20 Best Kids' Room Design Ideas That Are Anything but Childish

sophisticated kids room ideas

Reena Sotropa

When it comes to making a home feel truly cohesive, every room—from the kitchen and living room to the bathrooms and kids' rooms—should flow together effortlessly. Although it may seem impossible to align the style of your home with the space where your kids spend the majority of their time, there are plenty of chic brands and clever design tricks that make even this tall order achievable.

Just ask Briana Nix: The interior design pro specializes in eclectic, mid-century, and modern styles, and she knows how to bring all of these looks to children's rooms (while keeping it playful and functional enough for a growing child). "A kids' room should be an extension of the rest of your home," Nix says. "You'll spend a lot of time in this room just like your kids will; so have it be a place you enjoy hanging out in as well."

Meet the Expert

Briana Nix is the creative force behind her eponymous design firm, Briana Nix Lifestyle & Design. Based out of San Francisco, Nix has provided styling services for brands and publications like In Style, Ralph Lauren Home, and Jimmy Choo.

The key to designing a space that finds this kind of balance, according to Nix, is allowing your children to be part of the process. Choose kids' furniture that will last, find chic ways to store inevitable clutter, and create a neutral canvas to work with—all while shopping brands that don't sacrifice style for utility.

Keep reading to discover 20 of the best kids' room ideas to create a space that you and your little one will love for years to come.

01 of 20

Involve the Kids

sophisticated kids room ideas

Emily Gilbert Photography

Nix recommends approaching the task of decorating a kids' room by searching for inspiration together. Start by browsing interior design blogs, Pinterest, or Instagram to get ideas that will help you create the perfect space for your family to live, play, and grow. By finding inspiration together, your kids will get to choose ideas that they love as much as you do. "Share with your kids to get their reaction," she says. "It's fun to let them in on the process."

02 of 20

Plan Ahead

sophisticated kids room ideas

Whittney Parkinson Designs

After doing a bit of research, Nix says the next step is to assess the pieces you already have that you might be able to repurpose. Determine what types of furniture and décor you'll need to source, and what kind of floorplan might work best for the space you're working with. Nix also suggests playing around with the floorplan before committing to anything. "Make sure you have a good flow with plenty of floor space remaining for the kids to stretch out," she adds.

03 of 20

Create Cozy Corners

Sophisticated kids room

Whittney Parkinson Design

Since you'll likely be spending plenty of time in your children's rooms—playing, reading, or even resting while they nap—it's important to make an area that's functional for adults as well. Create a comfortable nook with a window seat, or opt for a cozy armchair in the corner of the room. Multi-functionality allows the space to serve as anything you need in the current moment, so you won't be pulling chairs from the dining room or sitting on the floor when you spend time there.

04 of 20

Compile a Kids' Capsule Collection

sophisticated kids room ideas

Reena Sotropa

If you're still not sure exactly where to start, Nix has a few suggestions for what belongs in a kids' capsule décor collection. First of all, think about finding a sizable dresser to hold all your kids' clothing. "You want a good amount of storage without the piece overwhelming the room, so choose a dresser in natural wood or a light color," the designer advises. You can buy something new, or as Nix points out, you can opt to repurpose a piece of adult furniture. "A mid-century credenza can provide tons of storage for toys and clothing, but gives the kids' room a level of sophistication," she explains.

05 of 20

Find a Theme

sophisticated kids rooms

White Sands

Especially fun for kids with specific interests, finding a theme can both excite your child and keep the space looking cohesive. Choose a color scheme that suits the rest of your home to make the room blend with your overall design. Even if the theme didn't originally match your décor, incorporating its subject in the right colors will keep things feeling clean and intentional.

06 of 20

Know Where to Shop

sophisticated kids room ideas

Emily Gilbert Photography

Just because you're shopping for furniture and décor for a kids' room doesn't mean you have to let go of your style or design sensibility. Nix points out a variety of brands that you can shop for stylish décor that you and your kids will both enjoy.

Nix recommends a brand out of Denmark called EO for sourcing quirky, smaller pieces that will make a room feel unique. For the bigger items like beds, dressers, and desks in modern designs, she suggests shopping Rafa Kids and Oeuf

For bedding, Nix likes Buy Buy Baby. "You don't want to spend a lot on kids' bedding, and they have a large selection to choose from," she says. When it comes to kid-friendly décor, she shops at Little Nomad for stylish floor mats and Fawn Shoppe for items like mirrors, artwork, and wall hangings to finish off kids' rooms with a personal touch.

07 of 20

Play With Proportions

Sophisticated kids bedroom

White Sands

Just because you're decorating a kids' room doesn't mean you can't bring a little flair of interior designer style to the space. Choose a focal point for your room (whether it be the bed frame, light fixture, or wall art) and opt for a large size that draws attention. An oversized headboard or pendant light, for example, can make a major design statement while still keeping the room's playful personality intact.

08 of 20

Start With Shelving

kids room ideas

Cathie Hong Interiors

Nix is a fan of using strategically placed shelving in a kids' room, rather than styling a traditional bookcase. She notes that book ledges can be hung low enough for kids to reach their belongings without taking up a lot of space. Plus, you can easily place a floor pillow near the shelving to create an instant reading nook.

Think about function when choosing shelf heights: Higher shelves can be used to store more precious objects that you'd rather keep out of your kids' reach, while lower shelves are convenient for toys and books.

09 of 20

Choose Dual-Duty Furnishings

sophisticated but childlike designs

Studio KT

Forgo furnishings with an expiration date: Nix advises you to choose wisely in order to get the most out of your furniture, especially when it comes to wear and tear. "Consider the longevity of any furniture you purchase," she notes. Ask yourself, "Will these items maintain their quality and function for at least five years?"

For example, instead of buying a changing table that your kids will outgrow in a few years, opt for a classically styled dresser that'll stay with them for the long haul.

10 of 20

Be Thoughtful With Seating

sophisticated kids rooms

Whittney Parkinson Design

If space allows, add a small table set with vibrant chairs to bring a pop of color to the design while allowing your kids a surface that's all their own. They can use it to socialize with siblings and friends, play, color, paint, or even sit down for snacks. Bonus: Since it's a dedicated space for your child, it's also a helpful place to keep the toys and clutter off of your dining table.

11 of 20

Try a Statement Ceiling

sophisticated kids room ideas

Reena Sotropa

If you're interested in using patterns but don't want to commit to covering every wall with wallpaper, take it to the ceiling. A statement ceiling adds a dramatic, playful touch to the space while giving your kids something to enjoy when they look up from their beds. For a cohesive design, choose a pattern that also comes in bedding designs to tie the room together.

12 of 20

Build Off of Neutrals

sophisticated kids room ideas

Victoria Bell Design

"A kid's room can fill up quickly with items like art, books, and toys," Nix points out. That's why she likes to keep the wall colors neutral and classic in a kid-friendly space. She also notes that light colors are easier for the paint touchups that can inevitably come with a kids' room.

13 of 20

Mix Prints and Patterns

sophisticated kids room designs

Tyler Karu

For a truly eclectic design, mix and match various patterns in your child's room. Opt for prints that all incorporate either small, intricate patterns or large, abstract designs to make a busy space feel intentional. By keeping the walls neutral, the patterns can stand out without clashing.

Another great way to keep patterns from feeling too busy is to stick with a simple color scheme: Choose one to three colors, then opt for prints that incorporate them between bedding, rugs, and wall art.

14 of 20

Make the Bed in Whites and Creams

sophisticated kids room designs

Tyler Karu

Another element of kids' rooms that Nix prefers to keep neutral is the bedding. "I like to keep bedding like sheets and blankets all-white for easy laundering, then add layers of brightly colored pillows and throws for visual texture," the designer says. Opt for a few different types of fabric to keep the white hues from blending together, and dress up the bedding with patterns for visual interest.

15 of 20

Curate a Study Area

kids room ideas

Studio Peake

Older kids need a space to do their homework, and a dedicated study area can make it easier to sit down and focus. Bright colors are a great way to dress up the design and make the space feel fun, while soft neutrals set a calming background for a clear mind. Don't forget the lighting: Even a simple task lamp will brighten the corner to help your children feel alert when it's time to study.

16 of 20

Choose Timeless Over Trendy

sophisticated kids rooms

Victoria Bell Design

Nix suggests starting with a base layer of timeless pieces that don't necessarily have to be changed as your child grows up—think ceiling fixtures, window treatments, and certain pieces of furniture. "Replacing items like these is expensive—and impractical—once you’re a parent, so choose pieces you will appreciate seeing throughout the years," the designer recommends.

17 of 20

Incorporate Stylish Storage

sophisticated kids room ideas

Yael Weiss Interiors

Kids' rooms inherently come with clutter. Toys, clothes, and games will eventually take up space, and that's why it's important to prioritize stylish storage ideas. Style a bookshelf that can be color-coded for a playful finish, or use acrylic bins or trunks placed at the foot of the bed for toys. "They make exciting visuals when filled with stuffed animals or colorful blocks," Nix says. "The toys can easily become part of the décor with their bright colors and funky shapes, and can make cleanup fun for the kids, too."

18 of 20

Choose Furniture Wisely

sophisticated kids room ideas

Tara Kantor Interiors

Any kids' room needs a great bed that's comfortable and appropriate for the size of the space. Nix suggests buying a twin-sized bed instead of going to a toddler bed when transitioning from a crib. "This will save you the extra in-between step, and there are so many great looking low beds that little ones won’t be intimidated by," she points out. With these two major furniture pieces out of the way, the rest of the décor is up to your personal taste and your kids' individual needs.

Try tucking a tall dresser inside of a closet to stow out-of-season clothes and other lesser-worn items. When the closet door is closed, the dresser is out of sight, but the clothes remain organized anytime you need to find something specific.

19 of 20

Play With Wallpaper

sophisticated kids room ideas

Studio Peake

If you're already excited to incorporate new wallpaper in your kids' room, why not take it a step further and make a bold statement? Continue the pattern from the walls onto the bedroom's headboard and window dressings for a playful, eclectic character. Geometric prints are especially great to incorporate a modern style.

20 of 20

Create a Hideout

kids room ideas

Bespoke Only

Even as adults, something about a personal hideout for games and reading nooks still feels magical. Instead of pulling out the extra blankets from the linen closet every time your little ones want a special space, opt for creating a corner that can stay up all the time. Purchase a design that's already made or DIY your own to choose from various shapes and sizes that fit your kids' room.

Related Stories