It was definitely at the point where we had to strip the wall in the girls room right back to the original wood when I thought we were never going to achieve our three week deadline. It was also the moment where I sent an urgent plea out to good friends requesting help with the decorating. Quick!!! Darcey has to sleep in this room in 8 days!!! PLEASE help. Emotive? Guilty. Using a baby to get you free labour? Guilty. Desperate? Hell to the YES.
Due to previous damage and decay we had to strip this wall right back and our plasterers boarded it up for us and re-plastered. It was an unexpected and unwelcome job but it had to be done and at least it gave us a bag full of wood perfect for kinder on the fire?! (Essential to clasp onto any positives you can whilst going through a renovation I think!) We decorated the bedroom in Brilliant White by Dulux to counterbalance all the colour that will appear in the soft furnishings, toys and accessories. It’s also a very easy paint to apply touch ups to later on, which, as many of you know, become essential with children around. Whilst helping us decorate one evening, a good friend of ours said ‘You know, Hannah, crayon looks the same drawn onto a Farrow and Ball wall as it does onto any other brand of paint.’ Well ain’t that the truth.
It was little nooks like this alcove next to the fireplace that got me excited about the house when we first viewed it. I find rooms that aren’t exactly square lend themselves so much easier to storage and we put these shelves up to specifically fit the Ikea Branas as we already had the coral one and find it’s the perfect size for nappies. When we first moved, we used the top of the chest of drawers as a changing station which is why I put the garlands up to provide some interest for Darcey during her nappy changes. I made the pompom garland easily in an evening (use these quick and simple pompom makers here) and it’s such a great way to link the different colours of your scheme into one unique piece.
The fireplace is painted in Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue, which despite my earlier protestations about the brand is just a ruddy lovely colour and I thought it couldn’t undergo too much crayon abuse on the fireplace?! We painted it before knowing whether Betty would be a girl or not, so I also wanted to pick a colour that would work well in a unisex scheme as well as tying in with the navy detail in the curtains.
As I was a self-employed curtain maker before having the children, I found making their curtains out of one Ikea double duvet a simple and cheap hack. I understand that that is easy enough for me to say as a trained seamstress, but it is always worth a try as I find the ready made market to be pretty dire and simple pencil pleat curtains aren’t too difficult to do yourself. (Maybe that’s a tutorial for another blog post though?!) Anyway, if you’re not a stranger to a sewing machine, buying double or kingsize bed linen in pretty designs is a great way of getting hold of a lot of fabric at a low cost, whether you transform it into curtains, cushions, cot sheets, a blanket or a teepee, the opportunities are endless.
I searched high and low for a bedside table as I wanted something that would be stable enough if Darcey stood on it and with hidden storage for all her puzzles. We eventually found this one at our local vintage emporium but at £50 it was more than we wanted to spend so we walked away. Being patient and holding our nerve did the trick though, as when we returned three months later to find it still there, I managed to barter the seller down to £35. Perfect.
Disclaimer: We didn’t actually hold our nerve, or be patient for that matter. I gave birth to Betty during that time and we got a little distracted with night time feeds, midwife visits and entering a torturous level of sleep deprivation, so whilst I’d love to pretend we played the budget-game well, disorganisation was just on our side for this one!
The gallery wall above Betty’s cot is made up of a mixture of pieces from independent shops, friends, the vintage print tray and some pieces made by myself mainly before Darcey was born! Displaying a collection of artwork above each bed helps to define their own little corner of the room and the prints can be changed up a little as they get older. I love how much decorating the girls room has given me an excuse to get creative with little makes here and there as well! I think it adds such a lovely personal touch to a child’s room if you have handmade items, if not by yourself, maybe by a friend or one of the many talented makers you can find via Etsy, Folksy or through Instagram.
The book shelves were initially positioned there just temporarily, but as with many things in this house, they stayed, we got used to them, and now we kinda like it like that. It means the girls can see all their books clearly and access them easily whenever they want. (Apart from the monstrous Paw Patrol annual which is housed
out of sight ‘safely’ between the side cupboard and the bed.)
The bedroom has come a long way since the day we started hacking the wall down. I think it really has lived up to the potential we first saw in it, and it’s a great size for the girls to play in together too. Whilst I would definitely be more creative with wall colours or different paint effects next time, it’s amazing how attached you can become without realising it. I hosted a viewing here a few months ago, where the prospective buyer gushed how lovely the room was and then proceeded to tell me how it would be perfect for her gym… I suppose when the thought of it all being lost to a sweaty, neglected exercise bike and a few grubby dumbbells comes to your mind, it makes you reevaluate how much you actually cherish the space that it is. I hope you like it!
THE SOURCE LIST:
Picture One Teepee and Chest of Drawers:
PomPom Garland Homemade; ABC Garland Gisela Graham £6; Chest of Drawers Andrew Smith & Son Auction House £65; Wicker Basket Market in Florence; Height Chart: Corby Tindersticks £16; Teepee Natural Colourway from The Tipi £100; Princess and the Pea Miniature Cot Maileg World; Quilt on Teepee Floor Handmade; Wicker Basket Ikea £8; Storage Sack Little Maldod £10; Navy Stripe Basket (Set of 2) Sainsbury’s Home £20
Picture Two Fireplace, Storage Corner and Door:
Kid, You’ll Move Mountains Print Hamish and the Hen £10; Russian Dolls Ebay £8 and then handpainted by myself; Sophia La Giraffe Teether Little Maldod; Baby Moccassins Amy and Ivor £38; Clock Ikea £10; Wooden Hanger My Red Hand Gang £14; Square Storage Baskets Branas from Ikea £12; Chest of Drawers Andrew Smith & Son Auction House £60; Noah’s Ark Vintage 50p; Wooden Car Run Vilac; PomPom Garland Homemade; ABC Garland Gisela Graham £6; Ice Cream Van Storage Tin The Hambledon £6
Picture Three Toddler Bed and Curtains:
Side Cupboard Molly’s Den, Winchester £35; Jelly Bag SunJellies £5; Bunny Nightlight The Hambledon £5; Toddler Bed Hand-me-down but you can get the Minnen from Ikea which is very similar £85; Bedlinen and Square Cushions CamCam Copenhagen from The Tipi £40; Navy Blue Cushion Handmade, Fabric from C&H Winchester; Wicker Storage (L) Homesense £10; Wicker Storage (R) Molly’s Den, Winchester £6; Bunny Blossom Beige Bunny by Jellycat £17; Curtains Handmade from Etoile Navy Blue Bedlinen at Ikea; Alphabet Cross Stitch Handmade; Dream Wording Lala Loves Decor £21; ‘D’ Letter Print Lorna Rachel Designs; Let Light Shine In the Darkness Print The Naptime Diaries £15; You Light Up My Life Postcard Sainsbury’s At Home £2.00; Teething Necklace Little Maldod £12; Wooden Camera Amazon £4
Picture Four Cot and Gallery Wall:
Book Shelf Great Little Trading Company £24; Cot Kiddicare £60; ‘B’ Quilt Handmade; It’s OK Banner Handmade; Bear Print, Seventy Tree £15; Cloud Postcard Velveteen Babies; Print Tray Vintage Market £15; ‘B’ Letter Print Lorna Rachel Designs; Cloud Mobile Handmade; Mirror Charity Shop £5; Fabric Wreath Handmade; Belle and Boo Cross Stitch Handmade; Russian Dolls Ebay £6 and hand painted by myself; Kid, You’ll Move Mountains Print Hamish and the Hen £10; Clock Ikea £10, Wooden Helicopter Pinch Toys £10
Have you recently decorated a kids room? What are your best tips for child-friendly interiors? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.