Interior design or child’s play?

I should have realised a long time ago that I wanted to be an interior designer, just based on the number of times I would re-arrange my bedroom furniture and beg my mum to redecorate. Money was tight and we were a single parent family so my mum handled all home improvements herself. She could do anything, and I mean anything. She even owned her own set of drain rods. Best not to ask why. She once embarked on a project to convert our cellars into a granny flat and undertook all the work herself, by which I mean her plus her personal child labour force. My friends still laugh now at the memory of staying over at my house during school holidays and my mum’s parting shot (shouted up the stairs as I was still in bed) as she went off to work being “Amy! I want three wheel barrows of soil off you before you go out”. When I look back I admire her ‘can do’ attitude and work ethic (which I inherited) but I wish she hadn’t been quite as…..inclusive. The motorbike, cigar smoking, naturism and accordion playing also made for an interesting childhood but that’s a whole book not a blog post….

My accordion playing mum (centre) and my musical aunties

My accordion playing mum (centre) and my musical aunties

So back to children’s bedrooms. I have a new customer and my first deliverable is designs for her 7yr old daughter and her 8yr old sons bedrooms. For the daughter, mum would like simple and tasteful, with a splash of Laura Ashley. Something that will see her into her teen years. Daughter wants pink hearts, princesses and diamonds. The kind of bedroom I would have loved but never been allowed. The son is actually trickier. He is interested but not passionate about a range of things including football, rugby, drumming and getting a dog, and likes just about every primary colour. Our conversations yesterday just showed me that kids are not that different to a lot of adults when it comes to decorating their bedrooms. They don’t really know what they want. They’ve seen a few accessories or a bed they like, but can’t visualize or create a coherent scheme which incorporates them. But that’s great news, because that’s my job as an interior designer.

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Things the daughter would love: from left, tutu table cover from Etsy, carriage bed found on babble.com and princess bedroom from decorative bedroom.com.

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So I’ve got some ideas and as the research has been so much fun I thought I would share some of my findings. Stop reading now if a) you are bitter about the boring bedroom you had as a kid, b) you’re reading this with a small child and don’t want them to see stuff you won’t want to buy them, or c) you hate pink.

Great storage idea for dolls. If you're not handy with a dewing machine just use one of those over door hangers for shoes Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 08.49.30 Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 08.50.13

Great storage idea for dolls or action figures. If you’re not a seamstress just use one of those over door hangers for shoes. (Sources from left: lovechicliving.co.uk, Buzzfeed and Babble.com)

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I like this bedroom as its girly but has a little funk to it, not to twee

I love this girls bedroom as it’s girly but a little whimsical (hello unicorn) with a vintage edge. (Source: Pinterest)

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Eerio Aarnio is a Finnish interior designer and furniture designer and has created this ball chair in a variety of colours. This pink one would look cool in a retro teenagers bedroom, but look away if you can’t afford the £500 price tag….

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This bedroom has been designed for a teenage girl but with different coloured seating could work just as well for a boy. It’s got that cool ‘Manhattan loft’ vibe without being too grown up. (Source: Pinterest)

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Definitely one for the boys now. I love the attention to detail around this amazing plane bed; the  world map wallpaper, the luggage clothes storage, the cloud ceiling. Truly fantastic interior design. (Source: hgtv.com)

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High beds for small children make me a little nervous. But you have to admit, who wouldn’t want a slide in their bedroom? (all from Pinterest)

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