…And it was a very special little house. You see, it was a bed, a hideaway, a reading space and a play space all rolled into one! And it belongs to Sammuel (aged three) and Dixie (two), son and daughter to Suzanne and Danny of This Modern Life.
When Suzanne got in touch to tell us all about her brand new shared bedroom project, we were incredibly excited. Especially about the house bed, which Suzanne and Danny designed and built themselves taking inspiration from an image on Pinterest. And if you've ever searched for a children's bunk bed, you'll know why - fun designs like this one are hard to come by.
Made from MDF with a very special finish that prevents any nasty chemicals being emitted from the material itself, and painted using eco-friendly, child-safe, organic paint from the same source, this is one special piece of furniture. Designed with love and care and the highest attention to detail, beautifully finished and completely unique to Sammuel and Dixie (what lucky children!), it is a true treasure - one of those special things that they will be fortunate to remember for years to come. It goes without saying that the rest of the room is as carefully thought out and stylishly designed as the bed. Painted in fresh white with monochrome and brightly coloured accessories that really stand out, an amazing upcycled wardrobe - with its very own key! - sourced on eBay (below) and a whole host of other goodies from This Modern Life's fabulous collection, the room has everything that two children could dream of. The end result is totally stunning - and we were keen to find out more from the person who masterminded the design... Enjoy.
What is the story and inspiration behind Sammuel and Dixie's new room?
Suzanne: Sammuel and Dixie's dad Danny is a musician, and until recently he had his music room in our second bedroom in the house - we decided it would be good for everyone if we relocated him to the bottom of the garden! He loves it there and has all of his guitars and equipment in his garden studio, and it meant we could utilise the second bedroom for the children and use Sammuel's existing room as a play room. We wanted to fit 2 full size beds in so they can use the room for a good few years. I loved the idea of unique bunk beds, and came across an image of a house bed on Pinterest, which really inspired me. It all went from there really, I had a vision of what I wanted in my head, and it just evolved as we went along. I knew I wanted a brightly painted vintage wardrobe, so we found one locally on eBay and then we raided our warehouse for all of the accessories and other storage! I wanted to mix monochrome with bright fun colour, and pieces the kids chose themselves.
We adore the house bed! What was their reaction when they saw it?
The house bed took a little while to build but Sammuel and Dixie enjoyed helping, although "what time will the house bed be finished?" was asked several times! We hid the final stages from them and they were so excited when they saw it! They loved the stairs the most. We live in a bungalow so stairs are a novelty anyway! They spent ages exploring each bit of the beds and opening all the doors and drawers on the stairs. What is Sammuel's favourite part of the room? And Dixie's?
Sammuel's favourite part is probably the stairs up to the house bed, and the wardrobe with the key. He loves unlocking the wardrobe and climbing in! He also loves standing on the top bunk and poking his head out of the 'sunroof'! Dixie loves being in her little hideaway bed - she likes to get in and look at a book or rearrange her toys up along the shelf at the end of her bed. And she likes jumping on it too - she's still small enough not to bang her head! What's your favourite bit?
I think it has to be the bed, because we worked so hard on it and it grew organically from a photo I'd seen to the finished piece. I do also love the wardrobe because it was such a bargain (£5!) and I found just the right shade to paint it. I love it all - we now have a place for everything in their room, so there is no excuse for us to be messy. That was really important to me because I need to have a tidy house but we haven't got a great track record of keeping things mess-free! Since the new bedroom has a clear place to put everything, it's really easy to tidy up at the end of each day. And finally, what tips can you offer to parents wanting to create an exciting shared space for their little ones?
Designate zones in the room for different activities - sleeping, nappy changing, clothes storage, toys, hanging etc. These can be flexible but it helps the room to flow. We like to keep the walls neutral and accessorise with colour. Let the kids express themselves and choose some pieces for themselves. We think colour is for everyone, and were really happy when Sammuel chose the bright pink clouds bedding for his bed! Have a clear place for everything - we have labelled clothes trays in the cupboards that pull out so we can see exactly what goes where - when you have 2 (or more) kids sharing it's important to make sure everything can be put away and found again. We have plenty of portable storage too, in beautiful storage bags and laundry baskets - this means it's totally flexible and can be moved from room to room. I think the most important things to make the room somewhere you want to be too - kids rooms can be stylish and fun too!
We couldn't agree more (and we quite fancy sleeping in one of those house beds ourselves!) To read more about this fabulous room and find out how to re-create this look in your own home, visit This Modern Life's room inspiration page. And if you're up for the house bed challenge, visit the blog for details!
It just goes to show that with a bit of vision, a lot of determination - and just one inspiring photo on Pinterest - anything really is possible. And what a wonderful result.