A Little Boy’s Playground

Last week we discussed our annoyance with children’s bedrooms that lack colour, playfulness, and general cheer. We also shared some gorgeous images of inspirational little girls’ bedrooms and a handful of handy tips and suggestions.

It is only right then that we do the same for boy’s bedrooms! Most of the principles we touched on last week are universal and in order not to repeat things already said I strongly suggest reading our post on girls’ bedrooms (here) first.

1Do colour:

Go colour and go bold! And just like a girl’s bedroom does not necessarily have to be pink, a boy’s room does not necessarily have to be the stereotypical blue. If however, you are going for blue, consider using a combination of different blues with bold contrasting pops of colour like orange, green, yellow, or red. Using a palette of more than three colours will add amazing depth to your child’s bedroom.

2Do pattern & texture:

Little boys are rough-and-tumble, they love to play hard. Appropriately these characteristics can be echoed in a boy’s bedroom interior. The patterns we identify with boys are often harder and more angular – stripes being one of the most favoured. Contemporary, simplistic geometric patterns could also work brilliantly. In addition, one can easily incorporate rustic finishes and textures – exposed brickwork, worn wooden planks or pallets, even metal and concrete. Another awesome way to add pattern to your child’s room other than wallpaper is wall decal / stickers – you get some seriously cool designs!

3Do DIY:

Like I said in last week’s girls’ bedroom post it is important to include your child in the creation of his or her room. If you are looking for ideas or inspiration the web is filled with child-friendly DIY projects – Pinterest especially is an excellent source. One of the best gifts my dad bought my brother when he was a little boy was a kiddies toolbox – he used to love spending time with my dad in the garage and hammering away at little “projects” for his room. Not only is DIY good for hand-eye coordination and skill development, it’s also a bunch of fun!

4Do theme:

I think it is waaaay easier and much more fun to theme a boy’s bedroom than a girl’s bedroom (where it often seems a toss-up between princess or fairy themed rooms). Browsing the web, I stumbled across a heap of boys’ bedrooms with stunning, original themes. Some of my favourites were: Circus and sports, vintage cars and aeroplanes, surf shacks and tree houses, African safari, and of course… pirates! Nautical or industrial themes will also look right at home in little boy’s bedroom.

5Do play:

In last week’s article we emphasized the importance of playing – creating a safe and exciting space for your child to have fun in. Your child’s room should be interactive – allow space for discovery. I don’t know if you noticed, but little boys love to climb… all over everything. Why not include something like rope ladders, climbing walls, or sliding poles into your son’s room – just be sure to add some fun beanbags or floor cushions to break his fall… it is also makes for decent informal seating for a reading nook. Boys will love something like a tree house bed or tent fort – somewhere where their imaginations can run wild! And remember… have fun – designing an imagination playground shouldn’t be a chore!

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Décor Dictionary: Banquette

{click to enlarge}

Banquette(English pronunciation: “bang-ket”) is a long bench with an upholstered seat. Often associated with dining areas, kitchen nooks, and restaurants – banquettes are usually built-in or fixed to either floor or wall. It has however become increasingly popular to use loose standing settee-type benches in a banquette context.

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

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A Little Girl’s Haven

Can I share a pet peeve with you? Super trendy, super stylish children’s rooms. Are you scratching your head? Please let me explain. Some parents get so caught up in creating a cutting edge, trend-conscious interior that slots in with their tastes and sense of style that they forget the phrase “children’s bedroom” actually contains the word “child.” Rose and I have often discussed this issue – she hates it as much as I do. Super trendy, super stylish… super boring. If I see another colourless, bland, or black and white nursery or child’s bedroom on Pinterest I’m going to slap somebody.

Visual learning is a fundamental facet of a child’s development. To a kid the world is a fascinating place – so many things to discover and explore. Therefore, it is vital to offer your kids as many opportunities as possible to learn from the environment around them. Why then create these serious, grown-up rooms that lack cheer, playfulness and the general fun that we generally identify with children?!

It is totally possible to create a beautiful room you AND your child will love. Today we are focussing on little girls’ bedrooms. Here is a few handy tips and a handful of gorgeous girls’ room interiors to inspire you…

1

Do colour:

Did you know that, other than instinctive emotions, colour is one of the first external factors a child will react to? Colour plays a considerable role in engaging a child, assisting to both inspire them and pique their curiosity. Then why on earth would we give a child a room devoid of colour? Now I’m not saying your child’s room should like a clown that ate a rainbow but pick an exciting colour scheme that your little girl will love. And by the way – who said girls’ bedrooms should be pink?! Introducing tasteful amounts of colour is not difficult even if you refrain from painting the walls. In fact, white or neutral walls add a sense of open and uncluttered freshness and makes it very easy to transition your little girl’s room into a more grown-up teen room – it’s the blank canvas concept. The colour can be all in the accessories – quirky cushions, cheery bedding, bright rugs, and painted furniture (why no try the ombre effect).

2Do pattern:

It is said that in kid-friendly spaces, there’s no such thing as pattern overload – and I fully agree. Combine stripes and polka dots, florals and prints. Some how, pattern-on-pattern madness that would have hurt your eyes in any other room of your house does not look out of place in a child’s bedroom. My favourite pattern combo for little girls would have to be happy polka dots and pretty florals – cute and feminine! The use of pattern does not have to be restricted to your fabrics – consider a interesting wallpaper, either for a blank wall or a piece of furniture like front of a chest of drawers or the inside of a bookcase.

3Do DIY:

There are SO many awesome and easy Do-It-Yourself projects on the web – anything from how to make you own bunting to a step-by-step tutorial on how to transform an old TV cabinet into a child’s play kitchen. If you have ten thumbs and DIY is not your bag, at least allow your child to partake in the creation of her room. Have a “decorate my room day” – crafting projects like making paper chains, fabric garlands, or just painting fun artworks is not only easy and entertaining but will add that personal touch to your child’s bedroom… not to mention a sense of accomplishment! Also, think about painting a wall in chalkboard paint – that way your little girl can continuously change an aspect of her room while having a ton of fun!

4Do theme:

Themes can be scary… one can so easily cross the tasteful line and stumble head-first into corny and kitsch. However, choosing a theme can also make the process of decorating your child’s bedroom easier. The most important thing to remember is: don’t overdo it! Sticking a pink princess on every surface is definitely overkill. One can create a perfect princess room without actually using any princess imagery – think child-sized French furniture pieces, a glitzy chandelier, a billowy canopy bed, and velvety pink fabrics. Sounds classy right? We have created such a little girl’s room for one our clients in the past – princess room without the cheese. Another thing to consider is staying away from stereotypes. Ask your child what theme she wants for her bedroom – the answer might surprise you… I knew a little girl who wanted a racing car room – and her parents pulled it off perfectly without compromising on the room’ s femininity.

5Do play:

This must be the most important thing to remember when decorating your child’s bedroom… just play. Developing your child’s imagination is important, so use your own imagination when you setting up her room. Create a space your kid actually wants to spend time in, a space where she can play and discover… not some starchy stiff room. Make your child’s room as interactive and tactile as possible. Create an area for her play-kitchen and her doll house (or whatever interests she might have), add a reading nook, build a tree house bed or tent fort – remember your child’s room should be her sanctuary, the place she feels most safe. Set out to design a room your child will have fun in… and please have fun while doing it!

Robin Sprong Wallpaper

About two years ago I met Robin Sprong at either Decorex or Design Indaba. Prior to that occasion I had heard of him and had probably ‘met’ him via one of our social media portals. But when Robin shook my hand that day at the Expo, it felt to me that we had been friends for a long time. He greeted me with the ease of familiarity, totally relaxed. I must say that created a lasting impression on me.

I have always been intrigued with his product and service. This custom designed wall treatment came at a time when walls were once again regaining the status of being a ‘room feature’. Over the course of the past few months, we have been able to include Robin’s wallpaper finishes into our interior design projects. And still today, both he and the creatives in his office, are warm and welcoming people to work with. So, without further ado please stop, take a moment to allow Robin Sprong to tell you more about himself, his product and his service…

{To find out more about Robin Sprong and his awesome wallpapers check out his website: here or his Facebook page: here.}

Plascon Colour Forecast 2014

Last weekend Decorex Joburg saw the launch of Plascon‘s much anticipated annual colour forecast. The Plascon Colour Forecast 2014, developed in conjunction with leading design and trend thinkers, presents a snapshot of what is happening in the worlds of design and interior decoration both locally and internationally. It interprets the most relevant and contemporary colours into easy-to-use, inspiring palettes.

The theme for this year’s colour forecast is “Colour Nation” – hinting at the relationship between colour, our identities, our world, and our experience of it. As always, the theme is divided into key colour schemes or palettes: “Urban Tribe,” “Second Nature,” “Calm Contrast,” and “Inner Space“…

The 2014 Colour Forecast Themes:

Urban Tribe is a response to the growing trend towards national pride – Urban Tribe expresses this with a warm and grounded palette of contemporary brights, plus gold and black accents. We love the warm combination of the purple and red berry tones and the brighter coral peach… and that hint of gold that adds dimension and luxury!

Key Influences – African and South American vivid brights, high contrast combinations, retro-modern design, raw and refined.

Second Nature takes a new look at our relationship with the natural world. As more and more people live in cities, the urban space becomes our key reference point, and combining this with the natural world becomes vital to keep our lives balanced. This sentiment is captured in a bright, vibrant palette of greens and blues, activated by a bright yellow accent. Favourite colour combo: deep blue and bright yellow – what an amazing contrast!

Key Influences: South American rain forest, jungle and acid green tones, tropical inspired motives, urban pattern, eclectic combinations.

Calm Contrast tracks the evolution of pastels in modern design, showing how they’ve moved on from being purely “feminine” colours. This palette shows the combination of classic pastels with grounding neutrals, plus dark blue and copper, creating a balanced, contemporary feeling.

Key Influences: Faceted geometry, contemporary romanticism, modern meets classic, subtle contrasts, natural finishes.

Inner Space is inspired by the ways in which we use sanctuary environments to rest and reflect in a busy world. Drawing colour inspiration from the stars and universe above us to enhance the contemplative mood, the theme is expressed through a collection of neutrals and blues for a deep, tonal palette. Rose and I just LOVE the idea of a dramatic inky blue wall! We have specified a similar blue for a clients bedroom walls and it looked absolutely smashing! Definitely not for the faint-hearted  – but man, what a STATEMENT!

Key Influences: Space and the galaxy, deep and moody colour, lunar greys and neutrals, night sky blue.

{What do you think of Plascon’s 2014 Colour Forecast?}

A Women’s Day Indulgence

With tomorrow being Women’s Day, we wanted to do a special post on all the lovely things you can do to celebrate this special day. I took to the internet to see what some of our friends and fellow bloggers are planning tomorrow. However, it was quite disconcerting to find little mention of Women’s Day and few had any exciting activities planned. I saw a good couple of status updates that stated tomorrow will be spent “sleeping in” and “watching TV”  and even one that read “catching up on the week’s chores”!

No-no ladies, Women’s Day should not be treated like just any other day. Look at it this way – Government thinks women important enough to dedicate this public holiday to us and to commemorate how women have fought for South African equality. Should we not then take this time to celebrate ourselves?

Now, I have never been one to frequently spoil or pamper myself. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t want to or think such activities frivolous… but it seems time and budget rarely allows for such indulgences. However, for Women’s Day I’ll make an exception and I challenge you to not let Women’s Day go by ignored. Find a way to treat yourself – get a massage, buy yourself that handbag, eat a slice of cheesecake.

If like me you find it hard to spend money on yourself or by yourself – have a girls day! Invite your girlfriends (or other women in your life – be it a daughter, sister or mother), to partake in your pamper day. Something like High Tea is a fun and classy activity – a trip to the Mount Nelson Hotel tea room is not something you will soon forget. Or indulge in a bit of fine dining – this is something I delight in every so often. I usually invite good friends who share my love of cuisine – we spend the night chatting away, laughing, drinking good wine, and of course tasting and discussing each others food choices. In short, it’s my idea of bliss. Here are 5 rules I like to follow to ensure I have a memorable dining experience:

>  Go some place new.

>  Go some place beautiful.

>  Eat something you’ve never tried before.

>  Dress to kill.

>  Order champagne or girlie cocktails.

… take pictures.

Now, speaking of some place new and beautiful, I have been dying to visit the Hout Bay Manor restaurant, Pure. With its rustic driftwood dividers and dramatic chandeliers one can see just as much thought went into the stunning interiors as there went into the more-ish menu. By the way… they too have decadent High Tea served either in the restaurant or Manor’s colourful lounge! Check out the awesome images below…

{ So, what are you planning for Women’s Day? }