Guest Post: 6 wonderful ways to decorate a kid’s bedroom!

Happy Holidays everyone! Here’s another fun guest post for you guys and it’s for a room where you can really stretch your creative muscles: the kid’s bedroom! This post is by Farthing, an online retailer based in the UK offering a collection of handpicked furniture and home accessories with a vintage as well as contemporary appeal. Check them out here and also be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more ideas and inspiration on kid’s spaces! Hope you enjoy this post, let me know your thoughts in the comments below :).

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Whether it’s the nursery, the bedroom of your toddler or preschooler, you don’t need to break the bank to decorate and personalize their room. Depending on your taste and their preferences, you can let your creativity run wild and improvise a myriad décor pieces. From repurposing pieces of furniture you are no longer using to rolling up your sleeves for a DIY, these are 6 wonderful ways to decorate your kid’s bedroom.

1. Create a Mini Art Gallery
Wall art galleries are an affordable and cool way to personalize your child’s room and make it feel their own. A mini art gallery doesn’t have to take up an entire wall. It can fill up blank areas between shelves or above a chest of drawers. The beauty of this décor idea is that the possibilities are endless. You can scroll through thousands of photos on Pinterest for inspiration and create a mood board to help you decide on your choices. Whatever theme or color you opt for, make sure you plan everything out before you start drilling holes or cutting fabrics.

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You can hang anything on the wall ranging from photos and pictures to mirrors and objects that have sentimental value. For instance, your baby’s footprints in a frame, your kid’s first drawing, your baby’s ultrasound or their first pair of shoes can all become ornaments. Test out your gallery by laying everything on the floor. Experiment with the arrangement and the spacing until you’re happy with the results. You can then proceed to sticking everything to the wall.

2. Use Patterns and Textures to Accessorize the Room
There is no easier way to bring your kid’s bedroom to life than by adding patterns and textures. Colorful decorative cushions and throws not only make the space feel cozier and more welcoming, they also provide a safe place for your child to play, grow, experiment and learn new things on a daily basis. Patterns and textures give more dimension to any room.

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For a nursery, you get to decide the color scheme and to pick between vibrant or subdued shades. However, if you’re decorating your toddler or preschooler’s bedroom, make sure to take their input into account. Browse bedroom accessories together and ask them how they envisage the ideal room. If you’re too afraid of a crazy, incoherent outcome, select two or three choices that you love and approve of and then let your kid point to the winning one.

3. Embrace an Eclectic Look
Decorating a new bedroom doesn’t necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you want to be mindful of your purchases, collect pieces of furniture over time and embrace an eclectic look in your kid’s bedroom. Matching furniture sets can be super pricey and most of the time they are not worth the investment as kids grow very fast and your taste might change down the line.

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If you’re missing certain pieces, consider making a trip to the thrift shop or looking online for second hand furniture. You are bound to find a plethora of bargains that are still in mint condition. You can also repurpose old furniture you already own. For instance, an old armchair and an ottoman can become a cozy nursing chair and a low chest of drawers can become a changing table for your baby.

4. Take Advantage of Online Shopping
Having the Internet at your fingertips 24/7 offers not only unlimited inspiration but also dozens of virtual marketplaces you can access from the comfort of your sofa. For unique, handmade pieces, check out Etsy. This online shop comprises thousands of sellers from all over the world who put their services at your disposal and offer furniture, décor pieces and handmade clothes.

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By using a marketplace like Etsy not only will you support small, independent businesses but you can also acquire custom made, personalized items. Think embroidered pillow cases or throws, handmade paintings and wooden toys. Another benefit of shopping for your kid’s bedroom online is that no one will pressure you and make you rush into a decision. You have all the time in the world to browse hundreds of furniture pieces and décor objects and select the ones that fit the bill.

5. Create the Small Details with Your Own Hands
Do you own a sewing machine that’s been gathering dust in a corner? This is your chance to bust it out and use it again to make wonderful little things for your kid’s bedroom. You can instantly elevate a boring glider with an updated cushion made with your own hands. If you’re not a big DIY fan, you can still find foolproof projects that will beautify the room and give you the satisfaction of having a handmade décor item.

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The beautiful part about this décor idea is that you can involve the little one. You can spark your child’s creativity by asking them to help out with a DIY. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated and the tasks can be as small as asking them to pass the glue. The décor items you’ll create together will not only be budget friendly but will also be cherished for years to come.

6. Experiment with Paint or Wallpaper
One of the easiest ways to completely change the mood in your kid’s bedroom is to repaint or add a new wallpaper. Painting the entire room can easily be achieved in one day and there is a multitude of shades to choose from. However, you don’t necessarily have to stick to one color. You can create stripes using three to four complimentary colors or shades. You can create patterns using tape and you’ll be amazed by the polished look you can achieve.

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Wallpaper also offers a wide range of options but you will probably need to hire a pro to smoothly apply it onto the walls. As with painting, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can add wallpaper to a single wall or just to a small certain area. Wallpaper is great for giving your kid’s room an instant focal feature and is easy to remove and replace next time you want to decorate the bedroom.

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26. December 2017 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: The science behind bedroom design

As the parent of a young one who wasn’t sleeping through the night for almost 8 months (i.e. woke up 7-8 times a night some nights) I can’t tell you how important it is to rest well so you’re ready for whatever life throws at you the next day. In fact, I believe sleep and stress relief are crucial to our overall well-being. With that in mind, I have a very interesting guest post from Myra Campbell at Tuck Sleep for you guys today! Tuck is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck’s team of experts applies their research into sleep science to a broad variety of topics, including interior design, health tips, lifestyle advice, and more.

So I hope you’ll enjoy the great tips below from Myra and be able to create your own stylish sleep haven!

Can’t fall asleep? Your bedroom design might be the problem

Sleep difficulties can stem from a number of problems. Medical conditions, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep habits are common problems. But have you considered that your sleep problems may be caused by your bedroom?

A poor sleep environment can cause difficulty sleeping, letting in too much light, causing anxiety, and other problems that can make it tough to sleep. Are you making these bedroom design mistakes?

1. Thin bedroom curtains
Thin curtains on big bedroom windows can let in too much light at night. Light exposure at night can confuse your circadian rhythm, making your brain think it’s daytime and time to be awake even at night. A better choice would be blackout curtains. With heavier curtains, you can block light so that your room is dark and comfortable at night.

Example of a bedroom with too much natural light and a thin mattress

2. Glowing lights
Lights that disturb your sleep don’t always come from the outside. You may be bringing them into your bedroom yourself. Glowing lights on an alarm clock, phone, or nightlight in your bedroom can interfere with your sleep just as much as light from outside your bedroom window. It’s a good idea to dim your alarm clock and reconsider nightlight usage. Avoid bringing your phone to bed, and stop using your phone at least one hour before bed.

3. Bright wall colors
Using bright, warm colors like red and orange in the bedroom can be too stimulating for sleep. Better wall color choices are light pastels. Blue may be the best color, promoting calmness and reducing your blood pressure and heart rate. People with blue bedroom walls tend to get the most sleep.

Example of a very bright bedroom which can be too stimulating for sleep

 4. Poor mattress choice
Don’t make the mistake of finding a beautiful bedframe, but then not choosing a mattress just as carefully. Mattresses aren’t one size fits all. You’ll need to choose the right mattress based on your needs, considering your weight, whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, support needs, allergies, and more.

5. Bedroom clutter
Bedroom decorations are one thing, but clutter is another story. Too many decorations, or storing too much in your bedroom can cause clutter that makes you anxious. This can make your bedroom an uncomfortable sleeping environment where you feel like you can’t relax. Clear out the clutter and consider paring down decorations for a fresher room.

Example of a beautiful room but with too many decorative objects

Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.

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27. November 2017 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Back to blogging and blank canvas art!

I’m back with a fresh post after a loooong hiatus – during which we got pregnant, had our beautiful baby girl and now we’re finally starting to get into some semblance of a routine (well…as much as a 7 month old allows)!

Just wanted to stop by and share how I created the artwork below. I worked on this back in 2016 and even started writing this post but clearly didn’t get around to posting it. Soooo here goes!

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All I needed was a blank white canvas, some laminate samples (The ones I used were outdated and were about to be tossed out from our materials library at work!), Mod Podge (or any other suitable adhesive), paint brush and a bright paint (I used acrylic paint) to paint the background.

Using the laminate sample pieces I created a pattern I liked – took some fussing about till the hubby and I were completely satisfied. Once we were happy with the pattern, I started to glue the pieces down using Mod Podge one by one. Once all the pieces were secured down, I used bright yellow paint for the background to give it a modern aesthetic and make the wood pop! The yellow is also a great contrast to the teal blue wall we hung the art on. I painted all 4 edges of the canvas yellow as well so you don’t see any white surfaces.

You could use any shape, size or type of wood pieces or any other objects that can give your art some dimension – coins, buttons, mirrors, quilled paper perhaps?

That’s it folks, a very simple 3-dimensional art project which can be completed in an afternoon. Hope you enjoyed this post..now go try it out and let me know how it goes!

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12. May 2017 by Charu
Categories: Art, Fun, Interior Design | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Trees: A fun DIY craft!

It’s finally getting chilly out here and Christmas is just around the corner! Before the eating and partying takes over everyone’s schedules I decided to invite some friends over to make a little Christmas craft! What’s better than making your own decorations to add to the season’s sparkle..am I right?!

We already tried our hands at  wreaths last year so this time we made adorable little Christmas trees inspired by this post at Little Inspiration.

DIY Holiday Trees!

The completed trees line our fireplace along with last year’s wreath!

If you’re on board, here’s what you need:

  1. Styrofoam trees of various heights
  2. Various fabrics/festive papers to cover trees (we bought pre-cut squares from Michaels)
  3. Ribbons
  4. Little glittery garlands
  5. Hot glue gun
  6. Sparkly foam balls/star tree toppers (optional) like these

Christmas tree supplies

 

And the rest is really your own creativity, so plug that hot glue gun and stick away! It took us a little over 2 hours of effort to finish these off and we munched on some goodies and chatted in between = an evening well spent :).

 

Our completed masterpieces!

Our completed masterpieces!

 

Happy Crafters!

Happy Crafters!

Happy Holidays to all of you and your families! I’ll see you in 2015 after my travels to see family in Hong Kong and India :).

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13. December 2014 by Charu
Categories: Fun | Tags: , | 1 comment

Five Stylish Space Dividers

While researching for privacy screens for a project recently I came across some amazing products which were worth sharing! Although I was mainly looking at options for commercial applications, these options are well suited for residential spaces too. Each of the products below has a unique geometry and can be a powerful design element in a space while also acting as a device to create visual separation. So in no particular order of preference here are the chosen five stylish space dividers:

1. 3form Parametre

The Parametre is a flexible textile partition that comes in a variety of circular and rectangular patterns. It’s fire-rated (Class A here in USA) and as shown on the images below, can be installed flush with the ceiling using a magnetic cross bar at the top and bottom, or suspended using a straight or curved rail. It comes in a variety of colors and is UV rated so it can be used as a window shade! It reminds me of cutting paper patterns using scissors as a kid…the repetition of simple geometric patterns is clearly quite beautiful!

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3form Parametre Partition

3form Parametre Partition

2.Bloomming Facet

Bloomming is a modular space divider made of diamond shaped modules which can be joined together and moved independently offering infinite possibilities for creating patterns of your choice! I love the simple geometric shape and the fact that each diamond module rotates independently allowing the user to play with light and shadow. You can easily disassemble the system and take it with you if you move and reassemble! The material is also recyclable and UV rated.

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Bloomming Facet - Space Divider

Bloomming Facet Space Divider

3. LagoLinea Weightless Shelf

Made by the Italian furniture company Lago, this is a slender shelving system which suspends from the ceiling (inspired by Stalactites!). It’s a stylish way to divide your space using a piece of furniture and the objects you place in it become the art! The image below demonstrates how the shelves save floor space while dividing two spaces and keep your belongings organized.

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Lago Weightless Suspended Shelf

Lago Weightless – Suspended Shelf

4. Abstracta Aircone

The Aircone is a tapered triangular module finished in sound absorbent felt. The modules are joined together using plastic clips and come in a variety of colors. They can be suspended from the ceiling using a rail or applied directly to a wall to create better acoustics in a space while adding some dimension. Combining any number of modules allows you to create a variety of patterns to suit the needs of your space!

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Abstracta Aircone Partition

Abstracta Aircone Partition

5. Abstracta Window

The Window is most suitable for public spaces where it can absorb noise as well as act as a display for magazines/brochures. Made of recyclable felt it comes in three neutral colors – black, dark grey and light grey. I think it’s a great solution for hotels, libraries and office lobbies!

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Abstracta Window - Space Divider/Display

Abstracta Window Space Divider/Display

Hope some of these ideas fulfill the functional and aesthetic needs of your next project! Feel free to let me know if there are any others I’ve missed in the comments below.

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09. November 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design, Product | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 comments

Designing Our First Home

2014 has been entirely about finding the perfect humble abode, setting up and settling in for us and this post is for all of you out there who are first time home owners or anyone looking to renovate their current space.

What do you do after all the boring paper work is done (phew!), you’ve got the keys in hand and you’re ready to move in? How do you turn an empty shell into what will become your home? Here’s a guide based on my personal experience:

1. Survey the house

I cannot stress how important this step is. Imagine you find the perfect bed. It gets delivered after weeks of waiting (because it’s the fancy kind as you’ve finally graduated from Ikea!)…but once it’s all set up you notice it’s just a few inches too long and you can’t fully open your closet door…yikes! The adage “measure twice, cut once” can be applied here.

As soon as the paperwork was done I dragged my husband to the house with both a normal measuring tape as well as a laser measuring tape (the laser isn’t a necessity but if you’re measuring a very large or tall space, it makes the job quicker). We used the laser to measure all the ceiling heights and the overalls for each room. The normal tape was handy in measuring all the fixed millwork in the bathrooms and kitchen. It took us a little over an hour and the husband was royally bored that I was measuring every corner but it was time well spent. You will see why in the next step…

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2. Draw up your findings

I used AutoCAD to draw up a plan of the entire house as I’m familiar with the software on a professional level. If you’re not familiar with AutoCAD or don’t have access to it, you can use a variety of free online tools which allow you to create 2D/3D floor plans/models to plan your space such as Room Sketcher, Autodesk Homestyler and SmartDraw just to name a few. A lot of other professional softwares out there such as SketchUp allow you to download a trial version which can be used for this as well.
Below you can see the first floor plan I drew up showing all the measurements of the space:

Translating our survey information to AutoCAD

Drawing up the information from our survey using AutoCAD

After this stage I started to populate the plan with furniture, rugs and floor lamps in all the rooms. I played around with various configurations, two of which are shown below:

Trying out various furniture configurations

Trying out various furniture configurations

…Till I came up with this final version:
Plan_final copy
This took weeks of tweaking and changing my mind about what we wanted to buy which was frustrating at times. But it was extremely helpful to have something drawn to take with us as we shopped so that even if we changed our mind in the store, we had an idea of what sizes/shapes would fit best in our space. I’m happy with what we finally ended up purchasing and it’s definitely better to redraw on paper many times over than spending the money on something you won’t like or end up returning.

3. Research and Planning

This was probably the longest running part of my design process. I created a secret Pinterest board much in advance and started to dump all of the items that caught my eye from both physical stores and online sources. I had over 100 items on my board – furniture, lamps, rugs, vases to little organization baskets for under counter cabinets! I added the price of each item as I pinned them so I could make a budget.
I focused on the big furniture items first – Sofa, bed, the coffee and dining tables. With these narrowed down, it was easier for me to select smaller furniture items (poufs, chairs, side tables) to go my main furniture. Selecting the big items in terms of size/price first (like furniture and appliances) also gives you a sense of how much money you’ll have left for accessories, art and other stuff you might want!

Pinterest board showing some of my initial selections

Pinterest board showing some of my initial selections

4. Selecting Paints Colors

We both love bright hues, so this was an important step in our process. We wanted to see a bright color as soon as we walked in so when I saw the image below at A Beautiful Mess, I knew this hue was the perfect blend of our love for the brights and beach! I chose something inspired by this color but with a little more green in it (Benjamin Moore – Capri Seas).

Inspiration image for our paint color

Inspiration image for our paint color

Feeling a little restless about how it might turn out in the end, I put the paint color to test by clicking a photo of our living/dining area and applying my paint color in Photoshop! We were pleased with this little test and finalized this color! Another common way to do this is to buy a small paint sample from your hardware store, apply it to a small portion of your wall and live with it for a few days to see if you’re happy with it.

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Testing out how the paint would look in our living room using Photoshop!

Testing out how the paint would look using Photoshop!

I wanted the bedrooms to be a little muted and cozy so I went for a shade of navy for only the back wall (Benjamin Moore – Symphony Blue) and left the rest of the space white (Benjamin Moore – White Diamond). For the bathrooms we picked a very bright yellow (Benjamin Moore – Sun Porch) at the hubby’s request who wanted to be in a room as bright as sunshine!

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Once we decided on all the paints I did a quick “paint diagram” showing the extent of each paint color for both ours and the contractor’s reference so there’s no room for mistakes:

Paint Diagram showing which walls need to painted with the paint colors we finally selected

Paint Diagram showing which walls need to painted with the paint colors we finally selected

In the next post I’ll share our experience on finding a contractor, dealing with some renovation mishaps and post photos of our finished home!

Hope this post has been helpful in breaking down the steps to what may feel like a daunting task! Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or share any other thoughts.

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19. October 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , | 7 comments

Five Surface Treatments for the Fearless: Beyond Paint & Wallpaper

In some of my previous posts I’ve talked about the two most common ways to enhance walls – using paint (see the posts on Painting 101: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3) and wallpaper (see To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper?)

Continuing the conversation, here are 5 alternatives for those special applications where a 2-dimensional color/pattern just won’t do. All of these options are available in the US and can be used for both residential and commercial applications:

1. Paperforms – 3D Wallpaper Tiles

These beautiful modular tiles are made of 100% pre and post consumer waste paper and come in 12″ squares. Installation Instructions can be found here and are as easy as using double sided tape for temporary installations or wallpaper paste for more permanent ones. Because it comes in modules, damaged tiles are easily replaceable without waste.

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2. 3-form Profile Panels
 
Profile is a modular system which gives you the flexibility of selecting 4’x8′ panels or individual tiles. 14 patterns and 18 different finishes are available making it suitable for a variety of applications.
 
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3. Offecct Soundwave Acoustic Panels
 
These gorgeous lightweight sound absorbing panels are made of recycled moulded polyester fibre and come in 24″ squares. The product is available in the United States and is manufactured in Sweden.
 
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4. Unika Vaev Ecoustic Panels
 
These felt acoustic panels are tackable and come in a variety of thicknesses depending on the sound absorption requirements of the space. The panels are available in some amazing geometric patterns and sizes of 8′-11″ x 3′-11″.
 
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5. Wall Art by Submaterial
 
Submaterial is a New Mexico based company which handcrafts some unique felt wall coverings as well as wall hangings both of which offer great textural quality.
 
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So what do you guys think of these bold choices for your walls? Let me know in the comments!

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26. March 2014 by Charu
Categories: Art, Interior Design | Tags: , , , | 11 comments

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