Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Albert Einstein

Our childhood bedrooms are where we dreamt and played in worlds of our own making. Today, as we become parents ourselves and design spaces for little ones, we’re highly conscientious that these spaces could be the most impactful in our entire home.

After all, it’s where impressionable and imaginative children will spend the majority of their time. So, how does the design of these spaces inform how they grow up? How will they view and shape the world?

At LIV Design Studio, we seek to create functional spaces for both kids and parents that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are uplifting. We’re sharing our favourite design trends for children and teens in 2021 and showing how we’ve used them ourselves in projects.

Children & teen design trends

Pastel surrealism

Cross functionality

Luxe industrial

Digital design

Pastel surrealism

Colours play an important role in all kinds of designs. Being a father, I paid more attention on using soothing hues to create a calming space for kids and for relaxing zones.

Dickson Chu, Senior Interior Designer at LIV Design

By hacking colour psychology to evoke a sense of calm in a space to wind down little ones, we see these creamy pastels as a strong trend for children’s design.

An antidote to screen time, these soothing shades evoke a sense of wellness that brings peace to parents and children alike.

Taking the trend one step further is pastel surrealism. This trend leans into the dreaminess of these shades, blurring the lines between the real world and a child’s world of imagination. Atmospheres that play with scale, depth, curves, and angles to become surrealistic bring a pleasant haze.

Try adding pastels accents with soft, matte finishes and gentle gradients that seem to glow from within. If it reminds you of macaroons or those multi-coloured mini-marshmallows, then you’re going in the right direction.

Further reading 2021 Colours of the Year – Gray & Yellow

Cross functionality

As much as we love kids, many of them are mini-maximalists. Since they hoard toys and abhor minimalism — we can try increasing usable space.

Cross-functional furniture is highly coveted. LIV Design Senior Interior Designer Dickson Chu said that one could try “using a loft bed and lounge seating underneath — can convert the sleeping area into play zone or reading nook if needed.”

Chu also said that “having a kid at home means storage will be an issue. A lot of time, my living room would become a mini toy store with dolls and books everywhere.”

“I think having a functional space with versatile storage design will help a lot,” he said.

The only limit to this trend is your own imagination. Try using textured wall coverings with sound-absorbing fabric to add softness and dampen a noisy playroom. Imagine craft tables that pull down from the wall and soft cushions kids can rearrange to create seating areas.

Luxe industrial

For 2021 the focus is on refining and elevating the clean and minimalist look of the industrial design trend.

Luxurious metallic finishes, accents, clean lines, and tubular forms can take ordinary spaces to the next level. Bring in opulent fabrics, accents, and warm lighting to soften the edges.

Teens especially will adore the statement-making appeal that a touch of luxe industrial flair can bring to their bedrooms — a space where they can express themselves and let their own design preferences be known.

Digital design

Children’s rooms can be a space that feels stuck in time, but current trends update these spaces to reflect the digital realities of today’s world.

“I tend to use a lot more variety of colours in my design after I became a father,” said LIV Design’s Senior Interior Designer. “Probably with inspiration coming from the toys and books I got for my daughter.”

Rather than relegating games and toys, even those centred around technology, to hidden chests, why not incorporate them into the design of your space? Especially for older kids and teens who love gaming, neon hues and shapes that reference their favourite video games and consoles are surprisingly stylish.

Colours inspired by digital worlds and children’s pop culture are as fun as they are on-trend. LIV Design Studio was inspired by the futuristic hue of AI Aqua to anchor our digital colour palette at the Burnaby Presentation Centre floral installation.

Here, we used colour as a medium to bridge technology with wellness and culture. The same can be done in all manner of kids’ and teens’ rooms.

LIV Design Studio projects

Children’s illustrated wallpaper

Brentwood display suite

Burnaby presentation centre children’s room

Children’s illustrated wallpaper

Children's Room Design

A private project for LIV Design Studio, this custom-designed illustrated wallpaper brings to life a child’s curiosity for science and technology.

LIV Design Studio’s Illustrator Mariana Ikuta created customized wallpaper for the project. “The idea was to illustrate famous characters and animals as if they were in space,” she said.

“The lack of gravity gave a surreal context that was really fun to play with. I tried to give specific scenes for each character that could give more context of their story and personality.”

My childhood bedroom was quite tiny and didn’t have many interesting things around the walls. I created small little worlds of toys under the bed though.

Mariana Ikuta, LIV Design Illustrator

One design challenge the team encountered was a limited colour palette defined by production restrictions.

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The palette was informed by the context of being in space. Additionally, each character’s spacesuit and helmet focused the colour choices even more.

The resulting look recalls the same creativity that a child might have that’s limited to the colours of their 20-pack of crayons.

Brentwood display suite

Our award-winning Brentwood Display Suites featured rooms for children and teens that showcase a few of 2021’s design trends. First, the cross-functional bedroom and playhouse adds incredible dimensionality to the space.

The luxe industrial colour palette and furnishings in the teen room give grown-up appeal while still having plentiful soft textures and a fairy tale mood.

Metallic accents attract the eye while a unique wall design adds personality to the space.

Burnaby presentation centre children’s room

A playful room where little ones can roam popped up at the Concord Metrotown display suite inside the Burnaby Presentation Centre recently.

After an FF&E light renovation, our team updated the furniture and accessories in the display suite. As a result, the children’s room feels unstaged, creating a hyperrealistic setup complete with an abundance of cuddly toys and an obsession for animals and dinosaurs. It’s just like a real child’s bedroom, although perhaps with less clutter on the floor.

Invisible safety features protect little ones in this environment. For example, children’s rooms should always favour furniture with rounded corners and soft edges. Additionally, children who toss and turn at night are at risk of tumbling out of bed — better to pad the area with rugs just in case.

Finally, understated luxurious industrial influences found in finishings and furnishings create an overall cohesive look.

There’s more to children’s design to explore. Peruse our designer-curated LIVtrending: Children’s Room Design Pinterest board and follow us on Instagram for the latest design inspiration.

Further reading LIV Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2021

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