With Charlotte Kewley, Journalist, mamma and kid's stylist at @thelittlestylist.
Now my eldest baby girl has reached the grand old age of almost 8-years-old I sometimes feel she’s almost a teenager. So much more independent and grown up than her younger siblings, indeed she’s like a second mother to her 1-year-old sister. She’s undoubtedly still a child - she loves to play with dolls and Barbies. But now has homework, is an avid reader and begs to use my laptop daily. And is desperate for a phone. No way we’re ready for that yet but we did think it was probably time to update her bedroom, remove the toddler play table and mini chairs, pass the dollhouse that hasn’t been used for well over a year to her little sister and prepare for the next stage of childhood…
1. Create a lovely desk space.
Somewhere she’ll enjoy to sit and do her homework away from younger siblings as well as playing schools! We opted for the Tidy Desk which is just a beautiful piece of furniture. It’s adjustable, along with the matching Oslo Study Chair, so will grow with her and the Cherry & Almond colour way is the perfect contrast to her pale pink Edward Bulmer Cuisse de Nymphe walls.
2. A plant.
A small thing but having her own plant that she is responsible for watering has given her a sense of responsibility that she loves. We were reliably informed by our local florist that a spider plant is a good option for a first plant as they’re quite easy to keep alive! Plus, it looks nice on the desk.
3. A grown-up bookshelf of her own.
We have a lot of bookshelves in our house. And a lot of books. But having her own space for current reads and school books is a new thing. She likes to display other treasured objects she’s proud of here too and is constantly reorganising it. We have the Neat Bookshelf Hutch also in Cherry which sits above and works perfectly with the Tidy Desk.
4. Re-evaluate storage.
We haven’t thrown away any of her toys (well not ones she’d notice anyway) but we have upped our game with the storage. Instead of loose toys in every corner and cluttering the floor we used lovely baskets, boxes and crates to have a good sort out and give everything its own place. So, it no longer looks like one big toy cupboard.
5. Introduce a reading nook.
Our daughter uses her bottom bunk (bed) as a reading space – she has a booklight, cushions and throws and sometimes uses a blanket as a curtain so it’s a makeshift secret den. But it could be as simple as putting lots of cushions and blankets in a corner with a lamp. A cosy, soft space to relax and read.
6. Add a proper wardrobe.
We were lucky enough to inherit a beautiful vintage armoire wardrobe which sits perfectly in our daughters’ room. It’s big enough for all of her clothes and has a full-length mirror. It’ll last forever and works as storage for all of her shoes and accessories as well as clothes.
7. Upgrade the art work.
We took down a few of her younger pictures more suited to a nursery space and replaced them with bold, fun new prints which we chose together. The aim is to end up with a gallery wall but I’d like to do this over the next couple of years as we find pictures, photos or items we’d like to frame. I think keeping them involved in the process is key. It’s their space after all. Pinterest is a good place to start for showing them lots of ideas and inspiration. You can always create a board first so they can only see the ideas you like!