Nursery Reveal // Our Neutral Nursery

Nursery Reveal // Amy Elizabeth

We finally hung the pictures on the wall in the nursery this weekend, so I thought it was about time to show you a little sneak peek of what it’s looking like! Putting together this little room has been one of the funnest things about being pregnant – I love an interiors project at the best of time – but it’s also been a bit fraught. There are so many lists and suggestions out there of the things you might need, whilst everyone who’s actually had a baby will tell you constantly that they didn’t need half the things they bought. Plus there’s the whole tricky business of gender; I wanted the room to be fairly neutral so we’re not pigeon-holing him from the get-go but so much baby stuff is invested in whether you’re growing a ‘princess’ or a ‘prince’ (vom) that it can be hard to navigate. 

Our nursery is the little box room in our house, so we didn’t have a lot of room to play with, and we also wanted it to fit the style of the rest of the decor. Obviously, whilst this is going to be bubba’s little room, he’s not going to have a lot of sense of what he does and doesn’t like interiors-wise for a while and we’d be the ones left grimacing if we went too baby-friendly. So, we stuck with the white walls and the grey carpet that pretty much characterise the rest of the house, and went from there. 

The furniture set is a Mamas and Papas one, designed specifically for small spaces. Luckily, the configuration of the room means we can fit a cot bed, chest of drawers (with changing mat on top) and a slim wardrobe into the space without making it feel too cluttered. We’ve popped his everyday items (mostly a whole load of wipes and nappies…) into the top drawer and his first set of clothes in the other drawers, and relegated everything else to the wardrobe. Whether that set up works for us once we get up and running, we’ll soon see! 

I’ve only picked a few prints for the space at the moment, and I’m still on the lookout for something appropriate for over the changing table, as I didn’t want everything to feel too cluttered. A quick search on Etsy and a dash to IKEA for frames means I feel like the room has enough personality without going overboard. This is actually the only room in the house with curtains, too; we’ve got blinds everywhere else but some blackout curtains felt like they fitted better here and they add a little bit more texture and pattern so it doesn’t feel cold. 

We’ve also added some IKEA picture shelves to one wall, and they’ve been stocked with plenty of reading material for some bedtime stories. My friends and family very sweetly bought their favourite books for us as part of my baby shower, so there are plenty of old faithfuls and new discoveries waiting for us once he’s on the outside. I figure you can never have too many books, although his shelves are already full so we may need to find another storage solution for any future ones… 

There’s some boring, practical things in here, too – a washing basket, a nappy bin and some storage for parts of the pram, but that’s not nearly so fun as the cute cuddly toys and the tiny onesies. Overall, I’m really pleased with how it’s looking for now and I’m excited to see how this little room will grow and change with our little man. Now, if he could just hurry up and get here… 

Sources: Furniture Set // Grey Chevron Curtains // Nappy Bin // Washing Basket // Changing Bag // Bear Print // Mountain Print // You Are So Loved Flag // Wooden Arrow // Wild Thing Cushion // Blanket

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Neutral Nursery Inspiration

(Photo Source: Tarina Lyell)

Now that we’ve got past the 20 week scan, and also almost finished our boring DIY bits in the house (just need some new carpet on the stairs now!), I get to start thinking about the fun stuff – like the nursery! Baby will be in with us for the first few months (we’re leaning towards the Snuzpod for our room) but I still want to get the nursery set up as much as possible. Partly because I have time on my hands now – a luxury I’m sure won’t always apply – and partly because we’ll need somewhere to put his *stuff* so it makes sense to get it sorted now. 

Throughout the house, we’ve got fairly neutral decor and I’d like the nursery – smallest room though it may be – to be the same. The walls are white and the carpet is grey so that’ll stay the same, but I do want to add some little pops of personality. I always shoot for minimalist, Scandi decor, but my love of colour just gets in the way (remind me to show you our pink & yellow living room when it’s finished). I love Tarina’s teal and peach theme (above) – it feels like the perfect balance of neutral with a bit of personality so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for a few bits in those shades. 

(Photo Source – Clockwise from Top Left: Unknown / Sunshine & Vodka / Line Melbye / Penelope Home / Little Look / J for Jen)

We won’t have a lot of space for furniture – probably just a cot and a chest of drawers with a changing mat on top – so it’s down to accessories to bring some life into the room. I love the idea of a cloud theme, and that hot-air-balloon mobile is absolutely darling. There will, of course, need to be space for books and we’ve got quite a lot of wall space for prints to play with, so I’ve been merrily pinning away with things I’d like to fill the room with. Of course, it’s easy to carry away with baby things – everything is so cute – so balancing style with cost is definitely going to be a factor (those cloud cushions are £50, so that’s not going to happen…), but I’m up for the challenge! 

 

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Things I Have Learned About House Renovation

house renovation

Planning is much more fun than doing.

Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you expect. You will not be the exception to this rule. 

Do the floor last. Then it doesn’t matter if you splash paint around when you’re doing the walls.

Whoever owned your house before was a corner-cutting nightmare. Plastering around the light fitting? Really?! 

Sanding skirting boards is fun the first time. Not so much the fifth time. 

A good partner is essential. I’m very glad I married Paul. He knows how to fix a lot of stuff.

A nervous cat will add to your stress levels.

There really will be dust everywhere. Forever, maybe.

Having guests come to stay will make you get stuff done. All night, if you have to. 

Takeaway takes its toll. 

You can’t renovate a house from scratch and maintain two blogs and a social life. You just can’t. 

*That* episode of OITNB seems so much worse after an exhausting day of stripping wallpaper. 

You will miss your books. They really do make a home. 

Just paint everything white and worry about it later. 

When people turn up to help, your heart will be filled with love and gratitude. Now’s the time to call in favours. 

It will be worth it, like they say. But I’m not doing it again.

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Our New House: One Month On!

bedroom progress

I always think I’m going to be the exception to the rule. I’m not sure where this belief came from, because I’m pretty much the most average human that exists. A basic bitch, if you will. So when everyone told me that house renovation always takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you expect, I didn’t believe them. Sure, that happens to everyone, but it won’t to me. Oh, how naive I once was. Note to self: you are not the exception to the rule. Evidence: all situations ever. 

house progress 1

So here we are, a little more than a month on from moving in and things are still pretty much chaos. I thought we might have a new kitchen within 3 weeks of the builder starting, but we’re going on 5 weeks now and nary a cabinet is in sight. Our sweet friends have been feeding us and letting us use their washing machines, which has been a life saver. If there is anything I have learnt from this, it’s that having a tribe is necessary in life and that I could not be more grateful for ours. Other than that, we’ve been eating takeaways and a whole lot of slow-cooked food, and washing up in the bath. Tuna has been most put out by the whole process. And, for all my complaining, I’m actually bored of talking about the kitchen now. 

house progress 2

I know it won’t be much longer, so I can hardly complain really. Once the shiny new kitchen is in and I’m rolling out pastry on the island, or proving bread in the proving drawer, or pulling a chilled bottle of wine out of the wine fridge (yep, you heard right) then I will be full of joy. But the kitchen is not the only problem. We only have one decorated and unpacked room in the house, and whilst the downstairs is in such disarray, I am loathe to set to and start painting and sanding and generally making a mess in the other rooms. So everything is on hold – although this weekend may see the end of all that. We have guests coming up in less than a month, and I am determined that everything should be presentable by then.

So for now, my news is that there is not much news. I hope that by this time next month I will have much more to share – pretty pictures and finished rooms and the beginnings of a home. For now we have a house, that is covered in dust and plaster. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will you? 

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Things I’m Looking Forward To

In less than one month, we’ll be holding the keys to our new house. It’s going to be a big project – when we’re through, no room will be the same (hopefully). I’m not looking forward to the weekends and evenings of DIY to get it that way, but here are the things I am looking forward to… 

home

[Photo by Alvin Engler]

Taking a bath whenever I want one. We only have a shower, right now.

Stocking up on fancy bath bombs and oils and other assorted accessories for said baths. 

Tuna discovering that her kingdom has doubled overnight, and watching her find her new favourite napping spots. 

Hanging art and photos and prints all over the walls and not worrying about landlords who don’t like nails in walls very much. 

Stocking our wine fridge with bottles of Prosecco for upcoming celebrations (because, of course, there will be lots to celebrate whilst we live there). 

Popping open said bottles of Prosecco, just because. No need for celebration, really. 

Not having to close the curtains whilst it’s still light outside. Our current front room has a large window which looks out onto a fairly busy walkway – not what you want when you’re chilling in PJs! 

Having a desk for working and blogging and writing letters to my Grandma. 

Afternoon barbecues which run into evening drinks which run into night-time dance parties. 

Cooking Christmas dinner on our range, with plenty of space for all the pigs-in-blankets my family always demands. 

Mixing up cocktails from our bar cart, whatever the occasion. 

Baking bread on a Sunday afternoon, with the windows open and the radio on. 

Taking Instagram pictures of said bread on the dining table that Paul is threatening to build for me… 

Fresh towels. Unscratched plates. Pristine bedding. New everything, almost. 

Sitting outside on the decking (not built) with a fire in the fire pit (not bought) and toasting marshmallows (essential). 

Unlocking the door for the very first time… 

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Decluttering – Throw Away 100 Things

decluttering

I have become a bit obsessed with de-cluttering. I know I’m not the only one; the blogosphere is awash with articles on capsule wardrobes, minimalism and stripping back to basics. I am a naturally untidy person who really hates to live in a messy house. The best solution for this problem is to clear out all of the unnecessary clutter – more space on shelves and in drawers makes it easier to keep things tidy, even for my lazy self, and means we get that neat, clean look when we’ve bothered to tidy, rather than the organised chaos that I used to live in.

I usually get the urge to declutter at the end of the season, as I put away the clothes that I won’t need once the weather turns, I try to get rid of anything that I haven’t worn, or barely worn, in the past few months. It’s unlikely that I’ll fall back in love with them if I’ve gone a whole season without pulling them out of the drawers. In turn, that sends me off in a flurry, searching every room in the house for unwanted and unloved items. We naturally accumulate stuff as we go through life so it’s worth reassessing every now and again whether everything you’re storing in your house is serving its purpose. Books you won’t re-read, beauty products you weren’t wow-ed by, clothes that don’t fit (your body or your style), and other bits and pieces that are no longer working for you. What’s that saying? Never have anything in your house that you don’t believe to be useful or beautiful. 

Throwing away 100 things is a great place to get started when you’re not used to decluttering. I’ve become ruthless over the years, but I was once very sentimental and wanted to cling on to everything. However, even if you’re the type to hoard old cinema tickets and birthday cards, I bet you can find 100 things in your house to get rid of. I say throw away, but of course, I mean just remove from your house – charity shops, eBay, Freecycle and re-gifting are all better ways to get rid of stuff that you don’t want anymore. 100 things seems like a lot, but once you get started you’ll be surprised how quickly you can chisel away at the total – one trip to my bookshelf and I was almost halfway there. All in all, I got rid of: 

  • 32 books 
  • 20 beauty products 
  • 1 hair doughnut 
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 3 key rings
  • 1 Christmas cracker toy
  • 4 board games 
  • 2 photo frames 
  • 21 pieces of jewellery 
  • 12 plastic cups 
  • 2 jumpers
  • 1 pair of boots 

See? 100 things, easy. You can repeat this exercise as often as you see fit – once a month, perhaps, or just once a year. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get the decluttering bug! 

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Decorating

decorating 1 My name is Amy and I’m a Rightmove addict. I long for a house of my own to decorate, where I can have opinions on paint colours, cover the walls with subway tiles and persuade Paul that an AGA really is the only way to go… All that being said, there is no way that I can afford any of those things any time soon. My dream house is a just that, a far-off dream. However, don’t cry for me, home-owners of the world, because I actually rather like our little flat.

We’ve lived here 18 months now and we’re slowly but surely starting to put our stamp on things, thanks to a generous landlord and IKEA. There are some things that we can’t change – the weird orange-brown tiles in the kitchen, the static-inducing carpet and the lack of bath in the bathroom (don’t worry, there’s a shower…) but throwing some cushions around and hanging some pictures definitely makes those things a lot more palatable.

We’ve slowly been building up a collection of artwork, picking up pieces from all over the place to hang on the walls and make things our own. I love how affordable and accessible art can be – the word seems to suggest expensive oil paintings and bizarre modern sculptures but we’ve picked up a lot of stuff for under £20, which works well for our budget and for my ever-changing tastes. Whilst I would one day like to invest in some art, I think it would be wiser to wait until we have a home of our own and have put down some roots. 

decorating 2

My go-to place to shop of home decoration is Etsy – there’s so much choice and it’s easy to pick up affordable yet unique prints like our bright pink sugar skull from Print Kitchen and the Shakespeare print from Bookishly (whose stuff is amazing – I want it all!). I’m a big fan of typographic prints, including this one from Elise Joy, which is so simple but such a lovely message. If you follow some creative bloggers, it’s worth keeping an eye out on what they’re producing as I’ve seen a few selling unusual, limited edition prints. 

Another of my favourites is a of Chapel Allerton in 1908 – our home isn’t on there but a few buildings on our road are marked. I think it’s super interesting to imagine what it must have been like to live here over 100 years ago, and people always remark on it when the visit. We picked up the map from Chirpy in Chapel Allerton – a lovely design shop which has lots of affordable framed prints as well as other design bits and pieces. Definitely one for Christmas present shopping! 

decorating 3

Last, but certainly not least, is this fantastic print which was very kindly gifted to us from The Print Foundry. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that this photo is one that Paul took when we went to Iceland last year of a yarn-bombed bike on the streets of Reykjavik. It’s one of my favourites from the holiday – I just think it captures the spirit of the city and the trip. This is hung in our spare room to greet guests, and I love how colourful it is compared to our other more monochrome prints in the living room – the quality of the print is also brilliant, you can really see the texture of the wool and again, it draws lots of comments! I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for more shots that we can get printed – it’s one way to guarantee a unique piece of art! 

 

 

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