Creative Family Home: Quirky ideas for children’s bedrooms


Designer and stylist Ashlyn Gibson is an effortlessly cool and original home-maker. As well as her quirky, beautiful house she also owns and runs a family lifestyle shop in north London and has recently launched her first book. In Creative Family Home (Ryland, Peters & Small) Ashlyn delves into the heart and soul of twelve homes that capture the zeitgeist in family living and celebrate the magic of childhood, from babes-in-arms to pre-teens. "A creative home is a work in progress," she says. "It’s a place of originality and humour, that’s shaped by the children who live there, as well as the grown-ups." We take a closer look at some of these homes and see what happened when five young thinkers were given the freedom to express themselves and create a funky bedroom of their own...

1. A selection of paper lampshades bunched together shines plenty of light in this attic bedroom (above). Elements that would normally be found outside, such as the swing, make this a magical place to play, alone or with friends, while dressing-up clothes hung on the tree-shaped coat-stand make instant props for games.

2. The bleached colours of an old Ektachrome print (below) create a dreamy atmosphere in this feminine bedroom. The bed was designed for the space and incorporates lots of storage. A small den underneath, made homey with crocheted blankets and cushions is a favourite hideaway.


3. Soft colours and floral prints equal an enchanting little girl’s bedroom. Inherited wooden furniture has been upcycled with tea-rose pink paint, the mirror from the wardrobe door replaced with textured fabric to make it less imposing and kitsch rabbit and toadstool night-lights bathe the room in a gentle glow at bedtime.


4. A crocheted blanket provides a traditional feel in this boy’s room, together with the vintage desk and chair - car-boot-sale treasures with private storage compartments. The exposed pendant light gives a modern spin, as does the IKEA storage unit personalised with a découpage of comic-book tearsheets.


5. The mix of new and old in this bedroom evokes a sense of nostalgia with a modern twist. A foldaway mattress slips under the bed, at the ready for sleepovers or games of roly-poly, while crates, boxes and baskets on the shelves are filled with art materials, musical instruments and dressing-up clothes.


Images taken from the book, Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson, published by Ryland Peters & Small

Photographer Rachel Whiting


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Ruth Corbett, Guest Editor

View all posts by Ruth Corbett, Guest Editor