Decorating tips that will make your kids love their room

4 min read

This year’s House Rules’ winners, Luke and Cody, share some inspirational tips for transforming a bedroom into fun central for kids.

The 2016 winners of the reality renovation television show House Rules, twins Luke and Cody Cook shared a bedroom until they were 17 and assert it’s good for kids’ bonding: they’re the living proof! The guys are certainly on the same page when it comes to fresh and practical ideas for creating a kids’ space that’s their own and fun to hang out in.

Here’s their approach to kids’ décor 101.

Clear the room and map it out

“Put tape on the floor and work out where to put things and how big to have them,” Cody advises, “Beds, storage, shelving: mark it out and walk around the space to make sure there’s enough clearage.” Take measurements so that you know what you’re working with when you go shopping.

Start with the wall treatments

Paint can provide an economical option for transforming a room and you can get the kids involved with the colour scheme. But the twins warn against going overboard with decor that your children may grow out of in a year’s time. Instead, they recommend creating a feature wall that can be changed up as their tastes change. They’re huge fans of Pickawall’s removable feature wall decal murals and wallpaper, especially for rental properties, because they can be peeled off and replaced without damaging the paintwork underneath. And you can keep reapplying them until you get it right. They admit to six attempts at one they used on the show!

Alternatively, Luke suggests getting the kids involved by creating their own artwork, with a blackboard paint treatment – or simply painting their own canvas and mounting it as a focal feature.


“Use accessories in the room to personalise it,” Cody says. “Every kid loves a bean bag. Go to Pinterest to get DIY ideas. We had a great kids’ bedroom on the show where we made shelving out of ropes and timber. You don’t have to spend a fortune either.

“Throw down a fun rug in their favourite colour,” Luke chips in. He also advises installing a ceiling fan to keep the room pleasant in hot weather and customising the light fitting by buying the basics from a hardware store, then painting a lightshade or getting really creative by recessing the light into a suspended second-hand surfboard, for example. 

Storage wars

For storage they stress the importance of accessibility for short people. The Cooks suggest scouring affordable places such as Ikea for flat-pack cubicle shelving and floor-level options. The twins’ theory is that if your kids can reach it they’re more likely to use it. Never make stowing their stuff a challenge by putting storage above their heads. A simple repurposed wooden box can be given a foam-padded, fabric-covered lid to double as a seat and a home for toys.

“Go for soft baskets, scaled-down clothes racks and open shelving so they can reach what they want to wear and choose for themselves,” says Cody. It’s all about making it the kids’ own realm where they can make their own decisions. 

Sleep and sleepovers

While your choice of beds can come down to budget, the Cooks are mindful of maximising the space available and providing sleepover options.

“Bunk beds are the go,” says Luke. “They give you so much more room. A ladder has the potential to add drama to imaginative play too, turning the bunk into a fort, pirate ship or treehouse,” he adds.

“Plus you can get beds with drawers underneath for additional storage,” his twin suggests. “Pull-out trundle beds are great for when an extra person is staying over.” 

Keep changing it up

To refresh the room to reflect your kids’ changing tastes, in addition to reconfiguring a feature wall, the guys suggest simply moving things around. “As kids we used to love to change the layout of our room,” Luke says. It’s another good reason for making the furnishings movable.

Plus, relatively small innovations can be exciting and show your young ones that they matter. “Even a change of doona cover is a big deal for kids!” Cody points out.  

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This information is current as at 07/11/2016

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