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INNER CREATIVITY
By Lyn Leventhorpe

“My philosophy on creating the ultimate room for a child is to reflect a perfect blend of décor and lifestyle needs that create a calm and peaceful environment.”

Form follows function. An architectural dictum I learnt at Art School which has never failed to serve me well. Remember that your child’s room needs to be practical and functional as well as beautiful. It’s no good having décor that is unsuited to the wear and tear of growing children as well as being unsuitable for other gender babies that may come along. We have found it most practical to keep all large, expensive items neutral and create style with smaller items and, accessories. Linen and artwork for instance, can be an inexpensive and easily changed décor element. Also, set a realistic budget for yourself and choose items that grow with your child or that you can use for the next baby.

“Many parents have sticker shock when they first start shopping for baby’s’ needs.”

The shock when faced with the cost of push-chairs, cots and car-chairs, to name but a few items can be really unpleasant. We aim to give you some guidelines with our lists of essential and nice-to-have goodies. Once you have researched what’s necessary and what’s nice to have, it’s off to the shops to see what things cost. Go armed with a realistic budget and don’t forget that many companies do offer special deals from time to time. It’s worth enquiring about those. Don’t forget to put practicality first. Don’t buy that one stunning piece at the expense of everything else. So often compromise is the name of the game but it needn’t make it more difficult to achieve stunning results. Use our ‘Design your own room’ formula and decorate like a pro. Keep in mind that making clever choices now will save you money in the long run.

“Try to select all pieces with function in mind.”

Choose furniture that is comfortable and practical for both you and your partner to use. An armchair or Glider is a great tool for soothing baby. Slipcovers on all soft furnishings are great as you can wash them when necessary.

The longevity of solid wood furniture is also a concern. I found it useful to have convertible pieces that grew with my kids. For example, the French Sleigh Cot which converts into a little bed is so convenient and cost effective.

“Don’t overdo theme, colour and surface decoration.”

As tempting as it is to theme a room with baby-like décor and motifs, you may be creating a costly design mistake. As new parents, particularly first time parents no expense is too much for your little prince or princess. However, babies grow up alarmingly fast as do their needs. Room décor should reflect the age, needs and personality of your child. Keeping this in mind it’s a really expensive exercise to redecorate every few years. One of my favourite tricks is to keep all the basics fairly neutral and then indulge all my décor wishes with accessories, artwork and soft furnishings.

“Plan for playtime, nursing and chores right in the beginning”

Making space for play table and chairs as well as floor level toy storage before baby is born will make the transition between stages so much easier. I found the installation of a comfy single bed a blessing… For all those niggly nights when baby won’t sleep and you or your partner desperately need to sleep. It’s so easy then to transfer your toddler when the time comes to sleep in a “big kid bed.”

Remember to plan for all the nitty-gritty of babyhood: place for a nappy bin, dirty laundry and medicines, to name a few.

“Finally, have fun.”

Having a baby is a magical time for any family. Create a space where you and your children enjoy spending time together and it will forever remain a place for precious first memories for them and for you.

 

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