Editor’s letter Welcome to the shared bedroom issue!!! I’ve had lots of questions about siblings sharing, especially if they are a boy and a girl, and of course the age-old issue around storage, marking their own territory and making it all work. For all your shared bedroom queries check out the styling feature by Fi Campos, the pros tips (featuring 2LG and Lisa Mettis), two interviews with Timoney Honeywood and Jo Riding (Owner of Mini Maison) and returning columnist Ursula of Room to Bloom, sharing a gorgeous gender neutral, shared nursery for twins. I’m very happy to welcome a new contributor Medina King, I met Medina at the Ideal Home exhibition when Rooomy first started, she was a speaker at the show about all thing’s kids’ interiors of course! Last year she was endorsed by Dragon Dens, Theo Paphitis at the Birmingham NEC’s Autumn Fair and she has much more to come and I sure of it. Medina shares her top insights on kids sharing a room and I hope she’ll come back again to share more with us. The summer holidays are now well under way and it is glorious to see all the kids out and about being kids, enjoying life with no pressure of having to get up and out for school or homework! The break from routine is lovely, but how long does the novelty last? I hope the pages inside are helpful and that you can go on from here to create a wonderful shares space for your kids, whatever the dynamic may be. And if you have one child or they don’t share then regardless of the sharing dynamic, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the design aspect, products and gorgeous colour palettes that you’ll find inside. Have a truly wonderful summer, happy decorating Love Rachel x
Editor in Chief Rachel Burns Art Director : Elizabeth Barrett Sub Editor : Ann Storr Assistant Editor : Joanna Olney Style Editor : Fi Campos Editorial Assistant : Helen Simmons Brand Consultancy : EB&Co Contributors : Lisa Riddoch, Medina King, Chloe Spillett, Ursula Wesselingh, 2LG, Abigail Rawling (Aspace) and Lisa Mettis For advertising enquiries, email email@example.com or call 01732 359488
cover image: Stdio Roof, Tropical Birds, see pages 26-27
Contributors Fi has had a life-long love affair with art, textiles and interiors from a very young age. With 10 years’ experience in Interior Styling, her multidisciplinary creative consultation services range from residential interior styling and home staging, through to commercial and editorial styling for photoshoots, events, exhibitions and retail visual merchandising.
Ursula is the director of Room to Bloom, an interiors studio dedicated to children’s interiors. Ursula has been on a professional mission to curate the best children’s furniture and accessories for her clients and she believes that every child deserves the most beautiful room in the house, its where so many childhood memories are made.
Medina runs award winning Child Wellness Design Practice, MK Kids Interiors. Recognised as an expert in the field of kids’ interiors, Medina speaks about the field at the Ideal Home Show, the Autumn Fair and on the BBC. Her vision is strong and her commitment to child wellbeing is wonderful.
Lisa Riddoch is mum to two gorgeous kids and has multiple skills sets. As well as being an interior designer she is also keen to supprort other mums in achieveing their goals in life and business. Lisa is taking over the Blow It vs Budget for the next couple of months. Thanks Lisa.
The Experts Speak
Blow It vs Budget
Dotty Little Diva
Yours, Mine, Ours.
One Room, Two Stories
Hugs. Hugs are everything in our house. On Instagram this piece of art states â€œhugs are a universal languageâ€? If your children are sharing a room they sharing a lot more than just their toys, and your attention, they are sharing their personal space, a place to retreat when emotions are high, a space to play freely, being able to make their own choices and not worry about on lookers. A space to be with their friends and now sharing those friends too. It is a beautiful opportunity, sharing so closely with another, what a wonderful world they can create together. They may be similar or polar opposites, there is not formula that does or does not work. Art is a magical way for them to express their personality and clearly mark their own space. It also works as a wonderful display to the other siblings, a reminder of who they are living with. This piece of art would be a great reminder of how marvellous a hug feels and that beneath their arguments, stress and tiredness, they can come together, have a hug and feel better about themselves, each other and the world. Hugs by Andy Westface
FI CAMPOS GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON HOW TO MAKE A SIBLING S H A R E D H E AV E N 10
Rooms where siblings share can be fabulous fun (most of the time!), but there are often a few common challenges to resolve before all the fun and games can commence. From a lack of space, to differing interests and colours, it can sometimes take some planning to achieve a harmonious balance. I’ve been scouring the market to seek out some great designs and products for shared rooms, to offer you inspiration when it comes to creating a space that they (and you) will love.
DOUBLE THE DECK. Firstly, bunk beds are always a great option for shared rooms, mainly for practical reasons; they provide double the sleep space for just the footprint of a single bed, and often have space underneath them too for storage, if space is tight. Bunks can come in many guises, including whizzy ones with extra storage, versions that sit at 90 degrees to each other, double beds underneath with single lofts on top, as well as those that cleverly divide down into single beds too, so it’s worth thinking about what you need their bed to do (apart from the obvious, of course!) This shared space for The Children’s Furniture Company, was photographed by Jon Aaron Green and styled by myself, and it features their Holly bunk bed with cute cut out heart detailing, framed by this gorgeous wallpaper by Scion and a raspberry wall colour. A pretty bed design with extra flounces and frills, it’s ideal for a fun, theatrical modern doll’s house look like this. If you have siblings that don’t agree on colour, try paring a bunk with a combination of bold colour chosen by one, and a wallpaper selected by the other. – Just ensure that the wall colour appears in the wallpaper design too so that the room hangs together.
For sharing brothers
scheme is key, and it
and sisters, a gender neutral colour
tâ€™s easier to pull off than it sounds.
FORGET THE THEME, AND EMBRACE A COLOUR SCHEME. For sharing brothers and sisters, a gender neutral colour scheme is key, and it’s easier to pull off than it sounds. This set styled for Little Folks Furniture, features their Classic Beech bunk bed with clever roll out storage and sleepover trundle; perfect for space saving storage. For this look, we paired the gorgeously warm Dulux colour of the year Spiced Honey, with a bold gender neutral palette of mustard, black and rust for a playful, contemporary vibe. We used a mixture of prints and accessories for the room, but all were in the same palette of neutrals. - By doing away with a single theme and instead focussing on sticking to one colour palette, you’ll find that any items can look amazing in your shared space, as long as they’re the right colour. It’s where cars, animals and dinosaurs can coexist in true harmony! Of course it’s not practical to assume that everything will be in the same palette, so invest in some decent storage in your chosen colour scheme in order to pull the look together.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, WITH COLOUR POPS. White rooms needn’t mean boring… This gorgeous neutral room has been designed by Medina of MK Kids Interiors, an award winning London based Child Wellness interior design practice that creates personalised and fun bedrooms and playrooms for children. The gentle white on white tones keep the room fresh, and pops of colour including gender neutral yellow, adds a little zing to the space. I also really love the corner of prints; perfect for adding personal touches to a shared environment. If you have little ones who really are independent, and aren’t keen on sharing their interior look and palette, another option for room décor is to use different coloured paints to delineate their own areas, and then select the same bedding in two different colour ways. When choosing two dominating colours, it’s a good idea to use either complementary (opposite hues on the colour wheel) for a bold look, or harmonious (hues that sit adjacently on the colour wheel) for a more subtle effect, which will make the job of making the room hang together much easier. Pair bold colours with a large helping of neutrals to help ground the room.
DIVIDE (AND CONQUER!) WITH CLEVER STORAGE One of the main challenges in shared rooms, can be having enough space for all their stuff. Storage systems that are secured to the wall can double up as both practical storage and visual space dividers. The nifty Abbeville by the Great Little Trading Company, is the ideal candidate for colour blocking in order to visually split the space; use some of their gorgeous totes in colours that match your scheme, taking one colour for each child. Totes do a brilliant job of hiding away the clutter, whilst pulling a room scheme together through the repetitive use of colour.
M A X I M I S E S PA C E One of the trickier parts to designing a shared space is creating enough room for those allimportant personal items. Having their own shelves and cubby holes for personal belongings that they donâ€™t have to share is important for self-development and independence. The Orion bunk bed by Julian Bowen has really clever storage compartments at the back of the bed for their most prized possessions, treasured trinkets and favourite books; because letâ€™s face it, some things are just too good to be shared!
P L AY F U L P L AY R O O M S And finally, another type of shared space that can sometimes be a challenge to style, are playrooms. I think this brilliantly playful room with theatrical elements really encompasses the feeling of siblings sharing in one space. The room has been cleverly designed by Medina of MK Kids Interiors, which is a turnkey design and build service for children’s spaces, with clients all over the world. By combining a palette of bold brights together with oversized brick designed storage, Medina has created a fun and inspirational space, where imaginations really can run riot. I love the whimsy and ‘anything goes’ vibe of this room, with such an array of colours that pack a punch and inject bucketfuls of happiness. - It’s the perfect combination of inspiration and practicality in my book.
In summary, shared rooms can be just as much fun to style as any other bedroom, so to round things off for your shared styling projects, here are my top tips: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Pick a gender neutral palette for sharing brothers and sisters Select bunk beds with extra storage Do away with themes and embrace a colour scheme Add pops of colour to a neutral base select clever storage that doubles up as a visual space divider
Happy styling! x
W H A L E C AV E JUNGHANS WOLLE The summer holidays are mid swing (no pun intended) and as much as we might like a hammock in the garden the kids are probably going to spend more time falling off than relaxing in. However, youâ€™re thinking, it would be lovely for them to have a little space to chill in that isnâ€™t their bedroom, getting some fresh, read a book, flick through a comic, doing some sketching or colouring, this Whale Cave provides the perfect spot. Great for the garden in the summer and can transfer indoors for the colder months, perfect!
DREAMY SKIES BEDDING L I T T L E JAG G E R This is not the beginning of a bad joke I promise. What do you get when a Saville Row Tailor meets a kids’ illustrator? Well the collaborate and design utterly dreamy bedding for your kids to snuggle up in and drift off to the land of nod. No wonder they called it Dreamy Skies, I’d actually called it dreamy before I read its name! They have created luxury children’s bedding and interior decor. Using neutral, modern hues, it features contemporary illustrations that are designed to last and mature with your child, adapting and changing as they grow. The theme of eternal nature and a soaring spirit flows throughout, mirroring the growth of childhood. The collection consists of bedding, lighting, beanbags and a range of accessories; all of which come with bespoke sizing and fabric options, to create a unique room that matches the spirit of your child. Like I said, Dreamy!
TENT LIGHT BRIGHT CORNER SHOP Lighting can make or break a room, no pressure. This little light makes me think of the summer holidays, nights camping, star gazing and general time for adventure and escaping. The Bright Corner Shop offer 5 different light designs and they will bring a lovely magical touch to your childâ€™s room. These little lamps would be a great for children sharing, they can choose their favourite and then still feel like they have a say on whatâ€™s happening in the room. As with most great products the wow factor is in the detail, the Scandi design with the birch wood is warm and cosy but the perfect detail is the fabric cable which is available in either natural, mustard yellow or olive green, brilliantly thought out by designer Chloe Harrison.
RAINBOW RUG SUNNYLIFE The most wonderful thing happened last month on social media, it gets a bad rep sometimes but it’s important to look at both sides always, and last month a small independent skyrocketed after being mentioned on Virgin Radio. Amber of Neon Marl was talked about by the lovely Chris Evans, he was admiring the news readers hoodie which featured a neon rainbow. Amber was oblivious to all of this until a friend messaged her say “they’re talking about you on Virgin radio”! Can you imagine?! In perfect form Amber called in to say, got chatting with Mr Evans about her business run from her home, where she designs, and screen prints every single item she sells. Of course, as they talked her number of followers went up and up, but above all everyone loved what they were seeing on her feed that they ordered and ordered and ordered. She took a year’s worth of ordered in 1 day! Absolutely brilliant. My tribute to the lovely Amber is this wonderful Rainbow rug, perfect for any bedroom and certain to brighten up every morning just like her hoodie.
PA R A D I S E B I R D S STUDIO ROOF Floral has always been a popular design for kids’ rooms and of course greenery and palms have been exploding all over interiors for the past couple of years now. Bringing the outdoors indoors is a great focus for kids’ rooms, creating an environment of adventure, wonder and escapism. Adorning your child’s bedroom with these glorious bids will bring new life and a touch of the exotic to their space. They will love putting them together, they can move around as they wish, giving them some much needed autonomy around how their room looks. They are inexpensive and can go to a new home when you no longer need them, perfect for your budget and sustainable shopping needs.
CHLOE SPILLETT C R E AT E S T H E U LT I M AT E MODERN BEDROOM FOR HER LITTLE HEIDI
She’s quirky alright, so naturally Heidi’s bedroom is shaped around her personality.
Heidi, my second child is equally as wonderful as my eldest but there is an element of truth in what they say about the second child because this one is as mad as a box of frogs.
upstairs…that is, before Heidi’s bedroom update.
A couple of years ago while scrolling through my Instagram feed I stumbled across print designer Rachel Powell and She is both loving and feisty in equal it was love at first sight. measure. We could tell from a very early age that this little lady isn’t going Her ‘Tyler’ wallpaper absolutely took to stand for any nonsense. She’s quirky my breath away and I knew I had to alright, and so naturally Heidi’s bedroom feature it somewhere in our house. is shaped around her personality. From there the ideas started to evolve and I decided to combine this new As the typical ‘second child’ criteria found obsession with my love of birch seems to dictate Heidi is also the proud plywood in its natural form. owner of the ‘box’ room but luckily the playroom accommodates much of Heidi’s room takes on a bit of a ‘Ying the girls ‘stuff’ so it’s not really a huge Yang’ design with one wall and the problem. floor in birch ply and the other wall and ceiling in Tyler paper. It’s a pretty None the less, both children would unconventional space and perfect for always gravitate towards her older my little dotty little diva. She likes to sisters bedroom to play when they were break the mould, what can I tell ya?!
This neutral canvas provides the perfect medium for some pops of bold colour. Pink, blue and mustard accessories deliver a sense of fun and creativity.
The best thing about the plywood wall aside from the fact it looks beautiful is that it’s super easy to rearrange shelving, hooks and prints. It’s soft enough to tap pins into and I can screw straight into it without the need for wall plugs (Hurrah!) Holes are easily filled and hardly noticeable once rubbed down. This neutral canvas provides the perfect medium for some pops of bold colour. Pink, blue and mustard accessories deliver a sense of fun and creativity. The vintage wardrobe is painted too to give a modern twist. I’m actually the sort of person who used to shudder at the thought of painting antiques but the walnut veneer just wasn’t right for this scheme and it now has a new lease of life- it looks great and so I am forevermore converted. I always had a plan in mind for when Heidi would transition from cot to ‘big girl’ bed. I had a box room for some of the time as a child and so I understand how it can feel cramped and frustrating. I wanted to compensate for the smaller sq footage in the best way I could. The plan was to build Heidi an unconventional loft bed. With a sleeping area underneath and a top deck where she could play, unleash some creativity and when the time arises, do her homework in a motivating and inspiring environment. I absolutely love an Ikea hack- taking an already existing piece of furniture paves the foundations and removes a lot of steps to the build. It can also sometimes be cheaper than buying the materials to build from scratch…bonus! I had discovered that the Ikea Kura bunk bed would fit almost perfectly wall to wall in Heidi’s room. Don’t you just love it when a plan starts to come together?!
Mid build I joked that I was creating Heidi a cage to accommodate her feral moments (luckily they are becoming more far and few between recently) but in reality I included the rails to enable Heidi to play safely without the worry of her falling ‘overboard’ whilst also allowing the light from her only window to fill the room. The build makes Heidi’s room, once a place to sleep and store her clothes and essentials, an inviting, fun and exciting place to explore. Since its completion it’s the girls new favourite place to be! I think possibly the best thing about this room is its versatility. Take out all of the accessories and it provides a blank canvas for a new colour scheme. It’s timeless design means it will still suit an older child or teenager down the line and if for any reason it doesn’t (because let’s face it Heidi is nothing if not unpredictable) I’ll happily take it on as my office, might even keep the bed for a midday nap!
RACHEL BURNS ASKS EX TV PRODUCER, MOTHER OF THREE AND ENTREPRNEUR, JO RIDING ABOUT C R E AT I N G H E R S O N S â€™ SHARED ROOM AND RUNNING HER OWN INTERIORS BUSINESS.
Rooomy - Have you always been into interiors? Jo - I have always been interested in interiors, I think it’s from my mum. I have really lovely memories of shopping for décor for my bedroom as a child – searching the high street, finding just the right design and then, because it was the 1980s/1990s, EVERYTHING would match – duvet, pillow case, wallpaper border and then we would accessorise with what we had or would find bargains that would work well. My sister and I would get up early on a Sunday morning and move all the furniture around in the living and dining room, trying to make the room different and more interesting than the time before. So, yes, I think it’s safe to say I’ve always loved interiors! I am a creative person but not so great at actually making things myself, so interior décor was, and remains, the perfect outlet for me. Rooomy - Do you find it difficult running an online store, being surrounded by gorgeous interiors products, how do you choose what to have yourself? Jo - Ha! Well, this is a problem! In all seriousness though, bringing the products into our home and using them is how we get great imagery for our website and social media channels, so it is actually an important part of our marketing.
Rooomy - You have 3 children!! What sleep, the constant requests for snacks are the three best things about 3 and the and the lack of ‘me’ time (which I realise three hardest? I’ve not made easy for myself by running my own business!). It isn’t a walk in the Jo - By far and away the best thing about park, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. three kids, is that my little family isn’t so much little anymore, and is more of a crazy Rooomy - How long have Josh(6) and gang, which is absolutely what I always Sammy(4) been sharing for? wanted. I knew I wanted a house filled with noise and laughter and personality Jo - We moved them in together when I and my three boys bring that in spades was pregnant with Noah, who has now and I’m trying to create a home for them just turned one. Our eldest was really that they will love as much as me, and excited but I was very aware that I was where there’ll be happy and comfortable kicking our youngest out of his bedroom bringing their friends for years to come. to turn it into the baby’s nursery, so had I’ve got a few hardest points – the lack of to tread carefully here.
Rooomy - What are the best parts about Loulou Lollipop is one of our favourites them sharing? and we’ll be expanding their collection this summer, with more beautiful Jo - Our eldest was actually at a stage muslins, sheets and teethers. We are also where he wouldn’t settle at night time. continuing to develop our in-house Mini He’d just started school and was anxious Maison brand of productions… we’ve about so much and hated falling asleep currently got our changing mats which on his own. And overnight, the addition of are selling really well and we’ve got plans his brother, took that away. He now goes to expand to other baby-centred designs to sleep (mostly!) with no drama. And I in 2020. love hearing their little chats as they’re falling asleep or just waking up, talking Rooomy - With the arrival of the lovely about what dreams they’ve had or what Noah and creating his nursery. What are their favourite part of the bedtime story your nursery musts? was. Jo - A decent nightlight. They are Rooomy - What doesn’t work so well? essential for nightfeeds and nappy changes and trying to find the dummy Jo - They have different sleep without having to turn the ‘big’ light on. requirements, so our eldest wakes up I highly recommend getting one that can early every morning and wakes his brother be plugged in so you don’t need to worry up, who I know would sleep for longer if about the batteries running out. he wasn’t getting woken. Sometimes their We also couldn’t have lived without our morning chats get a bit overexcited and Snüzpod3 which Noah slept in, attached develop into games such as ‘throw all the to our bed, for the first 8 months of his teddy bears off of the top bunk’! life. It made the newborn days so much easier, knowing he was just there right Rooomy - Are they very different in their next to me. Oh, and muslins, loads and likes and dislikes? loads of muslins! Jo - They have quite different personalities Rooomy - How do you approach designing but actually they are interested in the their rooms? Do you plan/moodboard? same things, which really helps. Jo - Pre-kids me would moodboard the Rooomy - Which three brands should we old school way, with big pits of card, all be looking out for? magazines and scissors and fabric swatches but now I do it digitally which Jo - We’ve just launched luxury soft play still has the same effect – it helps me see from our French ball bit manufacturer what is going to work / what isn’t going to Misioo… we think it will revolutionise work. I really enjoy planning things so I playrooms in the UK. Our Canadian brand really love this process.
Rooomy - What mistake/s do you think creativity and happiness. I believe this parents are making when it comes to to be true, even for baby’s nurseries – their kids’ room? sure young babies aren’t going to know or care whether they’ve got clouds on Jo - Letting their kids lead the design! their wallpaper or pictures of giraffes This will be controversial and I do 100% by their bed but the overall FEEL to the believe in letting kids get involved and room will shine through. Decide on your being a part of the process; but just in the style and the feel you want for the room way we wouldn’t let them eat whatever and design it accordingly – do you want they want or watch whatever they want the room to provide respite from a busy to on TV or buy whatever toys they asked family home and be a peaceful sanctuary for, the design of their bedroom needs or do you want to stimulate them and some adult involvement – to steer them provide inspiration for their imagination? away from maybe the Disney princess Decide on that and then figure out what duvet cover and to something with more to include from there. longevity. Later this year I am going to be launching an exciting project all about Rooomy - If money was no object what getting our kids involved in the design of would you buy for your boys’ room? their spaces, I can’t wait to share it! Jo - I’d have bespoke beds and furniture Rooomy - Why do you think a child’s made, 100%. I’d use the whole height of interior is so important and worth the room and incorporate all the floor investing in? space – creating a bed area with storage, a desk area and a cool ‘nook’ type area Jo - This is probably my favourite for quiet time and reading. question! The way we decorate our home has an impact on our subconscious, Rooomy - Current favourite book to curl our emotions and moods and a child’s up and read with them? brain is like a sponge – whatever we put in front of them, they digest. This is so Jo - They’ve always loved everything by important to remember when decorating Oliver Jeffers, which suits me as I love the their bedrooms. From the colour we put illustrations and heart-warming stories on their walls, to the bedding we choose but we’re currently reading a chapter of for them to rest on, to the placing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory each the bed, the overall feel to the space we evening which is so nostalgic for me as provide them has the ability to encourage this was my favourite book growing up.
Jo is the owner and curator of kids interiors, online store Mini Maison, you’ll find lots of gorgeous products to choose from for your chidlrens bedrooms
MEDINA KING OF MK KIDS INTERIORS TELLS U S H OW TO K E E P T H E I N D I V I D UA L C H I L D R E N IN MIND WHEN DESIGNING SHARED ROOMS One of the toughest things about having your children share bedrooms is that all the privacy disappears. This will no doubt affect older kids more than the younger ones. However, sharing for many children, is exciting and helps in building great relationships between siblings. Sometimes children need their privacy and personal space therefore it would be a good idea to create a private area for each child. Consider buying two of everything so they feel like they have their own individual items (if they like the same things) and place them on either side of the room for each child. This idea works best if the room is symmetrical and you want to create a balance, with individual beds. If the children have differing taste, it would be best to use a specific colour scheme when sourcing different items. This helps create a sense of individuality within the space, giving children a sense of ownership.
Perhaps if the room is big enough then you may want to use a divider in the center of the room like bookshelves or even curtains hung from the ceiling for privacy. It is a good idea to involve children in decorating their bedroom or playroom. You might want to let each of them choose their own style of bedding, accessories and art artwork. When it comes to furniture items such as beds and storage try and keep a similar theme running throughout the room. By helping personalize their part of the room you will help your child gain a sense of ownership over the space. You can monitor and adapt this overtime by paying attention to their changing personal needs.
The storage would differ depending on each child and their individual needs, especially so with age differences. Younger children tend to have bulkier toys, in abundance; role playing, crafting, and high energy consuming play are the focus of children between the ages of 2 â€“ 5 years old. As the child matures, books and boxed games, reading, writing and sleepovers become more important for them, hence all these activities need to be considered, when designing the room. Storage needs to be divided equally within the room, it would be unfair that one child should store their items elsewhere in the house, while the other has storage in their room. It is highly encouraged that children should share the space equally. I am an advocate of the shared room looking as welcoming as possible for all children sharing, I always encourage children to share the canopy, share the bunk bed and take turns sleeping on the top bunk. This philosophy teaches children to share and diffuses any potential feud. Designing the room without physical dividers will also give the room a more cohesive aesthetic. If you encourage your children to share at a young age, this process will be much smoother.
P YJ A M A S F R O M O C E A N B L U U Following on from the last issues focus on sustainability I am really happy to be telling you all about OceanBluu and their awesome pyjama range (they do bedding too), they produce healthy and sustainable pyjamas for little ones that are super soft and safe for both children and the environment. With the goal to make its supply chain fair and transparent, they offer the very best in beautiful hand drawn, lively designs. 100% organic and Fairtrade long and short pyjamas are available in a variety of creative animal designs from parrots, whales and cats to sharks, lemurs, turtles and dinosaurs. And a beautiful, affordable vest and underwear range completes the collection. As if the designs alone weren’t enough OceanBluu also have their own project “OneGivesOne” which really makes your shopping count. With every purchase made, pyjamas and underwear are provided to children that need it the most. By working with local charities, the team at OceanBluu are able to assess the needs of the children properly and address the issues efficiently to ensure a good night’s sleep for everyone. So the only thing left to consider is which design do you or your small love the most? I’d have to go with the whales, personally.
WA K K A K I KO G G At the beginning of the year I was wondering around the very large Maison Objet show in Paris and after 5 hours wandering around, oneâ€™s enthusiasm starts to wain and lull is reached. Just at that point I came across the Kiko & GG stand and it was like entering a candy shop but with toys! There were heaps of great gift ideas, mostly made from wood and aimed at those looking for change from electronic gadgets. The one that stood out (i.e. I played with it for about 10 minutes) was the Wakka, it threw me straight back to my childhood, I loved those water games pressing the buttons and twisting the block in an attempt to get the little rings over the hooks, the clearest memory I have is of a penguin background. Anyway I digress, the Wakka is great, itâ€™s made from wood, designed to look like an old school Gameboy and home to a hook the hoops water game, love it!!!!
LED EDITION FROM MAGFORMERS UK The best toy I have discovered in 2019! The girls were bought these for Christmas thanks to a recommendation from Play expert Emma Worollo. She recommended them on the grounds that younger children could build something significant in a short space of time. Avoiding frustration and deflation. Mag formers have magnetic edges, making them snap together, they are all different colours and the most standard items are squares but they have triangles and hexagons too. You can buy a pack of shapes or you can buy items like cars of a Ferris Wheel and then of course the part become interchangeable. The most popular construction has been a cage for the fingerling monkey who hangs there happily laughing at us which the girls love. This neon LED set are on a special ladyâ€™s birthday list, theyâ€™re going to be a great addition. Recommend all the different sets to you, they were bought for the 4 year old, but the 7 year old uses them all the time too.
SELF BUILD CASTLE FROM PURSUIT OF ADVENTURE Does your child love making a den? Does your child love make belief? Does your child love playing outdoors? This new product is perfect for helping them create their own awesome story. Prices start from around £40 but how often do friends and family ask you what shall we get them, and you’re stuck for ideas? Well grandparents could contribute towards a turret and if you’re throwing a whole class party why not ask for donations towards a portcullis instead? Giving money for kids presents can feel odd, it’s can be even harder to ask for, but I think if there is a specific goal you’re working towards people are usually very happy to contributes, save them a trip to the shops and more importantly, having to think of what on earth to get. You can build your collection over birthday and Christmas and maybe one day they’ll have built a dwelling they can stay in, bringing a whole new meaning to the self-build concept.
ALL ABOUT FEELINGS FROM USBORNE BOOKS As a school counsellor I am all about the feelings! It’s great to start the conversations now so that when they are battling the big changes of teenage life, they have a head start on understanding how they’re reacting, self-awareness is key, right? Starting conversations can be tricky, often met with the rolling of eyes, enter our friend the book. Books are the most fabulous resource for any topic and a great way to talk to your child indirectly and more importantly offering them an opportunity to ask questions and reflect with no pressure form the adults, that’s “phews” all round in our house!
â€œI capture the true smiles and personalities of your little ones. I want to create memories of your family you will be proud to display on the walls of your home, that you will treasure forever.â€? Stephanie Chapman
N E W B O R N : C H I L D R E N : FA M I LY : P E T KENT : SOUTH EAST stephaniechapmanphotography.co.uk
THE INSIDER PROFESSIONAL SCOOP ON HOW INTERIOR DESIGN WORKS FOR SHARED BEDROOMS
Room by 2LG, Blackheath
R O O O M Y F E AT U R E
Pic Credit: Megan Taylor
pink it’s not just the girls and blue it’s not just for boys. Allow yourself the freedom Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead are to play with any colours that your children love. Regardless of their gender. It’s only the power house that is 2LG in recent human history the pink became “Sharing is a great life skill to learn from known or associated with femininity. a young age. So sharing a room with a sibling can be fantastically character Graphic designs or natural organic building and needn’t mean that either has prints are a great way to ensure that to compromise their personality. Take your bedroom grows with your child and elements of each of their favourite things doesn’t become outdated for their age and make a wonderful new combination. group quickly. Think about including lots of layered textures to ensure comfort and Don’t fall into the trap of gendering colours interest”.
Having some special designated boxes or shelves encourages responsibility and a sense of pride (particularly if they listen to you at tidying up time!).
MEDINA KING Ttop tips for having your children share bedrooms; • • • •
Create ample storage Install similar items for each child Get children involve Create private spaces
LISA METTIS When siblings share a bedroom its nice to have at least one box or shelf that’s designated to their special collections, creations or special toys. This could be as simple as a blanket box or toy box at the end of their bed or pull out storage under the bed. It’s also really nice to have a shelf above (or next to) each Childs bed dedicated to them. It can be a simple book ledge which can display latest painting, reading, trinkets. Having some special designated boxes or shelves encourages responsibility and a sense of pride (particularly if they listen to you at tidying up time!). If brothers and sisters are sharing I would simply have a no pink / blue rule. By doing this you will instantly create a very cool gender neutral space. Think ochre, khakis, teals. The kids belongings will ‘pop’ against these saturated colours and create a fun space to play and relax.
A B I GA I L R AW L I N G , A S PA C E - B O Y G I R L SHARING
stripes, chevron or solids with large geometric shapes. When selecting furniture, opt for furniture with clean lines.
Designing a room for a brother and sister doesnâ€™t have to be challenging. In fact, itâ€™s probably the easiest challenge to overcome when planning a shared room.
Bunk beds are a great choice for siblings who are sharing a room as they take-up a lot less floor space than two single beds. The added joy of our bunk beds is that they also convert into two identical single beds. A great solution if your children decide that they no longer want to share, or the arguments over the top bunk occur a little too often!
Choosing the underlying colour palette for the main elements of the room (wall, floor, furniture) is a good starting point. Colour combos such as white and grey, turquoise and white, or a mix of primary colours, work well for both boys and girls. Your children might be old enough to chime in, so you can get the thumbs up from each child! To complement your underlying palette, layer complementary colours and patterns. For example in a grey and white room, try accenting with yellow accessories. For patterns, lean towards
The exciting part of creating a bedroom for your little ones is accessorising and customising design elements to match their individual personalities. Select design elements that make the room feel like it belongs to both of them. Personalise accessories in the room or subtly add gender specific themes, but keep them colour coordinated.
Select design elements that make the room feel like it belongs to both of them. Personalise accessories in the room or subtly add gender specific themes, but keep them colour coordinated.
ROOOMY GET THE LOOK
L I S A R O D D I C H TA K E S U S O N A T O U R O F A N A M E R I C A N , V I N TA G E S T Y L E S H A R E D BEDROOM AND SHOWS US HOW TO R E C R E AT E T H E L O O K
When I saw this shared room design by American designer Jamie Menna I loved the homely and modern vintage feel. It’s the clean lines and relaxed style that appeal to me as a parent, it looks easy to maintain. That’s partly because of the cleaver design using the wall art as a focal point and those beautiful twin wrought iron beds. The colour combinations of the green tinted white walls, turquoise and a mix of brighter colours in the art work and accessories works well for boys and girls so it’s also a really versatile and fun design. When researching products for this feature I thought about it from the perspective of a parent with siblings sharing a room therefore buying several of the items twice. For that reason I haven’t gone too extravagant with the blow it options but all of the products whether Blow It or Budget will help you recreate the look and feel of this fabulous shared room. Lisa is an Interior Designer and and founder of Content & Coffee in Bristol To see more of her work visit www.mumdoesdesign.com
Lion Cushion, £94, Ferm Living
Space Shuttle Print, £19.96, Norsekids
Louise Blanket, £44, Maison Du Monde
Vetro Lamp, £49, Made.com
Stamford Single Bed £295, The White Company
Chunky Jute Rug £109, irugs.co.uk Moon Bedding, Faded Blue, £79, Ferm Living
Lion Cushion, £19.50, Heart Felt Adi
Space Shuttle Print, £10, Hello Press
Concrete Lamp, £30, Houseof
Hampton Blanket, £20, Dunelm Time Living Miami Bed £130, Dunelm
Stars Reversible Bedding, £15, M&S
Jute Rug, £40, Next
R O O O M Y WA L L S
When siblings share a room, do we pick a neutral palette to please them both? Maybe they are similar and love the same things, so an entire room dedicated to their favourite theme is a no brainer. What do you do if they are complete opposites? One son is football mad the other is crazy about Marvel, one daughter is crazy about unicorns, the other is obsessed with sharks, or you could even have a dinosaur loving son sharing with his space loving sister! WHAT DO YOU DO? The first thing is to not panic. It is absolutely possible to keep everyone happy and have a great looking room at the same. Donâ€™t be afraid to make this clear on the walls, itâ€™s the perfect way to mark out their zones and give them permission to let their creative personalities come out.
B & W S P E C K L E - M U R A L S W A L L PA P E R S TA R S - G R A H A M & B R O W N If you’re all looking for a stylish approach or simply can’t make differing colour choices work together then monochrome is going to be your best friend. They can have their autonomy in still choosing their own design and then they can bring their favourite colours in with cushions and other accessories, adding pops of colour all over the place. These two designs are fun but of course with monochrome you can’t go wrong, mix it up to you hearts content.
CHAMELEONS IN CORAL HIPPOS IN BLUE LAGOON A N A M O LY Another top tip is to purchase two different designs by the same designer, that way you keep a cohesive look within the room but once again, each child gets to choose their preferred option with out having to compromise. For example, Anamoly is a great t check out as her style is very clear in each of her designs, yet she has a lovely array of options which each come in many different colour ways. If your kids are animal loversâ€™ then this is a great place to shop.
GIRAFFE DECAL / ROCKET MURAL INKE HEILAND One of the easiest ways to note their space without them overwhelming each other is to invite them to think about wall decals, they could choose one large design (our top large pic is this gorgeous giraffe available in or they could get creative creating their own design out of an array wall stickers. As always, the best part about this option is that if their passion or taste changes after a couple of years, they are easy to replace. These designs from Holland are a little break from the more common designs on the market at the moment and offer over a hundred different patterns to choose from. In addition to wall decals you can opt for a wall mural, a massive decal which covers a bugger space without the repeat pattern found in wallpaper. I love this rocket launch scape from the same Holland designer.
URSULA WESSELINGH OF ROOM TO BLOOM T E L L S U S H O W S H E C R E AT E D T H E P E R F E C T T W I N N U R S E R Y F O R F R A N C I S A N D R O B E R TA
This nursery belongs to twins Francis and Roberta. Their parents did not want to know their babies’ sex until birth, so they asked for a gender neutral nursery which could be accessorised with more gender specific colour after the twins’ arrival. They preferred a contemporary Scandinavian inspired style over a traditional approach, which was one of the reasons they asked me to work on their project.
a tonal base and keep the decorations simple. In this case, the grey walls and carpet form a unified base. The fitted wardrobes (not shown here) were painted in the same colour as the walls, and even the tall radiator was sprayed to blend in, so your eye can roam without interruption, and only the pretty things stand out. This nursery belongs to twins Francis and Roberta. Their parents did not want to know their babies’ sex until birth, so they asked for a gender neutral nursery which could be accessorised with more gender specific colour after the twins’ arrival. They preferred a contemporary Scandinavian inspired style over a traditional approach, which was one of the reasons they asked me to work on their project.
In line with the gender neutral brief, I created a soothing grey scheme around the existing grey carpet. This neutral base works well with any colour or theme at a later stage, ensuring longevity. To add warmth I used a combination of light timber and white for the main pieces of furniture. The cot beds are birch, as are the dresser and shelving, creating a In line with the gender neutral brief, I contemporary Scandi feel. created a soothing grey scheme around the existing grey carpet. This neutral base A chair was needed for feeding, reading works well with any colour or theme at and snuggles, as well as a daybed for the a later stage, ensuring longevity. To add night nanny who joined the family during warmth I used a combination of light the initial months. With all these pieces, timber and white for the main pieces the challenge was to create a lay-out that of furniture. The cot beds are birch, as didn’t feel too crowded. are the dresser and shelving, creating a contemporary Scandi feel. My best tip to keep a room from feeling crowded when space is limited or when A chair was needed for feeding, reading you have a lot of furniture, is to stick to and snuggles, as well as a daybed for the
R A C H E L B U R N S C H AT S T O N I K K I KING ABOUT THE NEW SUMMER COLLECTION FOR BOBBY RABBIT AND THE NEW BEDTIME STORIES
night nanny who joined the family during the initial months. With all these pieces, the challenge was to create a lay-out that didnâ€™t feel too crowded. My best tip to keep a room from feeling crowded when space is limited or when you have a lot of furniture, is to stick to a tonal base and keep the decorations simple. In this case, the grey walls and carpet form a unified base. The fitted wardrobes (not shown here) were painted in the same colour as the walls, and even the tall radiator was sprayed to blend in, so your eye can roam without interruption, and only the pretty things stand out. Another challenge was the huge southwest facing window. It lets in lots of light, which can be too harsh in the afternoon, so I softened it with a sheer curtain for the brightest time of day. On top is a black-out curtain with a subtle grey and white stripe design, which blends in with the walls when it is drawn. After the twins were born, we accessorised their nursery with white, minty green and blush accents, a more contemporary approach to baby pink and blue. We didnâ€™t overdecorate to keep the room feeling calm and spacious. As the twins grow older, the lay-out can be opened up to prioritise floor space for play. The first things to go will be the chair and day bed. I always advise to choose styles that can be re-used in another room. The cot beds will last until the twins are four years or so, after which they can be swapped for two singles for a few years. Once the twins are old enough to use a bunk bed, I would install this to open the room up further, whilst adding more storage for growing posessions. With bedding and wall decor, you can zone a shared room to give each child their own personalised corner.
T I M O N E Y H O N E Y W O O D H A S C R E AT E D A R O O M F O R H E R S O N A N D D A U G H T E R T H AT C E L E B R AT E S T H E I R S E P E R AT E P E R S O N A L I T I E S I N S T Y L E . . .
Rooomy - When did you move to the US Rooomy - Have you always been into and why? interiors? Timoney - Shortly after my husband and I got married in 2007 we moved from Bermondsey in south London to Florida with his job, in 2010 we relocated to NJ where we currently live. I miss London and it will always be home, Iâ€™m a such a city girl! We live very close to NYC, If I ever feel homesick then I love to wonder around New York.
Timoney - Yes, during the first 10 years of our marriage we moved six times. Despite short term rentals, I always made it my mission to make each house look as nice as possible, I learned every rental hack that exists! Moving so often allowed me to experiment with my style and made me realize my love for interior design, especially childrenâ€™s interiors.
Rooomy - How do interiors differ in the US Timoney - I do! I have three boys and one compared with the UK? girl. I love that my children always have a friend to play with, 99% of they get along Timoney - 10 years ago, the styles were very well. I thrive on the business of our very different. The typical style in the US crazy life! I love watching my children was a little dated, with lots of oversized play, their wild imaginations fascinate me. dark furniture that wasn’t practical for our small rentals! However, since we now I grew up with four brothers close in age have platforms such as Pinterest and to me, when my own children are playing, Instagram, I think the styles are more I’m often reminded of my childhood. comparable, it’s definitely easier to shop However, four children can be tough! We for unique, stylish pieces. I’ve noticed have an insane amount of laundry every that many of the current decor trends in week! It can be tough juggling everyone’s the US are heavily influenced by European schedules, I’m always rushing around styles. trying not to be late. I’m aware that each of my children have different needs, it can Rooomy - You have 4 children!! What are be difficult ensuring I’m the best mum I the best parts and the hardest? can be to each of them.
I hear them in the morning when they wake up, having such cute little conversations, I’ll often find them reading stories together.
Rooomy - Your daughter and son are decided to give them separate rooms so close in age, have they always shared? they wouldn’t wake each other up during the night. It worked; however, they would Timoney - There is exactly 1 year between often sneak into each other’s bedroom them. When they were very young, they during the night so we decided to put shared simply because we didn’t have the them back in the same room together. space for them to have their own room, they loved sharing. We’ve since moved Rooomy - Are they very different in their and gave them the choice to have their likes and dislikes? own room but they hated that idea! Timoney - They are very different; Hugo Rooomy - What are the best parts about is messy and unorganized we jokingly call them sharing? him a crazy professor! He has a passion for science and animals, he enjoys Timoney - I hear them in the morning researching topics that fascinate him. when they wake up, having such cute little He’s currently obsessed with learning conversations, I’ll often find them reading about rare coins! In contrast, Evangeline stories together. My daughter Evangeline is very organized and tidy, she is very (5) is a very neat person, she always creative and usually in the middle of an makes her bed when she wakes up and art project. Evangeline always makes her will encourage Hugo (6) to make his too! bed and hangs up her clothes, she has Rooomy - What doesn’t work so well? so much patience with Hugo’s quirks and Timoney - When they were around 2 & messy ways! 3 we separated them for a while, Hugo was having a difficult time sleeping and Rooomy - Which three brands (in the US it wasn’t fair to disturb Evangeline’s but will ship to the UK) should we all be routine. They were both young so we looking out for?
Timoney - I love Anthropologie, especially for girls’ rooms. The items aren’t necessarily made for a child’s bedroom but the selection of home decor is so fun and colorful with lots of florals and bright patterns.
space far better than I could. I take their wild ideas and make it work in a way that functions and is practical. Hugo requested a green and blue room with tigers and pandas! Evangeline wanted “pink, rainbows and pretty things!” Despite them being in the same room their The Jungalow is another of my go-to online contrasting styles work well together. decor stores. So many fun bedding designs, wallpapers, pillows and artworks, again they Rooomy - Do you plan/moodboard? aren’t specifically made for children but work perfectly in a child’s room! Timoney - I do plan, mainly because I want each item that I bring into the space to be Lastly, Ikea is a fantastic place to start when intentional, for example if they need a rug shopping for children’s interiors. So many then I put some effort into finding one they versatile, practical and budget friendly will really love. I want every single item to pieces. Ikea picture ledges are one of my add something special to the space. I enjoy favorite items, such a fun way to create a taking the time to shop around for each piece reading nook or display children’s art work. that I need to buy (mainly online) I try not to compromise, each item has to look great, be Rooomy - How do you approach designing good quality and within our budget. their rooms? Rooomy - What do you love most in their Timoney - Their current room is an “L” shape spaces? so I explained to both of them they would have their own area and it could look any way Timoney - I love Evangeline’s window seat/ they wanted. I like to incorporate all of their reading nook, she currently has a pink ideas into the space, children have wonderful cushion with colorful vintage inspired pillows imaginations and they envision their dream from an Etsy shop Vinnie boy vintage, the
pillows were my main inspiration for the space. Her favorite books are displayed on picture ledges. Hugo has a fun green tiger rug from Anthropologie that was the main design inspiration for his space.
room for their toys. I realize how easily this can happen, especially if space is limited. I would recommend keeping a very limited amount in there and rotating them out, with the remaining toys being kept in a storage closet. I’m always amazed at how well my children play when they only have access to Rooomyy - What mistake/s do you think one or two toys. parents are making when it comes to their Rooomy - Why do you think a child’s interior kids’ room? is so important and worth investing in? Timoney - Don’t limit your search for children’s decor to a children’s department. Timoney - I always encourage my children Adult interiors can work just as well in a kids to express their individual style. I think its important to invest in a room that they love bedroom! and reflects them. I want my children to A child’s space should evolve as the child’s enjoy being in their room, and can take pride interests and needs change. I’m not a huge in their own little space within the home. I fan of a room that has a very specific theme. believe that creating the perfect space can be achieved on any budget. Children change their mind so quickly, a character or theme that they love one Rooomy - If money was no object what would month probably won’t be the same one they you buy for the shared room? love a few months later. Keeping the room simple it’s a good idea, then personality Timoney - Artwork!! By bringing in the right can easily be added by bringing in artwork, artwork it can add so much personality and bedding and accessories that can be easily color to a plain room. Art work can reflect the be switched out. I’ve learned over time that child’s individual style and is an easy way to a child’s bedroom shouldn’t be a storage define a space, especially in a shared room.
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