15 children's bedroom ideas that are both playful and practical

A children's bedroom with a shelving unit built around a single bed and a small desk set up
(Image credit: Shelved)

Transforming your little one's bedroom is the perfect chance to blend fun with functionality. Whether you're designing a toddler's first room or revamping space for a growing child, there's always room to get creative with children's bedroom ideas. 

We've gathered a treasure trove of ideas to make your child's bedroom a place that will spark their imagination. From innovative storage solutions to keep clutter at bay, to vibrant colour schemes that will reflect your child's personality. These ideas will cater to their current interests while anticipating their future needs. 

Pick and chose the ideas that work best for you and your home, and remember to have fun along the way! 

1. Pick a theme and run with it! 

A playful childrens bedroom with safari themed wallpaper, bean bag chairs and a treehouse bed

(Image credit: Prestigious Textiles)

Nothing says fun quite like a themed bedroom. The room above commits to a colourful safari scheme, with a bespoke treehouse bed on stilts, animal wallpaper and printed bean bags. 

Look out for wallpaper patterns, textiles, and a bespoke furniture to fit with your chosen theme and don't be afraid to paint ceilings and get creative with colour to bring your designs to life! 

If you can't find the exact furniture you need to complete your children's bedroom, reach out to a local carpenter and see if they're up for the challenge. 

2. Create a magical wall mural

A children's bedroom with a full wall mural featuring a world map and illustrations

(Image credit: Origin Murals)

Wall murals are a great way to add character and colour to a space. If you're feeling particularly creative, you could get your paints out and paint a wall with your child's favourite movie or storybook characters. 

Alternatively, learn how to wallpaper like a pro and purchase a ready made mural like the world map design above. Websites such as Etsy and eBay are great places to find custom wallpaper designs and decals to transform your space.  

Not convinced your kids will want to keep the same wall mural for long? Lookout for removable wallpaper designs that can be swapped out to mirror their latest interests. 

3. Create a fairytale nook for reading

A little girls bedroom setup with floor to ceiling pink curtains tied back to reveal a cosy reading nook

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

Why not transform an awkward space with no other purpose into a magical reading nook that beckons your children to pick up their favourite story book? 

Hang plush curtains with playful patterns either side of the entrance and cushion the floor with a soft rug and plenty of plush pillows for comfort. 

4. Create a secret Narnia wardrobe

A concealed hidden room inside a wardrobe

(Image credit: TI Archive)

Speaking of story books, who can resist the temptation of a secret wardrobe leading to another room? Hidden doors, like this Narnia-inspired wardrobe can add a playful and unexpected twist to children's bedrooms. Conceal an ensuite or a hidden play space behind a faux wardrobe and play with scale by creating a child-sized entrance. 

5. Create distinct 'zones' for play, learning and sleep

A children's playroom with a school setup featuring colourful mini furniture, storage boxes and three pendant lights

(Image credit: Industville)

You can use colourful rugs or playful decals on bedroom flooring to create separate ‘zones’ for learning, play and sleep. 

For the ‘sleep zone’, a cosy bed with soft lighting and few distractions will ensure a peaceful rest. Meanwhile, the ‘play zone’ could be brimming with toys and crafts to keep them entertained, with interactive storage solutions to help teach them the importance of keeping their space spick and span.

The ‘learning zone’ needn’t be boring either. Above, Industville has mimicked a colourful school setup complete with a tiny desk, shelves for focused learning, and statement pendant lights that illuminate the room. 

6. Use glow in the dark elements 

A children's bedroom themed like a campfire scene with a bespoke teepee bed and drawn window blackout blinds featuring glow in the dark stars

(Image credit: English Blinds)

Introduce glow-in-the-dark elements to your child’s bedroom to bring a sense of enchantment to their personal space. By day, these elements blend seamlessly with the room's decor, but as night falls, they come alive with a gentle luminescence. 

You could scatter stick-on stars across the ceiling – like these realistic tiny 3D domed stars from Amazon – or you could install a glow in the dark skylight blind, like the blinds above from English Blinds

7. Build shelves to showcase books

A children's bedroom with books on display and lots of built in storage

(Image credit: Future / Lizzie Orne)

Display colourful books on shallow wall shelves to serve as a mini-library that's easily accessible. 

In the room above, metal storage bins are strategically placed alongside the shelves to add an industrial touch to the boy's bedroom, while also providing extra space for toys and crafts.

8. Create an elegant canopy bed

A girls bedroom with a canopy bed with cotton drapes and lots of soft cushions

(Image credit: Sweetpea & Willow)

Installing a canopy bed like this beautiful canopy from Sweetpea & Willow can instantly elevate a girl's bedroom. You can purchase a ready made canopy – like this elegant kids bed canopy from Amazon Prime – or create your own DIY version by fixing flowing fabric to ceiling hooks and draping the ends over each bedpost. 

Your choice of fabric can be easily switched out as you child grows, ensuring their bedroom design evolves with them. 

9. Introduce tiny doors for children

A children's bedroom with a tiny custom built arched doorway leading into the next room

(Image credit: Future)

Adding a touch of whimsy to your child's bedroom can be as simple as introducing miniature internal doors. These pint-sized portals not only add an element of surprise but they also encourage imaginative play, as they shuffle from one room to the next.  

10. Use slides as well as stairs

A kids room with a children's cabin bed featuring a slide and a small decorative teepee

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Beds aren't just for sleeping. By incorporating a slide into a traditional cabin bed you can add a playful element to your child's daily routine. Slides encourage active play and make getting ready for school a little easier when they can start their day with a fun descent! 

If you're planning on building your own DIY children's cabin bed, remember to keep it low to the floor and keep the slide incline shallow (you don't want any falls or bumped heads). 

11. Think about bedroom lighting 

Bedroom lighting sets the tone for a peaceful nights sleep and supports your child's mood throughout the day; so it's important to get the lighting design in your child's bedroom just right. 

Layered lighting is key. Chose lightbulbs that emit a soft light for bedroom spaces, avoiding harsh glares to create a comfortable and cosy ambience. A warm overhead light is perfect for play, while smart light bulbs and dimmable options are a great way to set the tone for bedtime.

If you have a specific theme in mind, look for lights that will help tie this together. These moon and cloud nursery lights by Lights4Fun  add to the whimsical theme of this little girl's bedroom. 

12. Combine their bed with useful storage

A children's bedroom with a blue bunk bed with inbuilt storage

(Image credit: The Painted Furniture Company)

Children love to collect things, so look for fun ways to incorporate built in storage at every opportunity. This cabin bed by The Painted Furniture Company has every base covered with 3 drawers, a pull out desk and a built-in bookcase to house toys, books and clothes. 

Look for beds that come with under-bed storage to stow away seasonal clothing or spare bedding, and use bedside drawers to keep favoured toys and nightlights within arms reach. 

Furniture designed with a dual purpose helps you get the most out of small rooms and frees up floor space for play. 

13. ... Or transform steps into storage

A girls white and pink bedroom featuring storage in the stairs, colour bunting and soft toys

(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

Another great way of organising your children's bedroom is with under stair storage. If your little one has a mezzanine bedroom you could store their toys and keepsakes in the steps leading up to the top floor. 

It goes without saying that any mezzanine level designed for a child should be very secure. In the bedroom above, rainbow coloured safety bars have been incorporated on every step to keep the child safe from potential falls. 

14. Create a colourful 'splash back zone'

A children's bedroom or nursery with rainbow wallpaper and a shaker peg shelf with children's clothes hanging from it

@housebythecanal used wallpaper for the top half of this nursery and a durable paint finish on the lower half.  (Image credit: Industville / @housebythecanal)

Anticipating sticky fingers on walls is all part and parcel of designing a children's bedroom. So, if you ever find yourself fretting about how to clean painted walls, we suggest including a 'splash back zone' in your toddler's bedroom (though this could apply to a teenager's room too!).

Use washable paint on the lower half of the room or incorporate half wall panelling that can easily be scrubbed clean. Both technique looks particularly good when painted in two contrasting colours.

15. Wood panelled walls suit all manner of schemes 

A children's bedroom decorated with a nautical theme with dark blue wood panelled walls, a decorative oar, a decorative porthole, a cast iron blue bed and a storage trunk

(Image credit: ILIV)

Wall panelling ideas aren't exclusive to grown up spaces – they can look great in a children's bedroom too. For example, in this space designed by ILIV the vibrant blue panels feel youthful and fun, adding to the overall nautical theme of the bedroom. 

The best part of wall panels is that they can grow with your child. While vibrant blue panels look great as part of a children's bedroom, they can easily be painted a neutral tone for a teenager's bedroom later in life (or if they move rooms and you need to change their space into a guest bedroom later down the line).   

Gabriella Dyson
Assistant Editor

Gabriella is Homebuilding & Renovating's Assistant Editor. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design. She’s spent the past decade crafting copy for regional publications, award-winning architects, and leading UK homeware brands. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and listed properties, and she is currently in the process of renovating a Grade II-listed Victorian coach house in the West Country. At Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, Gabriella is responsible for curating the magazine's home case studies and regularly contributes to the Homebuilding website.