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. 


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