How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room

Forget the goofy decals. Designer Blye Faust shares her tips for creating a space with staying power.

How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room

We've all seen them: those pink and blue confections that parents lavished on their kids in the late '90s and early 2000's. But children's decor has gotten ridiculously cool in the last couple of years. What if your style has evolved beyond the trad princess beds and whimsical train-conductor setups? After completing a nursery for her second child, designer Blye Faust decided her toddler son deserved a new room of his own. So she conceived a clean, functional space that features a custom bed frame from Los Angeles-based Kalon Studios, floating shelves, and a contemporary arts-and-crafts area. Here, her seven tips for creating a modern kid's retreat with room to grow.

How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room

Think Outside the Box

"Don’t think 'kiddie' furnishings or predictable, child-like color palettes," says Faust. "Give your budding big-people the respect they deserve by crafting a chic space that they'll enjoy growing into."


Experiment with wallpaper. "I'm currently coveting designs that conjure a global outlook and create a sense of exploration," she says. One that she particularly loves: Clarke & Clarke's Globetrotter. "It's both playful and stylish."

How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room

Be Artful 

"Sophisticated yet fun artwork is a must," the designer insists, pointing to the photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge, her son's favorite San Francisco landmark. One of her go-to contemporary art resources is Saatchi Art. You can also try Little Collector by ArtStar, Uprise Art, or pieces from Permanent Press Editions (we love this puppy-friendly shot).

Consider the Long Term

"Make sure that your design is versatile enough to grow with your kids over time," Faust says. Here, a clean, neutral color palette paired with streamlined furnishings and cool open shelving keep things easy-to-update as her son grows. 

How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room

Personalize It

"Even though you're designing for someone who is still in the process of learning what they like and dislike, he or she will still have favorite places, people, and objects that they gravitate to," she says. "In my son's space, I highlighted his love of travel with custom skateboard decks decorated with maps of the cities we've traveled to together."

How to Create a Contemporary Kid's Room


"Select mini versions of timeless furnishings that both parents and kids will enjoy," she says. "Design Within Reach has a fantastic selection of children's home decor pieces," including this Danish-inspired dresser. Others to consider: the Land of Nod, Kinder Modern, and Nursery Works.

Be Realistic

"Remember that at the end of the day, you are designing for someone who will chew, rip, and color on everything you've chosen," says Faust. "Make sure that the pieces you select can withstand the wear and tear of an active child with a lot of 'love' to give."

I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.
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