Otis’ Nursery – Jungle Theme
Call of the Wild
Rooomy asks Amanda Cotton about creating
an animal theme nursery for the arrival of little Otis
RB – When you suspected or found out you were pregnant, and you’re becoming a mum for the first time, roughly how much time do you think passed before you were thinking about what would be happening in the nursery?
AC – We had IVF to have Otis so the dream of having a child of our own was something we had wanted for a long time. I started planning his nursery soon after the 20-week scan, when things started to feel more real.
RB – Where did the jungle theme idea come from?
AC – There’s a hotel in LA called the Beverly Hills Hotel which has this amazing palm printed wallpaper. I’m a bit of a wallpaper addict, so when I found one similar from Milton and King I just thought this could really work as a jungle theme. Plus, we love animals, and hope this rubs off on Otis.
I always think nurseries/kids’ rooms work well when they have a theme, or something to centre the look around- whether that’s a theme, or a big piece of furniture. It also helps with baby shower gifts..ha!
RB – Once you had the theme sorted, how did you develop your ideas? Any tips for mums to be?
AC – I wanted the cot and changing table to stand out from the white panelling in Otis’ room, so I opted for a Stokke hazy Grey Sleepi cot and dresser with changing top. I love the Stokke range, as its very much designed to see your baby through their childhood years and isn’t just for babies. The Sleepi cot can be extended when Otis is bigger and the centre panel can come out, so he can get in and out himself when he’s big enough. I’m all about keeping the cost down in the long run.
My tips for mums to be would be… Choose the cot and the changing table first. The cot is usually the centre point to a nursery, but by adding a large soft toy, canopy or painted dresser you can change the focal point.
Having a theme helps to narrow the focus on wallpapers and accessories. I went with a jungle/ safari theme for Otis’ nursery.
Babies love colour and pattern, so be creative with the décor and have fun with it.
RB – How old will Otis need to be for you to allow him to choose his own décor?
AC – Ha! That’s a good question. We will see. I’m sure I’ll eventually give in and let him choose comic book bedding and matching wallpaper, but for now I’ll enjoy making the big decisions.
RB – If Money was no object, on the market now, what have you seen out there that you would love to buy for his room?
AC – I have just seen that Pottery barn kids have launched in the UK, and they have a collaboration range with West Elm where they created a cot and changing table in their signature mid century design. They also have a cream cot with brass legs and a honey comb texture on the sides. It all very dreamy.
They also have a lovely elephant rocking horse that I’ve got my eye on- plus it fits perfectly with his jungle theme.
RB – What would you advise new parents to really invest in for their nursery?
AC – I’d invest in a cot which has a moveable base, and I’ve also found our changing table essential. Don’t under estimate the luxury of changing your baby while standing up, especially if you suffer from back ache. I would also recommend getting a comfy chair for nursing/feeding. Otis has only just moved into his room, but we sit here every evening reading a book and having a bottle before bed.
RB – What are the Zebra, Lion and Elephant called?
AC – The Zebra is called Brian, the lion is called George and the Elephant is called Simon (and the giraffe is called Geraldine). The heads are all from the fabulous Fiona Walker.
RB – What are your three favourite items in the Otis’ room?
AC – The giraffe! Our lovely neighbours bought this for Otis after he was born. It’s by Melissa and Doug which you can buy from Argos. He really makes a statement in here.
The green velvet chair (from homesense). Being velvet isn’t essential, but I love its vibrancy in colour. We had this chair in our bedroom before I found out I was pregnant and it just fitted perfectly in here. It’s also essential for Otis’ bedtime routine of book and bottle.
(A little fact I’ve discovered- wet wipes can clean most things and have been really handy getting any milk spills off the velvet.)
The huge rug (From La Redoute). The rug covers most of the floor in Otis’ room which is brilliant now he loves to roll and do plenty of tummy time. It was my husband’s idea to get a big rug as we have wooden floors throughout our house and I’m so pleased we did.
RB – What has surprised you most about yourself on becoming a mum?
AC – How bloody hard it is. I think I was a bit delusional and had all these preconceived ideas of starting a business on maternity leave, or at least having loads of time to write my blog. The truth is I have less free time now. I’m always hearing about these super mums who start-up businesses on their year off. I have no idea how they do it? I have massive admiration for full time, stay at home mums now.
RB – Otis’ nursery is incredible, he is going to love moving in their soon. To the onlooker it is perfection, but we all know for the creator that’s not always the case. Is there anything you’d do differently?
AC – Otis has been sleeping in his room for the past week now, and is doing 10-12 hours a night. Although, naps are whole different story.
I want to fit blackout blinds between the shutters and the windows but its currently proving difficult as there isn’t enough space between the sash window frame and shutter. This is something I would definitely consider for next time. Shutters look great, but they just not as practical as good black out curtains or blinds. Hence the day nap problems…
If you love this nursery and Amanda’s wonderful maximalist style then you’ll want to follow her latest project, coined “The Rat House”, what will she create for Otis next? Check out her progress here on Instagram. If you want to see more great nursery inspiration subscribe here for the Nursery Edit.
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