Rooms to Grow

How do you create a room your child will love now — and as they get older? Think ahead, says Rebecca Simon, Creative Founder at Maison Ellie Interiors in Toronto, which specializes in interiors for kids. “Keep things light when it comes to themed rooms. Children’s interests change so quickly.” We asked Simon to share her tips for creating fantastic spaces for tots.

By Laura Bickle | 2 minute read

Jul 20

Francisco Alvarez

“I love including reading nooks or small open toy storage areas in nurseries so that the child can grow into their room with more ease through their toddler and preschool years.”

Rebecca Simon

What are the common challenges in designing kids’ bedrooms?

Parents often struggle with pulling together a functional room setup. The first part of any project is my space-planning exercise, where we assess storage and function requirements based on their child’s needs.


Identifying kids’ current wants and future needs will help ensure they don’t outgrow their bedroom.

What information do you typically require from homeowners for designing a child’s room?


During my initial discovery call, we go over their wish list in terms of how the room needs to function and what needs to be incorporated into the room (bunk bed, desk, toy storage, wardrobe, activity table, family seating area, homework nook, reading nook, etc.) We also discuss style and colour preferences, and what stores they like to shop at or their favourite restaurants (this gives me a better idea of their general style). I also require a clear understanding of their budget. Lastly, if the project is virtual, I will require full room measurements in order to do scaled floor plans.


Start by creating a wish list of how you envision the room being used and what needs to be included in it.

How can homeowners make sure the room can grow with their child?


It’s always easier to switch out a unicorn accent cushion than it is wallpaper! In nurseries, I like to account for a large dresser surface that acts as a change table and I also like to share a floor plan that shows where the toddler or big kid bed would eventually go. I love including reading nooks or small open toy storage areas in nurseries so that the child can grow into their room with more ease through their toddler and preschool years.

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Consider turning a cozy corner of the bedroom into a reading nook.

What’s your advice when it comes to textiles?

Minimalistic space is popular, and closets are a great way to accommodate all your clothing and eliminate the need for dressers and armoires. We’re frequently asked to optimize the space from floor-to-ceiling to maximize storage. Most homes have 8 to 9 ft. ceilings and most closets are 7 ft. tall, so there is lots of extra space to make use of! I have also had a few projects this year where we eliminated the standard sliding doors and reach-in closet and replaced them with built-ins. 


Mix pattern and texture to create a well-balanced and visually interesting space.

What’s your advice regarding colour? 


This will often depend on personal preferences but I recommend incorporating various tones of the feature colours and mixing in textures — whether that be rattan, wood tones or metals — to create a balanced and soft design.


The use of colour combined with rich, textural layers, such as an area carpet, creates a playful yet sophisticated vibe. Photo: Barefoot in the North

What trends are you seeing in kids’ rooms? 


I am definitely seeing less interest in neutral or black-and-white room designs. People are opening up to a more creative and colourful way of decorating, using patterns, textiles and saturated colour trends, such as rich earthy colours paired with beautiful wood tones.


Simon recommends incorporating various tones of the feature colours to create a fun yet timeless space.

Laura Bickle

Wahi Writer

Photos: Heid Lau (except where otherwise indicated)


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