Kids are collectors of just about anything: erasers, seashells, rocks, Lego models and whatever else fits on a shelf (or floor). Their treasures can turn bedrooms into a mess quickly, especially if you haven’t given children a place to put everything. The designers of these rooms figured out how to tame the chaos without shoving stuff in a closet, an opaque storage bin or — where you might really want to put it — the garbage can. Using a few key tricks, you too can create an inspirational space that honors your child’s favorite things.
Toy Storage 1: Stripe Design Group, original photo on Houzz
1. Create a backdrop. It all starts with how you dress the bedding, walls, and furnishings — the things that don’t change.
Suna Lock, the owner of Stripe Design Group, keeps palettes fairly simple — one to three colors in a room — to let the collections be the inspiration.
For this teen soccer fanatic, Lock chose a sophisticated blue, a nice backdrop to the girl’s trophies and sports memorabilia. Lock says the girl and her mother were constantly at battle over her collection until Lock figured out a way to turn the teen’s things into an artful display.
The key to designing a wall like this is to find the item you want to be your focal point, Lock says. In this case, she started by placing the ribbons along the ceiling’s apex. She suggests laying the objects on the floor to figure out positioning before putting anything on the wall.
White walls and furnishings also act as a neutral backdrop.
The other benefit to neutral furnishings: You aren’t tied to a theme, a bonus as your child’s taste in cartoons, toys, and idols changes with the seasons and years.
Toy Storage 2: Jodie Rosen Design, original photo on Houzz
2. Put toys on display. To handle your child’s buckets of toy cars and trains, think about going vertical. These custom-made shelves were fashioned using stock material from a lumber store and bolts as a decorative touch. You can also buy picture ledges, which are the perfect width for most toy cars and trains.
They’re also well-suited for handling your child’s books, which act as a graphic element in the room.
Toy Storage 3: Plumlily Photography, original photo on Houzz
3. Tailor the space to the interest. Parents everywhere have stared down a tower of Legos or an intricately built model and asked: Where am I going to put this?
The answer: in a place set aside for kids to display and create, says Simplified Bee designer Cristin Bisbee Priest, who emphasizes the importance of including your child’s interests in a room’s design.
This ledge runs along the room’s perimeter and is the perfect spot for this child’s enormous collection of Lego models.
Toy Storage 4: Embellishments Kids, original photo on Houzz
4. Group collections. Legos are one thing, but what can you do with the rocks, seashells and plastic trinkets your kids gather?
Aaron Christensen, the owner of Embellishments Kids, suggests putting similar things together in see-through containers to keep things visually organized and make the collections more powerful.
This child had an abundant nature collection. Christensen built shelving over the desk to store some of the boy’s belongings. He fastened Mason jars under the bottom shelf to act as an accessible and visual place for knickknacks, which can be categorized by type.
Decorative glass or plastic containers also work well.
Toy Storage 5: Embellishments Kids, original photo on Houzz
5. Distract attention. Bold shelving can help take the focus off what’s inside, Christensen says. In this room, he designed colorful hexagonal shelves for a boy’s video games and controllers.
Toy Storage 6: Flik by design, original photo on Houzz
6. Practice editing. Priest suggests having kids evaluate their interest in objects every so often to weed out stuff they’re no longer interested in seeing every day.
Designer Stephan Howard of Flik by Design used a hutch to display a child’s favorite Barbies and bunnies. The rest were stored.
“Kids’ rooms I always find challenging, as there are lots of items they want out. I embrace the items but showcase them in a specific palette,” Howard says. “It allows everything to be seen that they actually love, but it’s also very appealing to the eye.”
By Jennifer Christgau-Aquino, Houzz