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I’m so excited to finally share Baxter’s ‘new’ bedroom with you today. Not so new actually as he’s been in this room since March, but it’s taken me rather a lot longer than anticipated to get it completely ready to share. Note I said ‘completely ready to share’ rather than ‘completely finished’, because he is still missing a blind (and I’m pleased to have waited as I had planned a roman blind, but actually this north facing room with a small window needs all the natural light available, so I’ve decided to go for a simple roller instead so that no light is blocked out), and the back of his door needs to be painted which has just been a blind spot and I keep forgetting, but those two things aside, its DONE!
This room was his bedroom when he was a baby, and although he moved downstairs for several years into the back room that is now my office and guest room (keep up!), the top floor of the house was always intended to eventually be the kids floor, with Edie, aka the luckiest girl in London, getting the much larger front room up there. Does this bother Baxter? Not one single bit. Sometimes a seven year age gap comes in handy, and I suspect this is one of those times.
So let me take you through what I did in here to change what had been being used as the guest room, into a ‘young gentleman’s den’ as I like to refer to it. I have no photos of what it looked like before as it was pretty uninspiring, filled with odd bits and pieces of furniture that weren’t wanted elsewhere as is often the case with spare rooms. It wasn’t anything to write home about and certainly didn’t feature on the blog or indeed the ‘gram!
Anyway, here’s what I did…
Sometimes the only way to go is bespoke, and although this is never a cheap option, it really was the best way to maximise space in this small room, so I had a carpenter build a raised bed incorporating storage. At the front there are cupboards for clothes (with an internal shelf, and I have felt baskets in there to help keep it semi-organised), and extending along from the end of his bed at top of mattress height is a shelf / shallow desk that runs the width of that wall. The idea being that its use will change with him over the years.
The wall the shelf runs along is where the mansard roof of the loft extension slopes in - it was a tricky space that could only accommodate a low piece of furniture, and the radiator is under the window on the same wall too. Having this floating structure built has made the space infinitely more useable without impacting much at all on the overall space.
It can be used as a desk, for a laptop (or desktop!), just for books, dispaying favourite things, or all the above, and eventually I will add a hanging rail or two to the underside when he needs hanging space for clothes that he just doesn’t require yet.
Oh, and I almost forgot. His cupboards are half the depth of the bed, and there are two hatch doors under his mattress to access the back section which houses paperwork, photographs, and Ed’s rather large skateboard collection. This was a great way of utilising all the space and creating hidden storage for things that are rarely accessed.
Wall Light & Full Wall Pin-Board
I had been very inspired by the room that Athena Calderone created for her son in their Brooklyn Brownstone. Mine is the (presumably) more affordable DIY version (I don’t think her sons wall is actually a pin-board, it looks more like a decorative padded wall situation), and although it was a massive pain in the behind to create, the full wall pin-board made from three sections insulation board covered in Eau de Nil Atom Prism Plains fabric from Harlequin, is such a lovely feature in this otherwise featureless room, and I’m so glad I persevered when I very nearly gave up!
Before the bed was built I had my electrician come and wire for the double swing arm Ogilvy wall light from Made.com. Although the light has a small switch on the base plate, it was going to be hung high, so I had a matt black toggle switch (purchased from Buster & Punch) installed too, so that Baxter could turn it on and off easily from bed, boutique hotel style! I got the placement wrong the first time, and some of you may remember my Instagram stories filling the hole when it was moved to the right spot. You live and learn, right?
Then when I finally got the three pin-board panels ready and up (it’s a whole other story!), complete with a hole for the wiring, the wall light was mounted on top. No it was not an easy process, but as my husband often says when I’m stressing about these things and going slightly mad, ‘if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!’. It helps. Sometimes.
I painted the entire room (woodwork, ceiling, bed, shelf/desk included) in Sanderson’s Grey Birch, a very soft muted pale beige that is the perfect colour for the room, and instantly lightened and brightened it, without it feeling dingy, dirty or cold which you have to be careful of with pale colours in darker rooms. Good job too after the number of colours I tested! I love this colour, it’s the kind of magical neutral that would work in any room with any style.
Yes his bed is high, and no he doesn’t fall out. Not shown, but he has a nice Ikea step to use to get up onto his bed more easily.
On top of the under bed cupboards, his beautiful West Elm mid-century style bedside table offers a fair bit more storage. It’s big for a bedside table, which is exactly why I chose it, as it gives him plenty of space for a cup of water, books, lego creations and other random very important things on top, an open shelf where more books and his headphones a various gadgets live, and two spacious drawers for stuff (top) and clothes (bottom).
He also has the Hadid clothes hamper from Made.com and some smaller matching lidded baskets (lids are key for hiding stuff in kids rooms if you’re not into the cluttered look!), which are full of soft toys and his now minimal dress up collection. He actually wanted to get rid of most of his belongings when he moved rooms although we kept his lego even though he was adamant at the time that he didn’t want it any more!
His room works perfectly for this minimalist boy. If he develops a clothes shopping habit like his dad then we might be in trouble, but for now he has all the storage he needs. I may have even stolen one side of his cupboards for spare duvets and blankets, so they can be relocated if and when he needs more space.
He LOVES his room. He also loves his extremely soft Helgar sheepskin rug which is also from Made.com, and I often find him lying on it reading.
I finally caved and we put some things on the pin board, which I admit I’d been massively resisting. And do you know what? They were the finishing touch that his room was missing. And he loves his personalised Baxter print, so kindly sent to him by Gayle Mansfield too, proudly asking for it to be hung above his bed.
Because you can never have too many lamps (see also cushions), I added my old desk lamp to his bedside table, and this absolute beauty, the Vetro table lamp from Made.com to his shelf. His room now has a lovely ambient light at night time with plenty of light for reading in bed.
Oh and the Mackerel cushion on his bed was not intended for his room. I bought it a month or so ago for the living room, but I should have known with his fondness for soft toys that I didn’t stand a chance. I can’t remember what he’s named it, Mick or Max I think (no, not Mack as suggested). Anyway, I’m pretty sure he’s there to stay now, and I must admit he does work very well with the subtle green theme so who am I to argue? The lovely linen cushion that Polkra so kindly sent to me several months ago also fits right in. His green linen pillowcase is from H&M, and the other bed linen (grid duvet cover and euro pillowcase and quilt) are all from La Redoute. The Arles lozenge shaped mirror was the perfect finishing touch to his room, tying in with all the other black accents whilst throwing some extra light around too. In fact, it’s currently the only full length mirror in the house - something of a blind-spot for us apparently!