Our Nursery Nook

As I shared in my last post, we're currently sharing our bedroom with Tallie. Truth be told we're working on moving her into her own room now, but before we do I wanted to share her little corner with you as I've so loved it these past six months. General advice is that you room share for around six months but (as with anything parenting related) it's all so subjective and down to preference and I know friends who have room shared with their little people for shorter or longer periods. We're definitely ready for her to move rooms now, but having her right by our bed in the early days with all the frequent night feeds was wonderful. That said, I actually switched sides with my husband as I couldn't sleep right by the cot. Every single snuffle or wriggle had me waking up and it was so silly. So now my husband sleeps next to Tal's cot and I'm on the other side - even that little distance helps so well. 

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

We're fortunate that our room is a fairly good size, but even so when planning the nook I prioritised a few key elements: 

COT

For us, we wanted to go down the sidecar cot route. Bed-sharing sounded lovely but I just didn't feel confident enough with it, and so having her cot with its side down right by us was the best of both worlds. It also meant feeding times were easy as I didn't have to step foot out of bed. We chose the Chicco next to me cot, but the Snüzpod is so lovely too. (Have you seen the new Snüzkot? It's beautiful!) Naturally, we chose the grey cot so it would fit in nicely with our bedroom colours.

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

CHANGING STATION

A changing station of some sort is pretty handy in a nursery nook for all the many nappy changes but it honestly doesn't have to be fancy. We opted to put a changing mat (this wedge from John Lewis) on top of a chest of drawers, but a mat on the floor would have sufficed just as well. Since it is on top of the drawers we use the top drawer for all the nappy changing essentials, it keeps them close at hand without cluttering up the space. Plus, now she's so grabby and fidgety during changes we need to keep the decks clear! On top of the unit we also have the Gro Egg. Our bedroom temperature is a bit of a nightmare - one minute it is too hot and the next it's freezing. So with a new baby we were super cautious and wanted to keep a close eye on things so we could dress her appropriately. It also acts as a gentle nightlight, which is lovely. 

*I must add a little note about safety here. We attached the changing wedge to the chest of drawers with command strips to stop it sliding all over the place. We didn't attach the chest of drawers to the wall for stability as is recommended, so I'm super careful anytime we use it. I never leave Tallie unattended on the mat - especially now she's prone to attempting to roll over on it.*

Can you tell I shot this back when England was 'enjoying' a heat wave? I wasn't kidding about the fluctuating temperature in our room!

Can you tell I shot this back when England was 'enjoying' a heat wave? I wasn't kidding about the fluctuating temperature in our room!

STORAGE

We soon learnt that having a baby meant the amount of stuff we owned seemed to multiply dramatically, despite me trying to buy only the essentials. We use the chest of drawers for her clothes, and I'm forever going through them to clear out the outgrown pieces! (It happens far too often...) We have managed without a hanging rail as so many of her clothes are simple babygros or leggings but when we move her out to her room I'd love one just so we can hang up special outfits.

LIGHTING

I so often forget about lighting in a room, but it's so important. For our nursery nook we opted to put a light inside our wardrobe. Handily it's a large space and even has a plug socket inside. This means that we can leave the light on in there overnight, and when we need to do a nappy change we just slide open the door a fraction. If we didn't have this option, I'd have chosen add a dimmable switch to our table lamp. The last thing you want in the middle of the night is a blazing bright light! 

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

CURTAINS

The curtains we have are meant to be blackout, but sadly in adjusting them (trimming off the bottom) they don't fit the windows brilliantly and so let in a lot of light. Not only does this seem to affect Tallie's sleep, but it wakes us too so we needed a solution. This is one of those 'make do and mend' solutions, as we're currently using a Gro blind. These aren't really meant for everyday use, but we've adapted ours slightly by using adhesive velcro to stick it literally to our window frame. (Cheapy UPVC windows, so hoping it comes off fairly cleanly when needed). This means they fit the frame snugly and it's easier to open, rather than using the window suckers it comes with which are a little fiddlier to keep unsticking and resticking.

DECORATION

For me the most fun part in any room is the decoration. It's where you can really let your personality speak by choosing prints for the wall and other accessories that mean something to you. With it being a nook, we didn't have all that much space to stand any objects so instead we decided to add a little interest above Tallie's nappy change area. A simple string of lights (which light softly at night), a really precious print and a happy sun all set off the cheery corner. The sun too has become a favourite with Tallie, as she loves to stare at it during changing time. I so love our picture ledge and cloud hook, as kindly given to me by Margarita at Chocolate Creative. Marga joined me on a Gathered Cheer social in Faversham last year and then I saw her at a lovely market hosted by Papermash. Marga makes such beautiful pieces and I'm so chuffed to be able to look at these everyday. The print too has so much meaning and was kindly given to me by the super talented designer Liz Mosely after I commented on how much I loved it on a photo she posted on Instagram. Amazingly, the print arrived about three weeks before I found out I was pregnant and given the verse on it, it felt way more meaningful and prophetic than being simply a happy coincidence! "Your eyes saw my unborn body - all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139: 16)

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog | Photo by Emily Quinton
Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog
Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog | Photo by Emily Quinton

I've so enjoyed adapting our room to make room for our little bird and it's lovely that it wasn't a tricky task - it was more a case of getting a few key pieces of furniture and having a bit of a shift around. Also, it shouldn't be too tricky to rearrange when she moves out and we put our room back as it was. Although her nursery space will be a somewhat bigger task. We've finally ordered her cot and we're planning on having a big sort out in our spare room. It's a room that is going to have to work very hard as it'll be a combination of a nursery, a guest room and work space for B. That's a lot of areas to squeeze into one place! I'll let you know how we get on...

PLUS to celebrate Tallie turning six whole months next week, I'm planning lots more baby fun content. There are a few things I've kept meaning to share but I've been so slack, so I figure we'll do one week of baby heavy posts and then after that things will calm down and I'll be back to sharing book reviews / interiors pieces / DIYs etc.

Post to come next week include:

  • A little peek at my baby shower - with a handy shopping edit
  • What I packed in my hospital bag
  • The things we've loved and actually used in the past six months
  • The launch of something fun and exciting which I can't reveal just yet...!

-x-

All photos shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer with the exception of the close up of the bunny rabbit and the close up of the picture ledge and cloud hook which were taken by the lovely Emily Quinton.

I was given a few items that I've mentioned in this post, including the print (Liz Mosely), the lights (Cox & Cox), the picture ledge and cloud hook (Chocolate Creative). All opinions are of course my own!


Five Ways To Make Your Room Kid Friendly (without sacrificing style!)

I've always been a homebody, but since having Tallie I've spent more time in one room than I ever have - our bedroom. In those early fuzzy days (which incidentally I'm already forgetting - how quickly do those blurry days slip by?!) we snuggled into bed as we got to know one another, and my word, those moments were precious. Fraught sometimes, yes. Scattered with tears and frustrations, certainly. But oh so wondrous. Since then, I still spend a fair bit of time in our room, as I shush and pat. And shush and pat. And sometimes even manage to sleep myself. As one who has always found comfort in a tidy and cosy home our new mini addition has added a new dimension to our decor. Suddenly practicality seeks to rule over pretty. Substance over style. Certain fabrics and colours seem off limits. But thankfully, I don't think you need to totally give into these practicalities. Instead I think there are a few things you can bear in mind to balance out your bedroom's style and kid-friendly nature.

 

OPT FOR NO FUSS FABRICS

Linen is perfect. It is literally a no fuss fabric. Straight out of the washing machine, dried however is easiest (chucked over the bannister in our home...) and then straight onto the duvet cover. Crumples add to the life of the sheets, making them extra cosy and lived in. Who really has time to iron their sheets anyway? As an added bonus, linen has a beautiful way of helping you keep your cool. Especially when you're smack bang in the middle of the breastfeeding night sweats. I love my soft grey linen sheets from Soak & Sleep as they feel so cool and fresh, even on hot summer nights, and the lighter shade of grey is very forgiving on spillages and stains! 

                         Bed  |  Fitted Sheet  |  Pillow cases  |  Duvet cover  |  Rug  |  Bedside stool  |  Basket  |  Candle  |  Lamp  |  Slippers  |  Balloon

                        Bed | Fitted Sheet | Pillow cases | Duvet cover | Rug | Bedside stool | Basket | Candle | Lamp | Slippers | Balloon

PILE UP THE CUSHIONS

Happily ticking both the practical and pretty boxes are cushions and pillows. And lots of them. If you're going to spend days on end in bed, or nights sat up with only a restless babe and your iPhone light for company you might as well be comfy. We recently swapped our bed for this beaut, which even has a handy shelf sort of headboard (on non shoot days anything can be found there, from empty baby bottles (hers) and phone chargers (his) to muslin cloths (her again) and water bottles (mine). Even with it's padded headboard I find myself stacking up the pillows to prop myself up, whether I'm feeding or rocking or shushing or snuggling. A bad back is not a mama's best friend.

RELISH IN THE DETAILS

While the crawling and walking days are still a way off for us (although if the days continue to fly by they'll be here before I know it!) my mind has already turned to that of baby-proofing our home. As a fan of minimalism and clutter free interiors, I'm hoping this might be a little easier for us, as I don't have umpteen knick-knacks around the place. But if you do love little mementoes and accessories, why not opt for hanging items instead? Not only will they be out of reach of little hands, but they'll also brighten up a nursery nook or otherwise plain white wall, adding character and life. I made the little embroidered hoop (with hidden night lights) following along with a Mum Made box. I'm pretty chuffed with the results! 

LAYER UP A BEDSPREAD

It stands to reason that if you have little people, they will most likely end up in your bed at some point. And even if you have the pretty and practical bed linen as mentioned above, you might want to try and keep it clean to save you sticking it in the wash every day. This is where throws and blankets come into their own. Not only do they add warmth to a bed, but they're also super handy for putting on top of bed linen, to keep spills and stains at bay. Your little one will probably love the extra cosy feel too! I added this kid's bedspread to our bed, and for snuggle or play time I pop Tallie on it and then when the inevitable sick ups happen, I feel less precious about the sheets getting ruined!

Keep essentials handy

When your bedroom becomes your kitchen, living and dining room it's natural for 'stuff' to accumulate. There are certain bedside essentials I won't be without - namely a water bottle, breast pads, iPhone (and charger), headphones, a ton of muslin cloths, handcream and Calpol. But if these are all out on display I can get a little twitchy, so the basket is my friend. Keeping everything close on hand, but hidden out of view baskets are a super handy addition to your bedside area. 

So there are some of my tips for making your room baby friendly, without sacrificing your style. How about you? Do share any of your tips in the comments, or find me over on Instagram and let me know there!

-x-

All photos shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer

This post was written in collaboration with Soak and Sleep, and for it I was given the lovely bed linen featured. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Gathered Cheer going. 


3 ways to style string lights

At this time of year, when the days are as short as they are dark, there's nothing quite like creating a cosy home, filled with candles and fairy lights. There's something magical about drawing the curtains and filling your home with twinkling lights that soften edges and cast a gentle glow. And if there's a room I prioritise with the cosy-making endeavour, it's our bedroom. Since we moved upstairs into the loft bedroom I've relished the challenge of turning it into a relaxing sanctuary being ruthless with clutter - instead aiming for a minimal and restful space. Sleep just doesn't come easy to me when there's stuff everywhere! If I'm being honest, at the moment it might be a little too sparse. It could certainly benefit from some artwork on the walls or a green plant friend or two. Perhaps our fiddle leaf fig that's currently in our living room might like a change of scenery?! All that said, as it's so peaceful upstairs the bed is now my absolute favourite place to work from, and I enjoy having candles lit from morning to night, especially on grey days. 

As I continue on my cosy-making mission, I recently had fun trying out different set ups for my new cloud pom pom lights cloud pom pom string lights from Cox & Cox. So, if you're in need of any lighting inspiration, here are three ways you can style your own fairy or string lights...
3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

ONE | HANG A GARLAND

Using washi tape, simply string up the lights in a pretty row. Depending on how far the distance you intend to cover you might need more than one set of fairy or string lights. This garland styling is a lovely way to see all the colours of the pom pom lights, and it casts a gentle light across the whole bed. 

3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

TWO | BUNDLE INTO A VASE 

Instead of having a bedside light, try bundling the string of lights into a vase. Once lit it will cast a pretty glow that will be both practical and pretty.

3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

THREE | HANG LENGTHWAYS

Similar to the garland effect, hanging the lights lengthways looks lovely and disperses the glow more than in the vase set up above. You could hang them in a string down the side of some shelves, or hang them over a wall hook beside your bed, as I've done here. 

3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog
As part of this project I also enjoyed styling up a couple of extra beautiful pieces from Cox & Cox (seriously, I think I want one of everything they sell!)

Velvet and linen cushion in mauve | Blush pink candle

What do you think of the cloud pom pom lights? How would you style them up in your home? Let me know in the comments below, or find me on instagram

3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog
3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog
3 Ways To Style String Lights in a Bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

-x-

All photos styled and shot by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer.

This post was written in collaboration with Cox & Cox, and for it I was given the lovely lights, cushion and candle. All opinions are of course my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Gathered Cheer going. 

Photo credits // All shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer


Healthy Habits | Sleep

I'm happy to be introducing a new series on the blog today - the 'Healthy Habits' series. Inspired by my growing interest in living life well, I thought it would be useful to delve into these habits - discussing what they are and how we can nurture them in our own lives. I'm sure I'm not alone in that I'm aware of the good things I should be making time for, even going so far as to understand the benefits of these - but I then somehow find translating these good intentions into everyday habits a real battle.

First up on the agenda is sleep. Oh sweet, sweet sleep. How I love it. If I don't get enough I spend most of the following day in a daze, but despite this obvious need, getting a full night of zzz's is much harder than I'd like it to be. As long as I can remember I've favoured early nights and early morning wake up calls. I hit a wall at around 10.30pm and if I'm not asleep shortly thereafter I spend the day after with that delightful hungover feeling (without having the fun of enjoying a few too many GnT's...) But somehow the art of actually staying asleep is what eludes me most. I tend to wake up most mornings around 4am, when I have a drink of water and attempt to lull myself back to sleep. But, if I'm naughty and I turn on my phone, then it's game over. I then spend the best part of an hour faffing on my phone - checking instagram, twitter and playing Candy Crush. All the while my brain wakes up, but my body is crying out for more rest. 

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

With all this in mind we've recently taken a few fairly big steps in a bid to aid our quality of sleep... here are some things we've done that might help you if you're in a similar no-sleep situation! 

HANG BLACKOUT CURTAINS

We've actually gone to the rather extreme lengths of moving bedroom and hanging blackout curtains. Previously our bedroom (in our Victorian London terrace) was at the front of the house, and the blinds were less than effective - cue a whole lot of street lights. Add to that the general noise of city living and it was a recipe for insomnia! Admittedly, having the option of moving rooms (when my brother moved out) was something of a luxury, but my goodness it has made such a difference. Our room is now in the loft space at the back of the house and is so much quieter. The blackout curtains are the icing on the cake, making the room pitch black. A must if you're a light sleeper! 

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

DECLUTTER 

I get so stressed by clutter, that I've taken the dramatic steps to literally ditch as much as possible in our bedroom. Our bedside tables hold any essentials (books, kindle, bible, water glass, candle etc), my dressing table is similarly pared back, and apart from these surfaces our room is bare. While I do want to add some interest to the room via art and prints on the walls, this simple and minimal styling has meant the room feels so calm and more like a sanctuary. If you want to declutter, try upping the storage potential of any nooks and crannies in your home - then everything will have its own spot, and the visible clutter will be hugely reduced.

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

PICK SUPER SOFT BEDDING

This wasn't something I initially thought about, but recently it dawned on me that it totally makes sense to invest in good quality bedding if possible. B is basically a human hot water bottle at night, so light and cool fabrics like linen and cotton are a must. Right now I am loving our new seersucker bed linen from Soak & Sleep: it's so soft. Plus with its gorgeous texture, it means post washing and drying creases are positively encouraged - no need to iron these sheets! I've recently also teamed it with the beautiful cotton quilted bedspread. The king size bedspread is huge, and makes the bed feel extra cosy for chillier nights. 

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

TURN YOUR PHONE OFF

I should probably extend this tip to become a general 'no tech in the bedroom' rule - but really, how achievable is that? I value lazy mornings watching TV on my laptop, so such a rule would be broken almost as soon as it was decreed. But when it comes to my mobile, I really am trying to switch it to 'do not disturb' at night time, and force myself to not pick it up if I wake up in the night. This takes a whole lot of willpower, but on the nights I stick to it, I do find myself drifting off to sleep again rather than staying up getting more frustrated and exhausted. If you simply must use your phone just before sleeping or during the night, try turning the screen hue to 'night shift' on iPhone and turning the brightness right down - this will eliminate the blue light emitted and should stop your brain perking up too much! 

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

EMBRACE ESSENTIAL OILS

I've enjoyed using both the This Works pillow spray and stress less remedy and The White Company spa relax pulse point oil recently. Having never really used essential oils, I've been surprised to see how effective simple scents such as lavender and peppermint can be on promoting restfulness ahead of a good night's sleep. Just dabbing a little on my wrist as I wind down, breathing in a few deep breaths seems to set me up for a calmer night.

Healthy Habits - Sleep | Gathered Cheer blog

These are just a few ways I'm trying to be more intentional with my healthy habit of sleeping, but I'd love to hear your tips. What do you do to promote a healthy sleep pattern? All tips are so welcome and appreciated - just comment below or tweet me

-x-

This post was written in collaboration with Soak & Sleep, and for it I was given the lovely bedding set and bedspread. All opinions are of course my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Gathered Cheer going. 

Photo credits // All shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer


A Place To Rest

The bedroom. If yours is anything like ours it acts as a slightly unloved, multi-purpose room - at once being a dumping ground (the laundry airer doesn't fit anywhere else), a work place (the bed is a cosy spot) and a storage room. Never mind actually trying to sleep in there. I often find it hard to sleep anyway - I wish I was one of those 'can sleep in cars, on planes and on the sofa' people, but unless it is a) quiet b) pitch black and c) not to hot I find it tricky to nod off. So it makes sense then, that I put some effort into creating a happy, peaceful and minimal room. My sleep cycle will be sure to thank me...

A beautifully clutter-free and calming bedroom, snapped at the Makelight weekend away

A beautifully clutter-free and calming bedroom, snapped at the Makelight weekend away

As you'll have spotted in my previous post about industrial bedroom styling I'm hoping to have a bit of a shake up soon, to address some of the things I've been neglecting. It'll be all change around here when my lovely big bro moves out at the end of the month - London's loss is Sheffield's gain - but one thing I won't mind is that his attic bedroom will become B's and mine instead. Hello, peace and quiet at the top of the house. I have used his room a few times anyway as it photographs better than our own room, so when it is actually ours I'll feel less like I'm trespassing when wallpapering wardrobes! It's not huge, but it has a super wardrobe in the eaves, and an en suite which I'm sure just needs some Aesop handwash adding to it. I'm hoping the move upstairs will inspire us to pare back so we can create a calming space fit for relaxing and sleeping in. As part of this bedroom dreaming I had a think about my main priorities for the room and here are my non-negotiables...

 

BED

The first (somewhat obvious) essential is of course a bed. Our current bed is a rather traditional looking one, that used to be that attractive shade of orange pine, but now has been painted white. While it is perfectly fine, I'd love something a little more minimal - perhaps like this one from Furniture Village. I like the idea of having a much smaller bedframe, without too much fussy detail - and a headboard which is gently padded would make sitting up and reading in bed all the nicer. Then it's just a case of adding some dreamy linen and blankets, the softer the better.

Scandinavian bedroom inspiration at Gathered Cheer blog - photo credit Johanne Dueholm at www.scandinavianlovesong.com

STORAGE

On a constant mission to reduce clutter, I am generally a fan of wardrobes for clothes storage, but I am slowly coming around to the idea of clothes rails. While I suspect they only really work if you have a beautiful edit of coordinating clothes, rather than a mismatch of colours and misshapen items, a rail could be a useful way to plan the following day's clothes and accessories - hanging them ready for the morning rush.

Bedroom inspiration on Gathered Cheer blog - photo shot and styled by Holly Marder on Avenue Lifestyle

LIGHTING

At the moment we have pretty functional bedside lamps, but I really like the look of the exposed bulbs hung at each side of the bed, like the one below. There is something effortlessly stylish about them, and they are super practical too. Perfect for reading in bed. Even better, I could incorporate a dimmer switch to keep the ambience calm and peaceful.

Bedroom inspiration | Gathered Cheer blog - photo by Jakob Nylund at blog.formconspiracy.se

OTHER FURNITURE

Who doesn't love a chair in the bedroom? While they likely become an extra wardrobe of sorts, they are so handy for those times when you want to relax and read, but don't really fancy snuggling in bed. All I'd add to the chair below is a soft sheepskin, to introduce more texture and cosiness to the otherwise minimal room. Other bedroom furniture includes night stands, dressing tables and consoles. Of course all of this depends on the space you have, as to what you incorporate into the room. The key here is to only bring in the furniture you need, to avoid the room becoming crowded. For me, the idea I find most appealing is making furniture work hard - so my dressing table also doubles up as an extra work space, and my bedside table is brilliant hidden storage unit for my stacks of magazines.

Minimal bedroom inspiration - Gathered Cheer blog | Photo by Jeltje Janmaat on VTVonen

CURTAINS

While the idea of billowy white or grey curtains, blowing in a gentle summer breeze is definitely one I can get on board with, waking at sunrise with blinding light streaming in at 5am is no fun. So, to enjoy the best of both worlds - pitch black sleeping, with soft drapes - I'm looking to hang blackout blinds in our loft room. That way, floaty light curtains can also be hung, but more to soften the overall look of the room, rather than for any practical light blocking reason.

Bedroom inspiration on Gathered Cheer blog - photo via Esny.se

FINISHING TOUCHES

As with any room, it's the little details that make a bedroom feel extra special. Artwork, leafy urban jungles and pretty beauty essentials all bring life and inject personality. My own plant family is growing significantly (more on this in an upcoming blog post) so making space for them in our room is high on the agenda. I've also amassed a fair few inexpensive prints, which I can't wait to pick and choose from to hang around the room. It's also fun to mix and match these finishing touches, refreshing them every few months or so, depending on the season and your preference at the time. It's a great way to update the look and feel of the bedroom without spending a fortune.

Scandinavian bedroom inspiration at Gathered Cheer blog - photo credit Johanne Dueholm at www.scandinavianlovesong.com
Bedroom inspiration on Gathered Cheer blog - photo of art by Silke Bonde, photographed by Enok Holsegaard

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT ARE YOUR BEDROOM ESSENTIALS? GET IN TOUCH BELOW, OR FIND ME ON INSTAGRAM!

 

 

Photo Credits1 shot by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer 2 via Scandinavian Lovesong | 3 via Avenue Lifestyle | 4 via Jakob Nylund | 5 via VTVonen | 6 via ESNY.se | 7 via Scandinavian Lovesong | 8 via Silke Bonde

This post was written in collaboration with Furniture Village, but all opinions are of course my own. Thank you for supporting the brands which help to keep Gathered Cheer going!


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