Continuing my series of blog posts celebrating rooms designed by creative mums and dads, I'm delighted to share two really unique girls' rooms on the blog both designed by their talented mum Helen, wonderfully showcasing how heritage pieces such as old school desks and chairs and other unique pieces can work beautifully alongside more contemporary design.
Tell me more about your family and the business?
We are Helen and John Shaw and we live in a small village called Ewhurst in the Surrey Hills with our two daughters Edith (7) and Maggie (5). Just over four years ago, we started our business Blue Ticking which is an interiors brand specialising in restoring and celebrating heritage pieces.
We sell unique, individual, heritage pieces such as desks, chairs and storage, but also have a range of more contemporary products including peg boards and prints by brands including Wonder & Rah, Ingrid Petrie and Gayle Mansfield.
What prompted the redecoration of your girls' rooms?
We recently converted our loft to gain a new en-suite master bedroom, which also required us to update all of the ceilings on the floor below to bring them up to required fire safety standards. This meant that those bedrooms also needed redecorating, so we took the opportunity to move Maggie into our old bedroom and redecorate both of the girls' rooms.
Where did you get your ideas and inspiration for the girls' rooms?
Whilst planning our loft conversion I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and I also use Instagram a lot for our business. I became drawn to the dark side and knew I wanted to do something quite dramatic with one of the girls' rooms. I found an image on Pinterest that had dark blue walls with pops of neon pink and this gave me the idea for Edith's room to go for Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue on the walls, with the pink wall stickers around her bed.
Edith has recently developed a passion for reading but she didn't really have anywhere to sit and read, so I created a book corner in her room with shelves made by husband John (the other half of Blue Ticking) to display all her books, and a Love Frankie beanbag. Both the girls love spending time there flicking through their favourite books.
With Maggie's room, I knew I wanted to use a half-wall painted effect but wasn't too sure on colours. I didn't want it to be too young for her and in the end I chose Farrow and Ball Green-Blue which is a lovely soft warm colour and perfect in her south-facing room. I knew I wanted to use the Ham Rabbit wall sticker in her room and the half-painted wall is a perfect backdrop for it.
We already had most of their furniture so didn't change too much, but added lots of storage and places for them both to display their trinkets and treasures in a fun and stylish way.
Do you have any tips for toy storage throughout the home?
Storage is so important, our home isn't minimal but everything has its place and it's important to me to tidy everything away at the end of the day.
We use concealed storage such as our Blue Ticking "Maggie" stools, vintage enamel pots with bespoke ticking seating pads, to hide away toys we don't particularly want to be looking at. Edith has one in her room for her Barbie dolls and we also use one in the kitchen for their hats, scarves and gloves.
We use fun, colourful wire baskets, pegs and wall shelves to maximise storage. Toy storage needs to be practical and it's got to work so they can access the things they want to play with, but also know where to tidy them at the end of the day. Both Edith and Maggie also have little boxes for all their special things.
We absolutely love our Maggie stool, we use ours to store all the kids' shoes and it also doubles up as our naughty step! How does Edith feel about the fact her little sister has a product named after her?
She's really not very happy about it! She reminds me nearly every day that I still need to name something after her and I do feel guilty but it has to be the right product, it's definitely on my to-do list!
How did your collaboration with Gayle Mansfield come about?
I'm a big fan of Gayle's work, and I wanted to add some individual prints to our shop that reflected things our girls say all the time, and that would also resonate with our customers and fit with Gayle's brand too. We went with "Treats" and "It wasn't me" as they're favourite phrases in our house.
How do you achieve the right balance of modern and vintage in a kids' bedroom?
My advice would be to not overthink it. If I love something, I go for it. I would suggest choosing 2-3 statement heritage pieces, for example a school desk and chair and maybe a chest of drawers and then adding more modern bed linen and prints on the walls and build it up from there until you're happy with it.
I am forever changing things around in the girls' rooms, adding new prints and moving things. We need new carpets, and Maggie's room still hasn't got any curtains. She also needs a bigger desk now but that's the beauty of kids' rooms you can change them up as they grow older.
Thank you so much to Helen for allowing me to share Edith and Maggie's rooms.
If you want to see more of Helen's gorgeous home including her stunning studio space, head over to her page @blueticking and if you're after any heritage pieces to give a really unique and personal touch to your child's room her website is www.blueticking.co.uk