Earlier this year I was invited to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For those of you who aren’t familiar with their work, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants magical wishes to children who are fighting life-threatening conditions. One of such wishes is a room make-over.
My wish child was a little boy called Jack, who like many a 4-year old, is mad about Toy Story. Jack’s illness means he is severely limited in his mobility and his parents wished for him to have happy place where he would be surrounded by his favourite characters.
This was Jack’s room before the make-over:
And this is his new bedroom – with all Jack’s friends present!
I couldn’t have done it without the help of some very generous sponsors who all rallied around to make Jack’s wish come true. Thank you so much to all of these wonderful people and organisations:
Photowall (self-adhesive Toy Story wall mural – adapted to fit Jack’s wall)
Wooden Blinds Direct (wooden venetian blind)
Love Carpet (Wilton Victoria carpet)
London Flooring Contractors (carpet fitters)
Skandivis (Happy Cat beanbag)
Little Baby Company (cloud duvet set)
Hello Monkey (number art print)
Babyface (denim letter J, bunting and other goodies)
Curtains Made Simple (cushions)
And of course Tony, who hammered, sawed and climbed into the loft without a grumble to make Jack’s wish come true.
Thank you guys! x
(images: room to bloom)
Today I’d like to show you another nursery that I completed a while ago. This grey baby room was for a sweet little boy called Tobias:
And this is what the room looked like before it became Tobias’ nursery:
Quite a difference, right? I’m super pleased how it all turned out, and more importantly – so are Tobias’ mum and dad : )
You can read a bit more about this project here.
(images: client’s & room to bloom, photography by brett charles)
A little while ago I completed this sweet bedroom for a little girl called Georgie:
And here’s what Georgie said about her new room:
That just made my day : )
This is what the room looked like before:
You can read a bit more about the transformation here.
(images: room to bloom, photographer brett charles)
Every year babies and young children come to harm in the UK because of unrestrained blind chains and cords. To raise awareness about the risk of injury, I’ve teamed up with Interior Goods Direct, a company that specialises in window coverings. They are giving away four types of simple child safety devices which can be fitted on your window frame to keep blind cords and chains safely out of children’s reach. To request your free child safety device, click here.
Keep in mind when designing your child’s nursery or bedroom not to place the cot or bed in reach of cords near a window and keep cords as short as possible and away from the floor. After you’ve used the cord or chain, secure it with a blind safety device.
(photo: heidi lerkenfeldt)
I’ve been very busy working on some lovely projects these past few weeks, so I haven’t been posting as often as I’d like. I did find some time however to write a piece with kids room design tips for my friend Alex over at Eden Private Staff. Hop on over if you’d like to read seven tips to create a stylish room for your child.
PS.: Spot a trend in the images above? Green is hot news again for kids rooms – one of my favourite colours for nurseries and children’s rooms, and so right for the spring weather we’ve been having of late!
Alice in Wonderland has come the Royal London Hospital where a surreal oversize living room has been created for the hospital’s young patients. The play space was designed by architects Cottrell & Vermeulen and designer Morag Myerscough, who wanted it to be a complete escape for the children on the ward. The space is filled with superscale objects to explore and interact with, so that it might distract kids from thinking about being in hospital.
From its scale, to its colourful yet clean design (note that primary colours don’t dominate), and details such as the giant skirting board with oh-so familiar trellis wallpaper above, everything is delightfully imaginative. I have long wondered why health care environments aren’t designed with a bit more, well… care? Especially when it comes to children, the less institutional the environment, the easier it is to feel at home and comfortable. Surely that’s a good thing in any environment where children are cared for, be it a hospital, dentist’s waiting room, or day care nursery?
Remember my mantra for nursery design – keep it simple? This image exemplifies what I mean by that. Of course this is a not real nursery, but you can keep your palette reduced – white with a whisper of grey, natural flooring – and let a feature wall or accent mural behind the cot take centre stage.
I love the combination of wallpaper patterns – artfully mismatched but unified by grey, and the contrast between pretty, delicate vintage florals and the unfussy, slightly raw look and feel of the cot. Well done Carina!
(image: xo-in my room)
I love Studio Ditte‘s wallpaper designs. You’ve probably come across their creations before – the scrapwood, robot, birdhouse and cars wallpapers for example. Though not all designed specifically for children, their wallpaper designs are eminently child-friendly and look great in kids’ rooms as an accent mural or feature wall.
In collaboration with BN Wallcoverings, Studio Ditte have recently released a new range of kids’ wallpaper inspired by toys of the past. The designs have a 1950s look and feel, with faded, aged colours and vintage style graphics.
The children’s collection includes small patterns using details from the main designs. It’s these that I find most appealing as they have a timeless quality to them – though they work beautifully with the main designs too. You can check out the full range here.
(images: studio ditte)
Number one on my clients’ wish list for kids’ bedrooms or playrooms is more space and less mess. Sounds familiar? Then read on.
The question I’m often asked is how achieve this. The answer, almost always, lies in clutter control and storage. January may be nearly over, but it’s never too late for your new year’s resolution to get organised and turn your child’s room into something special this year.
Lighten the load
So first of all – really, really try to lighten the load a bit – declutter. A good clear-out enables you to see the potential of the room, but an even more compelling reason is that a huge amount of toys and stuff crowds in on your child’s mental space! It overstimulates, drains energy and stifles the imagination. If you’ve spent lots of money on your child’s possessions or don’t want to appear ungrateful for gifts, then at least rotate what’s out on display, so everything gets a chance to be played with.
For those of you who are storing lots of your own possessions in your child’s closets – try and rehome your stuff elsewhere. It’s important that your child’s space is just that – a place to call their own.
Open vs closed storage
When addressing storage in your child’s bedroom, start with the big picture. Think about a mix of open and closed storage, but keep a good proportion behind doors. Invest in built-in storage if appropriate to the room, or buy a large free standing piece that will house clothes and toys (I love up-cycling shallow vintage wardrobes for this purpose). If space allows, consider buying two identical or compatible pieces, one for toys, one for clothes.
If your child’s bedroom is on the small side, look out for dual purpose furniture – beds and seating with drawers, desks with heaps of integrated storage – you know the drill. It may not look as cool as your favourite designer furniture, but you will be thankful as possessions accumulate.
Pack it up
Next, store loose small stuff in appropriately sized containers – trunks, boxes, suitcases, baskets, bags, jars. By “appropriate” I mean storing small bits in small boxes, not mixed in with larger items in huge trunks, which have to be turned upside down to get to things.
And now for the most important and easiest bit! To keep things looking calm, organised and lovely, try coordinating your containers a bit. Choose boxes in compatible styles, colours or materials, so you don’t create more chaos with a jumble of different sizes and colours stacked on top of each other (unless you know how to make that look chic). Don’t go for see-through boxes either, as this just looks messy (and ugly). Instead, label containers with text or images to tell them apart.
Keep floors free
Finally, keeping the floor free will make the room look more spacious – well, we can try. Use wall hooks and bags to store loose toys and hang up clothes. A cool looking laundry bin and paper basket will also help to keep the decks clear - repurpose unusual things like metal buckets or trunks for example.
(images clockwise: green – 1. la maison d’anna G. 2. pure style home 3. kirsikkapuu 4. h&m 5. bungalow - blue – 1. stil 2. kast van een huis 3. cox and cox 4. maisons du monde - yellow – 1. bolig magasin 2. dezeen 3. dana van leeuwen 4. desire to inspire - pink – 1. the boo and the boy 2. lovely undergrad 3. berry red - timber – 1. red online 2. nonjetable 3. swoop bags 4. living etc - white – 1. weekday carnival 2. fancy house road 3. vitra)
Looking up one of Hibou Home’s children’s wallpaper designs for a new client, I happened upon this triptych of Hibou’s new children’s fabrics range. I love the subtle play of colours and the styling is super cute too.
The new designer fabric range complements Hibou’s wallpaper designs beautifully, but I think pattern like this works best if a little is used and given room to shine.
If you haven’t come across Hibou’s stylish wallpaper for kids (I doubt that very much as they have become hugely popular all over the world since their launch at the end of 2011), check out the full range on their website here.