IDEALLY, children”™s rooms should be fun, functional and flexible.They should also be safe, make your children feel comfortable and, importantly, keep pace with their age.Ikea interior design leader Christine Gough says it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of making everything perfect for your baby “and rush out and buy things, forgetting they are going to grow up, and quite quickly, too”.She encourages parents to think long term when choosing bigger furniture items and opt for pieces that offer flexibility as your child gets older, such as a change table that can be used as a chest of drawers down the track.media_cameraConsider the child then create zones and areas of interest using furnishings to manage their various needs. PERSONALITY TRAITSWhen kitting out kids’ spaces, Christine suggests as a starting point to consider your child’s personality and interests.“Think about how you’re going to develop the space to reflect who they are and what’s important to them,” she says.Consider what the child will be doing in the room, such as studying, playing music and games, reading or creative activities. Then create zones and areas of interest using furnishings to manage these various needs.Artwork is a fun way to bring colour and life to a space. Look at incorporating your child’s mini masterpieces through an art wall with lightweight frames displayed on a picture ledge, or drawings loosely hung along the wall using wire clips or Washi tape.You might even like to paint one of the walls in chalkboard paint as a way for littlies to express their creative side.And if you are incorporating themes, Christine has this advice: “Look at using items such as rugs, cushions or even textiles that are easy to switch in or out with minimal expense.”media_cameraA bunk bed with a built-in desk and shelving will make a small room feel bigger by allowing kids to pursue multiple activities. STORAGE SOLUTIONSA lack of good storage can lead to messy, cluttered rooms. The first step is to analyse your space, remembering everything a kid does in their room requires some form of storage.Christine suggests installing wall hooks for younger children because they help teach a valuable skill of hanging up coats and bags. With older children, the focus shifts inside the wardrobe, where a flexible fit-out becomes paramount.Younger children might require more shelving and drawers; older children might require more hanging space.Ensure storage — such as boxes with handles — are kept at an appropriate height, so children can manage them on their own.Multifunctional furniture, such as bedside tables and beds with storage, are also handy additions. CREATING COMFORTGood lighting is paramount for children so factor in mood lighting, as well as task lighting, while sheer curtains on windows will help maintain privacy without blocking natural light.Look at softening the space with cushions and comfy seating, such as beanbags. Floor rugs are a good softening option and a spot for children to sit or play.“Soft rugs are beautiful for zoning an area in a room,” Christine says. More:ikea.com.aumedia_cameraWhen space is tight, built-in storage will make it easier for children and adults to share the same living space. Picture: IkeaCASE STUDYSHARE AND SHARE ALIKEThe bane of many parents’ lives is a living room awash with toys and games. But good storage and thoughtful furniture placement can help solve the dilemma.This living room originally had a clunky layout and lack of storage. But since being made over by Ikea interior designers, it offers plenty of storage, plus space for seven-year-old Eli to draw and play with his Lego.A floor rug provides a comfortable place for Eli to sit and play, while a cabinet stores games and toys (and, when the doors are shut, blends into the room). A picture ledge above the cabinet displays Eli’s art.“When redesigning the space, we looked at capturing Eli’s personality in some of the solutions we created,” Christine says.An ottoman at the end of the sofa provides extra seating and concealed storage, while a side table has been positioned so Eli can use it for drawing.