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Room Tours

Let’s go to my room: Lola, 5

Another stunning child’s room to share with you today! I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it – it’s timeless, with the most beautifully calming colour palette. Lola’s room is the work of specialist children’s interior designer Ursula Wesselingh from Room to Bloom. Ursula’s website is well worth a browse, as is her fantastic blog – she really knows her stuff and has lots of tips and ideas for those doing up a child’s room. She even runs workshops for those wanting help designing their dream nursery.

But onto the tour! Ursula talks us through the design…

Who lives here? This is Lola’s bedroom.

Where is the property? North London.

What was the room like before? It was an unfurnished room in a rental property – the homeowners called in my help before they moved in. The room was a drab mix of green walls, red curtains and the brown-grey carpet you can still see in the room – they absolutely hated it and needed help with a vision for the room. Their daughter had outgrown her nursery furniture, so they took the opportunity to give Lola a pretty “big-girl room,” to help her transition to a new house and new school.

Did Lola have any input into the design – if so, what? Lola’s mum was very keen for me to create a room in my signature style, and at key stages we checked with Lola that she liked what I proposed. Luckily, she loved everything.

What was your starting point for the design? As always, my client’s brief. In addition, I wanted to incorporate the beautiful period fireplace in the design and make it a focal point.

What was the most challenging aspect of the design? Working with the existing carpet – no-one was a fan of it but it had to stay. As flooring takes up a large part of the room’s surfaces, it’s hard to ignore and puts a big stamp on the feel of a room. By painting the walls in a similar tone, it became less visible and gave the room a neutral, restful feeling – offering other elements room to shine.

Did you encounter any difficulties during the installation process? As always there were small challenges, though nothing that I hadn’t dealt with before :-). Luckily I work with a team of very resourceful tradespeople who always help me figure out the best solution.

What is your favourite part of the design? The feature wall with floating shelving and the fireplace has become a great focal point – it’s a little unusual and really makes the room.

Tell us a little bit about your choice of wallpaper. The homeowners loved it as much as I did. I deliberately picked a design from a non-kids range to lend the room more longevity and give it a romantic feel. I knew it had to be floral but finding the right colours was a bit of a challenge – I wanted it to fit seamlessly with the walls and floor.

Are there any special features that you’d like to mention? The fireplace was such an unusual pretty piece and a logical point of focus – I’d always advise homeowners to look for the most natural focal point and work with that if it fits the brief. Another feature is the four-poster bed – I used it deliberately to work with the scale of the room, but also to create a “room in a room,” to give Lola a snug corner to retreat to, as she was still so little and the room relatively large. To save space for a desk/play table I found an oversize wardrobe that stores all Lola’s clothes, doing away with the need for an extra chest of drawers. It maximises floor space for play.

Any design elements you are particularly proud of? I am really happy with how the whole room has turned out, but the feature wall is my favourite part. And of course, I was elated with the reactions from Lola, her parents and friends visiting their house – everyone just loves it, which makes me super happy.

URSULA’S SOURCEBOOK

Bed – Chic Shack

Wallpaper – Nina Campbell

Lighting – wall light Original BTC, clip light Nordlux, chandelier Amazon

Desk – La Redoute

House-shaped shelf – Cox & Cox

Wardrobe – eBay

Teepee – Moozle

Curtain fabric – Pret A Vivre

Visit the Room to Bloom website, and follow Ursula on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook>

Room Tours

Let’s go to my room: Arthur, 5

I’m SO excited to be able to share today’s post with you! One of the things I wanted to do most on the blog was show off some amazing inspirational children’s rooms – and today’s is the first!

The creative brain behind this design is talented mummy and interior designer Lisa, from Born & Bred Studio. Born & Bred specialises in interior design for little people and creative families, with the focus more on home than house and a mission to make interior design accessible and less intimidating.

We asked Lisa to take us for a look around Arthur’s room…

Who lives here? A family of four: Mum, Dad, Arthur and little sister Ivy.

Where is the property? Dollis Hill, NW London.

What was the room like before? The whole house was a complete building site. So it was a complete blank canvas. The homeowner wanted it to be a really fun and happy space. Nothing gender obvious and lots of places to stow the endless amount of toys and books that inevitably build up over the years.

Did Arthur have any input into the design – if so, what? No, he was very young at the time. But he loved the owl wallpaper at the big reveal!

What was your starting point for the design? Pinterest! The homeowner wanted to stay true to the building’s Edwardian ‘bones’, but she was keen to do so with a twist. I recall her mentioning how Jules and Jamie Oliver’s house might look like. Not a bad benchmark! So I created moodboards from Pinterest research and that created a great basis to start the discussion on our final scheme.

What was the most challenging aspect of the design? There were no particular challenging points. It’s a modest-sized room which is normal in a period London property. The client was very open to new ideas and leaving us to it.

Did you encounter any difficulties during the installation process? No. It was pretty straightforward. The bed arrived with one panel unsprayed… but that was soon resolved!

What is your favourite part of the design? I just love the fun wallpaper and colours. Your eyes are drawn to so many focal points, whether it be the lighting, wallpaper, lockers or beds. It’s not matchy coordinated but has synergy. And it really shows off all of Arthur’s belongings and collections.

I love the wallpaper – were the homeowners as keen or did you have to convince them? I presented a few options and Ferm Living was always a favourite for the homeowner. No persuasion needed! We chose it because it’s fun, bright, colourful and gender neutral and the design has longevity in terms of age. It’s suitable for a nursery right through to primary school.

Are there any special features that you’d like to mention? The teepee bed is pretty special and actually came a little later as originally there was a cot in its place. I cannot tell you how amazed Arthur looked when he saw his ‘cool big boy’ bed.

Any design elements you are particularly proud of? I’m proud that it’s very personal to Arthur and his family. It’s a unique fun room that they’ll be making memories in for years to come.

ARTHUR’S VERDICT

What did your old bedroom look like?
Don’t know, I was a little baby then.

What do your love about your new room?
My bed because it’s so cool! I stick stickers on it but mummy takes them off.

Is your little sister allowed in?
Yeah only if she plays diggers with me… she messes my games up.

How would you describe your room?
It has lots of toys and a cool bed. And a drawing on the wallpaper that won’t come off.

LISA’S SOURCEBOOK

Bed – Cuckooland

Wallpaper – Ferm Living

Lighting – Marks & Spencer

Filing cabinet and rug – Ikea

Desk – eBay


Floor cushions – made by Born & Bred from Ikea fabric

Born & Bred Studio has just launched Kids E-Interiors, a range of packages to help the busy family or mum-to-be to source the perfect products for their nursery – genius idea! Find out more about Born & Bred Studio>

Credit for top two photographs: Anna Stathaki

LIFE Midweek Musings

Midweek Musings: eBay agony and parenting solo again

lifebylotte-midweek-musings

GIVE ME THE PHONE AND NO ONE GETS HURT

My god I am knackered! Oli has been leaving for rehearsals this week at 8.30am and getting home at 11pm (which I am sure is against EU working hours but anyway). And Daph has suddenly turned into Mrs Clingy/Whiny, and now shrieks if I’m not in the same room as her and looking at the exact same thing as her ALL THE TIME.

NO MUMMY YOU MAY NOT PASS GO AND GO TO THE TOILET FOR TWO MINS. NO MUMMY YOU MAY NOT DRINK OUT OF THAT GLASS. I WANT THAT GLASS! NO MUMMY YOU MAY NOT CHECK YOUR EMAILS GIVE ME YOUR PHONE NOW NOW NOW. NO MUMMY HOW DARE YOU TRY TO EAT SOMETHING OFF YOUR PLATE I WANT IT EVEN THOUGH THE EXACT SAME THING IS ON MY PLATE.

She’s also started pulling on my trouser legs, which is kind of cute but actually quite painful when she decides to headbutt my shins. I need ALL the gin tonight, I tell you.

I have to say too what an ABSOLUTE IDIOT I was for gloating about her sleeping through the night in my last post, as she has now decided to do the most weird random wake ups ever. Her naps have also gone to pot over the last few days – 20 minute crap naps are the order of the day and then she wakes up screaming. God knows what’s going on in her little brain but I think it must be developmental as I can see her personality changing a lot too. Oh, and she is very definitely pointing – hurrah! And also giving ‘cuddles’ (launching herself at you and biting the nearest piece of your clothing with an impressive intensity as she buries her head in your shoulder) and ‘kisses’ (blowing raspberries against your cheek) if you ask her. Which is just about cute enough to stop me leaving her out for the bin men.

In other news, we decided to sell some furniture on eBay last week and my god, what an absolute pigging palaver it has been. I do NOT recommend it. Not only is eBay’s UI ridiculously un-user friendly, trying to sell something is also the most complicated process ever known to mankind. I just want £300 for this furniture right? I added a Buy it Now price but missed the fact that there’s a ‘Best Offer’ button you need to untick, and so I am receiving offers left right and centre, accompanied by passive aggressive emails from strangers telling me to ‘get back to me soon yeah so we can get this thing sorted’, even though they’ve offered £100 less than I wanted. Then there’s another handful of cheery chaps who keep trying to offer me cash and do it all outside of eBay, excusing the derisory amounts they’re proposing by claiming I’d pay the difference on fees if I went through eBay officially. Then there’s people asking me to arrange couriers for them. I did actually manage to sell one piece for the amount I wanted but now eBay keeps deleting my messages to the buyer because I want to include my contact details (which is fair enough right, when you’ve already sold something!?), causing all manner of bloody confusion.

I just want someone to buy this friggin furniture for the price I have asked and come and collect it themselves. How can it be so complicated? HOW! I want to defect to Gumtree (in hindsight I should have just done Gumtree to start with) but eBay keeps telling me I can’t cancel the listing because I have offers I haven’t responded to or something… I mean, god. Life is too short to spend two hours a night emailing people called chelseaponies354 and cables4u976 haggling over a tenner. How do people do this for a living?!

LIFE Midweek Musings

Midweek Musings: eBay, babbling and paint

paint-lifebylotte

Hello, hello! As suspected, I’ve been having a manic week or so since we got the house, trying to get everything ready. We’re hoping to move in closer to the end of July, so I’m going to take a two-week break from blogging (a summer holiday if you will!) while we get everything sorted, as it’s a bit too chaotic trying to fit everything in right now. And no one likes those crappy short posts bloggers do apologising and saying how they’re too busy to blog, do they? Ahem. Decorating a house that’s 40 minutes away in the car with a baby that needs to nap between 1.30pm and 3pm every day in her own bed (nowhere else will do now apparently – a new thing, she will ONLY sleep in her cot) is a bit of a logistical nightmare. But I’m enjoying the challenge. I think (so far!). Here’s a quick update of some things that have been happening, for those that are interested:

1 The house has ginormous windows. They are three metres wide in some rooms. Which is lovely, but means finding curtains or blinds to fit is an absolute piggin’ nightmare. An expensive nightmare too (all that fabric!). Last night I discovered the immense stash of vintage curtains for sale on eBay however, and literally lost four hours of my life trawling through them. You have been warned. Now I just need to convince Oli that pink velvet curtains are the way to go… Hmm, what was I saying before about there being too much pink in my flat?

2 In non-house-related news, the first time we took Daph to see the house, she started babbling. And not just a bit, but PROPERLY babbling, babababababa and gagagagagaga and dadadadada and all kinds of similar things (although she’s yet to do mama or any ‘m’ sound). It’s literally the cutest noise in the world. We finally have an appointment next week for her to be referred to a paediatric specialist about her development which is of course ironic, because now I can no longer say she doesn’t babble. I am so relieved, but also a little in shock. I also highly suspect that the Teletubbies have something do with this new skill.

3 We’re painting most of the house white, just to begin with. But in our bedroom, I wanted to go dark – I’m totally obsessed with dark paint at the moment. We’re testing the above three colours from Farrow & Ball today, but my money’s already on Railings (which I have on my front door to my flat, and I love). Inchyra Blue is one of their new colours however, and does intrigue me – there aren’t that many examples of it being used online yet as it’s *so* new so I’m keen to see how it turns out. Will it be too blue? One colour I really just can’t get on with in interiors is blue, dunno why. I love the teal-y green of it, but then that’s also quite a commitment to colour, whereas Railings is basically a dark neutral. Ooooh, so excited (loser).

4 Another exciting loser development – after years of getting angry with crappy washing machines, I have finally treated myself to a Miele. It arrives tomorrow and I am more excited about it than pretty much anything I’ve ever bought online. I bought it from Appliances Online and have been so impressed with their service. And prices. Check ’em out if you’re in need of some white goods (and no, I wasn’t paid or given a discount to say this).

So yes, that’s about it from me. A thrilling update I’m sure you’ll agree. I shall be back in a couple of weeks when we are hopefully finally all moved in. Can’t believe we’ll be getting all our stuff out of storage after nearly a year now – will be intriguing to rediscover what we actually have. Hope you are all having lovely summers – at least the sun is shining today – and speak soon!