June Q&A – Nursery & Kid’s Rooms

June Q&A – Nursery & Kid’s Rooms

June Q&A

Readers have their interiors questions answered by the professionals.

 

For this months Q&A we turn to two child interior experts who have contributed to Rooomy since it began and their advice and work is consistently perfect. London based designer Lisa Mettis of Born & Bred Studio. We love her decisiveness and we think you will too. And Edinburgh based designer Patricia Hoyna of Studio Hoyna who always encompasses exactly what her little clients are looking for and more.

I’m trying to decide on a neutral grey for my nursery, any suggestions?

Lisa says: Ahh yes, the colour of choice not only in nurseries but all over the house. Take into consideration the feel you would like in the room. If you like light and fresh, I would go for a versatile white grey such as Blackened by Farrow & Ball. If you prefer something a little more traditional and cosy, Chic Shadow from Dulux and if you’re considering going to the dark side, Farrow & Balls Downpipe Grey is a great option as it will showcase all the child’s bright belongings. 

Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine

What are the best wardrobes, if built in is not an option?

Patricia says:  It does depend on the style of your home and room, so here are two opposites to consider;
For contemporary rooms I’d use Ikea PAX wardrobes, they are great in terms of budget and variety of configurations. Top tip: go as tall as possible.

For eclectic rooms, a beautiful vintage wardrobe or a tallboy would make a great addition, you can get them from eBay or second-hand shop at a fraction of a price, and if it is not in mint condition it can be easily painted, plus the door knobs can be replaced. There are so many fantastic designs to choose from these days, so get creative! 

Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine

Patricia’s Top Tip – when choosing paint for your child room go eco. Many conventional paints include heavy metals, formaldehyde and nasties known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short. Those VOCs are transmitted while painting – and for up to five years after your paint has dried, so even paints with ‘low’ VOCs can have a negative impact.

Rooomy recommends Edward Bullmer, all paints are non-toxic and they now have a children’s swatch too, check them out here

Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine
Chloe Spillet, new Style Editor for Rooomy Magazine

Designers often talk about how important layering is.  Can you explain more about what layering is and how best to achieve it? 

Patricia says:  When you think about layering, it’s probably easier to explain in relation to fashion.  The addition of a scarf, a hat or a necklace makes an outfit more dynamic, personalises the look and turns basic into unique. It’s the same with interiors, the furnished room is your base layer, then it’s all about creating interest, comfort and depth by adding decorative objects. Layering is an act of shaping the room from the ground up, taking all individual design elements and pulling together a cohesive look.

To do it right, you need to take into consideration the following key elements:
Flooring: wood, carpet, vinyl
Wall coverings: Paint, wallpaper
Furniture: sofa, table, bed, bookshelf, side tables
Lighting: ceiling light, table lamps, floor lamps, ambient lights, candles
Soft furnishings: rugs, cushions, blankets, throws
Decorative objects: flowers, vases, books, sculptures

Now focus on building the room by adding the layers, the most effective way to do it is through juxtaposition, for example, a rich velvet will look even richer when placed against a coarse linen.

Think colours, patterns, textures and scale. Pair shiny with matt, rough with smooth, bold with calm. Chose contrasting materials and group large and small items together. Keep an open mind, play around with many samples, fabrics, flooring, paint and so on. Look at them at different times of day, see what works for you.

Layering up a room is not just about choosing an interesting combination of textures, colours and objects but the effect they all have on each other.

That is why successful design does not begin with choosing one paint colour or one upholstery fabric, in fact, falling in love with a particular design and being determined to use it in a room without considering it as a whole, is often the biggest cause of people not achieving the look they want.

The art of design is about finding a family of textures and colours that will live happily together.

Stylish Children's Bedroom Ideas
Stylish Children's Bedroom Ideas

My children share a room, they love this which is great for all is us.  However, as they are getting older they (8 & 5) are into very different things and have quite different tastes, one is into all things red and ballet, the other is all about her life being pink and being as grungy as possible.  How do I create a personal space for each of them within the same 4 walls?

Lisa says:  I’m working more and more on shared kids room. Its lovely combining their characters and watching them embrace sharing their non-adult space.

Storage is so much more important in a shared room there’s double the belongings and no doubt every corner will be taken up with, toys, books and clothes. I particularly love having a wardrobe or locker each for clothes and an additional shared locker or wardrobe for toys, books, arts and crafts. Its also the perfect place for a shelf each to house well ‘whatever they want’. Lockers are great as you can use magnets to display artworks and hooks to hang dress up off.

Chalk board or magnetic paint can also be a great option for allowing your children to express their different personalities not just through mark making an art but as a backdrop for their love of different things. (e.g. painting a wall with chalk board paint solid or mutual style and placing hooks for dress up, ledges for books for each child. Chalk boards paint comes in such a wide array of colour’s now. Benjamin Moore is my preferred brand with over 1500 colours available.

You could also allow the children a storage ottoman each at the end of their bed where they can display (and hide) there special items. A personal treasure chest that clearly defines their territory in their shared space.

Lisa top picks are; Lockers, Ikeas wardrobes and end of bed storage.

Colourful Child's Bedroom, Circus Themed Room
Stylish Children's Bedroom Ideas
Stylish Children's Bedroom Ideas

If you have something that is bugging you or maybe you just simply want to know the best shade of paint to use and life would be that bit easier if a professional just told you the answer, then please send your question to hello@rooomy.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

Loads more kid’s rooms….

Kid’s Interiors Q&A

Kid’s Interiors Q&A

April Q&A

 

Your opportunity to ask the experts. A monthly Q&A featuring a handful of questions posted by our readers and followers allowing you the opportunity to get some fantastic advice from the pros.

If you have something that is bugging you or maybe you just simply want to know the best shade of paint to use and life would be that bit easier is a professional just told you the answer, then please send your question to hello@rooomy.co.uk and maybe we’ll get back to you.

For our first Q&A we turn to two child interior experts who have contributed to Rooomy since it began and their advice and work is consistently perfect. London based designer Lisa Mettis of Born & Bred Studio. We love her decisiveness and we think you will too. And Edinburgh based designer Patricia Hoyna of Studio Hoyna who always encompasses exactly what her little clients are looking for and more.

How can I create more space?

Lisa Mettis says, “Apart from my mantra of ‘clear out’, the answer will probably be storage. BUT please don’t buy storage to house toys, books and clothes you’re not going to use. When choosing storage, choose options that sit or hang above the floor. Even if boxes are on castors the two inches of the floor you can see will really make a difference to the feeling of space. Also, when buying off the peg storage solutions, buy the item in multiples to make real impact and something unique to you. (see image below). Think about how you can make the most of wall space. Display books on ledges or hang cage shelving to house soft toys and arts and crafts materials.”

How do I make a room practical and pretty?

Lisa Mettis says, “Practicality basically makes for a boring interior, sorry! Make a list of all the practical things you need (i.e. a bed, chest of drawers, curtains). Review everything else in the room, is it needed? Edit the room, then the fun begins. Layer on the ‘pretty’. This can be inexpensive and is probably just a curation of the beautiful things your child has collected. As a little tick list, consider a personalised banner, garland lights, wallpaper or artwork, new bedding and of course, a rug. No room is complete without a rug, they’re incredibly practical. Children play at floor level most of the time which can be draughty, and it protects your flooring/carpet. Many options are now machine washable too.”

 

How do I put a nursery together on a budget?

Lisa Mettis says, “It’s so easy (particularly with your first child) to get carried away with buying ‘stuff’ which, guaranteed, you will never use. Treat the nursery not as a baby’s room but as a parent and baby room. During the early days you’ll be spending a lot of time bonding and nursing together. Your baby won’t notice the mural on the wall, but you’ll notice the dodgy paint or an uncomfortable chair. Get the room up to your standards and decorate neutrally. Buy only the essentials (i.e. a cot, chair, curtains), then splurge on something that will make you happy and make nursing time more interesting.  It could be a Miffy night light, a comfy chair, a nice blanket or a candle. If you’re very lucky, gifts will start coming in and these will provide the decoration you need.”

How is it best to decorate when renting and not wanting to cause too much damage? 

Patricia Hoyna says, “Paint gives you endless design possibilities for creative makeovers and it’s so easy to bring back magnolia if needed 🙂 Although, if it was up to me magnolia would be banished from stores forever! There are literally thousands of colours to choose from including new neutrals, wouldn’t it be more fun to try something fresh?  Another option would be wall stickers/decals.

Window treatments – think colour, pattern, trimmings, pom-poms! Some high-end designs could be achieved with store bought curtains or blinds just by adding a colourful trim. You can have a go yourself, ask a friend who’s handy or even find your local haberdashery; they often provide a sewing service along with their merchandise.

Artwork – whether you frame your child’s drawings, your family photos or some super cool illustrations, use picture hanging strips; Command are my go to brand, easy to mount, easy to remove, and you won’t need a single nail. Top Tip – art must be hung at the right height, you should be able to look at it without tilting your head upward.

Rugs – I know we don’t always have the luxury to choose the flooring, but rugs are great for adding extra comfort for kids to play on and if you move you take them with you.

My child has lots of little nick-nacks, what’s the best way to create storage for the teeny annoying things that looks good and is easy to use?

Lisa Mettis says, “Arrhh yes…the little bits of toot. I say embrace it! They make such cool displays and let’s face it it’s a phase and they will move on soon to the next. Whether they’re collecting pens, Shopkins, Lego, I would split into two categories those you want to see & display. And those you need to file for a rainy day in a beautiful fashion. Check out these products to suit both budgets.

If any of these links do not work please get in touch and we will endeavour to find you the product another way or something very similar.  And if you have an interiors dilemma of your own, please get in touch and we will try to help.

For more great kid’s room inspiration check out the posts below, browse the Rooomy site pages and of course subscribe to the magazine for free.

Kid’s Rooms and More

Eleanor Bowmer – Nursery

Teddy's Nursery And More Rooomy talks to Eleanor Bowmer about nursery planning and becoming a creative legend   Eleanor Bowmer is a Textile Design and Illustrator based in Manchester. Mum to Norie and baby Teddy and of course Frank her French Bulldog. Eleanor went...

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