Rooomy Issue 11 | The Sustainability Edition

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EXCLUSIVE HARDWOOD BEDS DESIGNED TO INSPIRE AND SAFELY NURTURE CHILDREN

beds - bunks - mid sleepers - high sleepers - furniture - storage - desks & chairs

www.littlefolksfurniture.co.uk 01985 300588


Editor’s letter Hello, Well it’s been quite the break since the Nursery Edition. How are you all doing? Summer in the Rooomy house was spent enjoying a break from home learning and working, a respite that allowed us to re group and remember that family life is not timetables, brain storming stories for English and projects, it’s about walks, puzzles, board games, laughing together and movie nights. Now Rooomy is back with a brand-new edition, 5 new contributors, a gorgeous Reader Room and the usual; top art pick, wallpaper inspiration, great accessory find and my favourite, Rooomy Loves. The focus being sustainability. Families are recycling more, starting to make sustainable swaps, and thinking more about our choices as we start to grasp the impact we are having on our planet. The features inside will help you think about how to bring this thinking into the family home and of course your kid’s room in a practical way, focusing on the materials we use and best of all some great DIY project that you can do for your kids or get them involved in, check out page 48. You’ll be hearing from me again very soon as the Christmas issue will be out soon too. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the newsletters over lockdown, I will endeavour to do some more if there is a further lockdown. Stay safe, best wishes Rachel x

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Editor in Chief Rachel Burns Art Director : Elizabeth Barrett Sub Editor : Ann Storr Assistant Editor : Joanna Olney Style Editor : Chloe Spillett Business Developent : Leisha Larson

Brand Consultancy : EB&Co Contributors : Natalie Lockwood, Vicky Kieldsen, Chris Lusty, Naomi Weetman and Ildiko Wardlaw For advertising enquiries, email hello@rooomy.co.uk or call 01732 359488

cover image: Ruga Cork Rugs see page14

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Contributors Chloe is an award winning designer, mum of two. Formerly a psychology teacher, Chloe finally made the move into fulltime design after winning the National Prize for “Styled by Me” judged by Sophie Robinson. Chloe knew she was onto more than a hobby and then she went on to win Grand Designs “Under the Stairs” project with a wonderful playful nook, any child’s dream hang out.

Natalie Lockwood is an interior designer and blogger based in Yorkshire & Spain. She created her studio and blog Little Mill House out of the desire to offer affordable, convenient interior design with a focus on sustainability whatever the client’s budget. She’s designed rooms for the Ideal Home Show & Grand Designs Live and The Little Mill House blog is in the top 100 upcycling blogs worldwide and was nominated for a prestigious Amara Interior Blog Award in 2017 & 2018. Vicky is an interior designer, stylist and founder of design studio Hello Geronimo which focuses on children’s interiors. Starting out working for large design firms specialising in the design of residential and hotel projects, she then created Hello Geronimo which quickly evolved into a graphic design business focusing on cards, prints and stationery. As well as being a mum to two young boys, she has now brought all of her skills together to create an interior design studio with a difference.

Ildi is mum to Duncan and an interior designer who believes that the key to a sustainable future is; for us to teach our children the importance of protecting the environment by surrounding them with green stimulants that will be a daily reminder about how important it is to be environmentally friendly.

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Art Pick

Sustainable Styling

Rooomy Loves

Duncan’s Room

Accessories

Grand Designs Live


Playtime!

Blow It vs Budget

Parents lead the way...

Little Folks Furniture

Walls

Reader Room

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With a focus on sustainability where does one start when looking for art work to encompass this? As I started to do some research the cosmos yet again intervened. There is something that happens to me around manifesting, that when I am looking for something but I’m not quite sure what it is, someone will then send me exactly that item. The lovely Riccardo Scala, a teacher and graphic designer in Italy, sent me through a few of his latest creations. There are pandas, hot air balloons and Whales to check out but I was of course struck most of all by the jellyfish. I think with my sustainable hat on it conjured up the images we’ve all seen of plastic bags floating in the ocean, looking like jelly fish. I like how Riccardo has captured the flow of their movement, taking me back to the classic Finding Nemo scene when they all rise up, leaving the beloved Dory in danger. As much as we never want to touch one they are quite entrancing to watch with their flowing tentacles and ballooning bodies. I have wasted lots of time in aquariums staring at them, have you? If you like how Riccardo has captured them here and his great choice of colours then click on the images. To see more of his work check him out here.

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Jungle Plants Wallpaper, 10 Photowall


sustainability sustainability sustainability sustainability sustainability sustainability sustainability CHLOE SPILLETT GIVES US THE LOWDOWN O N H O W T O S T Y L E S U S TA I N A B LY 11


we have the ability to inspire our younger generations to fall in love with and gain a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful in the natural world

Children are the future, and their future is very much in our hands. I feel like we’re finally getting to a point where making environmentally conscious decisions regarding what we purchase for our homes is becoming the norm. Sustainable design in the capacity of spaces for children isn’t just about making informed choices about what to buy, how it’s manufactured and where it comes from (although that is vitally important.) The truth is, there’s so much more to be achieved from choosing sustainable design in our children’s rooms. Namely, we have the ability to inspire our younger generations to fall in love with and gain a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful in the natural world, and when their time comes, they too might make better choices for our planet. We have a responsibility to teach them to respect, nurture and love our planet. Linen is bang on trend at the moment but did you know that linen is one of the oldest known fibres? It comes from the flax plant and so as long as it’s not dyed its a biodegradable product.

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Woodlands Wallpaper by Maison, Photowall

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Fantasy Round Rug, Rooga


Magic Circus Animal Rug, Rooga

Polka Dots Pattern Rug, Rooga

FLOORING My frontrunner for sustainable design is cork. In my opinion it’s an unsung hero and here’s why. Firstly cork is produced by stripping bark from trees without harming the tree, every 9 years the same tree can be re-harvested which is great news for the tree and for our carbon

footprint. If you’re thinking that sustainability isn’t enough to seal the deal, cork is a great option for kids’ interiors. It’s waterproof, hypoallergenic and even has the ability to repel dust. With a wealth or colour variations and designs it also looks sensational. Finish with a natural Jute or sisal rug and you’ll be ticking all the eco friendly boxes!

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THE TEST OF TIME One of the biggest threats to our planet is consumerism. When something is no longer fit for purpose, understandably, we replace it and children’s spaces are at risk of being one of the key offenders. It’s very easy to get caught up in buying things we know will quickly be outgrown. Where possible buy second hand or vintage items. You could also opt for items that will stand the test of time and meet the needs of your household for many, many years. The market is currently saturated with products that are not only sustainably sourced but also

timeless by design. Cane and wicker are a current popular trend but the truth is they have held their own for many many years and I’ve no doubt they’ll continue to do so. What I love most about this product is that you can place cane or wicker in almost any setting and it will be right at home. Modern or traditional, maximalist or minimalist, for a boy or a girl, and in some cases both children’s spaces and adult spaces. Here are a few of my favourites:

top: Suzane Rattan Bed, Maison du Monde, £297.20 Opposite - Clockwise from top left: Wicker Shelf &Hooks, Maison du Monde, £31 top right: Set of 2 Rattan Baskets, Desser, £149.99, centre right: Rattan Chair, Desser, £124.99

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top right: Sun Ornament, Bright Corner Shop, bottom right: Town House and Trees Ornaments, Bright Corner Shop other images: Bedding and Puzzle Blocks, Too Many PJ’s - click for links


Welsh Cottage, Lighthouse, Star Tent, Bright Corner Shop

MADE IN THE UK The ‘support small’ notion has been going strong for some time now and with good reason. When you buy a product from an independent maker, not only are you boosting the UK economy you’re also reducing our carbon footprint. Products that are shipped from overseas leave a carbon trail behind them, so it’s best to buy locally wherever possible. It is also a great feeling knowing your order will be acknowledged in person by that business owner and they’ll be very grateful for your custom. There are a number of natural variants of linen including ivory, ecru, tan and grey. Ireland is one of the world’s leading producers of the best quality linen so you can also rest assured you can buy from the UK. Linen is a perfect choice for children’s rooms because it keeps you cool in the summer but also has insulating properties in the winter. Great for curtains, bedding and blinds, it dries quicker than cotton and let’s face it, anything that helps with the burden of laundry has got to be a winning product, right?! Here are a few of my top picks of local businesses who also offer sustainably sourced products.

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THEMES What better way to inspire your little ones than to bring the outside in? There are some beautifully subtle ways to theme a child’s room and still maintain longevity. You could include a jungle mural or waves wallpaper for a nod to the ocean, or why not go for a woodland theme? The possibilities really are endless.

Jungle Plants Wallpaper, Photowall photo :Jellina Detmarl

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To design a sustainable space for your room needn’t be expensive, labour intensive or challenging. There are so many possibilities and the cherry on top for me is the fact that there needs to be absolutely no compromise of aesthetics. There is a wealth of stunning home decor that is both ethically and sustainably sourced and best of all, it just feels great to know you’ve done your bit for our wonderful planet.

Woodlands Wallpaper by Maison, Photowall

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Whether you’re redecorating or simply looking to update your kid’s space, accessories are where you can have a lot of fun with stylish or playful items that can bring some true character and personality to your child’s bedroom. With sustainability at the core of this issue when you’re looking for new ideas think about the kinds of materials to introduce: bamboo, cork, rattan, straw, clay, to name a few basics.

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left: Wicker Pendant, Willow and Stone, centre: Sinnerlig, Ikea, right: Hector Lampshade, Made.com


LIGHTING Bamboo is a gorgeous material, the colour alone being light yet warm brings a lovely feel to any interior. There are bamboo chairs and beds but as an accessory a simple light fitting can make all the difference and lighting a key accessory that is often overlooked in interiors. So much time is spent on the colour palete and key elements of furniture, flooring and window dressings etc. Lighting is neglected but if you start to notice how a room is lit you’ll soon see how it can detract from a great space or enhance it brilliantly.

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Bamboo Clock, LOO Design

TIME TO CHANGE Another bamboo feature and there are lots out there, I felt this clock would appeal to all ages as the big numbers are great for those kids starting to get their head round the whole telling the time gig, yet it’s stylish enough to not look out of place and kid like in a teens space. Another note on sustainability is to buy items that will last, not buying a clock that will only last two years because it’s covered in paw patrol but a piece that can just be present for all the time it’s needed.

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Lion Heads, Hello Rustle

LIONS! As a Leo I am a fan of all things lions and was very happy to come across Hello Rustle on Instagram recently. Using air drying clay and raffia these little lion creations come in a huge variety of finishes and are made to order so you can have a chat with Ryan about what you need. Check out his Instagram feed to see all different colours of faces or manes. You could have a lot of fun here choosing what would look best, better yet show the idea to your kid and ask them what they’d like their lion to look like. It’s really wonderful for children when they can get involved in the decision making and take some ownership and pride in their room. Ryan is in such demand that he opens sales when he can so you need to follow him and then when he’s open you simply message him, make sure you’re in with a chance of placing your order. I think I need to get myself one of these, the problem will be deciding on what colour!

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Fantasy Tree Rug, Rooga

CORK RUGS As seen in Chloe Spillett’s feature the cork rug! Aren’t these a fab idea? This circular rug will add a sprinkle of magic to your kids room. Let the kids climb the mountains, sail the boats and reach the stars… The warm tone of the cork and the classic design ensures it will blend naturally into any space and is available in two sizes I had never heard of a cork rug until Chloe wrote her feature. Silly really as I used to have cork placemats which I bought in Portugal years ago. But a mat/rug for the kids room, too thin to trip over, easy to clean and even easier to move about, fun, stylish and smart.

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Rhino Lamp EcoBirdy

F A N TA S T I C P L A S T I C Eco Birdy continue to be one of the best solutions to the problem that is kids’ plastic! Do you worry about plastic toys? Do you recycle? Are you concerned about what will happen to your kid’s toys when they are no longer played with? It’s great to hand things down, donate to the local charity shop or make a bit of cash back at a boot fair or on Facebay, BUT eventually they need to go somewhere and where? Think on Toy Story 3, where does a toy’s life end up? Well Eco Birdy have solved this by creating four wonderful products for kid’s to enjoy, made entirely of recycled plastic from kid’s toys, accessories like scooters, ride along cars and more. Their products include a kiwi toy storage unit, a chair, a rhino lamp and a table. They collect unwanted toys from schools, remove all metal elements from each product, and clean everything, the plastic is then batched into similar colours and melted down. It is then moulded into one of their four designs resulting in a fun mottled effect with rounded edges and a smooth silky surface making the furniture pleasant to the touch and easy to clean. The outstanding results are a sustainable and environmentally friendly product for your child’s room that is made of 100% recycled plastic, looks great, has a function and is fully recyclable.

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SADIE RUTH SHARES IDEAS ON S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y, PA R E N T I N G , A N D S H O W I N G T H E B A B E S T H E W AY. . .

where the parents lead, th

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ROOOMY INTERVIEW

he children will follow...

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we have the ability to inspire our younger generations to fall in love with and gain a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful in the natural world

RB - You have a clear mission of wanting to teach your girls how to live a fun, colourful and environmentally friendly life. Have you always thought about sustainability or did you have a wakeup call one day? SR - I’ve always cared about the environment, but I think having children made me think more about the future. I had to consider the world I was leaving for them but also face up to the damage that can be caused by simply raising babies. I think our first eco swap was our nappies. We moved to cloth nappies. It was a much simpler swap than I thought it would be. RB - What would you say are some of

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the best ways parents can make small changes in their home which would have a positive impact on the environment? SR - The most important I always believe is leading by example. So make sure that any changes you make are shared with your kids so they understand them. Next for us was thinking about the kind of toys we wanted to have in the house. We made sure from the beginning that plastic toys were not going to be a feature. We wanted toys that would last a long time and not be exploitive of the environment or the workers. We do have some plastic toys that the girls love. These are mostly character toys and we get them second hand.


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RB - You daughter’s bedroom is stunning. just love the waves shape of the wood. It’s What are the key features in there? so beautiful and you know I love anything to do with books. SR - Thank you. I absolutely love it. It’s my favourite room in my house and I love RB - If you could have anything in her to just lie on Gracie’s bed and take 5. We room what do you think it would be? started the theme with the wallpaper, and chose a feature mural from Photowall SR - I would have loved to have added a Sweden. It was really easy to put up and net canopy over the girls’ beds with little is the first thing everyone notices. sea felt creatures hanging from the centre. At the moment I’m holding off on that as I We then added some beautiful undersea think the girls would probably pull it down themed decorations from our sea board or damage it. They are just too little at the from Mint and Feather to our bunting from moment. Eymay Shop. We also covered the ceiling in Glo in the dark stickers of underwater RB - What are your favourite books to read scenes from Dream Tex Limited. We added with your girls to educate them about the a selection of our favourite sea themed environment? books and used some IKEA shelves to display them. We also added some of the SR - I really like using non-fiction books. incredible artwork by Wildlings Interiors. I think if I want to raise little eco warriors Finally we got an Ocean Life Duvet Cover I need to start with giving them an for Gracie from Dreamtex Limited. understanding and awe of the world around us. Their love for animals and RB - What do you love most about her nature will be all they need to make the room? right choices in adulthood. My favourite one is Yuval Zommer’s big book of series. SR - Probably their book box. It was a I just love them all, and his adorable beautiful gift from Wamm Cosyroom. I illustration style.

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The key to a good eco toy is one that is going to be around for a long long time. Not something that damages easily and is thrown away.

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RB - Best eco-friendly toy you’ve ever hair feeling heavy and I really don’t like come across? them. Hopefully in the future someone will come up with something better. SR - Ooo what a tough question. I think it has to be our wooden animal toys. There RB - Your reusable, sustainable and are loads of great brands out there that eco friendly life, still includes plastic of all add their little unique touch to them. course. How do you balance this with your passionate outlook on looking after The key to a good eco toy is one that is the planet? going to be around for a long long time. Not something that damages easily and SR - It’s people making small changes is thrown away. I’m hoping our wooden that will save the planet. I like to focus animals can be passed down to my on buying plastic toys second hand so grandkids that they are saved from the dump. Some plastic toys can be essential. Like our RB - With some people starting to think a Connetix Tiles. They are incredibly robust little bit about Christmas, what great gift and the learning that comes from them is ideas would you recommend? immense. I know my girls can learn and grow with them, and then they can be SR - I’m so in love with our Tonie and Yoto passed onto other children. box at the moment. My girls adore stories and this really gives them the freedom to RB - For parents who are thinking about be in control of it. Tonie is a great robust the environment and the décor of their choice for your more destructive kids. I home, particularly their kids’ rooms. think I’ve seen Margot drop it hundreds of Where are the best places for them to times and it still looks like new. shop? Our Yoto box is great for older kids. The girls love having it in their bedroom and listen to the kids’ radio or stories on it and love the nightlight feature. RB - Have you ever bought a sustainable product and thought it was an absolute waste of money? SR - Probably the shampoo bars. I just can’t get on with them. They leave my

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SR - I don’t think there is a one stop place that has it all. I try and focus on working with small businesses who are quite eco aware. And get as much as you can second hand. Both the girls’ beds and chest of drawers are all Preloved by other children first. The most environmental choice you can make is for another product to not have to be manufactured. Always try second hand if you can and it’s appropriate.


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goo wo


od ood

LITTLE FOLKS FURNITURE: W H E R E B E AU T Y A N D S U S TA I N A B I LT Y C O M B I N E

LITTLE FOLKS FURNITURE SHARE THEIR INSITE INTO THE WORLD OF S U S TA I N A B L E F U R N T R E F O R C H I D L R E N S B E D R O O M A N D T H E F A M I LY H O M E


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...no-one is saying we should stop using wood; but we do need to grow and source it in a sustainable way...

Being sustainable and eco-friendly Managed forests for planet-friendly in the furniture world; what does it product actually mean? We developed ways of respecting and ‘Sustainably sourced’ and ‘eco- protecting these valuable forests many friendly’ have become buzz words of hundreds of years ago through forest recent times. What isn’t often spoken management systems; even back then about is exactly what they mean in people realised that wood had to be terms of furniture creation, and also sustainable and to ensure that not how we can be sure as consumers too many trees were cut down. Go that the timber used to produce the back almost 60 years and the Forest furniture we choose to buy is indeed Stewardship Council (FSC) was formed planet friendly. which created a global blueprint for protecting and developing our natural What we all know to be true is that if wood resources. Today much of the we don’t start doing more to protect timber that is “responsibly sourced” is the planet and its resources then there certified under the FSC scheme and/ will be direct consequences for all of or comes from responsibly managed us. One of the most valuable assets plantation forests. Despite these huge we have on this earth are our forests, initiatives it is believed that only about supporting an incredibly complex 10% of the world’s remaining forests biodiversity as well as the millions of are currently protected from further people across the world that depend destruction. on them for food, shelter and work. To put this in perspective, no-one is And of course, the tree – or wood – is saying we should stop using wood; but one of the most useful materials we we do need to grow and source it in a use all around us. sustainable way. That’s not just about

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Sustainable management has to apply to forest and plantation alike. It’s about equipping ourselves with the knowledge and understanding of how to treat these natural forests

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It goes without saying that if you start with a decent raw material such as hardwood the result is a product that will be stronger and more durable; it will stand the test of time.

making sure we grow as many new trees as we cut down, as there may be other factors at play. For example, the impact on soil conditions and the local ecology of growing lots of trees – or even too many trees – including the demand on water supplies. As consumers we should really think about this and look for assurances that the wood in our product has been responsibly sourced and not easy if many of those we buy from don’t talk openly about it themselves.

“organised plantations”. Plantations can be seen as crops which are planted for easier and quicker harvesting – but also fast-growing trees such as softwood pines are chosen. The quick growth saps the earth of nutrients and there can be huge demand on water resources, affecting not only the trees, but also the local inhabitants too. Sustainable management has to apply to forest and plantation alike. It’s about equipping ourselves with the knowledge and understanding of how to treat these natural forests, and indeed when it comes to furniture manufacture, which types of wood to use to best protect our ecology.

Strong, durable hardwoods, such as oak and beech, lend themselves to the crafting of high quality furniture pieces. But these At Little Folks Furniture, we spend a lot trees can take a long time to grow and of time consciously selecting sustainably are forest trees and not naturally found in sourced hardwoods and we have a

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dedicated Sourcing Manager based in Europe whose role it is to ensure that the timber we select is from managed forests as well as managing top quality control. As an example each log coming into the factory from the forest should be individually labelled – almost as a passport for sustainability that we are able to check – and to prove it has not been illegally logged. The fight against fast-furniture The availability of cheap softwoods has meant that we have developed a throw-away mentality and not expecting furniture to last, which is a bit of a full stop to the sustainability sentence and where we need to think much more carefully about our choices. If we replace furniture more frequently, then not only do the costs add up but we are adding to the pressure of harvesting more wood in the first place, and the environmental cost of getting rid of the old furniture too. But it isn’t just about avoiding the fastfurniture cycle. Over recent years there has been much more attention to the need for children’s furniture to be “safe” (and withstand the rigours of childhood). It goes without saying that if you start with a decent raw material such as hardwood the result is a product that will be stronger and more durable; it will stand the test of time. All of our bed frames at Little Folks are crafted using hardwoods like beech or oak, and we use our own test rig where we “bish bash bosh” beds to continually assess the performance and to ensure they meet Safety Standards. Put a bed made of softwood pine and dowelled joints into the test rig and apply

one of the standard stress tests, and the bed will likely fail (break) straight away. In contrast, put a similar looking bed but made of a hardwood such as beech with more traditional mortice and tenon joints into the rig, and it will have to go on bashing away to have any effect. And it doesn’t stop there. As the name suggests, pine is a softwood and one of the consequences of growing quickly is that it is knotty and the grain is “soft” and the timber is easily dented. This means that paint finishes that should be protecting the wood underneath also crack – not ideal for the wood nor the look of the furniture. So durability is also about how wood is finished or painted. Furniture made from hardwoods under the paint will generally look good for longer and make for better recycling projects later on down the line.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER So it seems that the Sustainability equation is not straightforward, but perhaps the answer can be. We have to have a holistic view and ensure that the wood is from a sustainable, properly managed source which could be a natural forest, managed forest or plantation; also what it is going to be used for and that it is fit for purpose and safe, durable and how long it can be used for so that we’re not unnecessarily adding to the carbon footprint of waste. For us at Little Folks, hardwoods are definitely a valuable part of the answer in terms of both the ecosystem and performance and we endeavour to continue our promise to protect our planet whilst designing and crafting beds that are built to last and designed to be cherished.

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It’s a colourful life NAOMI FROM COLOURFUL HOME SHARES EXPERT TIPS ON HOW T O C R E AT E C R A F T I N G D E C O R DELIGHTS... 48


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PA P E R U M B R E L L A S What you will need: Coloured paper Double sided sticky tape or glue

3. Add a piece of double sided tape or hot glue down the fold. If you use PVA glue then use a peg to help the glue set.

Pipe cleaner White tack

1. Cut out six circles about the circumference of a tape roll.

4. Start stacking the colours in order using the same method.

2. Fold in half and half again.

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5.

They will end up looking like this.

6. Bend a pipe cleaner into a handle shape and cut to size

7. Glue down the centre. I used a glue gun but PVA would be fine, it will take longer to set. Use white tack on the red and purple to hold it down to the wall. You can make any colour umbrellas you wish.

MAKING CLOUDS... You could even make clouds using the same fold and stack method. 1. Fold a piece of paper in half. 2. Draw a half cloud shape 3. Cut out and open up the paper. You should have a full cloud share. Repeat 4 or 5 times. 4. Stack and glue along fold.

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S A LT D O U G H H A N G I N G D E C O R What you will need:

Children’s paint

Recipe and instructions to make salt dough

Embroidery floss

Dough cutters

Scissors

Craft match sticks

Needle

Wooden dowel or cut down garden cane

You can buy dough cutters, craft match sticks and wooden dowels from a craft shop 1. Make a batch of basic salt dough. 2. Use children’s dough cutters and cut out a range of shapes.

3.

Using a craft match stick, make a hole at the top of each shape.

4. 5.

Bake them in the oven following the instructions. Once cooled paint them. I painted each shape the colour of the rainbow. 6. Let the paint dry completely 7. Cut a length of embroidery floss about 30cm in length. Push the embroidery floss through the hole. You may need a needle to help you. Repeat this for all shapes. 8. Tie each shape onto a wooden dowel or cut down garden cane. Cut off any excess embroidery floss. 9. Measure a length of embroidery floss the length of the dowel and add 10cm each side. Tie on each of end of the dowel or cane.

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CHILDREN'S WALLPAPER & DECOR

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L E AV E N OT H I N G B U T F O OT P R I N T S I bought this book because I love the illustrator. She’s worked on other kids’ books and her art work is gorgeous. The book has a clear message about looking after our environment particularly the oceans and seas. For us it was reaffirming that we are doing the right things already, we always take our rubbish home and don’t leave anything on the beach, in fact as long as hygiene isn’t an issue we often put other people’s rubbish in the bin, the girls are happy to do this. It was a great reminder that using fewer plastic bags is important and something we have become much better at in recent months, one of the few bonuses of lockdown. The girls were heart broken at the prospect of saying no to glitter, but it’s prompted me to research the why some more for them. I guess this is the key to sustainability with our kids it’s all about educating them. Telling what they must and must not do is simply not good enough, we need to help them understand why our actions are important and the impact we have when we don’t act. This will cement their understanding and commitment and then will hopefully be less likely to be led astray by peers who litter. When they’re older, they can set the example and be passionate about their reasons why. Education, strength, conviction.

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C O R K P L A C E M AT S Whilst on the hunt for cork rugs I came across these glorious placemats. With 7 lovely illustrated designs to choose from you’ll be able to make your dinner time setting a truly joyful place to be. Lovingly designed with great motifs from a sustainable material. The cork table sets are non-slip and easy to care for. So your table always stays clean and the food is even more fun!

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FIRE FIRE!! As someone who was never a fan of pink growing up until I was forced to wear a pink bridesmaid’s dress and actually came round to the colour, I now live with a pink obsessed 5 years old and this fire truck made me smile. It comes in red too, if like me you love a more traditional style. There are lots of great sustainable vehicle toys available from Green Toys but I wanted to give this pink beauty a top spot here. Solidly constructed from 100% recycled plastic milk containers that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Toys Fire Truck has no metal axles, so it’s safe for both the earth and small hands.

1+1=2 The number one reason for the Rooomy Loves feature is because when I am researching kids rooms I always stumble upon products that I don’t think would have ever crossed my path otherwise. This Bamboo Calculator is a perfect example of just that. Had you ever heard of one? Well if you are looking to introduce more natural products and less plastic then this is a must have! Bamboo offers such a great colour and the chunky buttons are fab for all ages and it is of course solar powered.

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COLOURING FOREVER Pick a product, any product. All of the Eatsleep Doodle products are great and they have something for everyone. I include them here because they meet a sustainable level for me as their products can be washed and reused and then passed on. Nothing is going into landfill, the lifespan is fantastic and worth spending on. We just need the creative industry to find a way of making plastic free felt tips!

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Duncan’s Haven

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I L D I WA R D L AW OW N E R O F ECOBAIRN INTERIORS SHARES H O W S H E C R E AT E D A L O W B U D G E T E C O - F R I E N D LY TODDLER ROOM FOR HER 59 THREE YEAR OLD SON


I was 6 months pregnant when we moved into our current house. Three months before Duncan, my son, was due to be born. We were ever so excited to move into our new home although there have been some difficulties such as the newly plastered walls being wet. At the time I was studying interior design full time and my husband was working long hours. We did not have money or time to decorate our baby’s nursery. We were lucky enough to get a beautiful pine furniture set from my in-laws. Although it was an adult set and not something for a baby room it did the job. We got a secondhand cot from Gumtree, a second-hand nappy changing unit from my sister-in-law, some pine shelves from B&M and a beautiful wooden rocking chair from Ebay. We painted one wall dinosaur themed and the rest of the walls green. Well at last, that green turned out to be a horrible shade. We decorated the room in dinosaur theme and “Voila!� the nursery was ready.

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As Duncan grew, I became more and more eco-conscious. I was looking at ways how our family could be more environmentally friendly and how as a family we could live a healthier and happier life for our son’s and our planet’s future. I quickly realised just because we have less plastic packaging in our household, have bamboo toothbrushes, we are far from being a green household. We were breathing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) daily in our home. VOCs are released from many consumer products such as wall paint, bedding, or furniture.

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This realisation made me set up my interior design business Eco Bairn Interiors. I created my design practice with a focus on eco-friendly nurseries, children’s and teenagers’ bedrooms and playrooms. This is my son Duncan’s bedroom. We’d moved him out of his cot when he was 17 months old. He needed an eco-friendly room with a toddler bed and storage for books and toys. I wanted to create for him a reading corner but lacking space I have decided to design a bed with a separate seating area that doubles up as toy storage as the seat has a flip top lid. The bed was made by a local carpenter who used pine wood and finished the bed in a child-safe clear lacquer to complement the rest of the furniture in the room. I chose a vibrant colour palette inspired by nature using blue, yellow, red, and grey throughout the room and decorated with a loose space theme to ensure it will look modern and playful for years to come.

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Upcycling is a great way of taking unloved furniture and creating something new. Upcycling Duncan’s old furniture did not just save us money, but it is sustainable, and he has some unique pieces in his room. I bought some wooden drawer knobs, child safe paint and painted his furniture in a warm sunny yellow paired with sky blue. I mismatched how I painted his furniture to add to the eclectic style of his room. I love arts and craft projects. I’ve purchased some wooden crates from Hobbycraft to create some wall shelves for books and toys. I already had some wallpaper samples at home, so I decoupaged the wallpapers to the bottom of the crate to create a quirky background once the shelves were up on the wall. I also painted them in the same colour as rest of his furniture. Once they have dried, we just drilled them to the wall using screws and they hold Duncan’s much-loved books, toys and plants. One of the easiest things ws parents can do to create an eco-friendly space for our kids is to include plants in their bedroom. House plants have air-purifying qualities and

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some of them have health benefits as well. I included child safe plants in his room such as Spider plants and Parlour Palm. I love to include Duncan’s paintings and arts and crafts in his room décor. It boosts his confidence of seeing his own little creations in his bedroom. We have one of his paintings up on the wall in a frame, a painted alien by one of the plants and his painted pig money box. I am an avid of supporter of small businesses. Many of his wall art and accessories are from small businesses. • • • • • • • • •

Rocket and Moon cushion - Pine and Needles F‘Reach for the stars’ wall plaque - Timber and Fleur Spaceman wall art - Little Letter Studio Harris Tweed & Liberty print initial ‘D’ wall hanging - Bobbin Bear Ophelia monster wall art - Wee Wild Monsters Aliens Planet balloons wall art - Wee Blue Coo Studio Ditte Rocket bedding - Nubie Two tone ceramic flower pot - La Redoute Macramé plant hanger - Morrissey Gene

And this is how I created a low-budget and eco-friendly toddler room for my now 3 year old who loves every corner in his room.

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What

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. . . ’ n g i s e D d n a r a ‘G


N ATA L I E L O C K W O O D O W N E R OF LITTLE MILL HOUSE IS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER AND BLOGGER, DEBUTING HERE WITH HER GRAND DESIGNS LIVE S U S TA I N A B L E K I D S R O O M S 67


Sustainability isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when looking at designs for a child’s bedroom or playroom. We often look at ways to make a kitchen or living room sustainable, along with considering eco-friendly flooring or energy efficient heating but it’s still rare that we think of these things when creating concepts for kids. I have been working hard to change this within my own business, Little Mill House in recent years. When designing a space for a child it’s important to consider the practicalities of the room initially. A kid’s bedroom needs to be suitable for a wide variety of uses, for example, sleeping, reading, playing, studying, to list just a few. These elements mean a space needs to be inspiring and most importantly fun! The project I’m sharing with you is a unisex bedroom for a child aged 4 and upward. The room was designed for Grand Designs Live in London to showcase how to create a playful yet sustainable space on a modest budget. The room was designed to grow with the child, making sure that with a few small tweaks the room can stay relevant for years to come. The walls are a bold feature in the space, I used chalkboard paint on two walls to encourage the child to explore their creativity as and when they feel like it. A tin of paint is such an affordable way to update a space and involves very little waste material making it a sustainable option if using eco friendly paint. The walls can grow with the child too as great large areas to express themselves or write study notes, as they get older. The dramatic black backdrop is perfect for added pops of colour from artwork



and lighting to toys and textiles. I added a fun touch to the room by creating a climbing wall in one corner. I purchased a standard set of climbing stones and painted them in colours to match the room. My son loved this idea as it’s the perfect spot to burn some energy on a rainy day. The crash mat is one that can be used as a playmat in a nursery and recycled as your child gets older, as I have done in this design. I wanted to do something fun with the flooring in this room as I felt it needed a bright touch to contrast with the dark walls. I did a lot of research into whether the grass floor would work or not in the long term. After an in-depth discussion with the flooring company I decided to go with artificial grass, this created a whimsical indoor/outdoor feel in the room which was perfect for encouraging children’s imagination and creativity. It’s an affordable option (especially if you can get an end of roll bargain), durable as it’s made for outdoors, easy to fit and easy to clean, making it perfect for a child’s bedroom. I love the contrast of green against black!

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The bed choice needed to be bright and needed space for storage, I found this design at Cuckooland which was perfect for the design. It has a fun slide and rope ladder along with a chalkboard side that works perfectly with the walls. The slide and ladder feature can be swapped for a plain side as the child outgrows it (although who wouldn’t fancy sliding out of bed in a morning!?) Underneath the bed is plenty of space to store toys, games and school things in cool baskets or boxes, lots of which are made from sustainable cotton like the panda one in the room design. It’s also a great place for a den or hideout! I framed the bed with a half finished painted wall in yellow, this can easily be achieved with only a tester pot depending on the size of your walls.

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LIGHTING Lighting is a simple way to add sustainable designs to a kid’s bedroom, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to recycled, eco-friendly designs on places such as Etsy. For this room I chose a recycled paper Mache effect on both the ceiling and wall, this adds texture and interest to the room but more importantly a little delicacy to an otherwise robust room. The wall light was from CreaRe and matched the room’s yellow elements perfectly! It almost feels like the moon shining over the bed against the black wall. The bedside lamp is a ceramic cactus design from Maisons Du Monde, which complements the green floor and works well with the playful, adventure theme in the room. I think it is important to have a space to encourage reading in a child’s room at any age. In this playful space I added a tepee made from sustainable cotton and kitted it out with cushions, blankets and most importantly…books! The tepee was chosen to match the colour scheme in black and white with a yellow trim. It’s an inviting space to spend some quiet time reading together, something I love doing with my son.

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ART The wall art was chosen in keeping with the colour palette of the room and to add interest without fighting for attention with other elements in the space. I chose affordable art prints from Desenio, which can be switched as the child grows for something a little more grown up. All of the textiles on the bed and cushions were chosen in sustainable materials and playful designs. I finished the room off with some stylish and sustainable accessories/toys including the cool black trike from The Modern Nursery made from recycled plastic. I’m so pleased with the end result of this playful, stylish and eco-friendly child’s bedroom, it showcases every element in a fun and child led way, which I believe we should all aspire to achieve for the young people in our lives. Even just to pick out small elements of the room could make a huge difference to the way your child uses their space and to the overall sustainability of your home.

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ROOOMY GET THE LOOK

V I C K Y K I E L D S E N TA K E S U S O N A T O U R O F A S U S TA I N A B LY S O U R C E D K I D S R O O M A N D S H O W S U S H O W T O R E C R E AT E T H E L O O K Sustainable, Eco Friendly, Environmentally conscious design, Eco design… these are all words that we have not only become very familiar with these days, but also because the vast majority of us are really trying to live a more green life. We will consciously go out of our way to source things for our homes that are kinder to the environment, and this is now becoming one of the main focuses in our home design too. In this feature we are looking into sustainable design and how we can do little things to make our children’s bedrooms kinder to the environment. When it comes to sourcing products for your children’s rooms that fall under the eco friendly category, it can come with a price tag. But having done the research into these products, it’s sometimes just the little things you can do to make the space more sustainable, and here are a few tips for you to follow: Always check that any wood you buy or use for construction comes from legal and sustainable sources. The key thing is to look out for the FSC [Forestry Stewardship Council] logo. Choosing products made out of wood such as birch and pine is great, as they are fast growing trees. Use natural materials if possible, such as cork, rattan, cotton and jute are all great starting points. When it comes to walls, using paints free from VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) is best and Little Greene excel in this area by not only being sustainable in ingredients, manufacturing and breathability, but they also make a point to oppose animal testing. Opt for vinyl-free wallpapers if you can, and look out for the use of water based inks printed onto FSC accredited substrates. When doing the research into this feature, the product that really stood out to me was the cork rug by Rooga. Cork is a natural raw material that is 100% biodegradable, recyclable and renewable. Not a single tree is cut down in the cork harvesting process. It’s almost too green to be true! Vicky is an Interior Designer specialising in kids rooms. To see more of her work visit Hello Geronimo Inspiration for this feature was taken from ProjecTown

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Ubikubi Marco Cork Sctool, Beut, £155

Fantasy Round Rug, Rooga, £157

Knitted Beanbag, Zuri House, £180 Contact Grid 55 Wallpaper, Milton & King, £81.60

Peg-It-All Pegboard, Kreis Design, £210

Musto Restore Basket Nordic Nest, £75

Mr Crocodile Gustav, OYOY Living, £57.99 Indoor Aurora Hanging Chair, Tobs & Ror, £315

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Fritz Hansen Light Utility Design, £245


Flexa Stool, Nubie, £64

Jute Black Triangles Rug, Ferm Living, £35

Essaouria Beanbag, Nobodinoz, £65 Homework Wallpaper, Mini Moderns, £65

Indoor Swing, Bobby Rabbit, £145

Lazy Bear, Fabelab, £24.95

Pegboard, Peg and Baord, £99

Aykasa Folding Crate, This Modern Life, £5

Eero Light, Habitat, £50

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R O O O M Y WA L L S

S U S TA I N A B L E W A L L S Looking for sustainable wallpaper is really easy now. It is tough to find a company that doesn’t print on paper that comes from an FSC or PEFC certified sustainable forest, toxic paints are scarcely used and any decent wallpaper paste will be solvent free, so it’s just down to you to buy the good paste.

S TA R T I G E R AIMEE WILDER

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If you child loves big cats and is also a funky kid then this design it for them and better yet the colour options means there is something to suite the outlandish with the neon pink or yellow, then there’s the muted blue, grey and brown for the more introverted personas and finally a stylish monochrome which always allows for pop of colour through out the room is you wish. If you were feeling adventurous you could mix and match! With the calm yet stern stare of the tiger, coupled with a starred eye nod to bowie, this paper will last for years as it works for all ages.


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R O O O M Y WA L L S

S TA R F L O W E R LITTLE GREENE Oh, this design has it all. Stars, flowers, colour, a sense of rainbow style it’s great! It is available in three other colour ways all with a nod to the 60’s but unless your kid is into serious vintage the heavy yellows, browns and red might not be the vibe they’re looking for. However the peacock colour way is a joyful finish, bringing the outside in, the playful movement of the pattern and something to bring joy to the soul. The paper used in Little Greene wallpapers comes from FSC or PEFC certificated sustainable forests; so for every tree used another four are planted. The pigments used to print them are completely non-toxic and their excellent wallpaper paste contains no solvent.

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R O O O M Y WA L L S

HIDDEN JUNGLE A R T H O U S E LT D All the detail, design, colours, layering and gorgeousness you could ask for, all wrapped up in this hidden jungle design. A wonderful way to inspire children to care about the planet is to surround them with the parts of the world they don’t get to experience. Build their passion to see these animals in the wild one day and they will be on board with conservation and sustainability for sure. Wonderfully versatile, you can hang this paper in a living room, bedroom, playroom or cloakroom - on all four walls for a dramatic look or on a feature wall. Suitable for most rooms except high moisture environments

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WHALE SONG SPOONFLOWER Whenever I research wallpaper I always pick a dark option as I think it is a stunning, striking and a brave way to decorate. I am also conscious that as well as choosing FSC certified papers I’ve continued along the jungle theme in the hope of prompting children to think about the environment. Of course, not all children are fans of land animals and some have a huge affinity with the wonders of our deep and vast oceans. Kathrine Quinn has captured this beautifully in her design, I think we can tell she’s from New Zealand as she portrays many whales as well as sting rays, sea horses and plenty of fish. A wonderful bold wall in any child’s bedroom whatever their age!

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MISCHIEVOUS TIGERS R E B E L WA L L S Enjoy the confident and superior movements of one of the world’s most graceful animals – the tiger. If the previous jungle design was too colourful for you and maybe you’re looking for a more realistic foliage design still incorporating the animal aspect, then this design is the one for you. They are up to all sorts in this design, weaving in and out of the leaves bringing a playfulness to the feel which is just what you want for your kids room. All of Rebel Walls wallpapers are printed on a non-woven paper reinforced with nylon fibres that create no VOC (Volatile organic compound) in room temperature. They print with all-natural non-toxic colour compounds that produce no VOC and their paste is made from modified potato starch that is also non-toxic.

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when mummy is an artist MICHELLE JOHNSON S H A R E S H E R I N S P I R AT I O N F O R HER SQUIDGE’S COLOURFUL, ART FILLED ROOM 89


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Being a small business owner myself I love to buy from fellow small businesses and since launching Squidgearoo I have found some of the most amazing fellow small businesses.

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What can I say, I LOVE decorating children’s rooms! Our daughter, nicknamed Squidge, is now 5 and we needed to update her room to suit the needs of a growing girl. She is very lucky to have a really large, bright and airy room but due to a large window and door placement we are limited on where we can place furniture. After a LOT of scraps of paper with room layouts we finally decided on one, however we then decided to add in a double bed (lucky little thing I know!), mainly because sleep wasn’t going so well so meant I could climb in with her or hubby could go in there.

decided to go for a half and half look to break up the pinkness. I really like Little Greene Paint company’s colours and after testing various shades we decided on Dorchester Pink. It is a wonderfully muted pink shade and really gives a warmth to the room but would also go well with a few of the accessories we had, like the wonderful Numero 74 Canopy from Smallable.

After painting the room, (which was so much fun trying to get a straight line as everything is wonky) I set about the best bit, styling! I wanted to make sure that we created a room that was suitable for her For the overall design Squidge really age but also one she could grow into and I wanted to keep the pink theme, but I did this mainly through accessories.

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Being a small business owner myself I love to buy from fellow small businesses and since launching Squidgearoo I have found some of the most amazing fellow small businesses. Squidge’s room is decorated with some wonderful bits and bobs which work alongside artwork from my collections.

continue to work as she grew up. It is perfect for storing all her ‘treasure’ as well as reading books etc.

Since Squidge was a baby I have invested a lot into books and we have such a fabulous collection. So we bought the IKEA Flisat wall storage as it is perfect to display all her books and easy for her to I simply love her bedding from Coco & choose her favourite books for bedtime. Wolf and although it is a big investment, it is a worthwhile one as the quality is just Her room is adorned with some of the amazing and it washes exceptionally well most amazing accessories and I love to and I know it will last for years to come. add bits all the time. Some of our favourite I chose the Wiltshire bud and Annabelle bits include the Rainbow dimmable lamp duvet set as it gives you the option of two from Ooh My Light, various Bow in the wonderful Liberty designs in one set, so Sky pieces including the new Rattan perfect to change things up. Rainbow, our rainbow droplet garland from Velveteen Babies which we have We also decided that it was time she had had since Squidge was 6 months old. a bedside table. I had been longing for a Mustard Made locker for the hallway, I absolutely LOVE her room and so but instead invested in one for Squidge’s does she, she also likes to “organise like room, again knowing we wanted to invest mummy’ and often moves things around in pieces that would last and would herself!

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