If baby has been rooming in with you for the first year or more of his life, then moving him to a room of his own can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. There’s also the question about how to go about putting together a room that is charming and cosy, comfortable and attractive.
Looking for inspiration? We have three mums share with us about the special small spaces they have created for their tiny tots.
#1: The Vintage charm
Mummy: Rachel aka The Pleasure Monger
Bub: Faith, 12 months
Rachel has an eye for detail, and a love for all things vintage. For her, this translated into a distinctly vintage feel to her little girl’s room, with lots of white tones to brighten up the space. She spent much time slowly sourcing for the various elements that make this space so special, and her sense of class and simple charm is evident in her selection of the various items in the room.
“My husband and I lived in London for about five years before moving back to Singapore. We miss everything the city has to offer, and this poster just about sums up a typical day in London – it is almost always rainy and we often explore the nooks and crannies of London via the Underground. We hope to take Faith on a holiday to London one day, but for now, this poster will do to remind us of our lives back then.
I love food styling and have amassed a fair bit of wooden props. The wooden textures give a nice, grown-up vibe to the room and are perfect platforms for everything else that we would like to show off, such as Faith’s favourite teddy and her initial spray-painted in gold.
Framed Poster by Underground by Blanca Gomez
We also love using hand-printed fabric from Fictive Fingers. Patterned fabrics are a great way to add layers to a room. The best thing is we can wash them and rotate the different ones we have as we wish! The striped Malid Trad lamp shade is from IKEA, and offers a cheap and chic way of adding more colour to the room.
The chalkboard signage, we picked this up during a holiday in Perth, and thought it would be a perfect easel for Faith when she starts doodling. For now, it remains an avenue for us to pen inspirational quotes and scribble daily reminders.”
“And last but not least, one of my favourite pieces in the room is this Eames-inspired chair (right pricture) for children. We thought this makes a stylish, yet cute addition to the room. We plan to add a table to this, for when she is ready to sit at one!”
#2: Home away from home
Bub: Shannon, 14 months
Home is a one-storey house in Pasadena, California, where the family is living for two years. They’ve only been there a couple of months now, but Eeleen and her husband, Ian, have been hard at work setting up their home, especially the room for their daughter. Shannon means “wise little owl”, and so you can imagine that OWLs feature quite prominently in the overall décor!
“Shannon’s room was literally thrown together in a hurry because we moved into our empty apartment in the States 10 days before school commenced. Limited to our student budget and no-fixtures rental home, we created a cosy space with basic furniture and some colorful touches.
The centre piece of the room is a basic white shelf, with some decorative cloth boxes that serve as drawers she can explore. She loves to sit in front of this space and help herself to whatever interests her – it’s the perfect height for her to reach for things!
We used a sofa foot rest with some cushions as a nursing chair by the window, creating a bay window effect on a budget. My husband cleverly hung store-bought curtains on the blind rod so we could black out the room for longer sleep in the Californian summer!”
“These pretty but classy wall decals (easily removable) brightened the bare white walls and helped personalize the space. We love owls because Shannon means ‘God is gracious’ and ‘wise little OWL’. More decals are placed strategically for me to point at while changing her diaper, which makes for a good distraction during a fussy change.”
#3: For the Boys
Bub: David, 3 years old & Daryl, 14 months
Managing two active, expressive and curious little boys is hard work! Thankfully, the boys enjoy spending time together in their room, which means the energy is ‘contained’ within those four walls for at least a couple of hours each day! Dorothea intentionally integrated all their favourite things into the room, so that there is always something to occupy them meaningfully. The boys love to read (didi flips picture books) and play with blocks, when they’re not joyfully screaming the house down, that is.
“Ever since we knew our number #2 was on the way, we decided to move our older boy, David, to his own room. That was when he was about 15 months old. Thankfully, he adjusted very quickly to his new ‘big boy bed’ and surroundings! Over the months, we’ve been adding bits and bobs to his room, to make it more child-friendly and fun, especially when he’s now got his very own 24/7 playmate to wreak havoc with!”
This is the view when you enter the room – on a neat day. We put a mattress next to his bed in event of night-time tumbles. It’s also handy when I’m playing with both boys in the room, as the mattress doubles up as a play mat for Daryl to roll around on! Pretty soon, we hope to move Daryl over to sleep here with his kor kor as well (he sleeps with my hubby and I), and he’ll likely be on the mattress for a couple of years before we transition them to a bunk bed. As you will see, most of the furniture in the room is from good old IKEA.”
“The chest of drawers which serves as the boys’ ‘wardrobe’. Each boy has a drawer, and the bottom drawer holds bedding, towels, swim diapers and a few other odds and ends…”
“Their bookshelf is pretty full at the moment. It fits snugly under the window. We love to read!”
“Against the other wall in the room are their toys. Stuffed animals, mostly inherited from their dad and I, go into the mesh cylindrical containers on the floor. Duplo blocks take up one container on wheels, and the other is filled with anything transport-related, including an aeroplane, several cars and a train… The cupboard holds David’s art materials, while the shelves above contain more toys!”
“Last but not least, we have some precious items for the wall. The otter picture was beautifully illustrated by the clever Dawn Tan of handmade-love, the birdcage print is a gift from a good friend, and the colourful masterpiece was one of David’s first attempts at finger painting!”
By Dorothea Chow
This article was first published in The New Age Parents Oct / Nov 2013 e-magazine
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