With another little one on the way this spring-time, the time has come for our daughter to wave bye-bye to her nursery and settle into her brand new "big girl room".
So after months of planning, paint-colour-testing, wardrobe-building, den-making and accessorising, it is finally good to go. And we thought you might like to see it here first.
Finding so much inspiration out there, choosing a theme wasn't easy. One thing was certain - we didn't want pink, we didn't want princesses and in spite of her fondness for the little pig family, we certainly didn't want Peppa. In the end, we decided that we didn't really want a theme at all; nor did we want to be tied to a very specific colour palette. What I wanted to do more than anything was to create a timeless and beautiful space that would last her a good few years and at the same time would appeal to her vivid, creative, 2.5-year-old imagination. I would fill this space with fun and exciting bits and pieces that she would quickly grow to love and treasure. But most of all, it would be inspired by Eloise herself - bright, energetic and playful.
Opting for soft grey walls with contrasting white gloss furniture resulted in a simple, contemporary background setting to layer and accessorise however we wished. And with all the beautiful shades of neon in the fashion world this season, what better way to inject some child-appealing colour and energy into the room? And so it was born - the theme would quite simply be "colour", an exploration of neutral grey and white teamed with neon and bright accessories, resulting in an eclectic and playful space for her to sleep in, play in, read in - and hopefully not get too messy in!
Having created an inspiration board with key ideas and images of products that would help to cement the final look in our minds, we set about sourcing meaningful accessories in bold, vivid colours featuring her very favourite things - owls, penguins, rabbits, lions and ladybirds as well as letters, numbers and books (and where it wasn't possible to source them, we made them). We created three little areas of the room, each with their own individual character and feel: Sleep Corner, Den Corner and Play Corner.
Sleep Corner Featuring her "big girl bed", a contemporary, white gloss single bed with bright polka dot 100% cotton bed linen and beautiful neon-printed cushions, next to shelves stacked with her favourite books - and not forgetting an adorable, cosy bunny bedside night light. Both cushions are designed in France by La Cerise sur le Gateau. They are silkscreen-printed on to a 100% cotton base, with gorgeous, camel-coloured linen backs and pearly button closures. Just above the bed sits this fabulous owl print, designed and made in France by OMY. Neon pink by day - and fast asleep - she comes alive at night time and glows in the dark, crying "houhou" ("twit twoo" in French, apparently). And we also fell in love with these amazing alphabet and numbers prints designed and made in France by Deuz. It seems that when it comes to vibrant children's wall art, the French have definitely got it covered. Sources:
1. 'Skyline' white gloss single/junior bed with drawers, £329, Izziwotnot
2. 'Kids Multi Dot' 100% cotton bed linen (std. UK single size, including pillow case), £48.98, Zara Home Kids
3. Neon pink chenille knitted blanket (130x170cm), £19.99, Zara Home
4. Heico bunny rabbit lamp (26cm), £35, Petit Home
5. 'This is New York' book by Miroslav Sasek, £10, The Kid Who
6. 'Toile de Jouy' neon pink Paris cushion cover by La Cerise sur le Gateau (50x50cm), £36, Molly-Meg
7. 'Coussin Marcel' lion cushion cover by La Cerise sur le Gateau (50x50cm), £36, Molly-Meg
8. OMY pink owl poster, glow in the dark (50x70cm), £30, The Kid Who
9. Deuz eco-friendly Alphabet and Numbers posters (50x70cm), £23, Little Baby Company
10. 'Odby' white picture frames (50x70cm), £25, Ikea
Den Corner At the centre of Den Corner is a secret hideaway, a magical little pretend-outdoors play space filled with bright and colourful cushions, and featuring a giant mushroom night light by its entrance. We made the den ourselves, using a heavy-weight, 100% cotton canvas fabric sourced from Ikea, which we stretched and secured over the frame using neon ribbon trims and velcro from Hobbycraft. The soft-grey ceramic bird light, designed in Denmark by Alma's Room together with the grey and white cloud wallpaper - also from Scandinavia - help to create the ideal setting for the imaginary outdoors hideaway. The penguin print by Showler and Showler is not only fitting in theme with the clouds and flying bird light, but the injection of colour through the bright, multi-coloured balloons completes the look just perfectly. Sources:
1. Hand-made den, inspired by an image on Pinterest (originally from 'Kids' by La Casita de Wendy).
2. Heico large mushroom lamp red (35cm), £50, Petit Home
3. Alma's Room 'Early Bird' ceramic lamp, £89, Dohmus through Bouf
4. Farg & Form 'Moln Clouds Wallpaper' grey/white, £44 per roll, The Modern Baby
5. 'Mr Penguin Balloons' print (50x70cm - other sizes available), £35.99, Showler & Showler
Play Corner Over by the bay window and next to the den, we created a place for Eloise to read, draw, colour and play. We love the simplicity of the white play table, and the Italian-designed, fresh white Magis Alma chairs, with their intricate detail of birds and branches on the back, are some of the nicest we have found. Sources:
1. Magis 'Alma' chair, £35 each, Nubie
2. 'Lack' side table, high-gloss white, £8, Ikea
So there you have it: Our little girl's very first big girl room. Proof that you don't always need to co-ordinate everything with a single theme or colour palette (and actually it can be far more exciting when you don't). And by picking and choosing the accessories that you really love, and economising elsewhere (think, home-made den and Ikea wardrobes, picture frames and play table), it is possible to stick to a realistic budget, too.
And her reaction when we showed her? "I love the big girl room". Phew. And I know that from now on it will never ever look the same again, but after all, isn't that "played in" look all part of the charm?
If you are planning a re-decoration project for your little one, or perhaps you are about to create your very first nursery, then why not get in touch with us - we'd love to help you turn those ideas into reality.
Inspiration and Sources
Before embarking on any project, we pull together an inspiration board to include key images that will help to create the overall look and feel we are aiming for. And so here is the board we originally designed for Eloise's bedroom. 1. Farg & Form 'Moln Clouds Wallpaper' grey/white, £44 per roll, The Modern Baby
2. 'Number One' kids cushion cover (40x40cm), £19.99, Zara Home Kids
3. 'Kalon - Caravan Cot' in blue, 1044EUR, Ninetonine
4. Den, image sourced from Pinterest (originally from 'Kids' by La Casita de Wendy)
5. White balloons with neon ribbons, image sourced from 100 Layer Cakelet, 'Neon birthday party by Hello! Lucky'
6. 'Mr Penguin Balloons' print (18x24cm - other sizes available), £15.99, Showler & Showler
7. Deuz eco-friendly Alphabet poster (50x70cm), £23, Little Baby Company