My youngest daughter, Annabel, turns 9 later this year and had outgrown the childish baby pink decor in her small bedroom. It was time for a mini bedroom project and she wanted to make sure she was involved!! She completely ran the project in many ways – instructing me clearly on the aspects of the room she didn’t like and the colour she wanted on the walls… but more on that later!
The first thing we did was get rid of the existing loft bed. It was an IKEA one similar to this one and although it incorporated plenty of storage and sleeping space within a singular piece of furniture, it took up almost half her bedroom floor space, making the room feel cramped and busy. It’s not a big bedroom by any means, but not a ‘box room’ either, so we felt there must be a better way of maximising on the space available.
The next stage was removing the rest of the bedroom contents, before I stripped off all the old wallpaper. This was no easy task as it appeared to have been on the wall for years! But within a couple of days (and a lot of arm ache!), the anaglypta-esque floral columns had gone and the plasterwork underneath patched up ready for painting. My daughter really wanted a change from her previous pink walls and as we flicked through the Farrow & Ball paint chart together (a usual Saturday morning activity in every house, no?!), we settled on a gorgeously warm blue-green colour, Dix Blue, which you can see below. It’s really lovely at any time of day in her south-facing bedroom; soft and muted in the evening to bright and welcoming in the morning.
I have no ‘before’ pictures for you, sadly (blame the need to clear my photo cache on my phone!), but here is how the room looks now:
When we realised we had a blank space to play with, it became clear which layout would work best. The room features a lovely, wide, south-facing window with a deep internal sill, so we knew the bed would sit neatly alongside it, allowing Annabel to place her books and trinkets beside her. It’s also a lovely sunny spot to lie and read a book and having the bed this way opened up the rest of the floorspace brilliantly. Now her small bedroom feels rather spacious!
We incorporated an existing compact chest of drawers that I had up-cycled a couple of years ago (I painted it in Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath and added some cute star knobs from John Lewis), along with a new piece of furniture to house her books and some toys, which we came across in IKEA.
The only element we didn’t have room for at this point was a wardrobe, but at this age she hasn’t much need for hanging space, so we compromised by attaching a shelf bracket turned upside down onto the wall in an unused corner of the room. It’s perfect for her dresses and little jackets! Eventually, when she’s older, we’ll replace it and the chest of drawers with a slim wardrobe and possibly a desk, too. It’s definitely a flexible design, which can adapt to her changing needs – very important when designing a child’s bedroom!
Then came the fun part – accessorising! This is where you can really make a room so personal and full of character, and it’s important to involve your child more than ever at this stage. Since taking the above pictures, we decided we want to create a gallery wall above her bed (which is still in development as we await some pictures to be framed), but our starting point has been an absolutely gorgeous canvas that I was delighted to be gifted by Photowall, a Swedish company who stock a fantastic range of wallpapers, posters, prints and canvases for the home.
Annabel chose this fun Alpaca canvas, which I think fits her bedroom perfectly. The Photowall site was really easy to navigate and use; we simply chose our design, then edited it to the desired canvas size. It arrived a couple of days later, carefully packaged and with everything we needed to put the canvas together and hang on the wall that very same day. The instructions were so clear and easy to follow – must be a Swedish thing! :)
For the window, I didn’t want to dress it with heavy curtains that would hang over the bed, so I opted for a pair of pretty voile panels from TK Maxx – just seen below and similar to these – simply slotting them onto the curtain pole. There is already a blackout blind in place, so light filtering through isn’t an issue. The voile curtains are such a light and floaty addition to the room that we’ve enjoyed dressing with fairy lights and bunting. In the future I’d like to entwine some faux greenery along the curtain pole, too.
Here is a shopping list of all the various elements in the room, should you wish to take a closer look at anything:
Bed: Enora bedframe, Wayfair
Bed linen: this Terrazzo bedlinen from Linens Limited is similar
Bedside light: the Nävlinge from IKEA is similar
Voile curtains: these from TK Maxx are similar
Wall canvas: Delightful Alpacas II print, Photowall**
Bookcase: Brimnes, IKEA
Clothes hanger: repurposed IKEA shelf bracket
Rug: Nori Cat rug, Sass & Belle
Paint: Dix Blue, Farrow & Ball
** There is a 25% discount on any product purchased from Photowall’s collection up until 12th June 2020 with the code ‘dekkobird2020’.
I hope you like the changes we’ve made and have been inspired on how to make a small bedroom work in your own home. All it takes is some creative thought and an 8 year old assistant!!