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EXPERT ADVICE: Decor for kids is not child’s play

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Tips to involve a child in a revamp, trends in furniture for little people, small pieces for big statements and strange decor requests

EXPERT: Kate Shepherd, the founding owner and creative director of Something Different and the online store Something Desired.

1 My son’s room is in need of a major revamp, but he is in that in-between stage and not quite ready to make his own choices. Should I do all the decorating myself or get him involved, and how?

There are two ways to handle this. You can give him a small controlled space where he can do whatever he wants, perhaps a cool chalkboard, or a contained play/paint area that can then be displayed. At any stage, he can always help choose one of the options. Put the options you want forward, for example, light green or dark green. This can still fit with what you want, but he has then chosen the elements. It is always nice to get them involved in some way.

2 What are children’s furniture trends this year?

Childrens’ furniture doesn’t have major “trends” as much as adult pieces, but something that is definitely becoming more necessary is a sustainable or eco-friendly option. Items that are smart and thoughtful. Our 3-in-1 changer/ compactum is an example. Thinking of the environment and being space and earth-friendly are important.

3 I’m on a tight budget but would splurge on one worthwhile home decor item. What do you think a person should splurge on?

It really depends where you want to make the impact. Instead of spending on expensive big pieces, you could look at small pieces that make big statements. Plants are a great way to add decor at a fairly low price.

Along with something cool such as a drinks trolley, or perhaps a beautiful feature light over a table.

4 What’s the weirdest request for a custom-designed item you have received?

The weirdest request I’ve had is for full wire-framed grass unicorns. I’ve had large unicorn heads, but I’d say that’s fun not weird. Most custom items tend to be those things you can’t get anywhere else, so they tend to be space and colour conscious.

We’ve done some interesting mirror and metal installations. I have no idea what they were for or where they used them in the house, so that was an odd one.


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