Home Tour - Rory's Bedroom

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It’s been nine months since we moved into our house, and we’ve reached the point where much of the first round of renovations has been done and the rooms are starting to come together. The first one I tackled was Rory’s room, it was so important to me that she had a calm, cosy and inspiring space that she could sleep and play in. It was such an upheaval for us to move, and I wanted her to feel settled as quickly as possible. That said, the room has still come together slowly over the time we’ve been here, with a final push made at the start of this year to hang pictures, coat racks, scour junk shops for the extra baskets and storage bits we needed and make it feel finished. No room is ever finished, really though is it? Everything is constantly evolving and changing…

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Before I show you some more pictures of the finished room, let me take you down memory lane with some ‘before’ pictures. I did a bit of a rush job on them, but now I’m really wishing I’d photographed the whole house empty on the day we got the keys so I had some great before images of every room. Anyway…you get the idea! When we moved in, this room had an awful pink carpet (it ran through the whole middle floor of the house), one of the walls was painted purple with decals stuck on them and it had pink, butterfly curtains and a bunch of plastic trunking to cover up wires. We ripped up the carpet and had the floors professionally sanded and waxed right away, took off the wall decals, trunking, old shelves, patched up the walls and painted them in Farrow and Ball’s ‘Amonite’. I couldn’t believe the transformation from just making a few simple changes, and it was especially wonderful to be able to bring out the beauty of the old wooden floorboards and the fireplace. Sadly, all the original fireplaces in the rest of the house have been ripped out, this is the only one that was spared.

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So many of the things in Rory’s room have been collected from antique shops, junk shops, Ebay or are things my mum saved from my childhood. It’s my favourite way to decorate, and I love that not everything in her room has been bought brand new or is mass produced. Some is, of course, because time and budget constraints come into play frequently when you’re renovating and decorating a house from scratch in a fairly short space of time. The rocking horse was an Ebay find, the little wooden chair was Gavin’s Dad’s chair from when he was a boy and the doll’s house was found in a local junk shop. The linen curtains are from H&M, as is the basket of all her soft toys. The rug is from a shop in Brixton market near where we used to live that sells Moroccan homewares and the mirror is from La Redoute.

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I made this macrame wall hanging using a tutorial from Fanny Zedenius’s (aka Createaholic) wonderful book Macrame: The Craft of Creative Knotting for your Home. I used a piece of driftwood I found on a beach in Northumberland ( we go there every year to stay with my in-laws) so this piece is really special to me and is exactly the kind of thing I want more of in my home - handmade, collected and with a story to tell. I have heaps more driftwood in my studio waiting for me to make some more pieces, one day when I get some free time.

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Rory chose this plant and the blue pot from our local plant shop in Hitchin, The Town Garden. I love that she’s interested in plants, she always picks out the ones she thinks are beautiful and asks for another one for her room. Whenever we go in with Gav he treats us to a plant and pot each, it used to be just me but now it seems he’s got two women in his life who can’t stop collecting plants. We have almost 100 in our home, so many that I’ve started a spreadsheet to keep track of what I have and how best to care for each kind. I have a lot of duplicates, cuttings etc but I’m actively trying to expand my collecting to as many different kinds as I can. Plants make me happy! The Victorian chest of drawers was a find in Northumberland, in a favourite antique shop of ours called The Old Dairy. It’s the one of the first things we bought for this house.

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The picture ledges are from Rinkit, the only place I could find some affordable ones in a wood finish - I didn’t want white or black. They’re great for displaying beautiful kiddo books, a little addiction of mine…I can’t help but pick a new one up for Rory every time we’re at a book shop. I’m building her a library of tales of nature, inspiring women and beautiful illustrations. When you have to read the same book every night for a month, you might as well make it an enjoyable experience for both of you, right?

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We picked up this doll’s house from my favourite vintage/junk shop in Letchworth, The Green House Market. It’s a treasure trove of amazing furniture, baskets, garden items and toys, we love having a wander round on a Sunday and picking up new bits for the house. The prices are so reasonable, it’s fast becoming the place that most of our furniture is from! I’ve been watching a few bulk lots of doll’s house furniture on Ebay so we can start to fill the house for Rory, she spends hours in her room playing with it and putting all her little toy animals in. I love to think this might be something she plays with for years and gives her some really happy memories from her childhood. Perhaps she will even pass it on to her kiddos one day…

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Rory’s bed is from Ikea, it’s extendable so it should fit her for a good while longer. I’ll be honest, it’s not my dream bed in style, but it was a good price point and we needed it fairly quickly so we could move Rory out of her cot before Christmas. We had to make some compromise for budget reasons, especially as we are doing the whole house up in one go. I’m doing my best to source things second hand, locally and slowly, but sometimes it’s not always possible. The recycled wool blanket is from The Future Kept, the bookshelf was a bargain find from The Green House Market in Letchworth, and the gorgeous wooden wall hangings are from Things Like Diamonds. I collect all the little baskets from local junk shops, I’m always on the look out for ones that I like.

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This beautiful handmade cushion cover was gifted to me by Little Beacon, she makes hand printed quilts, cushion covers and muslins for your little ones. This teddy is Rory’s favourite, so kindly passed on to us by someone on Instagram!

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So there you go, my first room tour of the new house! It’s not perfect, there are definitely some things I’d like to add or change, but I’ve loved the process of decorating and watching everything evolve. I’m always trying to make rooms in our home as good as they can be…adding bits, taking away bits, cleaning and organising and just making sure all the spaces feel cosy, inspiring and practical too. It feels so good to finally have some spaces looking and feeling like us, and I can’t wait to see the house change over time.