Nordic kids’ rooms
Nordic style is going strong in the world of children's interiors. Characterised by a calm simplicity, this modern style is functional and easy to update, which goes a long way to explain its popularity.
A pared back colour palette against a neutral background forms the base, combined with natural wood and lots of texture. To keep the look unfussy, light, shape and texture are emphasised over pattern.
I recently designed a toddler room in Nordic style. A light toned wooden floor is your starting point – in this case white oak boards formed the base of the design. Apart from being practical, wood (or wood laminate) lends warmth to a scheme. Carpets are a no-no, but a rug is a must. Adding texture and warmth, it breaks up the surface and cushions little knees.
The next step: neutral walls. White or grey are your go-to colours. We went for grey and decided against wallpaper – Nordic style tends to be unfussy. Instead of wallpaper, use pictures, garlands, books and decorative wall hangings to create atmosphere.
If you’d like to use wallpaper to accent a wall, choose a simple geometrical design in monochrome or muted pastels. Another idea is a two-tone wall: painting a darker border on the bottom half of the wall scales the room down, which creates a cosy feel. This works best in taller rooms.
For this room the palette was kept to shades of grey, white and a hint of blue – a calm backdrop for children’s colourful possessions. It would be easy to substitute blue with another colour to give the room an update. The wooden floor is echoed in picture frames, accessories and the bed – to balance the cooler tones. If you crave more colour: stick with muted tones and keep it consistent.
Stick to white, grey or natural wood furniture for a quintessential Nordic kid’s room. Mixing woods is fine, but the key is to keep them light. An exception are mid-century (Danish) pieces, which are usually a darker hue – oak, teak, rosewood and walnut for example. A small vintage desk or armoire in this style adds instant personality.
In this room, a simple white toddler bed formed the focal point. The bed is all about functionality and clean lines: low to make the transition from a cot easier, and extendable to a full single size later. To soften things up, add plenty of cuddlies, cushions and a textured throw to create a cosy corner. Mix it up with wool, felt, linen, cotton, sheepskin, etc.
Storage is key to keep the look unfussy – the Nordic aesthetic is all about showing off what’s attractive and hiding the rest from view – though all should be easily accessible. We installed a toy box at the end of the bed, open shelving for display, a book shelf for bedtime reading and a built-in wardrobe for clothes and less attractive toys.
Extra, easy storage can be provided with toy baskets. Use natural materials like wicker, seagrass and cotton to layer in yet more texture.
The result is a calm and easy-to-update bedroom that looks beautiful too.
Stay tuned for more tips to decorate your child’s bedroom next time!