I’m Laura Hamilton and welcome to the second instalment of my ‘Living with Laura’ series. Visit me here – exclusively with Hello! - for my quick tips and clever tricks to transform your home. As a TV presenter, my usual stomping ground is on Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun, I’m passionate about property and love the process of transforming a run-down wreck into a wonderful home. I'll share all my renovation advice, tips on how to style particular rooms in your home and styling for seasonal events, as well as how to involve the children and even how to add an extra room - with no planning permission needed.
With 16 successful renovations under my belt, I have learned a lot... And made a fair few mistakes along the way too. I can’t wait to share my expertise with you throughout this new series - and even give you a sneak peek around my current South London home. If you love anything to do with property and interiors, you will love ‘Living with Laura’. Now, first up, let's discuss the children's rooms...
My daughter Tahlia has an unusual room - it's an interesting shape; a long room with sloping ceilings both sides. The sloping ceilings gave the room a cosy feel, but it was quite impractical when it came to choosing the height of furniture for the space. When I discovered Bambizi, I fell in love with most of the things they sold. I adored their cots, which although they were expensive at first glance, some of them doubled up as cot beds and they could be turned in to sleigh seats (making them better value for money than first expected). Bambizi offers lots of classy, upmarket items. They can also help with bespoke designs too.
After purchasing Tahlia’s cot and chest of drawers (both white), Sarah the owner designed a magical white woodland scene for Tahlia’s bedroom walls. Complete with deer, rabbits, mushrooms and diamantes, the transfer simply sticks to the wall and is subtle but effective. I knew this design would suit Tahlia as a baby, toddler and little girl.
Given that Tahlia’s bedroom had a woodland theme, I thought a taupe green colour would work well as a secondary colour. My parents had decided they were throwing out a small bookshelf, bedside cabinet and blanket box. Not wanting them to go to waste, I offered to take them off their hands and said I would paint them and use them in Tahlia’s room. I chose green with envy chalk paint from Frenchic’s range. The final piece of furniture I found for her room was a snuggle chair. Large chairs in children’s bedrooms can be very useful! If you are a breastfeeding mother, you might want to consider a chair in your child’s room so you can feed them there before you put them down to sleep.
As they get older, it’s nice to have a place to sit together in their bedroom to read them a story. The chair I found was a bargain purchase on eBay. The seller had over-ordered from Furniture Village. They had no space for the snuggle chair so had listed it on eBay as a brand-new piece of furniture still wrapped in its plastic. I know as a parent you often want to buy everything ‘new’ for your children’s bedrooms however it is definitely worth looking on sites like eBay as you never know what you might come across. It’s also worth considering upcycling furniture too.
I knew I wanted a rug for Tahlia’s space. I found a rug (a faux sheepskin) for Tahlia’s room in Dunelm Mills. I absolutely love this item and although it might not be considered the most child-friendly thing to place in a child’s bedroom it looks great! Tahlia loves it too and sometimes snuggles into it after bathtime.
The final few accessories for Tahlia’s room were her Teepee that my friend Effie designed using a canvas and taupe green coloured fabric, a small, wooden, vintage rocking horse on wheels from Louisa Grace (a shop not far from my home) and a personalised cushion for her bed from Northstar Knits. This cushion details Tahlia’s date of birth and full name. It makes her room completely unique to her in a simple and understated way. I’m not entirely sure if Northstar Knits still exists, however, Etsy would be a great place to source a similar item.
If you are about to embark on designing a bedroom for your baby, toddler or a small child, take your time. Don’t just go for the obvious. Create a pinboard, get a scrapbook and think about creating a space that will last for a good few years. I hope you have found some of my ‘living with Laura’ tips useful.
Good Luck! Laura x