16 Delightful Kids’ Room Ideas You’ll Definitely Want to Steal

By Kate Reggev / Published by Dwell

Admit it—you’d love a ball pit in your house.

Oftentimes, the kids’ room is an opportunity for both homeowners and architects to flex their creative muscles and create an environment that encourages play and exploration. The 16 children’s rooms and play spaces below exhibit the best of the best—from reading nooks to netting, and climbing walls to indoor swings, these modern kids’ room ideas are ripe for stealing.

A Playroom Makes the Most of Slanted Ceilings   

Awkward sloping ceilings are put to good use in this family apartment known as the Starburst House in Beijing, China. Across from the living lounge, tucked under the mezzanine study, is a child’s playroom. Mountain-shaped wall cushions line the wall, echoing the peaked ceiling.

Courtesy of Hey!Cheese

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An Outdoor Play Cubby With a Kid-Sized Deck

FGR Architects designed an open, spacious home for a family to grow into in Victoria, Australia. Bloomfield House features an al fresco area and even a dedicated kids’ area. "Today, the family enjoys living in the space—we've seen a physical change in their lifestyle and wellbeing since moving in," says director Feras Raffoul. "A novelty cubby house at the back also provides endless fun for children of the house."

Peter Bennets

A Mature Tribeca Loft With A Fun, Theatrical Kids’ Room

In an otherwise tame Tribeca apartment designed by London-based Melanie Williams Bespoke Interiors, a splash of color in the nursery adds a fun and playful feel to the space. Gray and yellow curtains are set up to create a little theater space in the bedroom.

Photo: Paul Craig

A Netted Children’s Study in Melbourne

The Tower House is made up of tiny houses, clustered at the southern end of the property and clad in white steel panels and western red cedar shingles. Spinning off the living room on the north side of the main house, the children’s study sits separate from the other pavilions. On its upper level, Oxley netting forms a web on which the kids and their friends can sit and read with views of the leafy street and garden.

Photo: Peter Bennetts

A Playful-But-Polished Home in Chicago

John Issa of Perimeter Architects oversaw the creation of the rope room in this Wicker Park abode, which belongs to client Brian Littleton—a bachelor with a young niece and nephew. "It posed tons of challenges," he recalls. "Designing with a material that has slack is more math than I care to tackle."

Photo: Tim McKeough

Bold Patterns and a Swing Enliven This Child’s Room

In the home of Dwell founder Lara Hedberg Deam, her child's room features Maija & Kristina Isola's Sola bedding for Marimekko.

Photo: Dustin Aksland

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Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover

Woven from 100% long-staple cotton in a lightweight cotton percale weave, our Classic Collection is crisp, airy and cool, for the ultimate night’s sleep. Photo Courtesy of Brooklinen

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MADO Zen Feeling Poster

Zen Feeling poster is part of the Feelings collection by the Danish brand MADO. The series illustrates the range of different feelings we experience throughout the day. MADO's colourful and distinctive posters are a delight at children’s areas as well as other rooms of the house. The posters have been printed in Denmark on strong, high-quality paper under the Swan certification system. Photo Courtesy of Finnish Design Shop

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Little Big Rooms: New Nurseries and Rooms To Play In

How do you set up a children’s room that is fun, colorful, and fresh? One that gives children room for playing, daydreaming, and letting their imaginations run wild? A child’s room must be fun both for its smaller inhabitants and for the parents that arrange them; it’s here that budding young minds first begin to explore the world. These rooms have plenty to do, acting as playrooms, places to sleep, reading nooks, and spaces for young minds to concentrate and let their creativity unfold. Years can be spent playing and learning in a child’s room; a sibling might move in, making it a space for laughter and sharing. Setting up a children’s room can be a wonderful challenge. Little Big Rooms is here to offer inspiration to parents, full of exciting tips for new rooms or spaces in need of an update, as well as furniture and accessory recommendations sure to please everyone in the family. Publisher: Gestalten Photo Courtesy of Gestalten

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An Environmentally Friendly Kids’ Room With a Reading Nook

In the reworked Harlem townhouse of two actors, young Liv’s 144-square-foot room now boasts a custom play area that comprises a reading nook, a loft bed with a secret passageway that opens just to the left of a built-in desk, and myriad storage options, all designed by Gus Deardoff, a theatrical set designer, and built by Peter Sobierajski of J&P Construction Services.

Photo: Ball & Albanese

Bridged Beds in a Bedroom in New Jersey

Debbi Gibbs’s son Blake had one primary design requirement: bunk beds. Specifically, he wanted "two sets of single bunks, one on each side, with a bridge over the top." Gibbs says the Venetian-style arched bridge connecting the two beds exceeded her expectations: "I was expecting a flat platform, but our builder decided to take Blake’s request (to connect them) and made him his very own Bridge of Sighs."

Photo: Mark Mahaney

A Harry Potter-Worthy Play Area Under a Staircase

The space below the stairs in this revamped Brooklyn brownstone was turned into a cheerful play area for the clients' two boys. "We built an egg shaped 'nook' underneath the staircase, and filled it with soft ‘pebble’ pillows," adds architect Frederick Tang.

Courtesy of Frederick Tang Architecture

A Firepole and Climbing Wall Star in This Children’s Room

When the directors of London–based Scenario Architecture—husband and wife Ran Ankory and Maya Carni—purchased a Victorian terrace house in London, they sought to renovate, expand, and adapt it to suit the needs of their family of four. The children's bedroom has a climbing wall and a fireman's pole for accessing a special hiding spot in the eave of the historic home.

Courtesy of Matt Clayton

A Child’s Bedroom Designed to Look Like a Home’s Exterior

In a home in Los Angeles, a child's bedroom has been outfitted with custom carpeting and millwork, a reading nook under a staircase, a mini door and window, and a magnetic chalkboard wall.

Photo: Greenblott Design

A Plywood Climbing Wall in The English Countryside

In the booming British beach town of Margate, longtime locals Natasha Hart and Oliver Whitmarsh teamed up with newcomer architects RL-a to salvage a 19th-century workers’ lodging. Their son Stan’s bedroom includes a vintage Habitat Skipper bed by Loïck Peyron and a climbing wall designed by Natasha. The plywood finishes are kid-friendly and also affordable.

Photo: Nick Ballon

A Green Reading Nook Snuck Into a Dormer

Austin architect J.C. Schmeil converted his family's 1935 bungalow into a spacious modern family home on a modest budget and with tons of ingenuity. A dormer on the south side of the house contains two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms features a reading loft carved out of the attic space above the dining room. The intersection of the gabled roof and the shed dormers allowed us to wrap large windows around each corner, taking advantage of the "borrowed landscape"—treetop views that root the house to its site.

Photo by J.C. Schmiel

A Kid-Friendly Home is Full of Surprises

Architect Bergendy Cooke, who worked for Zaha Hadid and Peter Marino before returning to her home country in 2007, is an admirer of the strong, sculptural architectural forms that appear in Japanese and Spanish architecture. Outside Queenstown, she put her ideas into practice in a home that would be the benchmark for bc+a studio, her own venture. The combination bunk bed and playhouse is a whimsical gesture the architect designed specifically for her two daughters. The spaces are organized in such a way that they can play independently or together.

Photo: Paul McCredie

A Reading Nook Accessed Via a Climbing Wall and Rope Lead

Designer Erica Islas's Palisades Kids' Room features a rock-climbing wall and rope.

Courtesy of Dwell

A Secret Chute and Ball Pit

For their Orcas Island retreat in Washington, a young couple asked DeForest Architects to create "a place to share with friends, a place for adventure and exploring, being a kid again, cooking together, experiencing nature, and being part of something bigger." A slide tucked into a closet leads to a ball pit below.

Photo: Tim Bies

Photo: Tim Bies

Related Reading:

15 Modern and Creative Spaces For Kids

10 Homes With Nets to Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

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