Sandra Ajanaku house tour

What is it that’s so comforting about children’s bedrooms? They’re always so playful and calming. From disco balls to bright wallpaper, here are 10 cool ideas for kids’ rooms from past home tours

Embrace Ikea. “I freaking love Ikea. We have Ikea beds for the kids, an Ikea dresser, an Ikea rug, this little Ikea bookcase,” says Happy Menocal. “I love this Fado lamp — it’s $20, but you plug it in and it looks so fancy. I could spend a whole day at Ikea, eating Swedish meatballs.”

Hang kids’ clothing. “It’s so easy to frame kids’ clothes — I’d recommend it to anyone,” says Happy Menocal. “I sent this little outfit to Simply Framed and asked them to mount it on white. It’s crazy how tiny baby clothes are. To be honest, my kids mostly wore spit-up-covered Carter’s onesies, but this outfit felt more frameable.”

Make things meaningful. “I put up this map mural to try to help the boys feel closer to their dad while he’s deployed overseas,” says Stacey Blake in North Carolina. “We’ve encountered a number of deployments, and I never want him to be an abstract figure in their minds. Over the years, we’ve looked at the map and seen where Dada is in the world. We incorporate him into the bedtime routine; we point to the map and say, ‘Good night, Dada.’ It’s a way to cope. It helps.”

Choose color. “For my daughter’s room, we wanted something vibrant and fun,” explains Stacey Blake. “I had lost a baby a year before she was born, so we call Cheyenne our rainbow baby. I craved a space for her that was brimming with life and happiness.”

Consider carpet. “The roof is pitched in the kids’ rooms and we knew we’d spend a lot of time on the floor,” says Lena Corwin in San Francisco. “I found a 100% unbleached wool carpet that felt like a good fit for us.”

Bring in family heirlooms. “Olana’s brass bed was passed down to her,” says Sandra Ajanaku. “Her paternal grandfather used it, her father used it, and now it’s her ‘princess bed.’ Olana generally falls asleep during the third book we read her at night.”

Get a comfortable (and comforting) chair. “I spent days in this rocking chair. I legit spent days,” says Kate Jordan. “After three months of maternity leave, I didn’t want to leave Izzy and go back to work, but at the same time I felt so isolated and lonely with a newborn in the woods in the winter. At a music class one morning, another mom was like, ‘Aren’t you loving every minute?’ and I was like, ‘Really? EVERY minute?’ My favorite part of being a mom has been this last year and a half. I can have conversations with this tiny person about all different things. Learning how her mind works is the most rewarding thing.”

Keep family traditions alive. “We still care very much about German traditions,” says Birgit Sfat. “For her first day of school, I gave Milla a Schultüte (‘school cone’), filled with treats and school supplies. She’s really proud of her German backpack. And our Christmas celebration is to decorate the tree together on Christmas Eve, which very traditionally German.”

Embrace their interests. “Eleanor’s room is all her,” says Kristen Mittler outside Dayton, Ohio. “She picked out her bed frame and everything, she even added the disco ball in the window. The string of Christmas lights is from the holidays, but she didn’t want to take them down.”

Eavesdrop at bedtime. “Now that we have two kids, they share a bedroom,” says Alison Mazurek in Vancouver. “Their conversations are hilarious. They’ll be in their room together at night, and Mae will pass Theo stuffed animals. ‘Nother stuffie, Theo?’ she’ll ask in her raspy low voice, until she’s handed him all of them.”

P.S. 11 cool ways to display family photos, and 12 more cool ideas for kids’ rooms. Plus, our own Brooklyn family apartment.

(Happy Menocal’s home photographed by Alpha Smoot and styled by Kate Jordan. Stacey Blake’s home photographed by Lea Hartman. Lena Corwin’s home photographed by herself. Sandra Ajanaku’s home photographed by Lena Corwin. Kate Jordan’s home photographed by Alpha Smoot. Birgit Sfat’s home photographed by Julia Robbs. Kristen Mittler’s home photographed by herself. Alison Mazurek’s home photographed by Britney Gill.)