High Impact Design Ideas for Your Kid’s Room or Playroom

March 23, 2020

Design ideas for kid’s rooms can feel limiting. I often see people gravitate towards animals, pastel colors or stereotypical motifs like cars or dolls. When dreaming up a design for a nursery or playroom we want to empower you to create a space for your little one that is both inspiring and playful. A space reflective of the excitement and youthful energy that kids bring.

Thinking resourcefully about how to create high impact design with little investment is key for kid’s rooms. One of the best ways to do this is with creative design ideas that make the room feel unique and imaginative! In today’s post we are offering 5 High Impact Design Ideas to transform your kid’s space. 

There are loads of pink and blue nurseries out there. We would like to give you some simple, yet impactful ideas to help you think beyond just paint and wallpaper. To show these design ideas at play, we are sharing kids’ spaces from our own portfolio plus a few inspirational rooms. We hope to inspire you to take creative license and make a little magic for your babes and kiddos!

Centered by Design Lakeview Nursery

lavender nursery with floral wall art

Centered by Design Lakeview Nursery

Idea #1: Sculptural Wall Art

Three-dimensional artwork is a great way to make art more impactful. As seen in our Lakeview nursery, we used Pottery Barn’s crepe paper flowers arranged in a vine-like pattern on the wall. These blooms are very easy to install, hung just like you would with picture frames–anyone can hang them! Be creative in your positioning on your wall, and you can easily make your nursery into a garden-like oasis.


Ceramics are having a moment and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Ceramic wall hangings can give a beachy, bohemian aesthetic to a nursery. Hang them as a grouping for a more dramatic effect or a single piece as an understated accent. M Quan is an incredible ceramic artist who creates the coolest handmade art and objects from her studio in Brooklyn. You can find a lot of variations of these hangings (metallic options, too!) on Etsy. They’re handmade but at affordable price points.

Idea #2: Textile Art

As a child, I had a Laura Ashley wallpapered room and matching quilt made by my mom (need to dig for a picture!). I’ve always loved the handcrafted quality of quilts and the rich story telling associated with them throughout American history (and also other parts of the world). I love the idea of using a smaller quilt as a wall hanging to showcase the design and history of your own family. Quilts are famous for their storytelling through symbols. It’s fitting to find a meaningful (or even just a beautiful) quilt design for your baby’s nursery. Hang your quilt with a wooden hanger so as to not damage the fabric. You can easily take it off the hanger if you decide you’d like to swap quilts or hangings. Your child will have so much fun naming all the colors, symbols and making up family stories. 

Idea #3: Decals and Removable Wallpaper

Removable wallpaper and decals are ideal for people who are renting, afraid of commitment, or like to change things up frequently. They are also a very budget friendly design idea for kid’s rooms, because there is no installation cost! It took me only 20 minutes to transform this room with 4 bags of decals. Easy peasy!

Within the past few years the amount of removable designs available to consumers have exploded, and more retailers than ever are selling them. Not only are they easy to install, but many of them are reusable! We used Kerri Rosenthal’s heart decals in our Lakeview project playroom and love the joyful vibe they bring.


Centered by Design Lakeview Playroom


Centered by Design Lakeview Playroom

Idea #4: Art + Lighting

If you don’t want to commit to permanent or statement nursery décor, one of the easiest ways to add personality is with a combination of art and lighting. Find some inspiring art that can guide the feel of your room. Use the art as a starting point  for the design and color palette, rather than a second thought to just fill wall space.

In our Lakeview nursery we chose an art print from Minted (a great source with endless and affordable options) and framed it with matching sconces over some floating acrylic bookshelves. Another area in the nursery where this would work well is over a changing table or dresser. Consider using plug-in sconces if you are unable to hardwire them. Choose sconces that look like art themselves and explore different materials, such as a ceramic or woven shade to add texture and interest. 


Centered by Design Lakeview Nursery

Idea #5: Wall Paneling

If you are looking to add more architectural detail to your nursery, adding some paneling is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. Choosing a classic paneling style such as box moulding or a board-and-batten style will create a traditional look and could easily transition to other room designs as your child grows.

We’ve included links to ambitious DIY’ers who have done their own paneling for a weekend project. (Click here for a tutorial from Jenna Sue Design). We love a floor-to-ceiling wall of paneling that is painted in a saturated color to really add depth. Half-paneled walls look incredible when contrasted against a bold color or darker hue like a hunter green, as seen in Bre Purposed’s nursery below.

We do love a bold wallpaper of course! You can see my daughter’s nursery complete with bold wallpaper and unique canopy detail in these posts:

Wallpaper on the ceiling and window treatments are always impactful as well. Here’s to creating something magical for your child!


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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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