Design Notes Archive

Decorating for Tiny Tots

Decorating for Tiny Tots

When it comes to decorating for children, adult aesthetics all too often get thrown out the window. I am a tried believer that we need not sacrifice taste, in an effort to cater to the oft changing whims of our tiny tots. There are so many well-designed products on the market these days and with a little bit of creativity, it’s possible to make a kid friendly bathroom that doesn’t leave adults standing on Sponge Bob bathmats or drying hands with Thomas the Tank Engine towels. Don’t get me wrong! These characters provide endless hours of entertainment for our precious little ones but from a decoration standpoint they’re best left in the toy box.

That’s why I flagged this whimsical girls bathroom in a Pottery Barn Kids catalogue long before I ever had children. The pull out step is complete genius. It’s not for sale anymore but having one custom made would be a worthy investment, freeing you from a step-stool that’s constantly getting in the way. Then there’s the tented effect of painted stripes and the dainty chandelier that bring to life every little girls princess fantasy. I’d take it a step further and upgrade the floral accessories, swapping out the towels for classic white with pale pink piping trim and the hook for something from Chloe Alberry but that’s just me.

On a more formal note, designer James Michael Howard decorated a boys bathroom without even the slightest of concessions. The exotic mural wallpaper is reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are without feeling the least bit juvenile. Tike-sized chairs flanking the shower make for easy undressing and reaching those big, fluffy towels. For modern aesthetes try kiddie-sized versions of Kartell’s Louis-style Ghost chair or midcentury modern recreations like the Panton Junior chair from Vitra.

For more inspiration on decorating for children, we love the French magazine Milk, available at well-stocked newsstands (try Greens on Marylebone High Street).

 Monika, Editor, Design Notes

Photographs © Pottery Barn, James Michael Howard