I’ve been waiting with anticipation to share this post with you but it was neccessay to keep it absolutely top secret until after Christmas as we decided to give Molly her big girl bedroom as her Christmas present from us. That’s not to say that at 2 years old she uses my laptop or frequents my blog particularly but we felt that Molly had to be the first person to see it so the door was kept firmly closed until after she’d had first nebs on Christmas morning.
A lot of time and careful planning went into creating this room. There’s a lot of hours spent on pinterest that I am just not getting back. But all the inspiration seeking and searching for exactly the right bed (seriously, me and the husband nearly divorced over her big girl bed!) was definitely worth it because I’m really pleased with how it turned out and more importantly Molly LOVES it! On almost a daily basis she can be heard to say “my bedroom is soooooo lovely”. That’s good enough for me.
When planning the room I thought long and hard about what Molly enjoys doing; dressing up, drawing, reading, and playing with her train set. I then spent a lot of time looking to see what other people had done to incoporate these sorts of activities into their kids bedrooms. There were so many beautiful rooms which linked to the most gorgeous online shops selling childrens furniture and accessories and I think it would have been very easy to get carried away budget wise had we not tried very hard to be sensible (the husband probably more so than me I must admit!)
Based on the rooms that I saw on pinterest we decided on a neutral colour scheme which we also happen to have throughout the rest of the house and after deciding on what areas I wanted to have within the room (i.e. reading area, craft area, dressing up area) I set too sourcing lovely things to create these areas with.
The reading area…
I sourced the bookshelf on ebay and we went to collect it as it was fairly local (athough I do remember driving over the moors late at night in deep fog and rain to go and get it and thinking what am I doing?!), it’s an old school foldway bookcase on wheels but my clever husband removed the wheels and mounted it to the wall so she couldn’t close it and catch her fingers.
The pom poms I fund in various places, some from Ikea and some from a little vintage shop in Hexham. The fabric storage boxes were one of my best finds and they came from TK Maxx. I love this shop so much but obviously with their rolling stock it is just luck of the draw whether you manage to find what you were looking for. I guess I hit luky that day! They also have dinosaur patterned ones in stock and I stood in the shop with one of each in my hand for way longer than is normal, trying to decide which to go for. In the end I decided that the zig-zag pattern would probably have more shelf life in it because she might grow out of dinosaurs (although I hope not!) and these might stand the test of time a bit better.
The owl wallstickers were a last minute purchase which I made the day before Christmas Eve. They came from a shop called Tiger which sold really quirky homeware and childrens stuff for amazingly reasonable prices. It was a bit of a mad dash around the shop because I was really supposed to be looking for arrowroot to make a pumpkin pie with but I just can’t resist popping into shops like this when I see them, and I did manage to pick up a few other bits and pieces too!
I wanted it to be cosy and we thought a bean-bag would be best because she could use it on her own or we could sit with her to read together.
The Craft area…
This cute little desk I found, strangely enough, at the same place as I bought the bookshelf from which I was over the moon about, but it did cause me to lose a bet with the husband that I wouldn’t, when faced with a room full of vintage furniture and hearing that they were closing down, be able to resist the temptation to fill the car with as much as I could cram in. I assured him this wouldn’t be the case but ended up buying this desk and matching chairs and a dolls bed as well. Ahem. The desk was in need of restoration, someone had stencilled all over it (why?!) but I couldn’t resist it. The top two sections lift off and are reversable to reveal blackboard slates on the othersid and a hidden compartment to store colouring books, pencils, chalk etc… we painted it in a neutral gray colour and then covered the seats with a gorgeous fabric from Dashwood studio. I must say I’m rather pleased with the results.
The little house shelf I’d seen on lots of pinterest pictures and I really loved the idea of it to store little treasured trinkets. We ended up finding one in H&M for a very reasonable price.
Mr.Bear I had originally seen for sale on a beautiful online shop called Mollymeg but the husband decided to get in touch with his artistic side instead and painted this one. If you love it but don’t want the stress of doing it yourself you can purchase them at the link above (which is what I would have done!!)
The teepee was something I’d always wanted to do for her but her bedroom was just too small, so when she moved to the bigger bedroom I was determined to make it happen. They then, all of a sudden, became really popular and loads of online shops that I looked at were stocking them. We actually made this one out of lengths of wood and an old duvet cover that we had lying around. The rugs are from Ikea and the cshions are from all ovr the place. The “Molly” bunting was made for her by a friends mum when Molly was born and the little banner is by Sass & Belle (who else!)
…sorry, I just got a bit distracted realising that Sass & Belle have a January sale when I went to fetch that link…
Okay I’m back with you.
The wardrobe was probably the only thing that I genuinly had no vision for at all. I hit a complete block when I tried to figure out what sort of clothes storage space she should have. In the end we decided that we wouldn’t put a wardrobe in at all, we’d just put a clothes rail in and then this would force me to be more minimalist and more capsule with Molly’s clothes (something that I’ve been trying to do with my own wardrobe but more on that later!) We found the fabric storage boxes, again, in TK Maxx and the shelves are were just from B&Q. I love the simplicity of it and Molly loves the fact that she can pick her outfits for the day because it’s all very easily accessible for her.
Dressing up area…
As she gets older, Molly’s enjoying more and more dressing up and admiring herself in the mirror so I wanted to encorporate this into her new bedroom. I looked at loads of different was of doing this on pinterest and even visited one of our favorite Children’s Museums Seven Stories who have an amazing dressing up area in their storytelling space. But in the end we decided to go very simplistic with a mirror from Ikea and a large storage box with all her dressing up outfits in for her to rummage through. We also placed one or two dressing up items amongst her regular wardrobe because I really love the idea of merging the two so that everyday clothes become a little bit magical. The little mountain stickets are from Mollymeg as well (I love this store, and not just because of it’s excellent name!)
The big girl bed…
So, the bed was a source of much anxiety to me because it had to be JUST right. I actually found the bed that I wanted pretty early on in my search but just couldn’t justify the cost. If you’re looking for a toddler bed and are feeling flush, try Nubie or Echo (pricey right?) After what seemed like endless searching, throwing up the same search results everytime and after my marriage nearly breaking down when the husband couldn’t undersand why I had seemingly gone mad spending every waking moment searching for a bed that apparently didn’t exist I eventually, in a moment of total clarity and excitement, found this bed from Very of all places. My dad described it beautifully as looking vintage but modern at the same time which I think is probably, in my head, exactly what I was going for. Marriage back on track and toddler very happy in her big girl bed. Phew.
We then added a few other key pieces to finish off the room…
This amazing rug by OYOY tuned me into one of those insane, “my child is all that matters and I will trample you to get to the last toy on the shelf before Christmas” sort of mums. I discovered it, I loved it, I tried to buy it and I found out that it is the single most popular rug in entire world and nowhere was stocking it in time for Christmas. That is except for two sites that were promising one more delivery but on a first come first serve basis and they weren’t taking pre-orders for it in the interest of fairness. So naturally I rang them and casually explained that it was imperative that I have one of these rugs before Christmas and what could they do for me? Decobaby is an absolutely gorgeous online shop selling stylish and contemporary accessories for children. They also happen to have the best customer service on the planet. They promised to call me back when the rugs were in stock, which they dutifully did (although this didn’t stop me checking every day in my lunch break like a demented person to make sure they hadn’t snuck them back on without me knowing!) they then waited for me to get myself to a computer so I could be ready to click and buy before they listed them as being for sale again. At this moment I loved the good people at Decobaby more than I loved my own Mother.
The man in the moon lightshade was another husband special, having discovered his creative side he then decided to have a go at creating this little beauty as well and I must say I’m very impressed with his new found talent.
The dolls house, I’m planning at some point to do a whole seperate post on as it’s quite a bizarre story but basically, we picked it up at a car boot sale for £2.50 as a restoration project and then found out that it had been made in a mental asaylum in the 1960’s, which in my mind just makes it all the more interesting. We had to overhaul it, painting the exterior and using sticky back plastic (Blue Peter style) to create lino inside but it’s turned out okay I think. The little dolls we found on Etsy and are inspired by the Montessori way of learning (more about that at some point too I think!)
So, after all this hard work, blood, sweat and tears (literally!) did she love it? Of course she did. I think the thingt that we all appreciate the most is the space she now has to play. We woke up on the first morning of her being in there to her shouting “Echo!” Says it all really.
Some of the places I looked for inspiration: