The Best Children’s Room Decor
Style Files, a curated collection of editors’ picks.
Just because you have a kid doesn’t mean your style has to suddenly give way to mounds of plastic. Your child’s bedroom also doesn’t have to look like a busy preschool classroom. Here are my favorite picks, taken straight from my own home, of items that have blended seamlessly into my decor, will grow with my girl, and best of all, are things I actually enjoy looking at.
LALO | The Play Kit
It’s no wonder this table and chairs set by dad-founded, NYC and Scandi-designed Lalo is a Good Housekeeping award-winner. Made to fit right in with the sleekest of homes, the kid-sized combo is the perfect spot for crafts, games, independent play, and even Montessori-style dining. Unlike many children’s chairs on the market, the curvature of Lalo’s chairs makes them super comfortable—and they’re built to support a 200 pound adult. The table is just as sturdily constructed and easy to clean, with (washable) paint, crayons, and markers wiping right out. The limited-edition sage color was so popular that it’s now here to stay.
Shop It: Lalo
WANDER & ROAM | Foam Play Mat
When you have a kid, they—and their stuff—tend to take over. These eco-friendly, non-toxic mats are not only soft, durable, easy to clean, and non-sticky, they also happen to look more like modern rugs than play mats. Ours sits under our daughter’s jungle gym (see below), making it perfect for softening tumbles, and lives directly in our living room. Surprisingly, the combo adds to the space instead of being an eyesore, fully incorporating her life and play into ours. The mats also roll up like a regular rug for easy storage.
Shop It: Wander & Roam
HOMEFORDREAMS ETSY SHOP | Toddler Gym
Yes, you read right. We have a jungle gym inside of our house. This was a moving-to-Maine-inspired purchase as much as it was a COVID-inspired one. Little did I know baby Mainers continue to play outside (and in my daughter’s preschool’s case, eat lunch) in freezing temps, but I still don’t regret our purchase. Handmade of high quality, flexible Aspen wood, and waxed with nontoxic, eco-friendly beeswax, the gym gives our daughter a physical outlet no matter the weather, and it’s also made our house quite the popular play date destination.
Shop It: HOMEforDREAMS
HINGI | Ori Regular Shelf
I jumped on the Montessori bandwagon pretty early on. One of the aspects of the education method I agree with most is the idea of not overwhelming your child with toy options. Every single toy or teaching tool isn’t out at once, but rather meaningfully displayed on a low-lying shelf that your kid can walk (or crawl) up to and start playing with on their own. Do I like that this teaches independence? Yes. Do I further like that it makes my house tidier? Hell yes. This piece of furniture by Poland-based HINGI, is not only the most beautiful Montessori shelf I have found, but it’s also incredibly well made, eco-friendly, and will still look as great in her room at 3 as it will at 13. For now, I put a few choice toys out, leave the rest in the closet, and rotate them as my daughter’s interest wanes. The best part? Toys pulled from the dark depths that she hasn’t seen in a few months feel like new.
Shop It: Hingi
GRANPAPENN | Large Wooden Pastel Grimm’s Style Rainbow Stacker
If you are reading this then you surely are aware of the popularity of colorful wooden rainbow stackers. Despite actually being quite fun and versatile, I believe they’re more popular with adults than children, solely for their beauty. There are several versions on the market, but when on the hunt for this essential baby toy, I stumbled upon Granpa Penn based in Jacksonville, Alabama. Half the price of other versions, but just as thoughtfully made (the box arrived with a handwritten thank you note), I pull this down from the shelf to help my daughter make anything from trainset tunnels to see-saws for her stuffies to gigantic leaning towers. And when not in use, it’s the best looking piece of art in her room.
Shop It: GranpaPenn
IKEA | Sniglar Crib
In 2012, IKEA set a goal that by 2020 their wood would come from more sustainable sources. Today, more than 98% of the wood used for their products is either FSC-certified or recycled. That includes this crib, which, priced at just $79 is one of the best children’s furniture deals you will ever find. Take it from me—we bought ours on Craigslist for $30, from a young family who had used it as a crib and then as a toddler bed. Three-plus years later the Sniglar is not only still going strong, but I am consistently asked by friends and visitors where I got it. There’s nothing better than a quality hand-me-down, especially one at such an unbelievable price point.
Shop It: IKEA
WEST ELM | Ultimate Art Easel
Our gal is quite the artiste. Her favorite activity by far (sometimes to her parents’ chagrin, let’s be honest) is painting. We finally got tired of clearing off the dining room table and spreading out a splat mat, and splurged on this multipurpose easel. I love that the boards can be moved around—she can stand up and paint and then sit down and use chalk at the same time. The extra shelves make great storage: I took old mason jars and filled one with crayons, one with colored pencils, one with chalk, and one with dry-erase markers for her to use at her whim, and I can still fit all of her extra paper, paint, and other art materials. I love having these items in one easy-to-access place.
Shop It: West Elm
PETIT COLLAGE | Day + Night Four in a Row
I have been (playfully) made fun of by my fellow parent friends that I do not allow a single piece of plastic to enter my house. This couldn’t be further from the truth—shout out to transfer station castoffs!—but I will say that one benefit of being the first of my local friends to have kids and the sole bearer of grandchildren in my immediate family, is that we’ve gotten to start from scratch. I love finding wooden versions of traditionally (garish) plastic toys, like this “Four in a Row” game by sustainable toymaker Petit Collage. When I saw this on Chronicle Books’ Spring 2022 catalog, I immediately put it on the to-get list for my color-coordinating, sorting-loving kid.
Shop It: Petit Collage