Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A person's a person, no matter how small

Half term has begun. It's day 2 and the little wrens are currently playing at opposite ends of the house. There have so far been no major battle lines drawn which may largely be down to the fact that they are currently playing at opposite ends of the house! They are 7 and 5 (sorry, 7 and three quarters and 5 and three quarters - I'd be in trouble for that) and
though they love a little bit of time on the iPad and the Lego website they are not yet hugely into technology and are still happiest when at imaginative play. We have not yet had a request for the dreaded DS, though I'm sure that day will come. They still can get truly lost in the little worlds they create for hours on end and that is so wonderful to behold. So I thought I would share with you the interior spaces I have created in our home for them to build these imaginary worlds and get lost in play.

When designing interiors for children, it's so lovely for them to be bright and bold and inspiring, yet they still have to retain a restful, peaceful feel otherwise they will never be able to sleep in their bedrooms or concentrate on homework in their playroom space. We are incredibly lucky to have the space for the children to have a good sized bedroom each that can really reflect their developing personalities and taste and also have a playroom downstairs that is a true family space. Let me know what you think.


Crates- Baileys Home; Green unit - Tolix; Wall stickers - The Binary Box; Yellow stools - Cult Furniture;
Pen Storage - Ikea Kitchen Range
For playroom storage we bought some old apple crates (some from eBay, some from Baileys Home and Garden which my husband then attached casters to so they can be moved around freely by the children. We also use a fab green metal storage cupboard by Tolix which may seem like a bit of a designer extravagance for a children's space, but it is timeless and adaptable and will grow with them. We currently use it to store all their arty-crafty kit, but we had it in our dining room as storage for crockery and table linen and it could be used as a bedroom chest of drawers when the playroom next needs a revamp. My husband had a HUGE piece of MDF cut to run the whole length of one wall to act as homework desk/ art & craft space/ Mummy's office. I primed it and painted it with blackboard paint as it is completely washable and easy to touch up. It works brilliantly. We have the obligatory Lego storage heads which I love and a futon for the occasional sleepover and for DVD watching. We found some beautiful, dream-like wall stickers from The Binary Box which were the starting point for the splashes of yellow throughout the room. I love this space.

Growing Boy's Room

'WOW' print - Dandy Star; Wall Sticker - The Binary Box; Ball lights - Blaze On
I found designing a  room for a 7 year old boy a real challenge. Master Wren's interests are constantly shifting and I didn't want the room to feel too themed. That said, he is London mad - so the big London bus sticker (again by The Binary Box) was the starting point for the design and the splashes of red. I think the red against the soft blue looks gorgeous and really gives the room a 'cool boy' feel - just a little bit mod. I sourced some new wooden crates which we wall mounted to use as book & display shelves and they work really well. I have draped some incredible, rainbow coloured cotton ball fairy lights around them and they look really magical at night. I picked up the felt letter 'g' decoration from Anthropologie in New York (Miss Wren has an 'm' on her door too). There is Star Wars paraphenalia galore, which is his real obsession and that had to be worked in somewhere (I love the Lego Yoda alarm clock!). The big star piece for me is the 'Wow!' screenprint by Dandy Star - it feels like the kind of piece he will want to keep forever - it's so bold and I think just perfect for the room. 

Little Girl's Room

Cushions - Sass & Belle; Flower fairy lights - Blaze On; Floral quilt - Greengate

God, I loved designing this room! Talk about playing out your childhood fantasies! I'm one of 5 children and had to share with my sister growing up, so the idea of having a super-girly room just for Miss Wren is wonderful. The pink day bed is from Laura Ashley and it is festooned with flower fairy lights which are so beautiful at nighttime. The bed is a riot of pattern and colour, strewn with gorgeous cushions by Sass & Belle and a stunning floral quilt. The quilt is by Greengate (find similar here) and it gives the room a lovely, old-fashioned feel against the beautifully contemporary print of the Cole & Son cow parsley wallpaper. The paper honeycomb balls were a gift and the personalised bunting banners were purchased through eBay. The patchwork wall-hanging was her crib quilt as a baby (from Mamas & Papas as I recall) and I found the wonderful, curious 'animal tree' needlework picture from a local antique shop. This is my dream room. Hands down, my favourite room in the house!

The rooms are constantly evolving as the children grow and change, just as their personalities are evolving. I think it's so important to let the children have input into their own spaces. A child needs to feel comfortable and safe in their room - they should be their retreat. If they do not feel that it reflects their personalities they will never feel that it is truly their room. They are extraordinary little people, not just children and their spaces should allow them the freedom to feel extraordinary. After all, to quote the great sage Dr. Seuss:

"A person's a person, no matter how small."

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