Published on April 14, 2020

Looking at the floral-filled bedroom Sarah Shetter designed for brand consultant Anne Ziegler’s young daughter, you’d think the Maison C. wallpaper and skirted pink and green armchairs were the driving forces behind the whimsical design. But as with most kids’ spaces Shetter spearheads, function came first. “Storage and lighting were our two biggest priorities,” she says.

kids room with white rug and bed up against the wallPin It
Photography by Boris Breuer; Design by Sarah Shetter

The homeowners wanted a room that was colorful and relaxed but could also grow with their child over time. So Shetter focused on larger, practical pieces that can live far beyond the elementary-school years. But that didn’t mean everything had to be neutral and streamlined—chintzy prints and vibrant shades of pink still have their role to play. Here are six ways to bring the timeless look home.

The Easy-to-Organize Bookcase 

When pricey built-ins aren’t an option for a child’s room, Shetter suggests shelves with cubbies, like Oeuf’s Mini Library. Toys and other random tchotchkes can live behind the closed hinged doors, while books enjoy a prime spot out in the open. The piece sits low to the ground, making it easy for little ones to grab books on their own. 

The Adjustable Lighting 

Rather than rely on plug-in nightlights, Shetter likes to bring in a variety of options, from ceiling-mounted fixtures and wall sconces to task floor lamps. This way, there’s a middle ground between superbright and pitch-black. The designer also recommends putting everything on a dimmer—it immediately sets the mood for story time. 

The Not-too-Kiddie Wallpaper

The real magic of this botanical print is that it looks good in nonkid settings, too. (Maison C. founder Chiara de Rege swathed her entire guest bedroom in the cherry-hued design.) “It doesn’t feel too childish, but it’s still very fun,” says Shetter. When her clients eventually decide to adult-ify this space down the road, they won’t have to fuss with the treatment—it can stay. 

The Timeless Motif

One way to make floral patterns feel fresh? Layer them on top of each other and embrace a range of styles and eras. The vintage botanical prints above the bookcase and old-school skirted armchairs in the corner are more traditional, but against the backdrop of the modern wallpaper, they don’t read as preppy.

The Flexible Seating Arrangement

A pouf is a handy thing to have in any room, but these squishy seats work wonders in kids’ spaces as a footrest or stool. This jute option is sturdy enough to act as a side table, so Shetter appropriately topped it off with freshly picked blooms. 

The Sleepover-Proof Divan 

All you have to do is shift some pillows around and—voilà!—the simple maple bed frame can be transformed into a sofa. When it comes to dressing it up, Shetter sticks to a fairly uncomplicated recipe: soft sheets, a plush duvet, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

See more stories like this: 
How to Help Your Kids Nail Their Study-From-Home Routine
How to Create a Playroom Organization System You Can Actually Live With
This Kids’ Room Was Built Around an Elaborate Electric Train Track

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