My baby is turning three years old soon and she has recently moved into her lovely big room. This move happened so quickly, I decided to go freelance and so needed an office to work from home, so it made sense for her to leave the small room (or box room, as how we refer to it here in England) and move into our spare bedroom. I was quite emotional about this move as it meant that her gorgeous nursery, that I absolutely adored, now will no longer be and instead becomes my office. It also signals the end of babyhood, we are entering into the world of all things girly and heaven forbid, pink and glittery. Luckily she was very excited about the move and I managed not to incorporate too many pink things as I think that might have pushed me over the edge.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so we decided that the ‘moss-meets-sage’ carpet must stay and I will have to make it work. To give the room some character and tie in this tricky green carpet, I knew I wanted to wallpaper at least one wall, the main wall behind her bed. I got straight onto the Wallpaper Direct website and started searching wallpaper styles that included greens and blues. I narrowed my favourites down to about 9 designs of which 7 was stripes, 1 floral and 1 bird design. This bird design wallpaper, Chripy from Blendworth, I have used in a photoshoot for Woman & Home magazine earlier in the year. I loved it then and have always remembered it, thinking what a great design and colour combination it is. And in this case it also matched the carpet perfectly and to our relieve, my ‘little client’ liked it too. She just kept asking what each birds’ name is and there are only so many bird names I could come up with.
One of my favourite features from her nursery was this white wooden bird holding up the sheer canopy. Peter, my husband, made it for the nursery before she was born and luckily I could still incorporate the bird plus the canopy in her new room. The sheer canopy net is originally from Ikea. They don’t sell this net anymore but do still do a similar canopy. I put Peter to work again and he did a great job wallpapering the wall and scored huge points with both us girls giving him advice from a distance. All of this commotion, moving rooms around and wallpapering and painting was done over one weekend, phew!
We already had the shelving unit and wardrobe, both from Ikea the Hensvik range. Her cot we bought on eBay and once she outgrew the cot, it converted into a bed by dropping both slatted sides. In her nursery she was already sleeping on the bed version. By moving it into the new bedroom and because of the position and the canopy I wanted to fit centrally over the bed, I decided to replace one of the slatted side panels, as this makes the bed look more like a daybed and complimented the canopy and the look much better. We all know that the amount of washing a small child generates is incredible, so having an easy washing basket is key. My solution is this large pretty pink woven tote bag, good-looking enough to disguise laundry in and easily carried up and down the stairs to and from the washing line.
I am a firm believer you can never have too many textiles, including thows, blanket, cushions and fabrics (by the meter). And so it is no surprise that my little girl has a dreamy collection of blankets and throws, all of them with a special story, given or made by someone close to us.
[From top to bottom:] A delicate very thin pink knitted baby blanket with a pretty scalloped edge, given to her when she was born by her ‘English Aunty’ Pat. The small floral cotton blanket I used in her pram when she was small, now it has become the blanket she plays with and cover her soft toys with. The pale striped one I bought years ago before children was even on the horizon. The soft wooly blue one, mohair and wool made in South Africa, she got one Christmas from my brother. The lovely cream, pale green and red gingham quilt my boss and friend Alison made for her as I left work on maternity leave. The fabulous knitted bright stripes with pom-poms one, my dear mom knitted in South Africa and brought over with them when they came to visit and meet her for the first time shortly after she was born. Then the floral quilt my very good friend Emma MT made, it also has her name appliquéd on one side, Emma added the bobble trim for my benefit, she knows I love a bobble trim, this is the quilt she sleeps under most nights.
All girls need a place for their accessories, the amount of hair bands and clips we go through is unbelievable. We try to keep them in a pretty jewellery box or in this lovely white and gold ceramic bowl my nice gave her as a present. The pendant shade is just a very simple one we had up in the room before. To dress it up and make it a bit more interesting, I just stuck some pretty lengths of ribbon to the inside of the shade. This now makes for a lovely pendant with movement and colour and it gives a touch of bo-ho flair to the room.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to forget the rules, how things should be arranged in a room. Rather think about how your space would be used and in this case, who would be using it. That is why I hung this lovely vintage mirror at a ‘little girls hight’ and not standard adult hight. Now it is perfect for her, ideal to twirl around in those princess dresses and trying on tiaras. Pride of place is also her personalised painting done by one of my very talented sisters. This painting tells a very personal story to my little girl, all incorporating happy thoughts and uplifting ideas. And of course it’s very visual and colourful, ideal for a little person.
No room is complete without fresh flowers. This combination I showed on last weeks Friday Flowers – A Happy Bunch, they looked perfect in her room on a simple white table against a backdrop of white slatted blinds and sheer curtains in Reverie voiles by Harlequin.
Special Dahlias, flowers so close to my heart…
All photos and styling by Theoda Solms Iles