From Runway to Room: How to Translate Kid’s Fashion into Your Interior

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Images: The Boo and the Boy (Left), Media Cache (Right)

I don’t have kids just yet, but I find myself wildly attracted to kids clothing. There’s a certain freedom that comes with designing for kids—brighter colors, bolder patterns, and an unapologetic nod to history that creates such whimsy. Translated into a room, these same elements spark the imaginations of both kids and adults and foster an atmosphere perfect for growing minds. Just how do you create this effect? Read on…

1. Identify what it is that you love about the garment.

Is it the pattern? The colors? The scale? The texture? Identify what it is and then focus on that element for your room and make it the focal point. For example, the top image shows a girl in a bright colored coat in an oversized floral pattern. The corresponding room contains a canvas covered in a bright colored floral fabric, which becomes the focal point of the room. The other colors and patterns in the space all support the main canvas.

2. Don’t feel the need to translate everything from the garment.

Images: Yuimade (Left), Katy Elliot (Right)

Images: Good Housekeeping (Left), Gilt (Right)

Perhaps there’s only one part of the look that you really want to focus on. If it’s the blue stripes, like in the picture above, just use blue stripe bedding. Don’t feel the need to plaster the walls in blue and white stripes and blue and white flooring. Or maybe it’s the blue gingham that translates nicely into curtains. Remember, restraint is your friend.

3. Stay authentic to the style of the clothing.

Black and White Kids Rooms
Images: La Princesse au petit pois (Left), Paul & Paula (Right)

It’s simple enough to look at this dress above and create a simple black and white room, but just as important to the colors is the feeling and style. The old-fashioned peasant dress inspires this black wooden French sleigh bed. The room is updated with various neutrals and a modern floor lamp to warm up the space. Or maybe you’re in love with the graphic nature of the pop of the yellow skirt, above, combined with the striped shirt. Take these clean patterns and focus on the feeling they create like in the corresponding bedroom. The polka dot wallpaper is still very graphic yet clean in nature.

Yellow and Black Kids Rooms
Images: Pirouette (Left), Muses of Design (Right)

4. Use the main color palette as the base and build from there.

Pastel Kids Rooms
Images: Neeed (Left), Dreams and Wishes (Right)

This pastel pink long-sleeved shirt is the perfect inspiration of the pastel bedroom on the left. Though there isn’t blue in the shirt, the bedroom takes that shade of pink and pairs it nicely with harmonizing slate blues and greys.

Has this given you any ideas of how to decorate a kid’s room? Have you ever tried this technique? What’s your favorite kid’s garment? Do tell!

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.