New Series: How to Create a Sophisticated Child's Space

Last week I posed a question to you about children's design that I've been pondering for quite some time. The post was inspired by this very lovely, but in my opinion, overly adult nursery space. Because I want the conversation to be about more than one particular space, here's another very well-designed but overly adult nursery that I think equally illustrates my point:

Lately I've been noticing more and more children's spaces that look like a rooms designed for adults that, oh by the way, happen to have a crib residing in one of the corners. While I'm all for adult touches in a child's space, how far is too far? I've been thinking hard on the topic and have dug up some of my favorite sophisticated children's spaces in order to see what makes them work. I'll be sharing them with you each week and talking about the three basic ideas that keep them feeling 'right' for a child:

1. Color Palette
2. Whimsical Touches
3. Statement Pieces

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions throughout the series, as this is something that has genuinely been eating at me for a while now. What do you think makes a great child's space? How do you keep it from going too Winnie-the-Pooh*, or, perhaps worse, take all of the fun out of a space that is supposed to be for a child?

Image via Pure Style Home

*I like Winnie very much in books, just not in design!


  1. Excited for this series, it's sure to start a great discussion.

  2. I've been thinking about your question as well. While I think nurseries should be made for parents to enjoy and sophisticated enough to grow with kids as they get older, what didn't work for me about the room from last week was that it looked like it was a room that already existed and then just had a crib put into it. Like you said, all the whimsy and fun is missing there.

  3. I am very interested to talk more about this series and think you and I generally agree on the topic, but I disagree with the choice of rooms you're featuring today. This is a nursery I've seen all over the web and it has always struck me as not very childlike at all. That room, like the other you posted about last week, is just a room full of grown-up color choices and grown-up furniture embellished with some toys. I'll definitely be interested to see any other inspiration pictures you have. I'm well on my way to designing a nursery I consider equal parts adult sophistication and childlike sweetness, but we can always use more inspiration, right?

  4. Kate - I'm kind of thinking that we DO actually agree on the room I featured in the post today in that neither of us think it is right for a child. I was using it as a second example of a room that is too adult. Is that what you were thinking also?

  5. Hahaha, now that I reread your post, I see that we do agree! I don't know why I read that the first time as though you were using this nursery as an example of a nursery done right. That'll teach me to slow down when reading blogs!

  6. Agree. When I'm designing a nursery or childs room, I'm designing it for them at the age they are now plus a couple of years, I'm not doing it for when they are a teenager. Having said that, I really don't like over the top babyish rooms either. There needs to be a compromise.
    Personally, when i've designed my son's rooms I've known that I will get sick of it in a couple of years and want to change it anyway (waayyyy before we even need to think about it being a more grown up space)!

  7. I do the same thing! I'm so visual I often focus on the pictures more than the words and according to the post title you would think that I was featuring the space (in a good way). I actually went back and edited the post a bit after your comment because I realized it was kind of confusing, so thanks!

  8. cheyhorn--Respective DesignAugust 16, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Actually, I'm of the opinion that the nursery should be designed for the parents comfort and aesthetics as well as baby's comfort. The baby will have zero recollection of this room. why shouldn't it be comfortable and appealing to mom and dad? I recommend injecting more of the child's personality when it's time to transition into the big kid bed.

  9. I agree that it's important for the parents to feel comfortable in the space, but I think finding a balance is important.



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