If you happen to have kids, then you probably won't be surprised to hear that the only room that's actually finished in our new pad, is neither the living area or our master bedroom but my daughter's bedroom. When you move across continents with a toddler, end up living out of suitcases in rented temporary accommodation for over two months, and finally settle in a new home, the priority is really to keep the troops happy and avoid as many diplomatic incidents at bedtime as possible. So there you go: we may not have any bedside tables, lamps, or shelves yet, but man, Stella's room is (almost!) done and is definitely one of my proudest projects to date - the 'almost' bit is because I still have a few tricks up my sleeve including an 'S' letter neon sign to install so there will probably be a room makeover part deux soon!
When we found the dream rented pad in Dubai a few weeks ago, I immediately started going slightly mad on Pinterest - click here to see the Pinterest board I created and used for inspiration. The main priority was a toddler bed to replace the baby cot she had in London. As you can see on my Pinterest board, I got slightly obsessed over a house-shaped bed I had seen many versions on blogs and magazines and really wanted that to be the focal point of the room. Not just because it looks totally gorgeous and undoubtedly highly Instagram-worthy (I actually want one for myself!) but also because it was going to be her first ever 'grown-up' bed so I wanted it to make a statement: something she could get excited about at bedtime with a practical side too i.e. not being able to fall off during the night (as you can imagine I wasn't very keen on getting ugly bed-guards at all!).
I looked relentlessly for one in Dubai shops without success, and considered having one shipped over from Europe but shipping costs were just killing my tight budget... I then found a recommended local carpenter willing to make one and within my timeframe. We had it made as a single bed instead of toddler size so one of us can lie down with her to read stories in the evening. It's simply the feature of the room and the white frame against the grey walls just works wonderfully. Everything else fell into place. If you love this bed too you'll be happy to hear you can get an exclusive discount from the company I used. See full details below.
Stella is a massive book worm and her collection is never ending, so I was keen to create a little reading corner to read her latest favourites (Julia Donaldson's The Snail and the Whale is the current go-to of the moment). I get asked a lot about cool ideas for storing and displaying kids books (as opposed to hiding them away) and a front facing wall bookcase is always a good and easy way to show off your kid's reading materials.
As for the colour of the walls, I had a few on my wish list, including a beautiful bright pink. I decided to let Stella decide - it's her bedroom after all and she's aware enough to be able to choose these kind of things now. I presented her with my shortlist of two Jotun A4 samples: Jazz Grey, and Princess Pink. Unsurprisingly she picked grey. This is a child who loves to play with trains and trucks more than with dolls and princesses so I expected nothing less from her. The overall scheme makes the room a really soothing yet playful space with just a few hints of bright colours (you know how much I like a bit of neon pink...).
There was only a handful of pricey elements of the whole revamp (most of which we already owned, thankfully) including the pink Elephant stool, the desk/chair set from My 1st Years in the UK and the sheep bookcase from Rowen and Wren. The rest has been sourced on a VERY tight budget locally. If you scroll down to the end of the post, you'll get the full shopping list for each item of the room and the total budget. Luckily the bedroom has a full wall of incredibly spacious floor to ceiling built-in wardrobes so that saved us the big bucks on standalone wardrobes and storage furniture...
Finally the thing that can make or brake a room is lighting. The original light fixture (scroll down to the bottom to see the 'before' shots) made me shiver just looking at it and we had to replace it with something that didn't break the bank - as we are renting. Thank god for IKEA and their affordable pendant lights. The one we chose is made of paper and can be shaped is different ways to look like a floating cloud. It was love at first sight.
Stella absolutely loves her new room and spends much more time there than she used to in London so it feels very rewarding to see her enjoy her new space after months of camping in travel cots and suitcases. Here is a list of most of the items you can see in the pictures. If I had had to buy every single piece, the entire project would have costed just over 6000AED which I think is not bad considering the space.
- Bed frame from Creative Furnitures (250AED off your order when quoting STELLAANDTHESTARS)
- Spring mattress from IKEA
- Swan wall head from BobbyRabbit.co.uk
- Pink Elephant stool from Caramel & Sun
- Customised Stella chair and desk from My 1st Years
- White wall shelves from IKEA UAE
- French bulldog print from John Lewis
- White curtains with pompom trim from H&M Home
- Ceiling cloud paper light from IKEA
- Sheep book shelf from Rowen & Wren
- Storage paper bags (golden stars and heart) from Mon Petit Zoreol
- Toy tent from BobbyRabbit.co.uk
- Child kitchen from IKEA
- Mini washing machine from Miele
- Star Garland (around bedframe) from Numero 74
- Pink stripey storage basket from BobbyRabbit.co.uk
- Neon yellow stool (used as side table) from IKEA
- Gold toadstool table lamp from BobbyRabbit.co.uk
- White dollhouse bookcase from Argos UK or find a similar model from IKEA UAE
- STELLA wooden letters from This Modern Life
- Playmat and storage bag (pink diamonds) from Caramel & Sun
- Bedlinen and animal heads cushions, all from H&M Home
- Star cushion from BobbyRabbit.co.uk
- Squirrel print by Emily Forgot
- Neon plexi frame from Oliver Bonas UK
Oh and in case you wondered what it looked like before I got my paws on it, this is Stella's room 'before' shot...
So, what do you think of the look of her new bedroom? Would love to get your feedback on the revamp and hear some of your own makeovers in the comments below...