Revamping A NYC Apartment's Kids Room Into A Storage, Study, And Play Oasis

Discover the art of converting a NYC apartment's kids' room into a versatile safe space, harmonizing storage, study, and play in a space-efficient manner.

February 18, 2024


mins to read

Revamping A NYC Apartment's Kids Room Into A Storage, Study, And Play Oasis

Discover various ways to change an NYC apartment's kids room into a multifunctional haven your children will be happy to hang in.


Living in NYC with a young family and growing into your space is not always easy to navigate. Nowhere is this challenge more evident than in the realm of children's rooms, where the need for storage, study, and play areas often competes for every available square inch. For those with less square footage than they’d like in their NYC apartment, a child's room must serve as not just a sanctuary for rest, but a dynamic hub for creativity, learning, and organization.

Not surprisingly, statistics reveal the average size of a New York City apartment is just a fraction of the national average, further highlighting why multifunctional spaces are critical to Big Apple homeowners. When every square foot counts, the transformation of a kid's room into a multifaceted refuge that seamlessly blends storage, study, and play is not just a luxury but a necessity. Join us as we explore the art of transforming your kid’s bedroom in a NYC apartment to a versatile home base they can flourish in for years to come. 

Kids room with custom millwork in NYC condo renovation in Carnegie Hill at 8 East 83rd. View full renovation before and after.

[#Custom]Custom Construction and Furniture: Maximizing Space with Style[#Custom]

When considering how to turn your children’s bedroom into a play haven they can proudly call their own, one of the best ways to leverage space is with custom construction and furniture. Offering practical spatial solutions and evergreen eye appeal, customization in your children’s room will elevate the space exponentially with vertical advantages and superior storage solutions. 

Custom Millwork

Custom millwork provides an ideal answer for utilizing space effectively while adding a sense of sophistication to your New York City apartment. Built-in shelving provides ample storage for toys, books, and other essentials, while under-bed storage units optimize floor space. Closet organization systems can be tailored to your child's needs, ensuring every inch of available space is utilized efficiently. With custom woodwork, you can achieve a seamless integration of functionality and aesthetic appeal, elevating the design of your kid's room to new heights.

Custom Furniture Bunk-Beds

For families with multiple kiddos, bunk beds are a popular choice in NYC apartments, offering both practicality and charm. While some might feel these spacious double-decker beds are visually taxing, there are many innovative bunk bed designs that prioritize safety and functionality without compromising style. Built-in storage compartments and study spaces make the most of vertical space, providing designated areas for play and learning. With custom bunk bed solutions, you can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere your children will love, while also optimizing space for other activities.

Custom Storage Solutions

In a city where every square foot counts, innovative storage solutions are essential for keeping clutter at bay and maintaining a sense of sanity. Thankfully, there are a wide range of kid-friendly custom storage solutions designed to maximize space and minimize chaos. Vertical space utilization is key, with custom shelving units and wall-mounted organizers offering efficient storage. Multifunctional furniture, such as storage ottomans and convertible beds, serve dual purposes, adding function without sacrificing style. 

Custom Desk Construction

A dedicated study area is essential for fostering a productive learning environment in your child's room. Space-efficient built-in desk designs optimize available space, with options for significant storage and adjustable features. Explore customizable desk solutions that can adapt to your child's evolving needs, from elementary school homework to high school projects. With a custom-built desk, you can create a designated workspace that promotes concentration and creativity, setting the stage for success in school and beyond.

Kids bathroom from Manhattan condo renovation at 252 Seventh Ave. View full renovation before and after.

[#Theme]Creative Theme-Based Room Designs for Kids[#Theme]

While most rooms in your home are designed to fall within the overall aesthetic, the kid’s room may be an exception. In order to let their imagination flourish and give them their own sense of individuality, consider overarching design themes for the children’s bedroom. However, remember not to go overboard. I’m looking at you, Paw-Patrol-themed bedroom.  

Exploring Theme-Based Design Elements

Consider the interests and passions of your child when selecting a theme for their room. Whether they dream of embarking on epic adventures, exploring enchanted forests, or hitting a buzzer beater, there's a theme to suit every imagination. Integrate design elements inspired by the chosen theme into furniture, tasteful wall art, and practical accessories to create a cohesive and immersive environment. 

Balancing Theme With Functionality

As mentioned in our blog Interior Design Trends For 2024, it’s vital to create a practical space for growing children that can evolve with their interests over time. While embracing a thematic design is exciting, it's essential to strike a balance between aesthetic appeal and functional requirements. For instance, furniture pieces can be visually appealing, but it’s more important they’re also practical and space-saving. Murals and artwork can be fun, but ensure they’re not based around something your children will phase out of by year’s end. Opt for a theme that not only makes sense now, but long-term. 

Maintaining Style and Sophistication

Elevate the design of your child's room by incorporating sophisticated touches that complement the chosen theme. Choose high-quality materials and finishes for furniture and accessories, ensuring the durability required to withstand years of rough and rugged play. Integrate timeless design elements, such as elegant lighting fixtures or plush area rugs, to add a touch of refinement to the space. By marrying thematic elements with timeless style, you can create a room that not only delights your child but also reflects the thought behind your home.

Kids room with custom bunk beds from our renovation of a Manhattan pre-war apartment at 255 West 108th. View full renovation.

[#Innovative]Innovative Play Area Solutions for Children’s Bedrooms[#Innovative]

Crafting an inviting play space in cramped quarters poses distinctive hurdles for NYC parents. However, by thinking outside the box, there are several approaches to optimize the use of space in your child's bedroom, effortlessly blending play and educational elements to create dynamic and orderly play zones that encourage both creativity and growth.

Organizing Toys and Play Materials

Parents know how quickly messes can materialize, so organizing the chaos that comes with creativity in a compact and accessible manner is essential for maintaining a tidy and functional play area. Utilize vertical space with wall-mounted shelves or hanging organizers to keep toys off the floor and within reach. Invest in storage bins or baskets that can be easily labeled and stacked to streamline cleanup routines. 

Incorporating Educational Elements

Incorporating educational elements into the play area enriches your child's playtime experience and fosters cognitive development. Integrate interactive games and activities encouraging problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills. Instead of bare walls, display educational posters or artwork that spark curiosity and ignite imagination. Create designated learning corners with child-sized desks or tables where your little one can engage in arts and crafts, puzzles, or STEM activities. By seamlessly blending play and learning, you can create a stimulating environment that nurtures discovery.

Restored fireplace from kids room in our gut renovation of a Brooklyn brownstone in Carroll Gardens.

[#Mood]Lighting and Color Schemes: Setting the Mood[#Mood]

Lighting and color play a pivotal role in transforming a NYC apartment's kids room into a multifunctional oasis that caters to study, rest, and play. By implementing innovative lighting solutions and carefully curated color schemes, you can create a harmonious environment that fosters creativity, relaxation, and productivity.

Creating a Conducive Environment with Lighting

Effective lighting design is essential for establishing different zones within the kids' room, each serving a specific purpose. Task lighting, such as adjustable desk lamps or pendant lights, illuminates study areas, providing ample brightness for focused work. Soft, diffused lighting sources, like wall sconces or floor lamps, promote relaxation and bedtime routines, creating a calming ambiance conducive to restful sleep. Incorporating smart lighting solutions, such as dimmable LEDs and color-changing bulbs, offers versatility and flexibility, allowing you to adjust the mood of the room with ease.

Vibrant Yet Calming Color Schemes

Choosing the right color scheme is crucial for setting the mood and atmosphere of the kids' room. Opt for vibrant yet calming hues, such as soft pastels or muted neutrals, that evoke a sense of tranquility and warmth. Incorporate pops of color through accent pieces, such as bedding, rugs, and artwork, to inject personality and visual interest into the space. Consider the psychological effects of different colors—cool tones like blue and green promote relaxation, while warm tones like yellow and orange stimulate creativity and energy.

Utilizing Smart Lighting Solutions

Smart lighting solutions offer unparalleled convenience and customization, allowing you to tailor the lighting ambiance to suit various activities and preferences. Dimmable LEDs enable you to adjust the brightness levels throughout the day, from bright and invigorating during study sessions to soft and soothing during bedtime routines. Color-changing bulbs add a playful element to the room, allowing you to create dynamic lighting effects that reflect your child's mood or the theme of the space. By harnessing the power of smart lighting tech, you can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of the kids' room while creating a sense of comfort and well-being. For more smart home ideas, read our blog Renovations & Technology: 10 Smart Home Remodeling Ideas

Kids room from our complete Manhattan townhouse renovation at 529 East 87th. View full renovation before and after.

[#Choices]Eco-Friendly and Safe Material Choices[#Choices]

Whether you’re revamping the kids room in your NYC apartment from scratch or along the way, prioritizing eco-friendly and safe material choices is paramount. From decor to paint choices, selecting health-conscious materials and kid-appropriate furniture not only promotes a healthy environment but also ensures the well-being of your little ones.

Recommendations for Sustainable and Safe Materials

As mentioned in our blog 3 Tricks For A Kid-Friendly Kitchen Remodel, when selecting materials during any renovation, prioritize sustainable options that are free from potential chemicals and allergens. This is especially the case in your kid’s room. Consider low-VOC or zero-VOC paint options for walls and decorations, ensuring a clean and breathable indoor air quality. Look for furniture made from responsibly sourced wood or bamboo, finished with non-toxic, water-based paints or stains. Choose organic bedding and textiles made from natural fibers, such as organic cotton or linen, to minimize exposure to pesticides and synthetic dyes. 

Ensuring a Healthy and Allergy-Free Environment

In addition to choosing eco-friendly materials, there are other factors to consider for maintaining a healthy and allergy-free environment in the kids' room. Opt for washable, hypoallergenic rugs and curtains that can easily be cleaned to remove dust and allergens. Use air purifiers and humidifiers to improve indoor air quality and regulate humidity levels, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and allergies. Consider incorporating natural ventilation by installing exhaust fans, which promote air circulation and reduce indoor pollutants.


In summary, turning a New York City apartment kids room to a space that is not only functional but also inviting can present both a creative opportunity and a practical challenge. Through thoughtful planning, innovative design solutions, and a focus on optimizing every inch of space, it's possible to create a vibrant and functional environment that meets the needs of both children and parents alike. 

Considering an apartment renovation in New York City and need help conceptualizing the kids room? View our portfolio of NYC apartment renovation before and afters, learn more about Gallery, or contact us today.

We are an award-winning design-build firm in New York City with a full-service approach to renovations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that includes everything from interior design and architecture services to filing permits and construction management. We’re experts in pre-war apartment renovations, apartment combinations, room creations, full gut renovations and all that falls in between. Let us bring your dream home to life.

Marketing Director

Ben Bowdon

Ben Bowdon is the Marketing Director of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. For over a decade, Ben has navigated the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, delivering digital strategy solutions for companies of all sizes, until finding a permanent home with Gallery. As lead brand champion and curator, the proud Western Michigan Bronco strives to deliver thoughtful, industry-leading expertise to Gallery’s esteemed clientele via the most seamless omnichannel experience possible.




By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Gallery. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form