Soft fairy lights drape over a white metal bed frame shaped like a house, under which a single mattress sits. At the other end of the room, colour-coordinated kids’ clothes hang on an exposed clothes rack made from rose gold-coloured pipes.
This chic bedroom belongs to a five-year-old girl and was designed by her mother, who believes that decorating a child’s bedroom does not mean furnishing it with mismatched bedsheets and hand-me-down furniture.
Parents these days are willing to splurge on practical and stylish rooms that their children will not outgrow.
Friska Frederica, 33, says: “I didn’t set out to build my home to be photographed. It’s not a show flat. But I’m a homebody and I destress at home, so I like my home to be pleasing to the eyes. If the space looks good in real life, it will most likely look good on camera too.”
It helps that she is also a freelance interior stylist. But, she says, her daughter’s photogenic room is fully functional and is used for play and sleep on a daily basis.
The family moved into the executive maisonette apartment at the end of 2016, when their daughter Elora was one-and-a-half years old.
“We thought about whether it’ll still work in five to 10 years’ time”
Instead of painting the walls of Elora’s room purple, the girl’s then-favourite colour, Friska decided to go for a more neutral palette to ensure it will last beyond the childhood years. She eventually went for white and light grey walls.
“We didn’t want the room to be too childish because kids grow up so fast and they also get bored with things easily. When doing up the room, we thought about whether it’ll still work in five to 10 years’ time,” she says.
Other than kitchen cabinets and a wardrobe in the master bedroom, there are no other built-in components in her home. She says she prefers the space to be flexible as she hopes to change it up as their family’s needs evolve.
In her daughter’s room, Friska did away with a platform bed and placed the mattress on the floor instead for easy access and to prevent falls. She also sewed a pink cloth tent that hangs from the ceiling to carve out a cosy reading corner for Elora (see photo above).
“We wanted to make everything accessible at her level so she can confidently manage tasks by herself,” she says.
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Realtor Natasha Goh with her three children in the boys’ room, which features cacti prints on walls and furniture in neutral colours. (Photo: Jasmine Choong for The Straits Times)
Like Friska, more home owners are not scrimping on style when decorating their childrens’ rooms.
Interior stylist Priscilla Tan, 34, of Styledbypt, says: “In the past, parents just pick one look or theme and keep the room the same way until the child is grown. But now, young parents want to give their home and rooms a cohesive identity.
“They want their kids to fall in love with their room and be proud to invite their friends and families over.”
She says it is common for parents to style their children’s room as an extension of their own, but notes that most Singaporean home owners are quite realistic with their requests.
Ample storage space and the flexibility to adapt the room to the child’s growing needs are top priorities.
Mum-of-three and realtor Natasha Goh, 38, and her husband Eugene Ong, 40, a director in a manufacturing company, have two children’s rooms in their home – each done up in a slightly different manner.
Their one-and-a-half daughter, who is the youngest child, sleeps in a room which Natasha describes as having a more “girly aesthetic”.
“Since my daughter is so young and has no opinions on how her room should look, I guess her room is a projection of what I would’ve liked when I was younger,” she says. “I didn’t get much pink, which was my favourite colour, as I mostly had hand-me-downs from my brother, so now my daughter’s room is quite pink.”
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“We decided to do away with fixed built-in furniture”
To complement the pink and rose-gold palette in her daughter’s room, Natasha replaced her old second-hand baby cot with a rose gold-coloured version she bought on sale from a local furniture store.
Her sons, aged eight and five, share a slightly larger ensuite room and sleep on a bunk bed. The older boy takes the top bunk while the younger one sleeps on the bottom mattress, which sits on the floor. The mattress doubles as a playmat when their sister joins in for play time, with no risk of falling off the bed.
Natasha opted for loose furniture in the boys’ room to ensure that there is flexibility in changing the room layout. “The boys’ room should be versatile as their needs will change once the younger one goes to primary school. We need to be able to change the configuration to cater to that when the time comes, so we decided to do away with fixed built-in furniture,” she says.
To keep things neat, Natasha has a large wardrobe with a sliding door in the room where the bulk of the children’s toys and clothes are kept, along with baskets and shelves. “A space that encourages an instinctive and systematic way of tidying up means the home is generally less cluttered. It’s nice to have a pleasant space to come home to,” she says.
Here, check out five tips on how to decorate a child’s bedroom they won’t easily outgrow:
Text: Michelle Ng/The Straits Times