In lieu of presents and a party, for her 9th birthday my elder daughter wanted a bedroom makeover to replace the tired looking Cath Kidston-esque decor from when she was two and a half. The furniture was to remain unchanged but the paint colour, soft furnishings and bedding were all going to be new. It was not as easy as I thought to put together a scheme for a girl in this age group – they are still very young but they don’t want anything that they perceive as babyish, and Mummy did not want anything gaudy or tacky!
At first I found the search for children’s bedding and accessories depressing, with most of the High Street offerings being either too garish or overly twee. However, an extensive online search led me to some gorgeous (and subtle!) pony themed fabric from Milton & Manor. The best thing about the fabric was that it ticked my daughter’s required pony element, while satisfying my requirement that although a child’s room, it should still fit in with the muted tones and style of the remainder of the house.
Having found the fabric (from which the lovely Louise of Lolly & Boo made the lampshade and which I used to cover a large chest of glass-fronted drawers (from the Chic Shack), alternating the pony fabric with a co-ordinating striped one to break up the patterns) my search for other soft furnishings eventually took me to the online French children’s department store, Smallable, and oh what a find this was!! From here I fell in love with the children’s bedroom collection from Numero 74, an Italian brand whose hallmark is bedding and accessories made from natural fabrics in muted colours. In this case, having decided to paint the walls a soft grey (No 229 Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball), I selected a linen bed canopy, quilt and cushions in muted shades of dusty pink and powder (they have greys and blues too if pink is not your thing or if you are looking for a boy’s room). I also bought a fabric star garland made from various muted pinky shades to drape over my daughter’s book case. To save having to get everything shipped from France, I did manage to get the bed canopy and a cushion from a UK online stockist Molly Meg, which meant that I could ensure that my fabric and paint choice co-ordinated before plunging into the bigger order from Smallable. Molly-Meg’s owner was very helpful in terms of selecting colours and sizes and was happy to order in any additional items I required directly from Numero 74.
Back to the lampshade, I did not want the standard white plastic light fitting, and so instead sourced these gorgeous fittings and cables from Dowsing & Reynolds . In the end, I did plump for the more conservative looking cream cable, albeit that what is hard to tell from the photograph below is that it is in fact wool, which looks rather funky in a more understated way (on reflection I felt that the grey glitter and bright pink cables just did not work in this particular room, and so I instead used the bright pink one in my younger daughter’s room, more of which another day).
In terms of storage I bought two large co-ordinating baskets, again by Numero 74, which were half-natural and half-painted in muted shades of pink and grey respectively. Also on Smallable, I found these small storage bags for my daughter’s hairbrushes and hairbands by the French brand Mouche, which added a bit of fun and sparkle.
All of this was topped off with a merino wool throw to lay over the bottom of the bed in a soft mulberry coloured herringbone and a grey sheepskin rug on the floor, both from John Lewis .
One final note on Smallable – this website has a huge selection of gorgeous homewares and clothes for children ranging from babies to teens. Bearing in mind that I had a bulky order which included large wicker storage boxes, it arrived within a week under their standard delivery banner and the courier charge was almost reasonable! I will definitely be using them again…
What are your favourite stockists for children’s rooms?