This Space-Themed Kids Bedroom Has an Affordable Rug Hack You Can Totally Steal

published Oct 19, 2021
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Credit: Curated Nest

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Name: Jordan, 2 ½ years old

Location: Basking Ridge, NJ

Jordan’s parents knew that when he transitioned from a crib to a big-kid bed, he’d need an equally special space — no pun intended — to call his own. Understandably, the parents were nervous about their little one’s life change, so they wanted to mark the occasion in a fun, exciting way. Enter: a space room with a deep blue wall, custom furniture, and a bonus reading nook filled with starry constellations to spark the imagination. 

When Jordan’s parents approached Erin Coren and Lina Galvão, their go-to designers and co-founders of Curated Nest, the group (including 2-½-year-old Jordan) brainstormed the best way to approach the room’s theme. Jordan loved robots and spaceships, so a space theme was a natural choice. “We tried to bring in the theme more in the accessories than in the design itself,” Erin says. “The wallpaper in the nook is the most overt, semi-permanent feature. The rest can be changed out when he gets older! We like doing it this way with kids’ rooms, because their interests change every five minutes, so the foundation of the space can be neutral and flexible.”

Credit: Curated Nest

The family home is rather large — they moved from a small apartment in Jersey City out to Basking Ridge, NJ — so the spaces were all a bit sprawling. The door swings were also all over the room, making for a potentially odd layout. For Jordan’s room, it was important to create a sense of zones to mediate the space challenges and traffic patterns. Naturally, the dormer window lended itself to a special reading nook, with acrylic shelving and cushions for long afternoons spent with books. One dormer window can feel a bit out of place, so the Curated Nest designers embraced the nook as a separate yet complementary space. The curtains can close the nook off from the rest of the room, giving it another layer of coziness. Erin says, “Play doesn’t always have to be active. This is Jordan’s quiet time nook.”

Another feature that grounds the space of the room is the playhouse, a miniature version of the house beds that are so immensely popular right now. Erin compares it to a tiny bonus room: it feels perfectly enclosed, yet still integrated into the larger space. “The playhouse really anchors the space,” she says. It’s great for sleepovers, when it can actually function as a bed, but for everyday play, it’s perfect for playing with figurines, hide-and-seek games, or an interactive playhouse. 

Credit: Curated Nest

Jordan’s actual bed is a completely custom design from Monte Design, a family-owned company specializing in furniture for families (they’re known for their gliders!). “People love this bed!” Erin says. “It’s hard to find companies that put so much quality and differentiation in their kids’ furnishings.” Everything from the piping to the bed height can be hand selected and manufactured to the client’s needs. Erin loves using upholstered beds in her kids’ spaces; they tend to add a moment of softness and comfort. She advises looking for performance fabrics to keep furniture in peak condition.

Rugs are incredibly important in kids’ spaces, the designers insist. “Kids are always on the floor, so it’s important to have an area where they can play safely and comfortably, which is what we want to encourage — independence and learning through play.” One way that the designers at Curated Nest embraced the floor plan of the room was by using carpet tiles from Flor to create a large rug that covers most of the room. Many kids’ spaces — especially basement play spaces — tend to be awkwardly sized, so floor tiles are an affordable and sustainable option. Because you don’t have to wash the whole rug, only the piece that has gotten stained, the rugs last so much longer. 

Erin likes also layering a rug for visual interest — another way to bring in the theme without investing in something that’ll pain you to replace in a few years. When I asked her about whether it’s possible to place rugs on carpeting, she replied, “It can work, but you have to pay attention to the pile height of the rug and carpet. You have to be careful, because it affects how the rug lays. Use a flat weave rug with a low pile, then make sure there’s furniture on it to anchor it to the ground. The best carpet to layer on is a tight, low-pile carpet.”

Credit: Curated Nest

Other sweet touches include the soft yet modern rocking chair from Article and a custom dresser from Newport Cottages. The Curated Nest designers asked the family-owned company to match the paint color of the deep blue statement wall paint, to create a sense of unity in the room. If you choose to DIY, consider using the same paint in a couple places, so the room feels more integrated as a whole. One of the biggest design challenges can come in color matching; rather than picking two colors that may clash because they are just a little off, Erin suggests using a different shade of a paint color. “Go to a hardware store and pick your two colors from the same fan deck of paint — choose a hue in the same gradation, so their tones match up.” 

Finally, the room is tied together with some whimsical art and wall hangings. For the hexagonal shelving on the navy wall, Erin says, “We arranged the shelves like a molecule or maybe even a constellation. It reminded us of the overall science theme — I was a bio major and we had to memorize molecules … they looked just like this.” The vintage robot wall art is selected from Etsy and the planet art is from Oopsie Daisy, a fine art store especially made for kids.

As Jordan’s interests evolve, the space room may become something different, but it will be no less special. By ensuring that the room has great roots and sturdy, lasting furniture, the designers at Curated Nest know they can layer on more details, replacing that which Jordan’s outgrown, while remaining true to the fun and excitement that originally inspired the space.