the blog

children’s outdoor playhouses

30 March, 2014 in children's design & decor

children's playhouse & tree house ideasIt really feels like spring here in London today, the perfect time for a round up of outdoor playhouse and treehouse ideas.

I really like a traditional cottage style playhouse with a thatched or tiled roof, but if you prefer go for something more modern. What about a gypsy or circus style trailer playhouse? (In Holland we call these “pipowagen”, Pipo being the name of a clown.) Another idea is to use a small vintage caravan and decorate this to your heart’s content with curtains, planters full of flowers, pretty wallpaper and paint. The ultimate hide-out play house is a treehouse. The one above is from a Dutch company I admire because they do sweet interiors as well. Here in the UK try the Blue Forest company for example. Happy playtime!

co-co the caravan ladybird books

(top image: room to bloom  1. bespoke treehouse design  2. thatched cottage playhouse  3. mini pipowagen  4. tiled children’s cottage  5. poppy wallpaper air balloon – painting by joshua shaw – bottom image co-co the caravan)

 

nursery refurbishment: behind the scenes

nursery design in progress 1No pretty pictures today I’m afraid. Instead I thought I’d show you a peek behind the scenes of a nursery refurbishment I’m currently working on. In fact, I could have called this post “behind the walls, under the floor and in the ceiling”.

We’ve arrived halfway: from a tired old room to a fresh canvas, ready to be furnished and styled. This is my favourite stage of any project. What’s been in my head, on mood boards and drawings, now starts coming to life for my clients too.

It’s easy to forget how much work goes into getting to this point though…

nursery design in progress On this particular project, the floor boards were too damaged to be refurbished (my original plan), so a new floor had to be laid. The floor voids were emptied of old builder’s rubble and redundant pipework, then insulated to get rid of cold drafts. The ceiling had been patched up after numerous leaks, it was cracked, sagging and held together with wallpaper, so this needed to be replaced. There was odd boxed out pipework on the walls and inside the fitted cupboards, out-of-date electrics, out-of-character cornicing and a broken hearth. Oh, and did I mention damp from a crumbling chimney, exposed exterior brickwork and a rotting window?

nursery refurbishment in progressOn the upside, there was some sweet period detail to work with, such as the fireplace and fitted cupboards. I discovered a patch of seventies floral wallpaper high up in one of them, which we lacquered to preserve. 

nursery ready for furnishingNow to work on the interior decoration. I can’t wait to show you the finished project soon! x

(images: room to bloom)

sture & folke baby blankets

sture & folk baby blanket orpineI have fallen in love with these beautiful baby blankets by Sture & Folke. Made by Karin Stenmarck, a Swedish born designer who now lives in Switzerland, the comforters are the result of her wanting to give her own two sons, Sture and Folke, the warmest and softest blankets to cuddle up in. She couldn’t find what she wanted, so she decided to make them herself. Thank goodness!

The blankets are handmade with an exquisite attention to detail – I could eat them, they’re that gorgeous, and that’s no exaggeration. In fact, the blanket above formed the design inspiration for a little girl’s nursery I am currently working on, so stay tuned!

dinosaur wallpaper by sian zeng

26 February, 2014 in children's design & decor

Sian Zeng Dinosaur WallpaperSian Zeng’s new Dinosaur wallpaper ticks the right boxes for a child-friendly-but-not-childish accent wall in your dino-crazy toddler’s bedroom. Take a look at the picture above – don’t you love it with that green skirting?

As with Sian’s previous designs, it’s available as regular or magnetic wallpaper. The latter comes with a cast of dino and flycopter magnets that can be moved wherever you like. The wallpaper is available in the following colourways: green yellow (above), grey and green pink.

(images: sian zeng)

the little square gallery: memories for the future

the little square gallery children's art collectionI love the idea of preserving children’s drawings, using them to decorate and creating memories for the future. The Little Square Gallery does just that with their framed Children’s Art Collection. Conceived by Natalie Hammett, The Little Square Gallery turns your child’s artwork into tiny individual giclée prints and artfully arranges these to create a 3D mini gallery. There are several options to personalise the end result further, find out more about the process here.

the little square gallerySweet, stylish, and great to pass to the kids later!

(images: the little square gallery)

kids’ yoga poster

13 January, 2014 in children's design & decor

kids yoga poster karin ekland

Any yoga mamas out there? How adorable is this kids’ yoga poster by illustrator Karin Eklund? One for the playroom I think. Find it at Yoga Matters.

in the press: livingetc cool kids’ rooms

10 January, 2014 in in the press

LivingEtc cool kids rooms design

Happy to contribute again to LivingEtc‘s annual kids’ room design feature. “Cool Kids’ Rooms” is packed with tips, ideas and inspiration from a multitude of experts on how to create modern spaces for children. If you missed it, you can read the article here.

to theme or not to theme

themed kids room nursery

To theme or not to theme, that is the question. For hints and tips on how to theme a kid’s bedroom or nursery, take a look at my guest post on the My Baba blog.

x

before and after: jack’s toy story room

15 November, 2013 in before & after, kids room design

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:

jack's room before the room make over

And this is his new bedroom – with all Jack’s friends present!

toy story themed bedroom for jack

Jack's Toy Story Room

++++++++++++++

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)

my roots lie here

my roots lie here world map blue children inspire design

I recently bought this world map (in grey) for a two recent additions in our family. Titled “My roots lie here”, the map comes with little heart stickers that can be be used to indicate a family’s origins. I love the idea – it makes such a great gift for new parents of mixed backgrounds and/or children and their families who move around a lot. The maps are available in pink, blue and grey from Children Inspire Design, the brainchild of artist, mother and social entrepreneur Rebecca Peragine. You can order them here or here.

(image: children inspire design)

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