In my experience its an exciting and nerve-wracking time when your first grandchild comes to stay for his or her first sleepover.
Exciting and terrifying all at the same time.
When my friend found herself in this position she asked my help to make the experience perfect for her first granddaughter. The child’s bedroom had to be “fit for a princess”.
At the heart of the design was a child’s “sweetheart” bed. It was love at first sight for my friend so she bought it without hesitation.
As the room was L-shaped we had the choice of the bed facing the door or facing the window. The dilemma was whether to create floor space coming into the room or floor space in front of the window.
A decision also had to be made with regards to storage – what was needed, and how best could it be accommodated?
The first option considered was a built-in set of bookcases with an integral desk. Whilst this would have maximised the amount of storage it would have taken up the whole wall, and required the bed to be facing the door.
The second option removed the bookcases and incorporated a free standing dressing table as well as a bedside table and a toy box.
The thought process for including these items allowed the child to grow in the room without a need to keep replacing the furniture.
The final scheme incorporated these items but positioned the bedside table between the door and the bed. I imagined the dressing table being used as a desk as the child grew and the toy box being used to store clothes, bags, or shoes as the years passed.
Having devised a workable layout the fun began as colours, textures, and accessories were added.
The brief was to design a scheme that embraced the fact we were designing a child’s bedroom for a little girl. It had to be a magical space that would create lasting happy childhood memories for her.
At the heart of the design was the Sweetheart bed, a Designer’s Guild fabric that my friend adored, and a multicolour chandelier from Cox and Cox.
The only real constraint was a request to keep the existing floor-covering which was a grey carpet.
I took measurements and made notes and and a scheme started to evolve.
Designers Guild “Around The World” products were chosen for the “statement” wall, bedding, and rug. These vibrant colours would light up the room with their apple greens, blossom pinks, and occasional clashing reds.
The combination laid the foundation for a bright and cheerful palette that would evolve as the child grew-up.
To counter the patchwork bedding, painterly wallpaper, and floral rug, I chose Designer Guild’s Cold White Emulsion for the all but the statement wall, and the same colour in water-based eggshell for the door, skirting, and window frames.
My very favourite accessory was the multicolour chandelier that added a sense of drama and grandeur to the room.
Right from the beginning I felt it important that the design should stand the test of time as children have the habit of growing up far too quickly; toddlers have the tendency to turn into teenagers before the paint has had a chance to dry.
The plan was to make the space enchanting for a growing child but to also provide a practical space that would stand the test of time.
The end result was all of these things; colourful, sunny, sophisticated, and the perfect place for a little girl to enjoy sleepovers at her nan’s house.