kids rooms they won’t grow out of…

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Things I love / what's getting my attention

With a small house currently re-enacting the magic porridge pot, as we were in danger of literally spilling out of the roof like a porridgy, flowing river of kids plastic crap along with our collective lives, and so something had to give. The children have been sharing a room for the past 8 years and it was time to give up the spare room/office, and give them a room each.

As the title of the blog suggests, I am prone to (ahem) the odd bit of procrastination – but when the chips are down, I can be pretty single minded and tenacious. One thing I was determined about, was that we wouldn’t be doing this again for a while. No current fads, and to be frank, not much consultation with the small people took place. I want their spaces to be their own, but ones that will last and that they can grow with, tweaking with their own personal flourishes as they go along (more of that later)

First up, the girl-child’s room.  My daughter just turned 8 mid-project and whilst she’s not a pink obsessed girly girl (she skateboards as well as dances – it’s a nice mix) I did want it to have a feminine side but with an edge, to reflect that she’s herself a lovely little contradiction. She’s also slightly bonkers and obsessed with pineapples. And rainbows.

There are some great wallpapers out there, both budget and slightly more expensive, but we decided to paint most of the walls white and splurge a bit on a statement wallpaper that would stand the test of time, and that she’d be happy with as a teen as well as the tweenie she is right now.

Roll up (sorry) the gorgeous flamingo wallpaper by Cole and Son. I think I’ve already posted on this at an earlier Sunday Best post. Possibly about animal inspired interiors here

So far, so sort-of-in-budget.  The wallpaper then led the colour palette. A walk through Conran led to an impulse buy which whilst not cheap I think she’ll still love well into adulthood, partially based on feedback from the 22 year old. It’s a wonderful, wonderful mix of girly, punky, edgy cool with it’s teeny Tinkerbell spray-painted flouro pink with a flex to match. It’s frankly a thing of wonder.

So far, off budget – brought swiftly back in with a trip to Ikea for the wardrobe, bed and storage units. Throw in some Ikea wooden magazine storage boxes  – given a face lift with diffferent pantones of pinks and greys from the tester pots in B&Q, some much loved photos and a beautiful pom-pom’d storage basket and it’s a pretty cool room. Which she loves. Grown up cool, personalised with some younger touches which can easily be swapped out as her tastes change and she moves from little girl into young woman.

I do hope that when she leaves home eventually, that she’ll refuse to leave without Tinks.

For what it’s worth, my personal thoughts are –

do either choose a wallpaper that you know they’ll love, and let that lead the colour palette, or choose a paint that you and they can live with not just for their Peppa Pig/Elsa/Disney Princess stage. Whilst I collaborate a lot with my kids on their choices, I didn’t even present the options of kids themes to them – you’ll end up with a year max before they’re sick of it or embarrassed to have their friends over.  You can easily get round this by looking at classic grown up ranges and bearing in mind things that they love. I mentioned earlier Kitty’s love of pineapples and actually there were some cool pineapple papers out there, but I ended up (with her agreement) on the flamingos, and it worked really well for her and her room.

don’t fall into the trap of the matching full on ranges for the same reason as above. Go for small nods or ironic/contemporary/edgy versions of the same thing. They might cost a bit more but trust me, they’ll stand the test of time.

don’t forget about vintage and up-cycling. To be honest, space was a bit of an issue for us this time otherwise there were definitely a couple of upcycling projects I’d have liked to have brought into the room. But we’ve been busy with the chalk paints on a few remaining bits including some display shelves for madam’s toot (sorry, beautiful ornaments) and a chair and some other bits and bobs.

do have fun with it. But if you want it to grow with your child, consider avoiding too many semi-permanent changes that will take time and money to change.

Do think of adding in some design classics, perhaps move them from another room. Just because they’re kids, it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a decent aesthetic and it might inspire them creatively to think about shape and form and function. There’s a Le Klint pendant light in my daughter’s room which was left over from when it was originally our bedroom and she loves it and talks about it’s shape and the shadows it forms. So I’m not for one second suggesting you go out and buy them that Eames chair, but if it’s knocking around elsewhere and they love it – then why not give it a new lease of life with them? (just maybe don’t go so far as the Chippendale or an original artwork. Eck)

The boys room is coming next. And if anyone’s interested I’ll post on that when it’s complete. It’ll mostly involve skateboard decks and Star Wars. But with some fairly hefty editing.

In order: flamingo wallpaper, Cole & Son, furniture – pax wardrobe (amazing for getting all their toot hidden away and kids need very little hanging space, suggest just one half of one standard wardrobe, the shelves and wire baskets are great for toys, books and lego) IKEA, print Lullabuy, letters, a lovely little company letter set (personalise) – Lullabuy and Buttercup in Whitstable, basket with pompoms, This Modern Life (who also do amazing hooks and art work too). Light in feature image by La Tete Dans Le Bocal available at Conran Shop. 

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Some other great kid-friendly but grown up wallpapers out there can be found on (not just limited to pineapples!) , Mini which have a great range of geometric (see back gammon) and retro inspired papers alongside the lovely design by cut-out artist Rob Ryan with his We Had Everything paper….Flutterby by Julien McDonald (wallpaper direct) might tick boxes for teenage girls, and finally do check out Miss Print, this one is Woods in Aztec and I love the sun peeping behind the branches (comes in a range of colour ways) – check out John Lewis for the range which is fun but grown up.

Have fun.

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