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Cool Boys Bedrooms

18th September 2015

By Interior Designer Pippa McIlduff

Boys’ bedrooms don’t need to be big, expensively decorated or tidy (!!) but they do need to be ‘cool’! Cool to parents isn’t necessarily what is cool to their adorable, dirty-kneed rascals. These gorgeous mini men have countless ever-changing obsessions and interests. As parents you are tasked with making their individual hideouts cool and acceptable to the latest fad!! However, many of you style conscious parents don’t want to view Disney cars and the latest explosion of plastic paraphernalia shipped in from China on a daily basis. You want every room in your house to be kind on your weary sleep deprived eyes! Here is the ultimate list for achieving the bedroom of your little man’s dreams.



The first rule for the confused uncool parent is to involve their son. Their room (yes, your house but their room!) absolutely has to be individual to them. The brainstorming session will dictate if you are going down a particular theme or a colour route. It’s ok to subtly guide them along your path of thought! One client’s son was determined to have an all out army theme that just didn’t ‘fit’ with her desires. I was tasked with delicately guiding him and he was delighted with the Harlequin fabric featuring retro fighter planes and helicopters that I found. He even got to choose his own colourway so the rest of the room was designed around this theme and colour. Another client’s son just wanted blue, everything blue! I suggested we combine his chosen colour with his all time favourite thing in the world, dogs! We searched for dog fabric and found one he loved in multiple colourways. Once his decision was made, I was able to choose the blue tone for the walls and accent colours for the accessories.

These are just two examples of how you can successfully select a design concept that pleases everyone, young and old.

Whether you start with a theme, aka the latest infatuation, or a colour, you will soon see how you can combine the two, if so wished. The possibilities are endless! I love blue and it goes brilliantly with red and/or white. For an extra cool factor team it with silver! Many army prints also come in blue hues as well as the usual green and brown. Blues scream Nautical but personally I think these are maybe best for nurseries rather than cool boys’ rooms. Green and white fit well with most sporting themes (rugby, football, golf, tennis and cricket). Brown and taupe lend themselves to tie with army accessories and can be brightened up with almost any other colour. They go brilliantly with explorer themes with colour added by giant wall world maps. Boys love grey and black especially teenagers! Tone them down with white and/or accent with bright orange, red or electric yellow. Denim is an old favourite and a goodie for boys of all ages. It looks fab with most colours, especially red. When mixed with baseball and vintage sports memorabilia it’s a real winner. Gingham of any colour (except pink) is a real go to for stylish parents but it’s really not that cool in boys’ eyes. Opt for multicoloured checks instead.



Plain walls and curtains/blinds are the best way to go for the child who is going to want to change their room theme frequently. Then it’s just a matter of changing accessories which can be done relatively cheaply. When no theme is chosen a fun way to inject some interest is by colour blocking. It can be as simple as painting a broad stripe around the walls. You could paint a feature wall or an alcove a different colour or you can really have some fun and add shapes and multiple colours. Choose washable paint for longevity against the inevitable dirty marks (boys will be boys!). Don’t forget that furniture and accessories can add to the colour blocking effect and curtains can also be colour blocked. Try using carpet tiles in different colours to add stripes or patterns. This is the perfect excuse to be as bold and as brave as you dare, and get cool parent credits while you’re at it! I’m not a huge fan of wallpaper in kid’s rooms, although there are some really cool ones out there for boys. It can be costly to redecorate when they have grown out of it or if it gets ripped or marked during a rough play session with friends!



No one likes a room that is over themed and makes your eyes hurt because everywhere you look is something with a black and white football or dinosaur on it!! The key is to not over accessorise or the room will look cluttered once your “tidy’ son adds in his own bits and bobs. The best way is to incorporate your son’s treasures into the scheme. Get some picture frames and shelves that complement your design and display his things at the same time. I absolutely love wall art for boys. There are some really cool websites such as that provide an array of self-adhesive vinyl stickers, perfect for a feature wall. These can really tie a theme together. My favourites at the moment are mono-colour world maps and graffiti stickers that can be easily removed without damaging the wall. For some really cool accessories like burger beanbags, pineapple lamps and cowboy pegboards take a look at



Boys have a thing about high beds and every child needs a desk and somewhere to ‘stuff’ their clothes. Bunk beds with a sofa, double bed or desk underneath are great, especially if space is tight. A sturdy desk with plenty of space for storage and a notice board is a must. Plan ahead and invest in versatile bed/study area systems that can be adapted over the years. Boys love a comfy chair, sofa or beanbag to lounge on while contemplating the world or how to master Minecraft! Protect your little darling’s eyes and incorporate task lighting for studying and reading in bed and soft lighting for chilling out. Large cupboards are great to stash clothes, toys, sports equipment and other junk out of sight. At the moment I adore metal lockers, they give a real vintage cool look and are very practicable.


Hopefully I have shown that by careful planning you can have a stylish boys room that doesn’t clash with the rest of the house and is considered cool by your little Jedi Knight - May the force be with you ……..!

To avail of interior designer Pippa McIlduff visit



1. A useful retro metal locker storage unit and an excellent example colour blocking on the wall. 
2. A great example of the combination of blue, red and white, accessorised with silver for that extra cool factor! Great storage and study space are included in this roo
3. An example of colour blocking in different tones of the same colour, for an understated injection of colour
4. Orange and white are used to break up the black. Black retro locker drawers add to the colour scheme and would appeal to any teenage boy.
5. A calm space decorated with plain walls and accented with denim. The vintage sports memorabilia teamed with leather and metal would be deemed cool by boys of all ages.
6. Cool graffiti wall sticker that can be easily removed.
7. These self-adhesive vinyl wall stickers come in endless designs and colours.

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