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Transforming the girls’ room into a creative and restful space

From a chaos of soft toys, games and knick-knacks to a creative space with a harmonious colour palette and attractive, practical storage solutions. Step inside Noemi’s and Mimmi’s charming bedroom and play space!

Text: Charlotta Flinkenberg  Photos: Nina Karlsson

The family is sitting on a bench.

This is where we live

Martha Elinoff, age 42, interior architect and designer. Her husband Jahja Zeqiray, urban development specialist. Daughters Noemi and Mimmi, ages seven and four. The family lives in a large turn-of-the century apartment in the Haga district of Gothenburg.

See how the children’s room was transformed

From a chaotic jumble of toys on the floor

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The storage space needed to accommodate clothes, toys and crafting materials

Seven and four year-old sisters Noemi and Mimmi share a bedroom in the apartment where they live. Martha and Jahja felt they needed to bring order to the charming chaos in their daughters’ room, which was constantly cluttered with the girls’ toys and clothes.

“We needed help finding a solution for the girls’ room that would work for all their activities all hours of the day. Storage was an absolute priority and needed to accommodate clothes, toys and crafting materials,” explains the girls’ mum, Martha, who works as an interior architect.

 

 

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Different ages, different needs

Before the transformation, there was a bunkbed and jam-packed, standalone wardrobes from IKEA in the room. Along with other storage items placed here and there. The three-year age difference between the girls meant they shared some ideas and wishes for their room, while Noemi, who is older, wanted to keep the arts and crafts corner where she can sit quietly drawing and doing her homework.

“After we and the girls expressed our needs and wishes for the room, we gave Elfa carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. We moved out for a week to our holiday home abroad during the transformation process, leaving Jannice and Christine Dahlman from Elfa to work undisturbed on the makeover of the room.”

To a creative calm with attractive and functional storage solutions

Children’s room with wall-hung shelves from Elfa with toys, and the bottom shelf serving as a desk.

Martha, what were your reactions when you saw the room?

“My husband and I were shown first. The room was completely transformed. It was a truly positive experience! The room now exudes a feeling of calm and order that is easy to maintain amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With Elfa’s system, everything in the room harmonises in a way that we hadn’t managed to achieve. The room feels comfortable and practical. The girls have lots of things but they don’t need to be visible all the time now. It’s easy to tidy things away and the girls can be more helpful now than before. The new colours have really created a fresh look!”

The wardrobe has three sections

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Clothes on either side

The girls each have an end section in the wardrobe in which to keep their clothes. They share the middle section as a space for keeping toys, games, crafting materials, dolls, instruments and other items.

It is important that the girls’ things are within easy reach and close at hand. If the girls find it difficult to reach items, they’ll be pulled out of the wardrobe but not put back. It is also important to be able to store things away behind shut doors to bring a sense of tranquility and calm to the room.

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The middle section is for toys, puzzles and books

The walls were painted in soft sky blue.

“We were eager to look behind the sliding doors and were surprised by how much storage space there was. Goodness, it was filled floor to ceiling with so many things! The standalone wardrobes that we used to have did not make use of the full height of the room and they gathered dust on top,” says Martha.

Children’s room with Elfa wardrobe, containing drawers and shelves with toys.

Colour schemes for children’s rooms

Children’s rooms need space for play, creativity and stimulation. They should also have a calming vibe that promotes rest and sleep. A room can be colourful and playful without being decorated in neon pink. Some colours make us blink more often, cause our pulse to quicken and are therefore not conducive to good sleep. The pale blue has a hint of blackness in it that gives the room an all-encompassing feel. The white of the shelving system is repeated in the stucco work and other interior features, exuding a sense of serenity. Soft subtle shades of pink, rust, mustard and petrol blue were then added.

More inspiration for children’s rooms
Wall-hung shelves from Elfa with toys and drawing materials with the bottom shelf serving as a desk.

Lifting things off the floor

The wall-hung shelving offers a really practical solution as it can be easily adjusted to different heights so the girls can sit drawing, reading and being creative next to each other.

“We decided to put all desk storage on one wall to achieve a tidy, organised space instead of spreading out the items that are used every day. The girls can hang their bags and things on the handy hook racks on the side of the shelves in the desk section, so they aren’t scattered all over the home,” Christine explains.

View the shelving system
Children’s room with wall-hung shelves from Elfa with toys, and the bottom shelf serving as a desk.

Jannice explains that it is necessary to take the layout and energy flow of the room into account when arranging the furniture.

“ No one feels comfortable sitting at a desk with their back to the door. Here, the girls can see what’s going on in the hallway outside their room. The same with the beds, which are positioned so that the girls have eye contact and can also see the entrance to their room.”

– The girls don’t want to leave their room now!

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“The girls were delighted by the makeover. It’s as though they have a brand new room,” says Martha.

Perhaps the most important question is what the girls think of the makeover.

“Oh, they were so happy and astonished and a bit speechless. They put their hands over their friends’ eyes when they came over after the makeover, then opened the door and said “surprise”, just like we did with them.”

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Hang standards and melamine shelves can be adjusted to suit the needs of the children as they grow.

The girls have also surprised their friends’ parents in the same way and everyone is impressed by the organised storage system in the room.

“The girls find it so much easier to stick to their routines now. For example, they can put their pens in the compartments on the wall board in front of them when they’re sitting at the desk,” Martha tells us.

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“ The girls don’t want to leave their room now. They used to spend more time in the living room. Now they just want to be in their room. Fantastic and practical as it makes everyday life that much easier for the whole family!”

The children’s room before and after

Christine Dalman and Jannice Wistrand in a children’s room with Elfa storage solutions.

The experts solved the challenges

Jannice Wistrand, an interior designer and Feng Shui consultant, describes the challenges that the makeover of the girls’ room presented:

“I reacted immediately to the bunkbed, which was disrupting the calm. It squeaked and creaked and created a sense of insecurity. When children get a bit older, they want their own place. The room was a mess and full of clutter.”

Elfa’s storage expert Christine adds:

“The layout of the room was a challenge with two beautiful windows on one wall, which made it impossible to have any storage there. There were a lot of things that were a visual distraction for the girls.”

To the planning tool

Jannice’s top tips for children’s rooms

  • Choose bedspreads in a uniform colour to convey a feeling of calm, and cushions and duvet covers with a patterned design
  • Keep the colour scheme cohesive but vary the shapes, for example, of the pouffes for a playful look
  • The gliding mesh drawers in the wardrobe are fitted with clear label holders
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Flexible storage for growing kids

Tips on storage solutions and smart products that help keep things tidy in the kids room

Go to inspiration
Allie writing at her desk, which is part of a storage solution from Elfa.

Allie’s custom storage for her teen bedroom

Niki Brantmark is behind the popular design blog My Scandinavian Home. See how she used Elfa’s click-in system to turn a child’s bedroom into a teen’s room.

Allie’s makeover