Sunday, July 6, 2008

welcome to... stella's room

I wonder who lives here! Pretty fabric letters, $12.95 each, Charbella and Distractions. You can get similar fabric-covered letters from Freedom

...and our first nursery tour! I know everyone loves peeking into other (real) baby's rooms, so I hope to make this a regular feature too.
I first saw Stella's pretty room on Essential Baby and begged her mum, Michelle, to share with Mini Meez. Aside from the oodles of style this room oozes, the best thing about it was that it was done on a very tiny budget: vintage finds, clever shopping, op-shop bargains, market scouring and a bit of elbow grease all went hand-in-hand in creating this look. So, without further ado, here it is - plus a few tips on getting a similar look yourself.

Who sleeps here: Stella Jean, 17 months, from Sydney, Australia
What was your initial inspiration for the room? "I had seen the fabric letters before Stella was born and knew that if bubs was a girl (we didn’t find out the sex) that I would be going to the store the day after I got home from hospital to buy them – which is exactly what I did! They were one of the first things in her room and they played a huge part in the overall look. I also knew right from the word go that I wanted an open, doorless robe to display gorgeous dresses and tops, all hung on lovely old little hangers. I draw a great deal of inspiration from flickr, interiors magazines and old children’s books too."

An open wardrobe (for neat people only!) creates a feature of the vibrant, pretty clothes and linens. Great bargain buys: butterfly prints, $10 for the set; light shade, $4; and all dresses from the Baby & Kids Markets

How did you build on this inspiration? "The ‘shabby chic’ nature of the letters as well as the robe and its contents basically led to everything else running along that sort of theme as well - like the knobs on the lowboy, the cushions in the cot (which are removed for bedtime of course!), etc."

Stella shows off her room and her $10 lowboy from a garage sale. Fabric cars, $10 each from the Treehouse factory outlet

What's your fave piece in the room? "Definitely the pink robe as it makes such a statement."
Biggest splurge? "The two cane baskets under the change table. These were $50 each (I know, I know!) from Ikea and I’m still agog that I spent that much. In my defence though, they hold truckloads of nappies, have screwed-on, flip-top lids and will no doubt come in handy somewhere else when there’s no longer a change table in the house."

Michelle's biggest splurge were $50 cane baskets from Ikea. Another great deal: the change table and cot cost $300 all up from Toys R Us. The magnolia print is also from Ikea.

Best bargain? "The lowboy was $25 from a garage sale. It would have been $10, but I had to give the seller $15 to deliver it because I had no way of getting it home! In terms of the smaller items, I adore the little pink wooden horse which was $5, and no piece of clothing in the robe cost more than $5 – they were all from garage sales and the Baby Markets."

Pretty cushions (that are removed at bed time) give an adult feel to a tiny bed. Embroidered cushion from Ikea, green cushion from a garage sale.

Any handmade touches you did yourself? "Hmm, does painting count?! Where the butterfly prints are now, I used to have canvasses that I did make. Everyone loved them but it bugged me that all the patterns clashed so much with her name letters, so I took them down."

How the room used to look: Michelle covered some canvases with girlie fabric but replaced them with the butterfly prints after feeling it too much with the fabric letters

How would one get this look? "Think outside the square, in terms of furniture especially. There are so many unusual pieces out there with such character that may simply need a coat of paint or new handles/knobs. Have a look at markets, garage sales, op shops and eBay. As I once read in an interiors magazine – “I don’t ‘buy’. I hunt, I rummage, I scour, I search, I find.” This completely sums up my philosophy."

BEFORE: This cute bubblegum-pink wardrobe was $75 from Vinnies. Michelle sanded it back and painted it a softer pink to be home to Stella's fashionable wardrobe

AFTER: a paler, prettier pink

Nursery buy you can't live without "Grobags, without a doubt. It’s so great popping your baby to bed knowing that he or she isn’t going to get tangled up in blankets or other linen."

This too-cute rocking horse was just $5 from the Baby and Kids Markets

What's next for this space? "In terms of how the room will grow with Stella, we’ll get rid of the lowboy at some stage (wahhh! Although maybe this will stop be buying more clothes?) and replace it with toys such as an old dolls cradle and a dollshouse. And much further down the track, we’ll probably put a desk right underneath that window – she’s got the best outlook in the house!"

A range of cute vintage finds from various garage sales, op shops and markets sit nicely in the bottom of the open wardrobe

Thanks Michelle for sharing Stella's room with us - and for introducing me to the Baby & Kids Markets. I'll do a little post on them later this week.


Naomi said...

Thanks Belinda (and course Michelle) for the great inspiration. I think I actually saw this room on EB too!

We are moving to new house soon and I get to decorate all over again ... yippee! As I never got to decorate my 13 month old twins room (they have shared our room and also being born 3 months early we never really got the chance to 'do up' thier part of the room) I am really looking forward to using some of you lovely ideas in their new room. There is also some touches that I would like to add to my older two's bedrooms.

Steph Bond said...

I love this nursery tour! Michelle, that wardrobe is a knockout. You did an incredible job on colour choice. It contrasts beautifully with the modern lines of the cot (another great find). More tours please Belinda!

belinda graham said...

def more tours to come! and you must show us your handiwork once you've moved Naomi!

gilchrist said...

Thanks Steph, a little story about the colour of the robe...i had a lot of the pink leftover that i had used for Stella's feature wall (Pink Dust by Dulux, if anyone's interested!) and simply mixed a very small amount in with some leftover white (i have a lot of white paint!) I gave the can a shake, opened it up and said, "That'll do". So now when anyone asks me what colour i painted it, that's my response!

have a lovely said...

hello belinda! I just stumbled across your blog! too cute! What a precious nursery for a little darling with an adorable name! love that wardrobe!