Nursery Update: Open wardrobe storage

When I shared Bea’s Nursery I mentioned that there were a few more things we needed in there, including some hanging storage for Bea’s clothes. We have a chest of drawers but I hadn’t anticipated the need for hanging up her dresses and decided to create some open storage so I could also admire them ;)

The walls are very thick in our house and so the chimney breast alcoves aren’t that deep. We had a funny sized alcove in Bea’s room, only 66cms wide and about 30cm deep, so a wardrobe was difficult and shelves seemed to work better. I wanted rails, with a shelf above to add boxes or folded items, but wasn’t sure how to get a rail attached to the wall. Eventually IKEA came good with a typical cheap as chips solution, pimped up with a bit of Wilko’s gold spray paint!

Requirements:
Ikea BYGEL rail £1.50
EKBY HEMNES shelf £12
EKBY VALTER bracket £2

The rails are screwed in under the shelves (after spray painting) so I can hang her clothes from them. I decided the leave the brackets untreated as the wood fits in with the wood blinds and floor in an otherwise very white room. The hangers are from Dunhelm in case you’re interested. I was intending to spray paint them white too but decided to leave them coloured for now (too lazy!)

The whole thing cost about £37 and I’m so pleased with how it looks. I hope you like it too and it inspires you to get creative! ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: A Modern Animals Nursery

I’m a bit embarrassed that Bea is over 6 months old now and I have only just managed to finish the photos of her nursery. (I’m sure those of you with children won’t be surprised!) ;) We finished the nursery before Bea was born as, of course, we had opened the envelope! Interestingly, before we knew whether we were having a boy or girl, I was convinced it wouldn’t influence my choice of nursery and that I wanted brights. Initially I veered towards this Sian Elin wallpaper, then I felt it was too much for the space and found this incredible animal wallpaper. Once I had a neutral backdrop I couldn’t resist a shot of bold pink to add colour to the room and the room progressed from there. I hope you like it!

That amazing wallpaper is from Beware the Moon – an independent wallpaper designer I found online. It features 51 different animals from the tropical to farmyard, all hand drawn in pencil. It really is a work of art and the neutral palette makes it versatile for the future too. ;) We papered one wall and colour matched the other 3 to the backdrop of the paper which is a chalky white.

Like so many of you, we chose the IKEA Hemmnes 8 drawer chest for all of our storage – nappies, bedding, clothes, it all goes in here. I chose a coral pink shade from our local trade paints shop and painted the chest myself in an eggshell finish, then diluted the colour with white eggshell for the 3 progressively lighter shades for the drawers. I used a gloss roller and it really was very easy. Then I chose Anthropologie knobs in shades of blue and mint to finish it off.

The table doubles as our changing station and I keep Bea’s changing things in the drawers, with a small tray of cotton wool and a bowl of water out on the top. The table lamp is from Dunelm and the changing mat cover is Aden+Anais. On the wall, my favourite animal, a baby Elephant from Sharon Montrose’s Animal Print Shop. That white bear is a Merrythoughts teddy that I had as a child and my mum bought the Histoire D’ours Classic Bear for Bea when she was born.

The mint green chair was a bargain from HomeSense (love that shop!) as I felt we really needed to temper the pink and I wanted somewhere to feed in peace if I needed to. In fact I don’t use it that much but on the occasions I have, I’ve been very pleased to have it. The knitted pouffe is also from Dunelm and unfortunately now out of stock. I also wanted to add in some gold to the room as my current obsession and this seemed the right corner, as the wall is very blank. I used large gold polka dot decals to create a confetti pattern, from Etsy of course. The geometric cushion is Conran at M&S and the throw over the chair back is Urban Outfitters.

I searched and searched for a cot I liked, having become obsessed with the Oeuf Sparrow but drawing the line at £600 for a cot! This cotbed was from John Lewis and similar in style. I know some people think cots should be cheap but I hope this one will see more than one baby and it’s the central piece of furniture in the room so I thought worth spending a bit more on. The patterned fitted sheet (so hard to find!) was from The White Company. I searched high and low for the perfect mobile (thinking about, but failing to make one,) and eventually chose this paper clouds mobile also from The White Company.


We also needed some storage and I wanted to be able to display pretty toys or books and for Bea to be able to get her own toys out (and put them away!) The remaining alcove was a funny width (66cm) but I found these ladder shelves at a great price from The Futon Company. We need to fix it to the wall before Bea is toddling!

I found this rug in Urban Outfitters again, as the floor needed something to soften it up and I loved the geometric grey pattern – and the price!

Lastly, the art came from Society6, my new favourite place for well price art for your home! I chose the ‘Be Brave’ print, a pink and grey fox with a gold nose and hung them with a letter B balanced on top of a ceramic hand and foot print we did when she was 1 week old.

So that’s it!

I hope you liked the tour! ;) If you’d like to see more of the inspiration for the Nursery I’ve just made what was a secret Pinterest board, public. So feel free to have a look!

All the sources are listed below but do ask if you have any questions!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Sources:
Animal Wallpaper, Beware the Moon
Mirror and Mint chair, HomeSense.
Chest of Drawers – IKEA
Knobs – Anthropologie
aden + anais Twinkle Changing Mat Cover
Baby Elephant print
Owl lamp, Dunelm
Gold polka dot wall decals (UK supplier) Etsy
Stockholm Cotbed, John Lewis
Paper Clouds mobile, The White Company
Star fitted cot sheet
Ladder shelf, The Futon Company
Rug (no longer in stock) Urban Outfitters
Art: Be Brave and Pink Fox, Society6.

#JanuaryJoy – Plan a project

Good morning readers!

I’ve left some of the prompts for this years #JanuaryJoy deliberately vague to allow as many people to join in as possible and whilst this particular prompt could encompass many things, for me it will be a house project. We’ve got quite a few things planned this year, big and small, from whole rooms to finishing touches. I’m keeping it small for now as I want to enjoy the remainder of my maternity leave dust and stress free, so I thought I’d share a couple of the projects I have in mind for this month.


Alcove storage // Peach and grey alcove

A Nursery wardrobe.
When we planned the nursery (which I will share soon, I promise!) I was convinced I was having a boy and didn’t give any thought to wardrobe space. We have a huge chest of drawers in there but since having a girl I’ve realised I need hanging space for dresses. The best place for the storage is in an alcove to the side of the chimney breast but it’s proving difficult to find a pice of furniture as it’s an oddly sized 66cms wide, so I’m having to think outside the box. I love the idea of being able to see Bea’s tiny clothes and so I thought some kind of open storage might work and hopefully won’t look too untidy as she doesn’t have that many clothes and I can still keep the majority folded in the drawers. Or do I do some kind of IKEA hack with something like this?

IMG_9491.JPG
Garden design by Tom Stuart-Smith.

Deck planting.
When we built our deck outside the kitchen last year we added some raised beds made of sleepers, half the height of the deck. They’re pretty big and the idea is to plant them with tall perennials that will surround the deck with foliage so it doesn’t seem separate from the garden. So the first job is to order some topsoil to fill them as they have stood empty since we built them, and secondly to plant them up with appropriate plants. I’m going for delicate drifting styles, in shade loving plants for one of the boxes on the north facing side and pretty flowers for the other west facing side which gets lots of sun.

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Bathroom via

Bathroom revamp.
Our bathroom is perfectly adequate and not on the agenda for change for quite some time… if we did change it, it would be part of quite a major reconfiguration of the first floor so we need to give that serious thought. In the meantime, I think I can make it a lot more us, with some simple additions. A new mirror, new light fittings, a bit of paint and some new hooks should make a big difference and it’ll be fun to change a room without all hell breaking loose in the house for a change. ;)

So what projects are you planning this January readers? (It doesn’t have to be house related!)

Love
Rebecca
xo

Nursery: And the Animals came in Two by Two…

The first nursery scheme I posted was a complete contrast to this one, Bright and Bold with neutral accents. Then I spotted and fell in love with this Animals wallpaper from Beware the Moon and had to use it as a base for a nursery mooodboard to see if I could live with the neutrals. I think with enough bright accents, I can make it work… it’s just about finding the right pieces.

I still plan to incorporate lots of brights as accents so the room doesn’t look stark, but the wallpaper was so beautiful I couldn’t let it go unused and I worried the Triangle print would be too busy and full on. This is a great way of adding pattern and texture, without making my eyes turn into triangles too!

We’re finishing the decorating this weekend so hopefully I’ll have something to show you very soon!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Five on Friday…

Since the house is kind of getting there (i.e. the builder is more outside than inside now…) I’m thinking about the best methods of cleaning. Microfiber and e-cloths were a revelation for me in the fight against dust and dirt so I love posts like this one from Real Simple on the best cleaning supplies.

Do you smile then apply your blusher? I do, but wondered if that look was getting dated (after all, I’ve been doing it for at least 10 years!) so this post on how to apply your blusher perfectly was well timed.

Dana from one of my favourite interiors blogs House Tweaking is giving a whole house tour right now. She is working on an epic renovation and I love her style, so head on over for some serious interiors porn.

This weekend we are decorating the nursery and in an about turn after this moodboard, we’re going (surprise surprise, ) grey with this stunning paper. Check out their Ostrich paper too for a healthy dose of quirk that would look great in a bathroom or bedroom.

As this is the first proper weekend Pete and I have to ourselves with the new kitchen in, I’m planning on making the most of it and cooking a weekend breakfast. Pancakes are top of the list and I might try this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s protege, Anna Jones (she was one of the first trainees at Fifteen,) and her book is on modern veggie recipes – A Modern Way to Eat, check it out… (and the recipe here.)

Happy Friday readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Nursery: Bright and Bold

With my third trimester well underway, planning for the baby has started to creep to the forefront of my mind. With a lot of the house still in need of renovation, we’re lucky enough that the nursery is a true blank canvas and I’m also thanking my lucky stars that it’s in relatively good nick – it seems to have been skimmed recently, has new engineered oak flooring and as it’s at the back of the house, has a double glazed window already in situ. That means it’s largely a cosmetic job, which goes someway towards explaining my relaxed attitude to getting it done!

The truth of it however is that I’m not completely decided on the style I’m going for and it may well end up being a combination of the moodboards I’m going to share here in the coming weeks. All of them are unisex or ‘gender neutral’ and I have always planned a brightly coloured space so not knowing the sex of our baby hasn’t restricted me in any way.

Back when my old house was featured in Good Homes magazine I spotted the Sian Elin wallpaper that underpins this scheme in the same issue, and regardless of whether we go ahead and use it, the multicoloured bright sherbert shades have provided a palette for me to work with against a largely neutral backdrop.

This scheme relies on the statement wallpaper and white furniture for contrast with more muted accessories so as not to compete with the bold design, but I would only use it as a feature wall, perhaps along our chimney breast.

The room has enough space for a chair for feeding in and footstool, and I’m looking for a large rug to soften the floor space. The only down side to high ceilings and large windows is that ready made curtains are never long enough, so I’m on the look out for a neutral material to get full length curtains made in either a plain fabric or much smaller neutral print.

The Cot was a fab find from John Lewis as I was previously coveting the Ouef Sparrow cot, seen often in blogland and this is a good similar style at a much better price.

So what do you think readers? Watch this space for a more subtle neutral nursery design coming in the next week or two…

Love
Rebecca
xo

Sources:

The white stuff…

Since we moved there are a lot of empty spaces in our house and although new furniture is more for ahem, finished rooms, I do find myself browsing for various pieces. Right now my focus is on the nursery and I’m working on a mood board to share with you soon but in the meantime, I want a sideboard for baby’s room. Long low and white with a hint of midcentury modern about it and equally at home against a patterned wall or in a serene airy space.

  1. Dumont buffet, West Elm £599
  2. Hemnes 8 drawer chest of drawers, IKEA £180
  3. 6 drawer Ercol chest, The White Company £945
  4. Milton 3 drawer sideboard, M&S £549
  5. Bess sideboard, Dwell £399

Whether this is a good idea or not I’m not sure, and I’m imagining putting a changing table top onto of this piece so I’m not necessarily looking for something so low as some of these are, but I love the elongated look and think drawers may well suit baby storage better with shelves for toys or books? I also like that in the future this would work well repurposed in another room.

Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and your favourites from my selection…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: A Toddler’s room makeover

Today I’m sharing a post that I would love to see more of on Florence Finds, a real room make over. I know you guys love reading them and stealing some inspiration so please please please do send in your room makeover’s to hello@florencefinds.com and I’ll post them here.  In the meantime, here is a brilliantly bright bedroom makeover that Alice (from Simply The Nest,) created for her toddler daughter. Thanks for sending it in Alice!

I saw your post on pastel interiors and I thought you might like to see some pictures of the (super-bright!) hot pink and pale blue nursery my husband and I recently created for our eldest girl, Eva Bella. Like all toddlers she loves animals, and she’s also an adventurous, fearless girl who’s at her happiest when climbing bookcases and ladders and then hurling herself onto the floor from great heights, so we decided on a jungle animal and travel/explorer theme.

While I love the chic, understated look of nurseries often featured on American blogs (like The Brick House), I personally prefer lots of colour and pattern for older children. I’ve been drawn to the fuchsia/pale teal combination since Matthew Williamson’s Electric Angels show in 1997, and have always wanted the opportunity to translate it into an interior. We used hot pink on one wall only, and toned it down with pale blue on the other walls, amber-coloured original floorboards and white bedding, so although the room is undeniably bright it doesn’t feel overwhelming – well, maybe too much for an adult but perfect for a child :-)

We undertook the entire room transformation ourselves – we’re in the process of gradually renovating a big old run-down Victorian in a leafy South Manchester suburb. The house hasn’t been touched in about 30 years so the décor is eighties-tastic, but we have twelve-foot ceilings! and original fireplaces! and gorgeous original plank flooring! and cellars! and a turquoise bathroom! and a kitchen shoehorned into a bay window containing a dodgy old cooker, a sink, and not much else! We’re fierce DIYers who love a challenge though, so couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Andre (my husband) re-plastered, painted the walls and sanded the floor, while I painted the woodwork and oiled the floorboards. I really wanted to have a go with the floor sander as I love getting involved with exciting power tools, but being heavily pregnant with our second child at the time I reluctantly watched from a safe distance!

Instead, I sewed giant curtains for the bay window (using this amazing pink and white travel/animal fabric), teetered at the top of a step ladder to hand paint a huge mural depicting a fantasy landscape of jungle animals frolicking among famous world landmarks, and made pink paper pompoms to suspend from the ceiling. We bought a vintage 1950s Queen Anne wardrobe on eBay, and reclaimed a big 4×4 Ikea Expedit unit that had previously held my beloved jazz record collection to store all her favourite toys.

After watching several hours of upholstery tutorials on YouTube, I also upholstered a chair in fabulous pink floral fabric, personalised an Ikea toddler table and chair set, and sewed cushions, a pillow case and beanbags (the latter are particularly popular with our two Jack Russells). All these projects can be found on my blog, Simply The Nest (along with tons more pictures and projects from our first and current house).

Right now we’re hard at work finalising our second daughter Natalia’s nursery – she’s getting a turquoise, blue and yellow colour scheme and an English country garden inspired mural. After that, we’re going to tackle the master bedroom, which currently has brick-red walls and ceiling, a brick-red carpet, and mustard-yellow woodwork *shudder*. Renovating with two small children and two dogs is an extremely slow process! but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing your daughter happily whacking her toy hammer on your lovingly renovated original Victorian floorboards to make it all worth your while :-)

I love this room and the way Alice has created such a fun decor scheme that’s girly yet still really fresh and vibrant. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Don’t forget to leave Alice some love if you like it!

Love,
Rebecca
xo