Are you at the stage where you’re contemplating turning your child’s nursery into a toddler bedroom? Blue Almonds, the renowned baby and nursery boutique in Chelsea, which has long been known for its exquisite furniture and accessories, has launched a virtual interior design service in collaboration with Kids Rule Interiors, which means that customers can have a consultation from the comfort of their own homes.

Customers who have fallen in love with Blue Almonds’ pieces but aren’t sure how they will fit into their design theme or space, which colours to use, or simply how to lay out their child’s room, can enlist Kids Rule Interiors’ founder Dominique Lyons’ expertise for a flat fee of £350.

As a former buildings archaeologist and more recently nursery practitioner, Dominique has the knowledge and experience to ensure that a baby or child’s space needs to be functional as well as stylish.

Dominque has shared some exclusive tips and ideas with us about how to transition a nursery into a toddler room.

When is the right time?

This always depends on your child but typically it tends to take place between 18 months to three years. As a parent, only you know when your child is ready to leave his cot. Safety comes first and so it’s best to wait until your little one is ready to leave the cot before transitioning the space.

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Plan for change and design for growth

I recommend that my customers choose a cot bed when they set up their nursery as it transforms into a toddler-sized bed, so is much better value for money. Your child will also see the bed as totally new once the sides have been removed and it will provide an extra sense of excitement about the new look room.

It is a good idea to consider removing larger pieces of furniture such as rocking or nursing chairs to create more floor space for play. I also think the addition of a reading corner which you can make extra cosy with a canopy helps define a space. If you include child-height toys, books and clothes storage, this can encourage your child to be more independent and create a space in which they can thrive.

A good tip is to invest in a chest of drawers with a removable changing table so it can adapt with your child. Neutral and multi-purpose furniture that can grow with your child needs to be something you consider when initially setting up the nursery.

Schemes that have longevity

I always encourage my customers to think ahead when choosing the colour scheme for a room and the theme. I love colour but it can sometimes be overwhelming and can date quickly, so I would suggest using something like removable wall art and stickers instead. You can further define a theme using accessories that can easily be changed and updated.

There are some themes that can be long-lasting and can develop with your child. For example, a safari theme can be represented by cute animal wall decals and lamps in a nursery, and for toddler space you can look to introduce more foliage, contemporary lamps and extra storage and for a pre-teen room, it can become a tropical paradise with foliate wallpaper and even neon flamingos over a study space!

Plan the layout: create zones and space

A certain amount of planning in terms of the layout of a toddler room is required. For example, are the construction toys and small world toys stored in an accessible way for your child? Are crayons and paper within easy reach of a child-sized table and chair? If not, toddlers will draw on something else!

If you create a reading nook, make sure that the books are within reach. Front-facing bookshelves are great for toddlers and can double up as a decorative feature for artwork for school-age children.

A well-functioning room will mean that your child gets more pleasure from the space and will want to spend more time there.

Make it clearly theirs

Adding artwork and other possessions at your child’s eye level will immediately give your child a sense of belonging and ownership. You should use their existing bedsheets where possible when moving from the cot bed to the toddler-bed, to help ease the transition.

Try to let your child help you with the conversion to their ‘new’ toddler room so they can take home ownership of it. Include them in the design process, let them pick out accessories and colours and make a new piece of artwork to display in their new room.

By making it a cosy and exciting space for them they will not only want to spend more time in their room, but they will also look forward to sleeping in their own bed.

Add some name art to your toddler’s room to further help them feel ownership of the space and which can also help them learn to recognise their name.

I hope these tips and ideas have given you some useful guidance when it comes to transitioning to the new space and to find out more please visit Blue Almonds.

By Dominique Lyons, Kids Rule Interiors  

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