A M A Z I N G : S P A C E S

Create Amazing Spaces: how to support your Child’s natural curiosity and want to learn with exciting interior design schemes for their bedroom

Create wonder-ful spaces: The Explorer’s Bedroom

Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them. A wide-eyed baby who wants to put everything in their mouth grows into an exploratory toddler who wants to touch and feel everything in sight. That toddler quickly becomes an inquisitive child, full of ideas and thoughts about their environment, How does that work? What is this? what happens when? Why?.. Why…?……….. WHY…??!

Nurturing a child’s innate curiosity is an important part of supporting their development, but they can only know what they know. If they aren’t exposed to new sensory experiences or new objects then their curiosity can fade.

Using clever and imaginative interior design ideas, it is possible to enhance a child’s immediate environment and stimulate their curiosity. This in turn leads them to grow and develop to continue asking questions as they explore the world around them.

Done well, there is a huge opportunity to provide a passive and stimulating learning environment for your child through the clever design of their bedrooms.

The trick is to start with their base-line interest. Perhaps they are fascinated with tractors? Or animals? Or maybe the sea? Ensuring that their room features this interest, represented in a number of different ways, will lead the child to buy-in to the overall scheme.

Once they are hooked, you can use this interest as a trigger to a wider context of learning, expanding their educational horizons.

A mind map is a great way to understand the myriad ways you can contextualise their interest and increase the learning potential of their space.

For example; your child loves tractors, they are tractor mad. Whether it’s a Ford or Massey-Ferguson they know their flat bed from their bailer. The wider context of that interest could look at the history of farming, the use of horse and plough perhaps the germination process of wheat? Or maybe you could introduce the idea of a timeline infographic wall chart and show how farming has progressed in the last hundred years and how it may progress in the next hundred.

Understanding how your child learns is fundamental to the design of the room. If they are a little bookworm and love to read, set up a comfortable reading corner with their favourite farming books clearly displayed and easily accessible. If they are a visual learner, include artwork that explains various aspects of the wider context of farming, like the germination process of wheat, in a pictorial form.

Perhaps their toy storage solution could utilise an upcycled potato sack or milk churn? Again stimulating questions on the history of farming. Maybe their rug is selected because it looks like a ploughed field and encourages imaginative play? The opportunities are endless.

Don’t forget to include design features that allow your child to hide away and create secret spaces to get lost in their imagination. This could be done through a built-in cabin bed, for example, where the base is used as a bed and the the top deck is a secret play space disguised as a hayloft.

Finally, be mindful that your child will change and mature in the coming years, so be sure to create a space that can be easily adapted to suit their growing needs. Perhaps simply update wall art or a feature wall as their passions change.

Photography credit: 📸MoPhoto

T A T T Y L I C I O U S

Company : Tattylicious
Owner: Caroline Holding

Today I wanted to bring your attention to the incredibly talented founder of a local up-cycling business, Caroline Holding. She loves nothing more than upcycling unloved furniture to be loved once more. Her incredible skill and eye for detail makes each pieces she creates for her business ‘Tattylicious’ a unique work of art.

I thought the best way for you to get to know her and her fabulous business would be through a quick fire Q&A so here we go…..

Q.You create the most amazing pieces, how did this all start for you?

A. Thank you! It started when I was made redundant after 10 years in the same job, I didn’t want to carry on working in a factory and I took my chance to do something I really enjoyed. The first piece I created, a set of decoupage draws, was a pleasure to make and when it sold immediately it encouraged me to continue. I started buying pieces of old furniture that no-one wanted in there homes anymore and upcycled them. I add colours and textures with paint and papers and it turns the discarded furniture into beautiful, unique pieces. I have a huge passion for what I do and can’t wait for the next project to start.

Q. All the pieces you create have a real ‘wow’ factor. There is always a level of detail that is unexpected and thrilling. When you source the furniture what do you look for? Does your process work for any piece or do you look for specific criteria?

A.I try not to go out specifically looking for a certain piece .I like to work with what I find. I’m drawn to older furniture made with solid wood rather than something modern or flat-packed from IKEA or similar. I love to sand the old wood down and get back to the barebones of the piece before I start to apply my art work. I find that you can’t achieve the same finish with modern items and it doesn’t give the quality feel that I’m looking for.
When I’m looking for my next project I try and envisage what I can do with it to make it more appealing. The ideas usually start to flow as soon as I see a certain piece and the more vintage the more fun I have with the transformation!

Q. The transformed pieces I have seen including the stunning drinks cabinets have clearly had a level of ‘editing’ done to them. How easy is it to repurpose furniture to accept new uses? And what are you favourite examples?

A. I love doing the drinks cabinets. They are great fun and I have returning customers that love how unique they are. It’s easy to repurpose any piece as long as its not falling apart and it’s in good condition. Also check for woodworm in older pieces. A good finish is all in the preparation. Complete all the cleaning/sanding and repairs carefully, then you can start the fun bit!
I have too many favourites to choose one but I think I’m most proud of the large Queen Anne sideboard I did in the graduated colours with a flower design which is now in the gorgeous home of @gooseontheloose .

Q. The pieces you create are a real focal point in any home. What advice would you give to anyone feeling brave and wanting to step away from grey and into the world of colourful, bright interiors? Do you find it useful to work with a overall interiors scheme in mind?

A. To anyone who’s sick of looking at grey walls and furniture start off by painting one wall like a chimney breast in a colour that might match a cushion or blouse that you love. At the end of the day, you can paint over it! As for furniture, start with a small piece so you could perhaps move it around your home till you find the perfect spot. If you can put together a look that really suits your personality you will find it easy to accessories with furniture. If you can be brave and be true to your individual taste you can just keep building on that scheme until you are happy.

Q.Your home is an incredible combination of colour and pattern, a real reflection of your authentic self. Why do you think people should look to reuse and up-cycling to decorate their homes?

A. My home is an eclectic mix of different colours and I think you should go with what makes you happy. I dont follow a rule book. Everything in my home makes me feel joy.
By reusing and upcycling furniture, you are giving your home a unique look. Besides saving money, it’s saving things from going into landfill. My hubby has even bought back pieces from the skips that people were throwing away! It’s unbelievable what people will just throw. Even tv programs are being made about it now!

Q.Finally, how do we get our hands on a piece for our homes (I’m first in-line please!!) do you do commissions??? What is the process and how do you get the homeowners preferences into the design?

A. To get a piece of my furniture I have a Facebook page called Tattylicious where I sell my finished pieces. I only do a couple of commissions at a time, as I want to give them my full attention. I prefer a loose design brief, perhaps just a colour or pattern preference. I like to be uninhibited during the process to achieve the ‘wow’ look that attracts my customers to my work. If you would like to commission a piece or take a finished Tattylicious piece home, please call or message me, I’d love to talk to you about your ideas.

Secret Doors

The existing lounge was a very uncomfortable place to sit and it really didn’t work as a place to rest. The position of the doorways, three in total!, meant that this space felt transitional, as if you were sitting in a corridor. I wanted to come up with a solution that not only fixed this problem but did it with wit and a sense of fun.
Who doesn’t love a secret door?! especially as the room behind the door was a play room, it was too good an opportunity to miss .. and so into Narnia we went!

I designed the door to mirror the alcove shelving on the other side of the fireplace. Now, when the door is closed you feel that you are sitting in a comfortable and complete room and are unaware of the access that runs diagonally through the middle of the space.

When the door opens anyone not in the know, is delighted to see a secret playroom behind the shelving.

The children absolutely love this feature as they feel that they have a secret den and we love it as we get to sit in comfort by the fire without feeling like we are in a transitional space.

The perfect crease of the ceiling line above your head in this area was created through the layering of space blanket installed to obtain optimum thermal U-values and also the layering of plasterboard to make sure that the window sat exactly in the centre of the space and the crease of the ceiling followed the centreline of the window exactly as well. The effect is that of a simply designed space that in fact has many layers of design and consideration behind it to make it come to life.

Using nature for inspiration on colour

Want a home bursting with colour but too scared to start?

Here are six schemes to reassure even the most timid of first time colourists!

I don’t know about you but I LOVE colour, I need it around me to feel alive! Colour is almost as important to me as natural light. It energises, inspires and comforts. I seek it out in every aspect of my life, if it’s in my home, clothing or food!
Something that I’ve noticed over time, whilst completing many domestic building projects, is that even the most willingly architecturally design led Clients still loose their confidence when it comes to the use of colour in their newly refurbished homes.

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I have one tip to conquer that fear that never lets me down!

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 Simply look to nature for colour combinations that work!
No matter if you want subtle combinations of sympathetic colours in the same range or a bold scheme of layered deep colours sitting next to each other.

There are so many beautiful colour combinations in nature to suit anyone’s brief.
Here are just a few of my favourites.

From mustard and rich, ink blue to pale green and pink, ruby tones against stark white walls. The only thing limiting your creativity is your nerve and the quality of your image search engine!!

How do you use colour in your home? What are your favourite, unusual colour pairings? How does colour make you feel?

Library Landing

This little area has such a huge impact on Mount Pleasant as a whole. Not only does it provide a huge amount of natural light deep into the house plan but it gives a visual and auditory connection between both the ground and first floors ; an essential feature when designing a child-centric house! As parents of four young children we wanted the security of a visual link between the two floors without the risk of shared noise, kitchen smells and drafts. The existing landing was incredibly narrow and created a dangerous pinch point at the top of the stairs. The two storey rear extension gave the opportunity to widen this area and create a wow factor all at the same time. By taking a little floor area at first floor level we created a floating floor above the kitchen below. Keeping the floor area of the landing extension small allowed the double height void of the kitchen to sail past the library window making it look even more like a floating box hanging in space.

It would’ve been easy to create a simple open balcony here but the decision to replicate the picture window on the external line of extension created a very special situation where the eye is drawn through a tunnel like structure straight out into the landscape. This makes it feel that you have a view directly outside from deep inside the house.

The fitted library shelves were designed into this area from the word go. The light levels were going to be outstanding in this area due to the orientation of the house on the site in relation to the Sun. It was an opportunity not to be missed to make this area something very special and to design in two brick piers at the opening to the library that matched the thickness of the window surround exactly. The bookshelves were then made to fit these two recesses immaculately giving a seamless look to the area.

The perfect crease of the ceiling line above your head in this area was created through the layering of space blanket installed to obtain optimum thermal U-values and also the layering of plasterboard to make sure that the window sat exactly in the centre of the space and the crease of the ceiling followed the centreline of the window exactly as well. The effect is that of a simply designed space that in-fact has many layers of design and consideration behind it to make it come to life.

Telephone: 07834 206 207

Email: camilla@architecturevenutres.com