Nursery to “big girl” bedroom – Vintage dreams

Amongst a whimsical, vintage dream – delicate florals danced, and sparrows flew. Pastel clouds, and muted tones created the perfect palette for splashings of warm caramel, rust and deep green – her favourite colour. Surrounded by beauty, and timeless, handcrafted pieces, herein lies a little girl, full of hope and wonder, and with the whole world at her tiny feet. As she climbs into her keepsake bed, wishing the moon and the stars one last goodnight, she’s transported to a world reminiscent of a slower childhood. She falls to sleep singing sweetly, her fingers curled around a wilted flower she so delicately picked for her mama. Soft ringlets framing her weary face, sweetly smiling and content from her endless discoveries that day, she drifts to sleep. She dreams of flying high with her sparrow friends, and of chasing butterflies through fields of flowers. Goodnight sweet girl. Sweet dreams. Tomorrow is another day of your beautiful childhood.

With these visions swirling around in my head, I started my design for Matilda’s big girl bedroom. The transformation from nursery & cot, to a big girl bedroom & bed, that could grow with her & last many years to come. For this reason, I wanted to design a room that included timeless pieces, and not the most recent furniture & styling fads. I wanted to design a room that was different, delicate, whimsical & vintage-inspired. 

The first step in my design process, is always to create a new Pinterest board & fall down the rabbit hole of pinning. As I’d already decided on the overall style aesthetic for the room, it was easy for me to pin those images that suited my theme. European designers/stylists execute this Nordic style perfectly! There was loads of inspiration!

After soaking in all that inspo, it’s off to create a moodboard! This is the most crucial step in the planning process when you’re designing any new space. A moodboard helps you to visualise how pieces work together within the same space – from their colours, textures, and overall style. It also helps you stay on track in your product research phase & prevents over-buying as once you’ve finalised your design, you know exactly what you need to buy, and more importantly, what you don’t need!

When creating any room design, I like to start with the main, key pieces (i.e. main furniture pieces, artwork, rug, wallpaper, bedspread) & work around these. Once you’ve decided on these pieces, you can then work to tie-in complementary pieces & go from there. A lot of my e-design clients tell me that they can envisage the final look of the room & style they want to achieve, but get overwhelmed with where to start & how to get to achieving & executing that final look.

For Matilda’s room design, the beautiful handcrafted, vintage-inspired sleigh bed from Village Little Interiors was the key piece to the room & what I designed the entire room look around. She is 100% the star of the show alongside the incredibly stunning vintage inspired wallpaper from Minnie and Me Interiors. I love the caramel tone of the bed pine & how it pops against the deep green of the wallpaper. I cannot recommend both these beautiful Australian businesses more highly. The craftsmanship of the Australian sourced, solid timber handmade bed, complete with hand-cut pieces, slats & hand-turned bed legs, is absolutely exquisite! This is timeless, heirloom piece that will grow with Matilda & be passed down within our family & hopefully Matilda’s family one day. I chose the ‘caramel’ stain for the wood finish as I felt it suited the vintage vibe more than light pine, and Shima & Teo (the talented creators/owners of Village Little Interiors and Rumi & Fae) handmade a beautiful French Oak wall rack with the same stain. My vintage dreams were coming to life!

From the outset, I had envisaged a deep, dark tone for the room walls & I kept returning to a deep sea green (green also being Matilda’s favourite colour!) which the wonderful Kristy from Minnie & Me Interiors custom designed for me. Their very talented team created this delicate floral design & custom matched the gorgeous green perfectly! They have now released this design as the “Milly” wallpaper (Matilda’s nickname!) in two different colour combinations! What I love most about the Minnie and Me Interiors wallpapers is, they’re printed in large-width panels (which means you have less individual panels to install on the wall) & it’s extremely easy to apply – you simply peel each panel off their paper backing, stick to the wall & smooth! The beauty of it is, as well as being made from extremely high quality materials, the wallpaper itself is completely removable & reusable! If you misalign a panel, you can simply peel it off the wall, adjust & reapply! Hot tip – keep the backing paper so if you ever move house & want to keep the wallpaper panels, you can stick them back onto the backing paper & take them with you!

Now that I had the main furniture piece – THE bed & the stunning wallpaper to set the scene, I worked in pops of contrasting colours such as the gorgeous deep rust of the Pop Ya Tot canopy, alongside the neutral colours of cream, white, dusty pink & grey to allow the deep green of the wallpaper & warm browns of the furniture to shine! From here, I knew I wanted to style the room with Mrs Mighetto artwork as I’ve long been an avid fan, & previously had different Mrs Mighetto prints in Matilda’s room. The main Mrs Mighetto art work I framed with an ornate vintage op shop find & Mrs Mighetto Sparrow bird cut-outs, both of which I sourced from the beautiful Little French Heart store. I drew a lot of my colour palette from artwork when designing a room, and the muted, watercolour tones of these artworks further set the styling scene for me. I picked up on these colours in the neutral bunting, bedding & decorative cushions.

When it comes to physically installing & styling your space, again, start with the big pieces of furniture, a rug if you’re including one, canopy, then place your artwork & continue on to the smaller styling pieces.

This is a room I’m absolutely in love with & find myself wanting to play in it with Matilda all the time! She was overwhelmed when I revealed it to her & could not wipe the smile from her face, whilst rolling around on her new bed & snuggling under the doonas! “I love it! I LOVE it soooo…much Mama! It’s BEAUTIFUL! THANK YOU Mama!” – which makes it all the more worthwhile!

If you’d like a virtual video tour of Matilda’s new room & fancy watching some behind the scenes install & styling, head to my Instagram account – @styledbyjemma & have a little peek at my recent IGTV video! Thanks for reading! Jem xx

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