With an imminent house move, I’ve been out shopping for knick-knacks for Dexter’s new nursery. He hasn’t had much use of the one here in our current house as he’s been sleeping in our room. On the date we move, Dexter will be almost 20 weeks and we feel it’ll be time to introduce him to his very own room.
His new nursery isn’t huge, it’s a single room that will take his cot, a chest of drawers and a small wardrobe. Most of his larger toys (his playmat, his bouncer, tummy-time toys and sit-me-up cosy) will be housed downstairs in a toy chest as this is all open plan with plenty of room for the coexistence of adult spaces and ‘Dexter spaces’. We therefore need to make his nursery as comfortable and exciting as possible so he enjoys being in there.
I really love the look of toy-filled nurseries with there being something unique and special in every corner. Children’s rooms should be uncoordinated, cluttered and personalised in my opinion. Think the bedroom’s in Nanny McPhee and Horrid Henry. Their rooms are their own space and should reflect their growing personalities. It should provide a sensory experience for a baby /child with plenty to see and do to help them develop. Ultimately, I want Dexter to feel proud of his room so he’s learns to value his possessions and respect them.
I know, I know, Dexter is only 4 months old. But I want to kick off this creation so he can add to it as his tastes develop. I’m a massive fan of Kath Kidston, Laura Ashley, patchwork and gingham – but I this isn’t my room and I don’t want to thrust my style on him (plus Craig would kill me if he saw flowered fabric in there). So instead we’re going for a homemade shabby look with the odd infusion of new technology. I only hope Dexter doesn’t grow up to be a minimalist and hate it!
A week ago I tweeted that I wanted to find some UK retailers that specialised in homemade and handcrafted toys and soft furnishings. I got loads of responses from fellow mummy bloggers directing me to various Facebook shops, Etsy shops and websites. The choice was overwhelming so I’ve started cautiously. I’m certainly under no illusion that this project is work in progress and might never get finished.
So far, these are a few of my favourite things!
A competition win provided me with this personalised memory box. It’s entirely handcrafted and hand painted from a fellow blogger’s (Chloe from A Twenty Something Mum) Facebook business Daisy Days Designs. It is quite honestly, gorgeous. The level of detail that has gone into it is extraordinary; Dexter’s name has been embellished with sequins jewels and the little animals have felt detailing. I chose to leave the design up to Chloe as I fell in love with a box from her photo gallery on Facebook, but she also makes these to order for weddings, and other special events. In my opinion she also has the best handmade wooden block lettering which we’ll be buying soon. Full pricing and ordering information is available on her Facebook. Thanks Chloe for such a gorgeous prize xx
I also love this owl cushion from Knot Just Jigs. Currently priced at a very reasonable £13.99 without personalisation, £16.99 with, he’s a mixture of lots of different textiles and soooo soft Dexter can relax on him or cuddle him. I love the mix of muted blues and vibrant greens – it’s so irresistibly boyish and a fun addition to his bedroom. Knot Just Jigs also do other homemade designs which are equally scrumptious and have that vintage feel. Also available are a number of retro wooden toys, puppets, musical instruments and other goodies which are a distinct nod back to my own childhood. When Dexter is old enough for instruments – I’ll be revisiting this website in a heartbeat as I’m very keen to support UK businesses and love the idea of him playing with toys similar to those I had when I was growing up.
I also have these cute little car neon lights purchased from eBay. I’m under no illusion these are probably mass manufactured but I’m more than a little in love with them. I have this little fantasy that Dexter will ask for them to be put on at night-time whilst he falls asleep. If he’s been a good boy we’ll probably indulge him as they look so beautiful and provide a nice soft glow in his room (even though they’ll hike up the electricity bill considerably!).
Then there’s my embarrassingly large collection of wicker and wooden hearts and stars bought from my local antique shop in Reading – Fanny’s Antiques. I love this place to death! OH has banned me from visiting too often as I have a tendency to invent space to house new furniture.
I also want to build a photo canvas wall full of various sized prints, frame depths and orientations. I bought my first one from Photobox a few days ago and have been impressed by the price, speed of delivery and quality. Not a day goes by without me getting some kind of deal delivered to my inbox from Photobox so it’s easy to do this inexpensively and it’ll be lovely for Dexter and us to have such special memories forever captured in print. This one was free with just a £7.50 p&p – this was due to it being my first order but a Canvas Lite will ordinarily cost from £24.99.
Finally, there’s Dexter’s memory box. I suspect every parent does this! We’ve collected newspapers from the day he was born, special edition magazines from the year (Hello! and OK! have done fabulous Jubilee and Olympics specials this year), photos, cards, gift tags, letters, and toys – all for Dexter to enjoy when he’s older. This box is enormous and has plenty of room for our collection. We got this from HomeSense in Reading, but as they continually rotate their stock, I don’t think it’ll be available anymore. Craigy and I love these stores though as the prices are great (60% off RRP) and there are some really great unique finds from all over the world.
So that’s it – a mega post by anyone’s standards! I know nothing matches and this would be a clash of styles for some – but he’s child, and children should be messy and colourful!
If you have any other suggestions of sites for me to explore, or own a UK business and think you have some items that might fit in with my little collection – please do leave a comment below.