this post has helped to show you a bit more about how I work and the fundamental ideas behind why I design for children. Should you need any help with your child’s room please take a look at my services and feel free to contact me.

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How to Design children’s rooms: Tips for designing better kids rooms

A Parisienne style baby girl’s nursery concept.

There are many things to consider when thinking about how to design your children’s bedrooms but function and safety are the most important. Everything has to work – from storage to play space to cosy nook to getting in and out of bed to finding clothes for the mad early morning dash. Everything should be safe – from plug sockets to bookcases to baskets to curtains and blinds. Children’s rooms should feel cosy, have the correct sense of scale and shape. They should be tidy, adaptable, colourful, light filled, personal, private and let’s not forget- fun.

So dig in for some tips and things to consider as you embark on designing your child’s room.

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Fit for purpose. 

Allowing children access to their belongings helps them to feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment. So I create spaces with child height storage for toys and clothes to encourage the quest for independence and autonomy. Open cube storage with baskets and versatile deep shelving is a practical solution to allowing easy child access to their belongings. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Safe 

When children feel safe they can get creativity through lessening their stress. Soft. Surfaces and rounded edges can help with fearless and undisturbed exploration and playtime, encouraging confidence in your child and you, their parents, will worry less about them hurting themselves. Think non-slip flooring, covered sockets, child safe blinds – all the practical, safety precautions you can implement in your home. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Cosy

Children love to cuddle so filling your child’s room with cuddly toys and cosy cushions and throws so that they can learn to self sooth and become more independent is important. Fluffy rugs and soft bedding provide a cosy backdrop to your child’s interaction with their space. A “cosy corner”, den or fluffy rug are good examples of how to add a cosy feel to your space.  Take a look at my cosy living blog for more details

A Bohemian baby girl’s nursery concept.

How to design children’s rooms so that they are the Correct Scale 

The scale of a space can have an affect on child behaviour- a lower ceiling (or at least the sense of a lower ceiling) can make  the space feel more intimate and comfortable and encourages younger (smaller) children to cooperate as they feel less overwhelmed. So for spaces with more height, adding in a mezzanine, mobiles, canopies or sensory surfaces can help to create a more intimate space for your child to thrive in. You could even try painting your ceiling in a darker tone to give the appearance of lowering it. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are the Right Shape

Spatial layout impacts children’s behaviour too. Linear spaces bring attention and  focus to the end while radial spaces encourage movement around the space. Play with the layout of your child’s room until you find the right flow. For instance, by creating floor space for play, enough child accessible storage, a quiet area and a study/craft zone. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Tidy

I know- this one is controvercial, I’m all for free expression but please hear me out…

Tidiness encourages clear thoughts and structure. A clear path can make a room look more open, inviting and dynamic as well as more spacious.  If your child’s belongings can be put away easily their room will be tidier and your child will be happier and less stressed.  Having a tidy room limits overstimulation and therefore stress. Chaos causes sensory overload which in turn leads to anxiety  – so having a place for everything, and everything in it’s place is key when design a child’s room. It is crucial to make a lot of storage and to make it flexible so that it grows as their interests develop. it is also crucial to make it accessible to the child so that they can easily access and then tidy away their toys and possessions.

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Flexible 

Babies change almost daily so having a flexible nursery space that grows with your child is vital. 

A child’s room needs to reflect who they would like to be in the future, not just who they are now. Your child’s room should grow and change as your child grows physically and their interests change and develop. Use adaptable furniture and multipurpose furniture.  Flexibility in the use of space also promotes your child’s creativity. Themes are fleeting so should be interpreted loosely with items that can easily be changed such as accessories and bedding. Incorporating extra beds for sleepovers or desks for homework into your child’s room from an early age will future proof your design and allow for your child’s growth and changes in how they use their room. If you can create a space that is peaceful, comfortable and houses their interests and caters to their needs your child will feel more positive and secure. 

A rainbow themed playroom concept.

How to design children’s rooms so that they Bring the outside in (Biophilic Design) 

Bring the outside in using natural textures such as wood, wool, linens etc, indoor plants and taking inspiration for your palette from nature’s own colour palette. Openness and access to nature give a sense of freedom, independence and liberation to a child’s room which is essential in mental development. Wall art can be used to bring the outdoors in – try to use photos over paintings as photographs help children to look at the details around them and to connect to the world around them. Please see the Benholm Group’s guest blog on Biophilic design for children’s spaces for further details. For the some interesting effects of Biophilic design head to Benholm group’s biophilic design study.

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Colourful – embrace colour psychology

Colour affects mood so choosing the correct colour for your child friendly space is important. Children’s bedrooms are often multi purpose rooms where they can nurture their growth and exploration, their rooms also need to be oasis of calm and restfulness. Using a calming palette with fun exuberant highlight colours in zones is a useful way of fulfilling both briefs. 

This is why I use colours that brighten a room and that make children feel happy and calm. 

As babies see mostly in shades of black , grey and white a monochrome colour scheme with contrasting patterns and shapes in a nursery will give baby plenty of visual stimulation. Colour blocked artwork works well for the first 5 months of baby’s life as they can see it and then is a lovely focal point tin the  nursery as your baby begins to toddle. Please see my blog on how to help your children sleep for more ideas.

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Light and airy

Light really has a huge influence on the psychology of design and space. Natural and artificial lighting need to work in balance so that the room can fulfil all it’s functions no matter what time of day. 

Bright natural light helps boost mood and concentration, especially in young children. Research has also shown that morning sunlight exposure can help prevent erratic and delayed bedtimes and problems with children’s circadian rhythms. And we all know that in order for children to behave well and perform at the top of their game they need to have slept well. In an ideal world your child would have one room to sleep in, one to play in and another to study in – we find that in most homes children do a combination of all of these in their room – though truth be told, you should associate their bedroom mostly with sleep so choosing calming tones in at least the sleep zone of their room will really help.  Please see my blog post on how to make your child’s room happier for more details.

Bright natural light boosts mood and concentration. Consider the view out of the windows and skylights which can help provide a visual release for children while helping to regulate their circadian rhythm. To ensure you make the most of your natural light ensure your curtain poles are long enough to allow the curtains to be fully pushed back away from the window when open. 

A lighting scheme can make or break the design and feel of a room and is vitally important in a space used by children. Use full spectrum light bulbs, not fluorescent  or spiral bulbs – poor lighting which can be too yellow, too cold or too blue-white can cause anxiety and depression. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Personal – Let them reflect their personality

Interior design helps you give meaning to your space, it reflects your likes, interests and lifestyle – this is especially true of children’s spaces. Studies have shown that children with positive perceptions of themselves go on to have good social and academic skills later on in life. To help promote this in your children ensure that there is space in their room 9or the den or the kitchen or the family room) where they can indulge in their hobbies. A strong sense of identity is crucial to your child’s development and nurtures good self-esteem and individuality. This sense of themselves can be encouraged by creating a space for them to display their awards and trophies, or to show off their treasures and using wall space to display their art. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Private

The need for privacy is a natural part of growing up. They start out life unable to be left alone and a few years later we have to allow them to take the first steps to solitude and independence. Space privacy is a psychological impact of interior design. Allowing your child to explore this newfound independence in a safe and interesting environment can build familial trust and a sense of competence which in turn help with decision making skills and resourcefulness as they grow older. Add a mezzanine, a secret room or space in a wardrobe, or divide your child’s space into zones, pop a tepee in a corner, hang a canopy above their bed. Any little nook like under the stairs or a hall landing can be transformed into a little person’s idyll. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Fun and whimsical

Even though your primary goal when designing your child’s bedroom should be a room for them to sleep in – calm and cosy, exploring and whimsy should also feature in your child’s room design so that they are interested in and engage with their surroundings. Adding a mezzanine to separate sleeping from play or work zones, adding a secret door, or dividing the room into sections with dividers all add to the sense of theatre which a younger child’s room should have. Creating an environment where your child finds it easy to play and to be active physically will greatly enhance their creativity. Add a climbing wall, swing chair, tepee, tunnel, slide or hidden reading nook to bring some childish delight and whimsy into your home. 

How to design children’s rooms so that they are Acoustically pleasing

The materials you use within your child’s room can be used to help sound from bouncing all over the room – think soft. So rugs on wooden floors, curtains, fabric blinds, throws and cushions will all help to soften the acoustics. Keep their noise in and your noise out of their room. 

Summing up How to design children’s rooms

There are many aspects to designing a room that is child focused – it needn’t overwhelm or frighten you – take on one aspect at a time but think ahead so that you don’t create extra work for yourself. Alternatively you could hire me to worry about all these details and get presented with the design for a beautiful, practical room where your child’s emotional, physical and mental development will be catered to.

Which aspects of designing your child’s room are you struggling with?

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Getting “Back to school ready”

In line with my article in MADE Magazine jul/aug 22  about getting ready for “back to school” by creating a great desk/study area for your child I thought I’d tackle a few more pain points for parents on the run up to the start of term so that you can start the new school year with a bounce in your step.  Making space for home work and music practice, for storing PE kits and school bags all takes a little thought. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the new academic year. 

Well hi, here I am standing by a completed study space that I designed.

Trying to get the kids to get ready for school independently? to keep School uniform tidy and ready for the morning rush?

Create cupboard space that is accessible for your growing child so that uniform is within reach. In this way your children feel more independent by dressing themselves and tidying their own clothes away, making them more responsible and independent.

Overwhelmed by shoes, trainers, wellies and football boots?

Pop a shoe wrack near the door or in the under stairs hall cupboard or within the cupboard in your child’s room so that it is accessible and fit for purpose. If you are lucky enough to have the space you can create a mudroom with cubby holes or lockers for each member of the family by the front or back door. 

A simple fix is to add hooks to the back of their door and store all bags, blazers , lunch boxes and PE kits on them so that everything is in one place.

Sports equipment everywhere and can’t find the PE. Kit when you need it?

Install a locker or storage baskets so that it is all tidy and organised – hooks on the back of a door or hallway cubbies are a great example of this. Stored in its own bag, the P.E. kit can be kept with the school bags, lunch boxes, coats and school shoes in a designated spot. 

Even the smallest of spaces can accommodate a study desk and shelving for supplies and books. This desk has integral storage for colouring pens and pencils so acts as a great desk for younger artists!

Is your child needing their own space to study?

Study space can be created wherever suits your family – at the kitchen table or a desk in a bedroom or in a communal area. Homework paraphernalia and supplies can easily be stored within reach of the study area either in easily stowed baskets, a chest of drawers or shelves. 

For smaller spaces, corner shelves like this one can create more storage.

Too many books? Can there ever really be too many books?

Bookshelves can be fitted into the smallest of spaces and a regular clear out and purge can help keep the quantity of books under control.

Trying to encourage instrument practice? 

Musical instruments need to be accessible and within view so that they get played daily. The trick is to do this so that they are not in the way at the same time as they are ready to be practised. Leave the music stand in  a corner of your living room and incorporate the instrument into your decor- your everyday so that it is part of your child’s everyday environment. You could hang guitars on the walls for example. 

Does your child find it hard to find space to play or relax?

The space needed in which to play changes as your child grows. From floor space to child height furniture to desks or cosy seating  – having a few options  at each stage allows your child explore and play with different items, in different ways. So floor space, a den/tipee, table and chairs and a cosy place to curl up are the main zones you need to cater for – not necessarily all in your child’s room, within family spaces too if you need. Creative spaces are often at the kitchen table when children are younger, this may change to their own desk in their bedroom, the garage or a studio at the bottom of the garden as they get older. Messy play, art and music all need to find a place in your home. Cosy, reading nooks are a great addition to any family home. Bed is a great place for children to read and relax. A blanket on the sofa or an armchair also provides a great space to be cosy and read. Exploration can happen for kids in everything they do when they are younger so facilitating this is really important – space to play and learn. 

Hopefully this blog helps you to get on top of things before the daily grind of the school run begins again in earnest.

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2022 Interiors Colour Trends: How to use them in your family home

Bold colours in accessories

A 2022 Interiors Colour Trend is to inject personality and fun into your home by adding colour and texture using accessories.  After nearly two years of varying degrees of lockdown people have been spending more time at home and realising that their home should reflect them. To this end more personalisation, especially in colour choice is trending for 2022.


Green retro influenced living room with strong ties to nature.

The 2022 Retro Interiors trend ties in well with the use of many different shades of green from olive to fern combined with other nature inspired tones like terracotta, browns and beiges. These 2022 Interiors Colour Trends are obviously still taken from nature to create a calming, welcoming home in contrast the wider, more chaotic world.  Green velvet sofas, sage or olive walls. Other rich coloured velvets on furniture add to the cosy luxury we have been seeing since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Blue nursery evoking nature and whimsy. Items available from my new collaborators Blue Almonds Boutique.


Dulux’s colour of the year, Bright skies, is a warm blue that evokes the natural world and again is calming and centred on bringing the outdoors in and therefore great to use in bedrooms. Working with the ideas of biophilic design and bringing the outdoors in. Soothing and calming it evokes all the wellness that we want to recruit into our homes in these unprecedented times.

A soft and cosy bedroom with a Lilac mural as a centre piece and lilac accents with natural wooden, textured natural fabrics and white furniture pieces.


The Pantone colour of the year 2022 is Very Peri – a joyous blue with red undertone. It recalls all the fun and frivolity we want from our homes these days. Bringing joy and creating a cosy warmth within the home.

Colour co-ordinating Image credit

Colour co-ordinating

Another 2022 interiors Colour Trend we will be seeing is more coordinating of colour – painting the radiators to match walls and woodwork painted the same as the walls to create an integrated and modern look with more cohesion. This effect creates less visual business and adds to the sense of calm. Creating a background that allows only what you choose to stand out. It makes rooms feel larger and more contemporary.

Defined zones

Open plan spaces will have more defined zones with clear delineations for work, rest and play areas. As we are all fitting work into our homes more permanently.  Colour blocking is another 2022 Interiors Colour Trend. An effective way to create zones in open spaces and will carry on into 2022 hot on the heels of the colour blocking trend.

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De-cluttering – why it is important  by Auntie K

Hi there, As winter settles in most parents’ thoughts turn to preparing for Christmas. I’m delighted to welcome parent consultant, the lovely Aunty K to my blog where she will share the importance of having a good clear out before Christmas. Enjoy…..

Aunty K

Bio: I am Kirsty, also known as Auntie K – a parent consultant based in Surrey. I have been working with young children and their families for over 20 years and I am also a mum of two myself. My work involves me supporting parents in all areas of parenting, from sleep, weaning and potty training to behaviour, mental health and getting children school ready – I literally cover all areas! I am often seen in the national press sharing my opinions, tips and advice and I have lots of useful information over on my website too –

Christmas is fast approaching and for some, like myself, there may be a child’s birthday looming too. For my family, this is a great opportunity to have a sort through of all the toys, books and games and to de-clutter. We tend to have a good sort through twice a year to keep on top of everything, which I highly recommend.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with toys, and children are notorious for telling you that they have to keep absolutely everything, but the reality is that in doing so, not only does your house become cluttered, your children become overwhelmed, which means that they struggle to play – their brains have gone into overdrive and they find it difficult to know what to play with, jumping from toy to toy, not knowing what to do next.

Research shows that, provided with fewer toys, kids will engage in longer periods of play and play more creatively, but the benefits don’t end there and here is why de-cluttering the toys in your home is important.

Less stress –

Physical clutter creates stress. This can reduce your ability to focus and can diminish how satisfied you feel in life. By reducing the number of toys within the home, you will not only be helping to decrease the levels of stress in your child but also yourself. It will also help both of you improve focus and satisfaction.

Less time tidying up –

Sounds obvious, I know, but having less, means less to clear away, which means more time for other things. You will also find that your child is more likely to help with tidying up if there is less to do.

Children will care for their possessions more –

Having less and feeling less overwhelmed will help your children to care about their possessions more, and take pride in keeping things tidy, which means they are more likely to tidy without prompting.

where to start-

You may be wondering where to begin. If you have a lot spread throughout the house, it can be hard, so here is what to do:

Pick one room at a time – Decide which room that you want to tackle first. Is it one of the kid’s rooms? Or perhaps the playroom? 

It is much easier to take each room, one at a time so start with where you feel needs sorting first.

Pick a time where you have time – De-cluttering can take hours, and it is best to finish a room on the same day that you have started, or you will run the risk of more clutter and less enthusiasm!

Pick a time where you can take the whole day if you need to, and where you can take your time – the aim is to make life less stressful, not more!

Get the kids to help – I think it is important for kids to help, not only so they learn vital life skills but so that they understand that it is important to de-clutter. You can explain that to have new toys/books/games, they have to get rid of some of the older ones. You could suggest to older children that can sell some of their things to make some money, but it is also important to give some things to others too.

Keep these questions in mind – 

  • ” Does my child play with this?” – think back throughout the year – how often have they played it?
  • ” Has my child outgrown this?” – Are there toys that they are now too old for? Nostalgia can play a part in keeping some toys, but they might not be getting anything out of toys that are more suited to a child two years younger
  • ” Does my child really love this?” – If the answer is yes, then keep. If no, get rid!
  • “Would my child realise that this is gone?” – When it comes to getting rid of toys, children often suddenly decide that they love everything. The reality is though, they seldom do, and those toys that you know they have shown no interest in for the last year, are very much going to be the ones that they will not miss.

If this article peaked your interest do take a look at the related guest post by the Mess Goddess and my post on how to get your child’s room ready for Christmas.

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2022 Interior Trends

completed living room

The overall theme for 2022 Interior Trends is unsurprisingly comfort. Bringing in nature, cosiness, rounded forms, sustainable furnishings, more individualised kitchens, spa like bathrooms, well equipped workspaces and multifunctional rooms and furniture is still our top priority as we are facing changing work patterns in the new normal. 

2022 Interior Trends: Biophilic Design

2022 Interiors trend: Biophilic design - using natural materials, colours and plants in this living room helped to bring the outdoors in and gives a sense of calm.
A recent living room design incorporating lots of family nick-nacks and personality. The clients wanted to bring nature and calm into this space.

Our search for nature, for bringing the outdoors in, naturally leads to the continuing trend for the use of natural and organic materials and for sustainable furniture and materials such as glass and cork, wicker. The 2022 interiors trend colour palette is also highly influenced by nature with various shades of green, blue and earthy tones combining with warmer neutrals such as beige to create our cocooned sanctuaries. Houseplants are a huge trend that will carry over into 2022 as people have realised the soothing wonder of biophilic design. Find out more about biophilic design here.

2022 Interior Trends: 70s Retro

A 2022 Interiors Trend concept of a fun, welcoming space.
A retro inspired multifunctional space filled with plants, light wood, orange accents and rounded forms. A very cosy, easy space.

The earthy colour palette gets carried through in the 70s retro 2022 interiors trend where oranges, browns and greens mingle with vintage pieces and simple forms to reimagine the 70s retro vibe. Think calm retro.

2022 Interior Trends: 90s Urban Revival

A look back at a 1990s living room design which inspires the 2022 Interiors Trend.
An inspirational 90s interiors using beige and earthy brown tones with punches of colour. Image

Another branch of 2022 interior trends is the Y2K Revival or 90s urban trend which is fun, bold and colourful and uses geometric shapes in a different way. This trend will see the return of blonde wood floors, white kitchens, the floral wallpaper trend of the past few years will continue as well as the use of pastel colours in accessories like cushions, throws and lamps.

2022 Interior Trends: New Minimalism

A Japandi/minimalist concept in line with 2022 Interiors Trends.
Strong lines, pale wood, a nod to Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics.

The new minimalism trend carries on from the Japandi trend – calm, warm, cosy, and clean – the limited ornamentation and choice of just 1 or two materials in the space reflect our search for minimal consumption and sustainability. Somewhat reflected in the quest for zen bathrooms. Black accessories and pale wood furniture still abound to tie in with Japandi styling. White walls and pale floors are balanced with painted doors and trims. 

How to make 2022 Interior Trends work for you

There are elements of 2022 interior trends that can work for you, be it adding a round coffee table – changing out your cushions for more retro coloured ones or finding some vintage pieces to add character to your space.  By introducing a few pot plants and natural materials into your home your space will feel calmer and more connected to the outdoors. Simple rounded lines and warm neutral colours mixed with the colours of nature will add to that sense of soothing and calm which we all need to find in our own home sanctuaries.

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What is E-Design/online/remote interior design?

In this age of global pandemic where so many of us have been forced (or indeed allowed ) to work from home the benefits of technology are clear for us all to see. It is therefore natural that the interior design field has adapted to new technologies and E-Design /online/remote interior design is a fast growing area of the industry. So what is E-Design/online/remote interior design?

E-Design is a convenient, affordable and speedy way to get the guidance of a professional interior designer. E-design is tailored to a tech-savvy, budget – conscious, do -it-yourself generation. It is a collaborative process between the designer and their client where all the communication is through email, phone or video calls which gives you more flexibility in your schedule. Clients will handle the logistical aspects eg measuring your room, ordering items and installation, while the designer puts the look together and provides tools for them to be able to carry it out. 

The designer does all the product sourcing, decision making, solves layout issues and helps you visualise how your room could look – all remotely. It is great for those who need guidance and the impetus to get started. Thanks to technology, interior design services can now be completed without a designer ever having set foot in your home. E-design is typically a simpler, more laid back process with a quicker turnaround than traditional interior design.

E-designers create a digital copy of a room design based solely on the information you, the client, give them. They provide flat fee services that lend towards a budget- conscious clientele.

designed to nurture slogan


All e-designers work slightly differently but the main themes remain the same. It is a more collaborative process with the client shouldering the responsibility for sending measurements and photos to the designer and filling out a questionnaire before an online consultation. Once a purchase has been made, my process involves:

  1. Fill out the client profile and send me photos and measurements. Note pieces you would like to keep. Collaborate on a Pinterest/Houzz inspiration board or send in your inspiration board.
  2. Have a design consultation by video conference or phone.
  3. Approve the Brief. Receive your concept board, floor plan and clickable shopping list within 4 weeks.
  4. Shop at your convenience.
  5. Have a post-design styling consultation once everything has arrived.


As the E-Design process is a collaborative one it is a good idea to be prepared to help make the process smooth and to communicate as clearly as possible with your designer.

Set a Budget

Know how much you have to spend and don’t be shy about letting the designer know what it is – it is their job to make it work – within reason!

Set a Timescale 

Know how much time you have for the project, how much time you can live with the space out of action or when you have to be away. Remember a benefit of E-Design is that you can spend as long as you like making the purchases and adding the final touches.

Figure out your Style

Images from magazines or creating a Pinterest board of rooms and things that you like can be very helpful in narrowing down your style. This is important as it helps the designer know which type of style to start from. If you love everything and choosing is your problem the designer’s questionnaire and consultation should be of great help to you in narrowing down to find your style or styles.

Gather Inspiration

Images, samples, Pinterest Boards and collect them together. It’s important to think about what you like about the images and why you saved them. You should find themes and things that reoccur in the different images. It is then your designers job to pull these themes out and get to the essence of what it is you like and need from your project.


  • Be part of the team: E-Design works for anyone who wants to collaborate. If you can be forthcoming with your designer and not worry about offending them then E-Design is for you. Wonder if it would work for you? –then reach out a quick call should help, I love to chat so feel free to get in touch.
  • A quick turn around – the process involves one room at a time usually, so there is no pressure with the timeline: it’s up to you, the client, if you wish to purchase everything at once or to stagger the cost by buying in your own time. If you are time poor then E-Design is your answer.
  • Learn a bit more DIY or more about design as you follow the provided images and plans and shopping list to purchase your items and set up your space. The E-Design process teaches you and allows you to practice interior design.
  • No hidden costs: Anyone who likes to know how much they will be spending will find E-Design is for them. E-Designers usually charge a flat fee with no hidden costs or travel expenses to pay for.
  • E-design is more affordable than traditional design – because you are doing some of the work yourself (measuring and photography) you won’t have to pay your designer to do those things. Why pay a designer to do things that you can do? Most of your money can go towards the actual design.. interior designers used to be exclusively for the wealthy – E-Design has changed the game – here is a list of my services and fees.
  • You are not limited to designers in your area – You have more designers to choose from. Every E-Designer is available to you online via the wonder of the “interweb”.

And… oh, I do E-Design…. Isn’t that convenient? Click for more info.. or to schedule an informal chat contact me.

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Making your child’s room happier: 10 simple steps to make your child’s room a happier place

a light, bright, fun nursery concept with pops of orange and soft- edged furniture and circular accents.

When you ask an adult what makes their home a happier place, these themes crop up:

– having a sense of warmth/cosiness/ creativity

– a space that reflects your interests 

– a space you can retreat to

Would your kids want the same….? The answer is yes. You can help them to create a happier space by going through these 10 steps.

Step 1 -“chaos control” to make your child’s room a happier place

Clean and declutter their room, get them to help you so that they take ownership and ultimately take responsibility for the mess.  Everyone feels more stressed in a messy cluttered room so help put an end to it by making tidying up part of the daily routine and create place for everything to be tidied to. Use flexible storage that will evolve with your child’s needs. See an earlier post on how to declutter and take a look at The Mess Goddess’ Guest Blog for more on how to tackle decluttering.

a navy blue space themed boy's room with white furniture and Star Wars accents
Lots of flexible storage which will adapt as tastes change and develop creates a space for everything to be tidied away.

Step 2 – Let them get a Good night’s sleep

We all feel better after a good night’s sleep. A fundamental step towards greater happiness is to get more good quality sleep. This is especially true for children. (remember that colour can help with creating a soothing environment for sleeping) For a more detailed look at how your child’s room design can help them sleep take a look at my earlier post How to Help your Child to Sleep .

Ideally there would be no electronic devices in the bedroom or during the hour before bed. If they are in the bedroom try and keep them at least 1m away from the bed with no blue lights from screens or chargers showing. 

Cosy, soft enveloping textures create that nest like feeling that will help your little one fall asleep so invest in natural fibre sheets and duvet sets. 

Control the light in the room -consider black out curtains for daytime naps and bright evenings as well as halogen reading lights at bedtime and other artificial light sources like nightlights to create an adaptable cosy space where your child will be able to pursue the things that makes them happy.

Ah… nothing is as sweet as a sleeping child! (Photo from Shutterstock.)

Step 3 – Use colour to change the mood

Over the years there have been many books devoted to colour therapy and the influence that colour has on our moods and the shapes the way we use space.  It can help with concentration, sleep, creativity and yes, you guessed it, happiness. You can use colour to create either soothing spaces with mellow tones or uplifting ones using vibrant yellows, greens and oranges. These brights can be on accessories instead of on whole walls to provide that “Pop” of colour.

Step 4- Get them to make their beds

According to CNBC, socio-economist Randall Bell, Ph.D., has been studying high achieving people for over 25 years to find out what they all have in common. He and his team surveyed “more than 5,000 people across the world, including professionals, students, retirees, the unemployed and multi-millionaires.” They examined factors from writing thank you notes to eating dinner together as a family each night. One key factor that many had in common was making their bed every morning. According to Dr. Bell making your bed each morning puts your mind into a productive mindset, and can spark other productive tasks throughout the day.

Author Charles Duhigg writes about this in his New York best-selling book titled, “The Power of Habit”. He mentioned a study conducted by a researcher from Duke University in 2006 that found that more than 40% of the actions people perform each day aren’t actual well-informed decisions, but rather, habits. When habits pile on top of each other each day, they can have an enormous impact on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness.

Getting your children to make their beds first thing in the morning as part of a daily routine will form a good habit that should help give them a sense of achievement and drive to see more things through and achieve more throughout their day. Looking at a made bed is inviting and makes you feel happier than looking at a messy bed which could contribute to stress.

Step 5 – Add Plants to make your child’s room a happier place

There are many benefits to including plants in your child’s room. Plants can help to boost mood as well as help to clean the air. We seem to be programmed as humans to like nature so bringing some of it inside to care for and look at is of great benefit to our wellbeing as well as that of our children. To help make your child’s room happier add lots of plants.

For a fuller introduction to Biophilic design go to an earlier guest post by the Benholm group .

Step 6 – Add Natural light and fresh air 

This ties in with the principals of Biophilic design but needs an extra mention. Make the most of natural light and you will find that it helps to lift everyone’s mood. And children are drawn to it. Natural light will help them regulate their circadian rhythms as well so this will help them get more sleep at night. Opening windows and letting fresh air in lets out the mustiness and adds to the sense of calm, fresh, happiness too. The connection with the outdoors which we subconsciously crave is strengthened by these tiny touches – greatly boosting our happiness levels.

Step 7- Surround them with things they love

For kids that could be books, toys, photos of family, their artworks, treasures, fond memories, things that give them joy and show their personality. These will obviously evolve and change over time as interests wain.

Step 8- Layer lighting 

Layering lighting is an important important component in Feng Shui. Which seeks to balance our energy within the home. The use of a mixture of lighting such as dimmers, pendants and lamps and different bulbs,  such as halogen and task lighting combine for multi purpose use of the space at different times of the day. Think about the way your child uses their room and try and future proof a bit so that you have as many lighting options as you may need for play, study, make up, reading in bed or gaming for instance.

Step 9- Create good flow 

How you arrange furniture can influence how well your family connects. Encourage good use of their belongings and space by positioning toys near a space big enough to play in, books near a cosy spot and so on. This follows on from the decluttering and tidying up that will have taken place. A place for everything and everything in its place is a really helpful mantra to keep in mind when thinking about children’s rooms and is key to helping to make your child’s room happier.

Step 10- Soft edged furniture can make your child’s room happier

 If you do have need of extra furniture or storage solutions choose soft edged,  curved pieces which are soothing to the eye and make your body and mind relax. Our brain tends to associate sharper corners with getting hurt.

a light, bright, fun nursery concept with pops of orange and soft- edged furniture and circular accents.
A concept for a happy nursery with subtle soft – edged furniture including a round side table, rounded angular lamps and rounded cot. Combine this with pops of fun bright orange for a playful, fun feeling

Other tips for  making your child’s room happier

Scent is a very powerful sense and research shows that floral scents used around the home can help boost happiness. So you could try using a diffuser in your child’s room to promote happy smells.

Making friends with your neighbours and feeling more connected to your community also contribute to your sense of happiness – so allowing your children to play with the neighbourhood children and make friends locally really can help forge that sense of belonging and boost social interactions which we humans – social animals that we are, crave. Hopefully you are able, in this time of social distancing, still able to chat over the garden fence or wave to each other from across the road or post letters to each other to build on your relationships within your neighbourhood.

My final advice for helping your children to make their rooms happier places

Be happy with what you have, make the best of what you have but don’t spend your time striving for perfection.

It is clear that as long as you are happy with your home and find it comfortable and cosy then you will be happy in your home. Do not keep striving for the perfection found in social media – find your family’s happy place.

I hope these tips help you and your children make some positive changes to your space especially now as we are spending more time than ever in our homes due to social distancing measures. Pick and choose which changes to make and which changes would work for your child. I’d love to hear from you and see the changes you’ve made to make your children’s rooms happier.

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Home Learning – 5 Practical Tips

The last thing that I think parents need right now is more pressure. Pressure to provide the perfect instagram-ready home learning space for their child, with the colour-coordinated stationery set and soothing wall colour. 

Many families are facing really hard times and my aim here is to offer some advice to suit all families with children, regardless of your socio-economic status or the size of your home. With the obvious spatial constraints of city dwelling and the all too-common lack of good internet in more spacious countryside homes, we are all facing different challenges. My aim here is to try to offer a variety of practical and realistic solutions to help you create the best environment for home learning, so that your children can feel better throughout this difficult period. 

1. A space for all

Identifying that a space is theirs is key to letting your child settle into it, to take ownership of it, and later on, accountability for it. This space could be the kitchen table, one end of the dinning table, a child sized desk in the playroom, a fold-down desk in the hallway, a coffee table in the living room – anywhere with a table and chair where they can sit comfortably. Many children are lucky enough to already have a desk in their room which, no doubt, is far from study-ready.

My son’s work station is the kitchen table, because his room is not set up for a desk yet. Offer a few choices dotted around the house and the garden – a cosy reading area, a sunlit table outside (dream on!). It might be that it will be easier to work with them sitting next to you so that you can help with questions and not have to go to them every few minutes. Your child could be happiest sitting in the kitchen while you cook. 

Should you need to create a study or work zone from scratch this can be done very economically and in a space-saving way. Consider overlooked spaces, which could house a workstation such as hallways, window sills which can be extended and turned into great desks or try a wall mounted floating desk in the corner of the kitchen or living room.

In fact my desk is in the living room built into the recess next to the fireplace, I had shelves installed above for all my work related books and I even store samples and drawing equipment in baskets. It’s not instagram ready, but it’s real. This is where I work, not all the time as I like to change it up, especially if the sun is streaming into the bay window – I sit at the dinning table looking out at it. Figure out what works for you. 

2. Declutter for Home Learning

To start off with, any space in which you intend to work needs to be as clear of distraction as it can realistically be. Clear the decks – have a spring clean, declutter – get your children to do their own work stations and empower them to make decisions about what stays and what goes.

3. Spruce it up a bit

Make the space inviting: add a poster or inspirational quote, a comfy chair, a family photo, get them to make a collage of their favourite things – let your children help you to “decorate” their workspace. Do paint if you like – it could totally be the right time for a spruce up in a lovely calming and relaxing colour like light blue, blush, grey or soft green. Think of bringing the outside in – with the colours and textures you use as well as pot plants. You could also use chalkboard paint for art, study and general organisational lists if you have the space.

4. Get organised for Home Learning

Create a space for everything to be tidied away. This is so vital I can’t stress it enough. All our home spaces are now likely to be multifunctional so putting things away after we have finished with them so that they don’t add to the sense of clutter which contributes to stress and that uneasy feeling is super important for every member of the family. Putting work away and having a clear space will also create that mental break – school is over for the day, time for fun. Bins, baskets, a mug for pencils, magazine files for worksheets – keep it simple and work with the space you have. You might consider purchasing some small storage items to get things organised. For more on organising check out my blog on getting your child’s room ready for Christmas Getting your Child’s Room Ready for Christmas and the Mess Goddess’s guest blog Organisational Tips for the Whole Family.

As I said, my son works at the kitchen table, there are two crates on the end of the table that contain his workbooks and worksheets and all the stationery and supplies he needs. Work comes out, gets used and then goes back in the crate and hey presto, it’s the kitchen table again. We also get out a plastic table cloth and use the kitchen table for art and model building- the art supplies are stored inside the bench seating. Tidying up is a great habit to learn and it could be a wonderful positive outcome of this time at home.

Wherever your child studies needs to feel quiet, cosy, warm, uncluttered and distraction free. Make the best of what you have. If you have time you can create an interactive and engaging space for your child to learn – remember they may already have this in the form of their bedroom. 

Once they’ve got their workstation(s) set up and they’re working away remember to use movement breaks and sensory paths (assault courses)  in between subjects or when children start to get a bit fidgety and fractious (this is also worth keeping in mind for the adults of the household too).

5. Spaces can change over time

Places can be different things at different times. When space is a constraint, don’t forget you can repurpose your space throughout the day and night. Change it up – just like with our kitchen table come breakfast bar come work station come art studio come dinner table. Consider sharing your home office with your children, if you are lucky enough to have one, you could be in a shift pattern or working side by side. Make the living room a movie theatre for family night.

Pre-school Home Learning

I thought that toddlers and pre schoolers deserved a special mention in that their needs for home learning are much less sedentary.

As pre-schoolers won’t sit still for more than a few minutes talking about their desks seems silly but a place to sit comfortably is very important for developing good manual dexterity, mark making and handwriting.  Take a look at this great set up of a mum working with her daughter, who is sat at her mini desk, next to her.

Pre-schoolers learn from play and need to choose from activities set up for them. With a bit of prep first thing in the morning you can set up a few simple activities around the house for them – it’ll become obvious as to how useful this is throughout the day as they discover new things to do. Activity stations include a water/sand tray which could be in the garden – I used to set ours up in the kitchen and fill it with warm water, bubbles, glitter, ice, animals – changing it up is great for them to be able to explore more widely. Construction toys, small world toys, music, a reading area, games like threading, arts and crafts and play dough are all pre-schooler pleasers that will help with their development and give you a few moments to help other children or work or to just sit!

Remember to display their work as it really helps younger children to develop a sense of achievement. Use your whole house for learning by cooking with them in the kitchen, den building in the living room, or having cosy story time in their bedroom.

We are our children’s main teachers as they learn from us all the time, so just by spending time playing board games or cooking with them, they will learn – don’t be hard on yourself that you haven’t finished the school activities for the day.

Primary school Home Learning

Primary school aged children will likely need some help with their learning and will happily do some learning independently so sitting together, or having them in the same room as you is probably the best solution. 

Secondary school Home Learning

Secondary school children will be more independent and will need to sit quietly away from distraction to study independently. Allowing phones and headphones is probably a good idea so that they can be sociable and less distracted from the goings on in the background around the home. 

The near future

My advice for the coming months would be to keep things fluid – don’t put extra stress on yourselves – you will all find a rhythm for your new normal. You will need to make changes to  routines as the novelty of home learning wears off. Be flexible and adapt to moods and feelings as they happen – finding space for everyone in your home is a bit like a juggling act on a timer – or hot-desking, but you can make it work. Your home should offer a reprieve from outside stresses, make it cosy, welcoming and relaxing – small changes can go a long way. For more take a look at my blog post on Making Your Child’s Room Cosy for Winter .

I’d love to see your children’s workspaces, mess and all – to wake designers up a bit and remind them that design needs to be functional as well as beautiful. Feel free to comment below on anything else you think that I could help with during this tricky time.

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2020 Interior Design Trends for Children’s Rooms

My series of spring blogs will be delving into the interior design trends for children’s rooms for 2020. 

As nature comes out from under it’s shelter and the days start to get longer I start planning brighter and more colourful rooms! I think it is clear that the natural world provides most of our inspiration for interiors and this notion has been embraced in 2020.

The main trend that I am seeing coming to the fore for 2020 is nature inspired interiors. These take many forms:

Subtle small leaf printed wallpaper

Muted rainbows

Boho safari

The colour green 

The colour blue

Natural materials


As well as the above styles there has for obvious reasons been a turn towards reusing and repurposing items you already own – a lick of paint, a new table top and hey presto you’ve gotten more life out of the piece. This is environmentally friendly and wallet friendly too. You also won’t feel too bad when your little darling draws all over their cupboard in permanent pen!

Colours that will trend are:

mint/cantaloupe or coral/citrus pops of colour

Walls will be:

Geometric paint designs

Dark floral wallpaper

Subtle scandi

Curves will start to show up 

Dark cots will make their presence felt

A parallel trend for more dramatic blues and greens with a luxe feel will carry on from last year.

Many of these trends will be used together – natural furniture with cantaloupe walls and splashes of mint for eg. 

Biophilic Design – bringing plants inside for health and wellbeing.

Biophilic design is the concept used to increase your connectivity to the natural environment. It affirms that bringing the outside in is soothing and beneficial.

One of the 2020 interior design trends for children’s rooms is biophilic design and it feeds into the use of colour palettes and materials based on nature. Next month I am pleased to say that I have a guest blog from The Benholm Group, a family-run business based in Falkirk, Central Scotland who specialise in a wide range of plant-related services for many commercial customers.  Mainly focusing on the Corporate Office market sector and the Hospitality market sector, they also work within various other sectors too, such as retail, education, health and the public sector. You will undoubtedly have seen their work if you have been to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or even the Edinburgh festival. At the heart of their business are the concepts of biophilic design. Their blog will be introducing the concepts of biophilic design to help us all get nature into our homes. 

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Christmas Organisation Tips For The Whole Family – Guest Post from the Mess Goddess herself, Tania Mellis.

A Little Intro to Tania….

I love the Mess Goddess’ ethos ” I consider what I do as a form of art and empowerment combined with efficiency and practicality.” Her skills in decluttering and simplifying your life are really worthwhile and she has many tips to share which are really applicable to your child’s room, maybe even more so at this time of year as we all prepare for a new influx of toys, clothes and books into our already crowded children’s (and family) spaces. Read on for her take on decluttering to help the whole family get ready for the festive season.

1.Have a clear out and Donate to charity : Try the Bin Bag Game

A fabulous idea for the whole family, to get them motivated to let go of unwanted items – PLAY THE BIN BAG RACE!

You will need :

  • one bin bag for each member of the family.
  • a kitchen timer.

The Object of the game is for each person to collect as many unwanted things as possible that they would like to donate to charity. The person who collects the most things say within five minutes wins a prize. This is an exercise to teach children about charity and people in need, so I recommend keeping the prize simple – like an extra half hour before bed, or they can choose their special meal for dinner, you get the idea.  

Whilst we are clearing out……

 2. Tidy your Wardrobes – take all of the plastic and wire hangers out.  

Toss all the plastic hangers and keep wire hangers for craft.  A great tip in the future start saying no in stores if you are offered hangers!  Plastic hangers are not good for clothes, the environment and make our wardrobes look messy!  A great inexpensive alternative is the popular velvet covered hanger. These come in lots of wonderful colours and really can make your wardrobe look sensational. Choose round shoulder hangers for women’s clothes and the larger ones for men, you can also get children’ ones. Below are some of my favourite shaped velvet hangers.  Remember some brands are better quality then others and as they are used each day for years it is better to invest in a better-quality hanger.

Most people are going to need at least 100!  Yup, 100!  Most clothes fare much better if they are hung rather than folded into a drawer.  They have air flow around them, hanging keeps the creases out and it is much easier for you to see what you have in your wardrobe. Hang t-shirts, vest tops, jeans, everything you have space for.  Make sure to have one coat hanger for each item of clothing.  Why you ask?  This will help you to adopt the one in, one out concept. Each time you buy a new item of clothing take some out of your wardrobe and give to charity. Also – keep a box at the bottom of your wardrobe to put unwanted/charity items in.

Below is a recent wardrobe makeover I did in London.  We let go of lots of items, to charity and friends.  Purchased new hangers – purple in this case!  And banished all over wire and plastic hangers.

For the longevity of your clothes it is imperative to look after them and hanging them correctly is the start.  Don’t over pack your clothes, leave space in between so each item can breathe. Never leave your clothes inside the dry cleaner’s plastic! If you have delicate items that need extra protection invest in cotton suit covers. Always use the correct hangers for different items.  

  • For sweaters – padded hangers
  • Coats – wooden hangers
  • Dressers/blousers etc.- Velvet

3. Reuse, Repurpose and Gift 

So many things can be recycled: why not make fabric covered hangers for Christmas gifts, this is so simple the kids can help too!

All you need is some wire scissors, hangers & fabric.  As you will have collected lots of clothes from playing the bin bag game you will probably have a sheet or some clothes like a man’s shirt or a cotton dress you can use.  

Cut strips of fabric, I would say not more than 2cm wide.  The length depends on where the fabric is coming from. Start at the neck of the wire hanger and tie the strip and knot around the neck of the hanger. Then begin wrapping it around and around the hanger until it is covered.  It must be really tight, or it won’t last. I once wrapped an incense stick inside, so my hanger had a lovely sent. Once wrapped, the tie a knot at the neck and I suggest tying a lovely ribbon to cover over it.

I love making these hangers, it is so simple, it creates something beautiful and practical, it is recycling, it teaches the children the idea of gifting a heartfelt gift, not wasting money and so much more.

 Another brilliant idea are these card displays made from hangers. We are only limited by our imagination.  And best of all they are inexpensive.

Below is a picture of a card display made with wire hangers. This one was made by

All you need is:

  • wire hangers,
  • washi tape,
  • small wooden pegs,
  • a ribbon. 

For more ideas with coat hangers visit my blog

4. Find Storage Solutions that Work for You – Lego Storage Cubes

I absolutely love these Lego Storage containers, they are fabulous for children’s rooms and for parents too!

I have my apple mac phone leads etc in one small white one which is £9 on Amazon! 

They come in several sizes and stack nicely on top of each other.  They are a must in the home for children’s and adult toys!

5. What to keep and what to let go

As our homes are so small in the UK we are often forced to keep children’s toys in their bedrooms. It’s not only toys & books but broken toys as well as toys and books that are no longer age appropriate and craft and school work all mixed in together -all  in a mess!  

The first thing I do is establish what items are being kept for sentimental reasons.  Often there are a lot!  So why are we keeping things that have such sentimental value in such a disorganised way where they will get damaged? Does this sound familiar?

Here are a few ideas to help you store your sentimental clutter safely where you will get more enjoyment from it:

Make photo books:

How about making a Photo Book of your child’s Art & Craft? Not only have you solved the problem of all the bits of paper laying around and stashed in drawers – you will have a beautiful book to cherish forever and order another couple as they make perfect Christmas presents!

New ways to keep old soft toys

Broken, often smelly and with so many memories attached!  I came across a wonderful article recently about a fellow Australian, Geoffery Ricardo, an Artist.  He has come up with the most wonderful way to keep memories of a Teddy Bear that we can no longer keep.  He applies a light coat of paint to the front of the Teddy & then presses it against craft paper!  Genius!  Then you can get your camera out, take a photo of Teddy, a photo of the print, and these go into the book or you can frame the print and hang it in your child’s room and say good bye to the smelly Teddy.

Perspex boxes

I love this, it’s one of my favourites. Your child’s first pair of shoes would look beautiful in one and they are not expensive! They have many uses and can look very stylish.


Finally, while  organising a child’s room I find so many pencils that I could sink the titanic with them!How many pencils do children need?  One packet, one packet of felt tips and maybe one pack of crayons.  I think the best way to store them is in a clear container, I recommend letting go of pencil cases.  Use glass glass jars to store your pencils etc.  You can can put them in individual jars i.e. pencils in one, felt tip in another, crayons another or my personal favourite – Colour code them.  All red in one jar, green, black etc.  Beautiful it makes a real statement!  And before you think that charity shops want your old pencils and pens, they do not!  There are many charities who want donations of old pens and pencils such as

Tania, The Mess Goddess’ strength lies in her ability to combine concepts of eastern simplicity and style with practical organisation, spacial-creation and functional storage design. She is always thrilled when a client is amazed that “it all fits”. Tania wants her clients’ homes to not only, look stylish and beautiful, but also, to work well. To find out more about her services browse her website 

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7 Ways to Get Your Child’s Room Ready for Christmas

It is important to have a good clear out a couple of times a year when you child is quite young, maybe less when they get a bit older and stop growing out of things as quickly. I find using landmarks like Christmas and birthdays is really helpful to keep me on track.

As I have said before ( and will say again and again) the key to your kids room being tidy is not only to provide them with a space for everything but also to get them involved – get them to learn to tidy up as part of their daily ritual, even as part of playing so that it is ingrained and then it is normal and something they will do for themselves from a surprisingly early age.

That said, the big C is around the corner – yes Christmas is less than 60 days away as I write this…. This still gives you and your child plenty of time to get ready and make space. In this modern world space seems to be something we all crave and it really is quite easy to achieve even with kids and their stuff all around the house!

To make space in preparation of new toys arriving whether for Christmas or birthdays try these simple tips:

1- Have a big clear out

Be environmentally friendly in this – don’t just take everything to the dump. Pass on, regift, upcycle, reuse, repurpose and donate to charity. As you begin to pare down your child’s belongings have several boxes to sort the items you are clearing out into to. Your child needs to help you in this process, it will help them move on and appreciate their role in the world – “so and so’s little brother will love that”, “these should fit so and so”.

Having flexible storage is vital so that you can adapt your child’s storage as they grow. Photo credit Shutterstock.

2- Move things around 

Go through the toys you are keeping, if they have broken or have lost parts do you still want to keep them? You might find that the items you are keeping will fit into your existing storage in a better way so move things around and make the best use of drawers, boxes and shelves you already own.

3- Put everything you have away

A place for everything and everything in it’s place. This old adage really is helpful for kids and adults alike. Put everything you are keeping away in it’s own spot.

4- Make as much as possible accessible at child height

So that they can reach to get the items out and most importantly put them away again by themselves.

Getting your child's room ready for Christmas means having fle
in this room the low lying shelves are accessible to young ones and items can be moved around to rotate the toys that can be accessed. Photo credit Shutterstock.

5- Let them keep what is important to them in a special “treasures” place.

My son keeps little things he’s found or made and kinder egg models together with shells, lego minifigures and gifts from party bags in an old printers box on his bedside table. Each item is special to him in some way and tells a story and they are easily accessible and collected together they create a great display. Having this helps keep a lid on the clutter.

6- Consider a new layout to give more storage

Try rearranging furniture or buying another bookshelf to give a bit of breathing space so that the toy collection can have space to grow into and still be tidy.

7- Try toy rotation

If there is no more space to be had for more furniture try putting some toys away in the attic or hallway closet and swapping them out in a few months’ time to keep them exciting and new to your child.

By applying these simple steps to your child’s space you should not feel overwhelmed by a sea of toys and kid-clutter on the run up to Christmas – and you should feel the benefits into the year as the new toys and gifts find their spaces in your child’s room.

For more on this subject try reading How to declutter your child’s room after Santa’s Visit

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Lego Display Ideas – 6 Ways to Display LEGO

Your little one has been busy creating and now it’s tidy -up time but they’re not finished with their build…. what do you do?… offer them some LEGO display space for ongoing and finished projects.

In this post I will be tackling the thorny issue of LEGO display ideas – whether these are shop bought LEGO sets or purely imaginative one-off masterpieces they’ll always come a tidy -up time when your child will say they haven’t finished playing with this LEGO build and want to keep it to continue playing next time…what to do…?

After a lovely long fun-packed summer break I’m back with the third and final instalment in my LEGO posts, hope you find it useful and do let me know how you display your LEGO.

I’m not a huge fan of purpose built LEGO furniture (of which there is a lot on the market) I find it too clunky and large and one-use. It’s my aim to show you how a few additions to any child’s room can lead to plenty of LEGO display ideas for your child’s LEGO creations (as long as you’ve tackled that other thorny issue of how to store your child’s LEGO see my previous blogs for help with that! How to get your child to tidy their LEGO LEGO storage: How I sorted my son’s LEGO so that he would tidy it up by himself )

Purpose-made LEGO containers on display

There are many different “fancy” purpose-made LEGO containers on the market. you can find heads, giant blocks, really really giant blocks and LEGO mini figure cases. These don’t meet LEGO storage needs in our house (which we have met using a different method see my previous post) but do offer a lovely opportunity for display. A combo of different coloured and sized bricks would be ideal to make a statement on a shelf in your child’s room and to store some extra pieces. We have 3 smaller LEGO storage blocks which are currently being used for Ninjago minifigs!

Shelves: the ultimate way to display LEGO

Whether they be floating shelves, a bookcase or  repurposed furniture, shelves make a great LEGO display as long as you apply some order. For instance no loose LEGO on the shelves and maybe organise by theme?

Our LEGO shelves with LEGO tape
Our LEGO display shelves with LEGO tape along the fronts… you can see why the stackable baseplates are on my wishlist- the bottom Star Wars shelf could do with a bit of organisation!

Obviously an adjustable shelving system (again Ikea have numerous in different styles from sleek white to mid-century industrial wood and metal) would work well for this but realistically how often are you going to move around your child’s shelves and all the LEGO on them? Adjustable shelving is great for future proofing but maybe not essential as part of your immediate LEGO storage needs.

Having glass doors would keep the dust away, but does impede access – and make sure the doors are safety glass to prevent injuries! IKEA do offer a number of glass doored shelving options which can easily be adapted into LEGO use – maybe even putting great works on display in the living room or family room. I’d avoid the kitchen as LEGO is hard enough to clean without the added joy of grease.

In my son’s room I’ve accessorised our shelves with…

LEGO tape for LEGO display

LEGO tape
Lego Brick base tape – great for displaying minifigs, will stick anywhere and is available in many colours from Life Changing Products

Adding Lego tape to shelving or walls or any surface really adds another dimension to your LEGO display as it helps keep track of mini figures pretty easily. it comes in a roll which you cut to the correct length then simply pull the backing tape off and stick. it comes in fun colours and I’ve found it a great help in tackling LEGO organisation!

LEGO minifigs on display using LEGO tape
I just love how easy this tape is… You can create a great and ever-changing display with it!

Stackable baseplates

Base plates that can stack to make the most of the shelving and make the most of the height of shelves. The stackable baseplates are adaptable and easy to put up and take down as your little one’s creations evolve. They great for creating little scenes and adding height. They are on my Christmas list this year!

Make useful things as part of your LEGO display

We tend to make use of some LEGO around the house eg pen holders and key chains/tidies charging stations. Who would have though that mini figures make the perfect charging stations? Or that a LEGO block glued to a key chain can help you keep your keys from getting lost at home?

Take a look at Matthew Hughes’ blog for some great ideas for using LEGO to organise your technology.

Here is an amazing instructables LEGO Minifigures clock which is functional and a great way to display minifigs.

LEGO Mini Figure display

There are many beautiful mini figure display cases available such as this great frame but as mentioned above I do like the flexibility of the LEGO tape and shelving as collections and builds grow and tastes change: flexibility is key.

This might be my favourite of all the official LEGO display cases as it is two tier with a removable clear cover so that your child can play with their LEGO then display it easily and it keeps the dust off. It also has a removable background so your child can draw their own background to their LEGO scene.

I hope this post has helped you with your LEGO display ideas and hopefully made you realise that you don’t need to go out and purchase new purpose-made LEGO display furniture but that you can use simple shelving and a few tricks to make the most of what you already have. Let me know how you get on….

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LEGO storage: How I sorted my son’s LEGO so that he would tidy it up by himself

Our LEGO storage drawers
Our LEGO storage drawers with base plate glued onto for added display space…

To continue my series on LEGO, which began last month with How to get your child to tidy their LEGO , I felt I should share the categories and storage units I used to sort and storage my son’s LEGO most of which was handed down to him from my brother in one huge overflowing archiving box.

We have a 12 drawer plastic unit like this with drawers that can be removed for easy playing and clearing up  as the LEGO storage in my son’s room. As his room is pretty small and we don’t have the luxury of a playroom, a tower, which takes up less surface area, seemed a great solution to our LEGO storage needs. Also you can add another set of drawers as the collection grows.

Here’s how I sorted my brother’s old Lego, which included lots of sets (just that we didn’t know which) and some technic Lego. I spent 7hrs sorting an archive box full to the brim of Lego!




My then 4 year old was able to find the pieces he needed and we were able to reconstruct the sets my brother had AND my son was able to tidy up, with help at first, then with questions (which drawer does this go in?) Until he graduated to being responsible for his own LEGO collection at the grand old age of 5.

Unsorted box of Lego
My son discovering his uncle’s box of unsorted LEGO.

I still need to get him to break up models he has made once in a while as he runs out of space but generally the Lego in our house is under control. Here’s how I broke it down… 

My categories:

Transport drawer
1- Transport pieces

Wheels drawer
2- LEGO Wheels