This Cute Kids’ Room Relies on Colorful Stacking Crates to Store Toys and Trinkets

published Jun 27, 2023
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Designing a kids’ room is about so much more than simply selecting the best peel-and-stick wallpaper, finding the perfect designer-recommended desk, or mapping out a DIY mural. While those decisions are important (and fun!), considering how a kid will play in their space is also a great place to start. 

Take it from Clare O’Connell, founder of POP Bakery, who designed her child, Daniel’s, bedroom in their colorful London apartment. “My main aim was to make it [Daniel’s bedroom] aesthetically pleasing to me, but for it to really seem like a used and lived-in play area, rather than a room with too many things on display not being used.” 

So, O’Connell set out to make Daniel’s room a bright, wondrous space where his imagination could flourish — and his toys played a huge part in that. “I’ve always loved old toys,” O’Connell writes. “I get it from my mum, who used to be a childminder, and the playroom she had in our house was amazing. Filled with new and old toys.”

On Choosing Stackable Plastic Crates for Toy Storage

When Daniel was younger, O’Connell thought outside the box when it came to storing toys. “In terms of tips, the only one I could share is thinking about kids’ toy storage a little differently,” O’Connell wrote at the time of her house tour. “Not getting the obvious ugly boxes. I use old baskets and wooden trays — they look prettier scattered around his room than your more typical kids’ storage units or tubs would, I think!”

And that suited O’Connell and Daniel for a while — especially when she was in charge of organizing the toys. However, as Daniel’s gotten older, she’s had to reimagine her trinket storage ideas once again. “I now have a very messy 2-year-old who also has accumulated a lot of toys,” O’Connell shares about Daniel now. “I’ve now moved on to the coloured stacking boxes, which fit a decent amount of toys and stack nicely and can be put on shelves.” O’Connell purchased the larger version of Kidly’s Aykasa crates (they come in mini and midi sizes) to hold Daniel’s toys. There are also several fun colors to choose from, but do note, they are only available in the UK! (Their US site is closed.)

O’Connell emphasizes how important storage solutions are for kids’ bedrooms, and she says it’s been challenging to find affordable options for a kid’s height. (She mentions that many people she knows have purchased products from IKEA for toy storage.) 

“It’s actually something Daniel’s room is missing — storage that’s at his level so he can independently access his own toys,” O’Connell writes. “As great as the String shelving is, I have to get things down for him. Although saying that, unless you have a very large room, you do sometimes have to go vertically with storage!”

While Daniel’s favorite thing about his space is the toys, O’Connell shares that she appreciates the room’s carefully curated vibrancy. “My favourite thing is probably the way the colours and patterns work together,” she writes. “The pop of red coming from the toadstools and blinds against the more subtle blue and orange on the walls. Also, the clash of the stripes with the floral I love.”

Shop Similar Toy Storage Options

1 / 4
was $14.00

If you like the industrial look of the crates that O’Connell purchased for Daniel’s room — the Recycled Colour Crates from HAY are a close pick.

2 / 4
Five Below

Five Below’s large collapsible storage crate comes in white, black, and a multi-colored colorway to complement any space — and it only costs $5.55.

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Urban Outfitters
was $8.00

The Felix Folding Storage Crate from Urban Outfitters comes in two sizes (small and medium) and eight colors. It’s collapsible so you can easily and discreetly put it away when you’re not using it for toy storage.

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West Elm

Choose from three sizes (small, medium, and large) of West Elm’s Folding Storage Crate. They’re stackable, foldable, and come in several bright colors to mix and match.

On Dreaming up a Bright Nursery for Daniel

The starting point of designing Daniel’s bedroom was picking Ottoline wallpaper in the pattern “Chintz Constance in Marigold,” which was O’Connell’s proudest design decision at the time of the house tour. “I like the colour combination of blue and orange and liked that it was a sort of half-floral pattern,” O’Connell writes. “Not overly chintzy (despite its name being chintz!), but also girly enough to satisfy me!”

But the colors in Daniel’s room didn’t stop at the bold-patterned wallpaper. The vintage posters added pops of color, while the Ian Mankin red and white striped blinds pulled it all together. O’Connell admits that she sees Daniel’s toys as decoration pieces, like the red toadstools on the fireplace mantel. 

“I actually even started buying old toys, like the vintage high chair and old school posters, before I was even pregnant from car boot sales,” O’Connell says. “It was always my most exciting room to decorate, so I started early!”

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