BLOG POST number five
The moment we had the keys in our hand to our new forever home I knew that the very first room I wanted to work on would be Arlo’s room. Arlo is my two year old grandson and he is my world! I help to look after him while his lovely mums works and I share this comitment to him and my daughter with my ex husband Andy. We separated when our children were small but we have always been firm friends and we both delight in this wonderful energetic little boy.
We moved into Summerville just three weeks before Christmas so we had to produce Christmas for our family before we could even begin to get started on our home project. The first task was to remove the old carpet and paint the walls. I chose white as the main paint for the walls and ceilings in his room because I love how the light plays in the room from the lovely Velux roof light. I wanted to add a little drama and went out of my comfort zone and painted a feature wall navy. I did have a total disaster with this and applied a navy paint from the Valspar range. I was not happy with the results and the wall appeared patchy and the paint finish was uneven after four coats. I went to Homebase and picked up a tin of Dulux and painted the wall again with Sapphire Salute and I was delighted with the finish. David worked his magic on the woodwork and painted it all with Dulux Once Satinwood.
The carpet was replaced with a lovely wool carpet from a range at Hilarys. I was so impressed with their home advice and measuring service and I loved that I could choose at home from a good selection. To be honest I think I had chosen before they arrived but this confirmed my choice. David has given me the opportunity to decorate this property and as he says I am the interior designer so he is happy for me to do what I do! The carpet I chose was a pure wool textured carpet from the Stratford range. We also had it put in our second sitting room too.
We purchased Arlo’s bed before Christmas from John Lewis and it was delivered in just three days, now thats service! I love how fresh and clean it looks we also purchased a new mattress from their basic range and I was really impressed by the quality of this budget mattress. David wanted to spend more on in but I was determined not to go too mad as it was for a child and I didn’t want to be too precious about it and it could be replaced again when he was little older if needed.
Once the furniture was placed in the room I could begin styling it up. I had a few lovely things from his previous nursery at Cringleford that I wanted to use again but I also wanted to create a different style. The last room was monochrome with pops of colour but I wanted this room to have a very different feel to it. I wanted it to have a softer feel and although I wanted it to have some colour I wanted those tones to be a little more natural and muted. The colour scheme I decided to work with would be navy grey white rose and a soft green. I used the vintage style granny crocheted blanket as a starting point once again and worked with that blanket to find lovely things to go into the room. I used the A initial print that Emmy designed and asked Coral from Velveteen Babies to make a custom bunny garland for Arlo. I sent her pictures of the print and blanket and asked her to help choose the colours from her range of felts to go with the print and blanket. I cried with joy when the garland that Coral had hand stitched for him arrived in the post in a little white box, all wrapped in tissue and ribbons.
I wanted his room to have a fresh vintage feel and it was the perfect place to enjoy my love of vintage children’s books. I have collected the full set of Beatrix Potter vintage books and have to confess to purchasing some of the titles again because some of them were very early copies that are a little delicate in areas. I wanted to read these books to Arlo and for him to have these books to look at and enjoy until he is old enough to read. Some of them are valuable but more than a collectors set I wanted them to form part of his childhood and I didn’t believe in having these books shut away in a cupboard. If a page gets torn it does and I can replace the book with another copy if I want to. I also have collected a range of Ladybird books from my childhood and the same goes for these too. Some are worth £25 each but once again I want them to be a treasured childhood memory.
I still have a cot in Arlo’s room. I didn’t want to remove it because one day we may be blessed with more grandchildren so I have it just in case! I am very pleased with the lay out and think that Arlo’s bed is the main feature of this room. I enjoyed buying the little sparkle and liberty stars from Little Cloud and they go so well with the navy darling decal from Decalfolk. In my head I had planned to put it above the cot but when Arlo climbed out of his cot at just eighteen months old It was a quick trip to John Lewis to buy him a bed!. The decal looks perfectly at home amongst the navy and grey stars.
I have a bit of a confession to make, I have an idea in my head of the things I want to put into a room scheme but if i’m completely honest the rooms I work on tend to evolve as I go along. I build them up in layers. I put all the different things into groups so, textiles, paint, wall decorations, toys and so on and I just put things together and try to use repeated colour tones in all the things I bring together. Although I have a colour scheme to work with at the beginning I am happy to mix things that have the colour I want to use in it somewhere! I never work with rigid design, sometimes the thing I need to finish a scheme isn’t on the horizon yet but when I find it I know that it’s perfect!. I am a minimal person so I hate clutter and like things to have a function and space to be. I like each item to shine for it self so I don’t over decorate or over clutter any part of my room schemes. This is why my home is always tidy.
I made this children’s duvet cover for Arlo’s bed by applying patchwork panels and ribbon to an egyptian cotton duvet cover and purchased the spotty fitted sheet and pillowcase from Next Home. I made the little cushions too from fabrics I have collected over the years. I particularly like the little lamb print in mint green. I am pretty sure the mustard yellow floral vintage print was a shirt in a previous life that I acquired years ago!
I made the felt ball garland from a couple of garlands I had purchased from Etsy UK but the colours were not right for this room so I stripped them down and chose colours that would work with the slightly more muted scheme and i’m delighted with the results. I still have a pile of felt balls left that might be made into something else another time.
I have collected some lovely prints over the last two years and I always like to support small businesses that I have found on instagram. I have included the prints from his previous room and added a few new ones too. Take a look at my shop the look part of my website for details of brands I have used in Arlo’s new room.
I absolutely love the little mustard rainbow I ordered from Cotton Clara as a sewing kit. I love hand stitching and I’m really pleased with the results. It finishes off Arlo’s room a treat and I waited for a much needed rainy day to stitch it! I am so happy with this little space and feel that it will grow with Arlo as he grows and will be perfect for any new blessings that may arrive in the future! I am always on the look out for new things for this space and hope to add some gorgeous vintage Fisher Price toys.