From the cradle to the toddler bed to the backyard playhouse, kids deserve good design. These three projects show how fun patterns, soft textures and streamlined furniture can provide function and style while putting a smile on a child’s face — and yours.

M.A.D. Megan Arquette Design

1. Soft and serene nursery

Designer: Megan Arquette of Megan Arquette Design
Location: Venice Beach, California
Size: 300 square feet (28.9 square meters); 15 by 20 feet

Homeowners’ request: Turn a rarely used guest room into a peaceful nursery for a baby girl

Special features: Hygge & West wallpaper on ceiling; soft textures and cameo pink; angular campaign chest with brass hardware; custom brass and Lucite window treatment hardware

Why the design works: “The large, long windows were ideal for really creating very customized and detailed window treatments,” says designer Megan Arquette. “Having a high ceiling allowed the ceiling to be covered in a busy pattern without closing in the space.” Meanwhile, brass accents helped make the room more “uptown girl” rather than too sugary, she says.

Window treatments: custom designed by Megan Arquette Design using Brookhaven chambray by Kravet and custom antique brass finish hardware with custom Lucite finials; chair: Wingback swivel glider with Perennials slipcover, Restoration Hardware; floor lamp: Gumball, Urban Outfitters; pendant: Jamie Young Design; crib: Kalon Studios

M.A.D. Megan Arquette Design
Designer secret: “Using soft hues of pinks, grays and cream kept the overall visual effect almost as though you’re seeing it through a scrim,” Arquette says. “The carpet’s soft flokati style mimics this effect through texture. And adding very small touches of warm brass keep the colors from going too cold.”

“Uh-oh” moment: “When we ordered this paper originally, we ordered it in the adhesive-backed ‘tile’ form,” Arquette says. “We didn’t see a cutting prior to the purchase. When it came in, it was far too neon and not at all what we had envisioned. Luckily, Hygge & West are consummate professionals and sent us the regular wallpaper that was exactly the color we had expected.”

Splurges and savings: The homeowners splurged on the custom window treatments and saved by buying the rug and other accessories from big-box stores and overstock retailers.

Also on the team: Dana Thompson (photographer)

Rug:; wall paint: Pensacola Pink, Benjamin Moore; ceiling wallpaper: Day Dream, Hygge & West; dresser: Campaign in Silver Dollar by Benjamin Moore, Mi Vida Vintage
Coats Homes

2. Neutral and graphic toddler room

Designer: Theresa Rowe of Theresa Rowe Interior Design
Location: Dallas
Size: About 230 square feet (21.4 square meters); about 18 by 12½ feet

Homeowners’ request: A playful kid space for a 2-year-old that can evolve over the years

Special features: Gray-and-white Quadrille wallpaper; light, airy and clean-lined furnishings; neutral palette with punches of color through accessories; painted gray windows

Designer secret: “It’s not about a lot of stuff, but about the right stuff,” says designer Theresa Rowe. “A little girl’s room doesn’t need much furniture, so it’s important to be selective when filling the space.”

Also on the team: J Wilson Fuqua (architect); Coats Homes (builder)

See the rest of this home
Bed and table: Oeuf of New York; wall sconce: George Nelson, Design Within Reach; rug: Restoration Hardware; accessories: Calypso Home; toys: Jenni Kayne Home; ceiling paint: All White, Farrow and Ball; window paint: Urbane Bronze, Sherwin-Williams
Tiny Little Pads

3. Bright and colorful playhouse

Designer: Jannicke Ramsø of Tiny Little Pads
Location: Las Vegas
Size: 80 square feet (7.4 square meters); 8 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request: A farmhouse-style playhouse with “a little bit of Norway in the desert of Las Vegas,” says designer Jannicke Ramsø

Special features: Farmhouse style; natural light from several windows; chandelier, kitchen area with outlet for making the family’s famous Norwegian waffles; dining area; living room; painted checkerboard floors; beadboard walls; exterior that matches main house

Why the design works: “Comfort was a must for this playhouse as it was built to be played in and used, and not just to look pretty,” Ramsø says. “Play is all about comfort and being surrounded by an environment that inspires and lets creativity loose. The farmhouse style is down-to-earth and a place where cooking and fun take center stage.”

Designer secret: “Always divide a playspace into zones,” Ramsø says. “This makes the play go on for hours.”

Hardwood flooring: Lumber Liquidators; round table, chairs and play kitchen: Pottery Barn Kids; stools: T.J. Maxx; plate rack: Charleston Antique Mall; storage drawers: Hobby Lobby

Tiny Little Pads
“Uh-oh” moment: “Building a playhouse is like building a house — who knew, right?” Ramsø says. “This playhouse started as a pallet of 10,000 pieces of unpainted wood — nothing pretty about it.” Ramsø spent hours taping and painting the house and trim pieces in contrasting colors. Then, once the insulation and drywall were done, she introduced the farmhouse detailing. “Beadboard walls and stacked window and door trims can’t be just purchased to scale,” she says. “Every single part [was] cut and painted to perfection.”

Splurges and savings: The homeowners saved by buying toys and furniture at consignment stores. They splurged on the toy kitchen appliances.

Playhouse exterior kit: Little Cottage Company; porch: Tiny Little Pads; roofing: GAF; deck chairs: HomeGoods

Original story by Mitchell Parker for Houzz

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