Last week I noticed a new follower on Twitter, Anna Roberts of Out To Play, whose Twitter bio simply states “I paint portraits in pastel and pencil”. I liked her Twitter icon, which suggested she paints children, so curious I clicked to find out more…
Oh my. Did I fall in love with what I saw! This portrait of Anna’s daughter Pearl was my absolute favourite. I love the colours, I love the space, I love the sentiment. The best news is: Anna takes on private commissions. Check out more of her work here.
Perhaps this is also a good moment to introduce you to a blog I love called I am a Child - it’s basically a huge catalogue of children in art. I don’t know why, but I have this thing with paintings of family life – previously I mentioned Swedish painter Carl Larsson, a favourite of mine. Do you have any favourite paintings?
(image: pearl and pram by out to play)
Awesome! This space themed duvet set is the latest addition to Dutch label Snurk‘s amazing bedding designs. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, so as far as I’m concerned this is great for boys’ and girls’ rooms.
The Astronaut kids’ duvet is part of a new line of kids’ bedding by Snurk that will be launched by the end of this month. Previous designs included the fabulous Bob the dog and Ollie the cat duvet covers. I cannot wait to see what’s in store next.
(image: snurk beddengoed)
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)
January is nearly over, and I nearly forgot to post that I was invited again by Livingetc to share some tips and ideas for modern kids’ rooms! The Kids’ Rooms feature in their January issue shows you how to create a perfect space for your child in four easy steps – it’s packed with useful advice on style, storage, walls & floors, furniture and lighting.
I was in good company too: Jenny Dalton of LittleBig magazine, Caterine Hooper from children’s boutique Little Baby Company, Jane Bonsor at textile house Korla, and Matthew Tillman at home technology specialists Tillman Domotics all shared their best design tips for children’s rooms in this inspiring article.
Missed the Kids’ Rooms issue? Fret not. There’s still a chance to read the article on my Press page here.
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.
I’m guest blogging again over at The Baba Blog with some tips and advice on colour for your baby’s room.
As you know I’m all for venturing away from the more traditional, gender specific choices of pastel pink for girls and baby blue for boys. But hang on – do I spy a blue and pink theme in the collage above? Find out more on The Baba Blog.
I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Photowall mural competition that I ran over Christmas and New Year. The random number generator picked number 51, which means Jo Kelly is the lucky winner. Congratulations Jo!
Many thanks to Photowall for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway, and to all of you who entered – there were some amazing ideas there. I have some new competitions for you in the pipeline, so if you’d like to be kept up to date make sure to sign-up to the Room to Bloom newsletter at the bottom of this page.
(image: nu agency via photowall)
This cool boy’s bedroom belongs to Danthe who is two and a half years old. He lives with his family in an old farmhouse in de Meern, The Netherlands.
Danthe’s super creative mum Antoinette designed his bedroom using grey as the main colour. She found the Jeep on Marktplaats (a Dutch version of eBay) and turned it into a bed – complete with working lights. Antoinette made a lamp out of a washing machine drum, and the framed collage you can see above. (If you would like her to make one for you, contact Antoinette by email at abrundel[at]gmail[dot]com).
Antoinette’s best advice for designing your child’s bedroom is to let your imagination run free – the sky is the limit. Create a colour plan beforehand, but take care not to repeat colours too much, as this will tend to make it look too matchy-matchy and a bit boring.
Now let’s find out a bit more about Danthe! Tell us Danthe…
♥ What is your favourite food? Fried eggs.
♥ What is your favourite colour? Green.
♥ What is your favourite animal? Cat.
♥ Your favourite book? Dikkie Dik [adventures of very curious cat].
♥ What is your favourite thing in your room? My car bed, I love playing with it.
♥ Which is your favourite duvet cover? The one with the stars.
♥ Which are your favourite pyjamas? The ones with with diggers and tractors.
Thank you Danthe, it was lovely to meet you!
(images: Ursula Kemp)
Thank you everyone who’s been visiting, commenting, browsing my blog… I hope to see you again in the new year with lots more tips and ideas for kid’s rooms. Happy 2013!
(image: wooden star light from xo-in my room)
Today I have an amazing competition to share with you… Photowall have teamed up with Room to Bloom to give away a made to measure wall mural worth up to £500 in a design of your choice! You can choose from one of their amazing mural and wallpaper designs or you can upload your own design. It’s a great way to create a feature wall in a nursery, kid’s room or playroom.
Wall murals are made to fit the exact dimensions of your wall. The design of your choice is made up of 45 cm wide numbered panels which are hung edge to edge to make up the complete image. Photowall offer two types of wall murals: the standard range, which is applied with paste onto the wall, and the self-adhesive range.
What you can win
The prize you can win today is for a design up to 4 metres long in the standard range for domestic use. You could choose a wall filling image that you love or choose a design that covers just part of the wall. I’ve selected some images with designs that I think work great in kids’ rooms, but you could choose anything from Photowall’s extensive library or design your own!
To enter the competition, here’s what to do:
1. Leave a comment below to tell me what type of mural you would go for to decorate your child’s space – I want to hear your ideas. There’s no “right” answer, the winner will be picked at random from all the entries. For inspiration visit Photowall’s website or have a look at the kids’ rooms I’ve selected which all feature photo wallpaper.
2. Go to Room to Bloom’s Facebook page and share the competition on your own Facebook page.
3. There is no number 3, leave a comment, share on Facebook, that’s it.
This Photowall competition is open to UK residents only. It closes 6 January 2013 at midnight. I will contact the winner by email and you have until the end of January to claim your prize. Best of luck everybody!
Design your own photo wallpaper
To get your creative juices flowing, here are a couple of ideas for design-your-own photo wallpaper that I spotted in Dutch magazines Ariadne at Home Kinderen and VT Wonen a while ago. Scale up a high-res image (scan or photograph) of a favourite piece of fabric and have this printed on wallpaper to create a feature wall. A vintage embroidery sampler was the source of the first image and you can see the fabric used for the wall in the second image on the chair in the foreground.
I hope you feel inspired to come up with a unique design of your own. There will only be one winner, but if you enter promotional code ‘roomroom0022‘ at the Photowall checkout before 13 January, you’ll receive a 10% discount.
(images: 1. spruce wallpaper by fine little day via my second hand life (available from photowall), 2. owl wallpaper by mini empire (available from photowall), 3. nature murals: natalie krag, kiet’s room via esther veereschild - find similar at photowall, 4. snail trail by team hawaii at photowall, 5. ariadne at home kinderen, 6. vt wonen)