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A place made for play – from idea to finished room

An IKEA home is made for having people in it – even when it’s created in a photo studio. See how ideas and function turn into a child’s room, full of life and ready for play.

A child’s room visually dominated by a back wall with painted mountains. Reversible bed, wall bars, toys, various storage.
A child’s room visually dominated by a back wall with painted mountains. Reversible bed, wall bars, toys, various storage.
Head-and-neck, black-and-white sketch of interior designer Sara Zetterström; smile, long hair worn up in a high bun.

Meet the designer

When interior designer Sara Zetterström takes on a new room, she has few but important facts to go on. “Regardless if it’s for a studio shoot or an actual home, my idea starts with who is going to live there. In this case, it’s a five-year-old. Real person or not, I go through much the same steps,” says Sara. From there, piece by piece, the end result takes shape.

“The best part of my job is seeing all the pieces come together, forming a whole. Here I like how the airy theme is backed by sky-blue walls, and furniture in light colours and blond wood. Also, an important factor in a kids room is that it should work over time. That the functional and safety thinking – like a soft mat beneath the wall bars – is matched to the age of the child. At five, the bed can be near the floor, which is good for bedtime reading and feels safe. In a year or two, it can be turned upside down and become a loft bed.” (See top and bottom pictures for low and high bed positions.)

Climbing up the walls

To Sara, a uniting thought is key in the creative process. For this room, she came up with a literally high-flying one – air and altitude – an idea that is reflected in the choices throughout the room. Like a deliberately irregular shelving unit that becomes one with the mountains painted on the wall behind it.

Every surface is a playground

“What type of room is it? It’s a basic enough question, but so many choices depend on it. In a child’s room, opportunity to play is central. It means creating spaces and storage to make play accessible, and adding details to spark creativity and joy. And, above all – not getting too serious.”

A bedside bag of necessities

“The needs of a child are, of course, different from a grown-up. Some things are obvious, others more subtle. Like is a bedside table really necessary here – or is a net bag on a knob a better way to keep important things close?”

Start with function, as in how can the room best serve everyday needs. Then try to find a connecting theme that matches the interests or personality of the person living there – something to make the room unique.

Sara Zetterström, IKEA interior designer

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.