The problem with children, is they grow up too fast.
It only seems a few days ago that we unleashed out baby son into his freshly decorated bedroom. Now, he’s a strapping almost-six year-old, who sleeps in one of the loft rooms. His little sister inherited the nursery, but she’s also outgrown the babyish design we were so excited about creating.
It was time to move on, and turn the nursery into a bedroom for a ‘big girl’ (who is now all of three years old).
Even though our daughter has a room to herself, she’d been demanding bunkbeds for ages. They’d be handy when friends and family come to stay, so we decided to give in and pick some up from IKEA. I even agreed to paint them pink, which I have mixed feelings about. I hate to conform to the ‘pink is for girls, blue for boys’ stereotype. But my daughter fiercely demands pink whenever she’s given a choice. It’s her first style preference, and she’s so insistent I’d feel mean trying to persuade her out of it. I want her to be proud of her choices; so, in our house we’re embracing the pink.
To complement the pink bunkbeds, we’ll also be picking up one of the pretty vinyl rugs you can find online these days. To guard against any spillages of water or night-time accidents!
In the end, we decided the vintage chest in Gwen’s room was so nice it would be put to better use in one of the adults’ rooms, so it’s now destined for our spare room in the loft. We replaced it with a Trofast unit from IKEA, so that Gwen can easily get to her books and toys (and yes, we were persuaded into painting that pink, too….)
The Trofast has scooped up a lot of the little toys Gwen has collected over the years. I was particularly keen that she could get hold of her Lego easily; it used to sit in a box downstairs that was difficult for her to access, but now she can play with it whenever she wants. We’ve also started trying to purge the room of some toys she’d outgrown. Like her zebra, which she loved as a two-year-old but who now appears to have turned feral from under-use (what is he doing to those dolls in the picture above?)
We decided to paint a section of the feature wall with chalk paint. The black paint was a good base for some lovely personalised stickers: a tree, growing up from the chalk paint base, with pretty leaves, some flowers and an owl.
I used to get a sinking feeling whenever I walked into my daughter’s bedroom. We’d let everything heap up around her, and hadn’t changed her space to keep pace with her as she grew up. I’m still not completely happy with the room; the curtains and lightshade need changing, as they’re part of the old nursery design. She insists on keeping the light on to fall asleep, so I might string up some fairy lights, to see if she’ll settle for those instead of the main overhead lamp.
But she’s still excited when she wakes up in a ‘big girl’s bedroom’, and her pre-school workers have said she’s had a big burst of confidence in the last couple of weeks. I couldn’t say for sure the two are connected, but all the attention to her own little space – and listening to her opinions on her favourite colour scheme – can’t have hurt, I’m sure.
Looking for ideas to spruce up your garden, too? Check out our garden ideas for kids.