Baby essentials for the style conscious

If you’re at all like me, then you will look around your home and despair when you look at all the stair gates, fireguards and other paraphernalia that accompanies a small child.

I have an extremely boisterous 18 month old who pulls, tugs, climbs and crashes so if something can be locked down, latched or screwed to a wall, it pretty much is.

So, where you can, it is rather nice to treat yourself to the essentials that appeal to the style conscious.

Expectant Mums, hold on to your credit cards…

Cots and toddler beds – Danish designers Sebra offer a beautiful cotbed, available at Kidsen. I would have a baby, just to have this in my home!

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The Stokke sleepi would also do nicely. And go and have a drool over the range at MOOD – gorgeous bassinets, cots, cotbeds and toddler beds.

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Good old Ikea do a range which is much less painful on the purse.

Stairgates – There is a clear gap in the market for something more pleasing on the eye. I know they’re safety products but, come on, they’re normally the first thing you see when you walk through the door. The wooden options are better, like this one from Baby Dan. But that’s about it! PLEASE let me know if you’ve spied anything else. Ditto fireguards – though I have this which is a playpen but can also be used as a room divider and fire guard ( you still require a little spark guard behind it). As I said, my little boy is particularly boisterous, hence the fence in my living room!

High chairs – ouch, these little fellas come in at over £270 but there is something rather Eames-ish about them.

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Again, those clever Ikea folk give us this – something plain and simple – which is what we have in our house. And they also do this – at £45. I wish I had seen this in our local store.

Tableware – Rice, of course, do lovely melamine plates and bowls. And then there’s this from Abacus Kids which is made from bamboo fibre.

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Let me know if there’s anything you’re looking for that I’ve not covered – either here or on twitter @prettyfourwalls?

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Style Steal: Jonny Buckland’s Manhattan loft

Elle Decor have taken a peek around Jonny Buckland’s home – yes, he of Coldplay fame and not the one who is ‘conscious uncoupling’.

I tend to be drawn to homes with more colour – this is a touch too moody for me. But there are some Danish mid century looking pieces that I rather fancy.

If you are toying with idea of a spot of rock and roll at home, then you can get the look with these pieces….

Firstly, the bar stools. Theirs are from Lawson-Fenning but you can get the look with these from Rockett St George for £140 each. I think you’d have to keep to a minimal, masculine look or they might start looking a little clumsy:

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The Hans Wegner Hoop chair is a great statement. For something smaller and perhaps easier to accomodate (let’s face it, we don’t all have Manhattan lofts!), this is the Mid Century Modern Style chair, £110, again from Rockett St George:

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Their lamp is by BDDW – but try this from Made for £99:

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Like the look of the French grain sack cushion in the bedroom? There are similar available on etsy such as these at £33.54:

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The Jazz chair is a good alternative to the French club chairs and good value at £299. Also from Made.

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The red and pink rug provides a pop of colour in the bedroom. Etsy delivers the goods once again with this handwoven rag rug.

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Meanwhile, Operation Hallway has been postponed until this week. While the woodwork is getting painted, I have to make some decisions on colour schemes. A turquoise stairs is getting the thumbs up at the moment – I just haven’t got around to informing my husband who is probably imagining something rather more neutral!

Bye for now.

8 best children’s wallpaper

Before we had little bear, I always imagined myself painting a nursery, pregnant in dungarees. Don’t ask me why but I’m sure there’s an 80s Dulux advert that’s responsible.

When it actually came to getting the nursery prepared, we had not long moved house. It was a yellow, sweet room so we stuck some bunting up, left over from our wedding, bought a cot and painted some furniture that our friends passed on to us.

But my friends are much more prepared and some of them have recently asked me to blog about children’s wallpaper.

My advice when it comes to paper is to pick something that’s going to last – you don’t want to go and spend on Postman Pat decor for them to go off it in six months.

Also, consider whether you need something gender neutral – even if you know the sex of your baby, it might end up being a bedroom for a later addition! And think about whether it might be something that could give them nightmares! Some of the dinosaur papers I’ve seen would give me the heebie jeebies.

So, here are my top eight wallpapers for a child’s room. I admit, some are a little pricey – but, they will last much longer than your little one’s obsession with Postman Pat or Bob the Builder…

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Mint bunny racer, £35 by Pierrot et Coco. This also comes with complementary papers.

Green animal parade, £70 by Hibou Home from Alex and Alexa. Perfect for animal and circus lovers.

Butterfly meadow by Osborne and Little – my nephew has this in his room in yellow and blue so not just for girls. Comes in a couple of different colourways.

Dino wallpaper, £65 by Sian Zeng – great for imaginative explorers! Would look great with mustard accessories.

Kites, £59.95 by Ferm Living from Mini Objects of Desire. This also comes in rose, aubergine and white. I love this. But I love them all!

Grey into the Wild, £70 by Hibou Home at Alex and Alexa. This comes in stone too.

Penguins, £38 at This Modern Life in silver. Great for girls or boys and nice background for pops of coral, mint or yellow.

Clouds by Duro, £44 at This Modern Life.

It was so tricky to pick just eight….which Is why I am going to suggest just one more! I’m cheating, I know.

So finally have a look at this amazing Paris paper from Bodie and Fou.

I would love to see your nurseries – with or without wallpaper! Instagram me at prettyfourwalls?

Banish the brown

My hallway needs some serious attention and we finally have a date for the painter. He’s coming this week and says it’s going to take about 10 days, maybe more.

We decided to get the professionals in because it’s a huge job and it would take me and Mr Pretty Four Walls forever.

We have a lot of woodwork – I’m talking banisters, doors, door frames, chair rails, picture rails, skirting and window frames – all covered in this horrible, very dated, dark brown stain. It all looks rather gothic and it’s put me off brown for life.

Before you look at the pictures of what it currently looks like, excuse the buggy and excuse the makeshift stair gate. But this is what houses with toddlers are like, right?

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While I HATE the brown, the yellowy walls and the stair carpet, I love the stained glass, the original tiles and the space under the stairs.

So, now I must turn my attention to what I want my hallway to look like (cue pinterest-filled evenings) All I know is that I want white woodwork. I think this will help the stained glass to pop.

I feel as if I should be bold with my colour choice but I am veering towards off whites, pale grey carpet and then a warmish neutral below the chair rail. Maybe a bright pop of turquoise or green on the front door?

I also want a shelf above our radiator to create more of a finished look. (I would have liked a radiator cover but I can’t find one to fit.) And I want more storage so I’m planning to pop a shelf above our door hooks for boxes and baskets for gloves, hats and the million and one things that seem to find themselves here! I’d also like a cushion on top of the little cupboard by the door to create a little seat.

I have visions that I will suddenly become Mrs Ultra-Organised. I will never lose my keys again and my house will always be tidy – all because of my new shelves! Yeah, right!

So wish me luck. Ten days of painting and upheaval while the husband’s away with work and I am home alone with disorderly toddler. I have a feeling I am going to spend most of my time at soft play sessions…

I’ve pinned my favourite hallways – check them out here – and if you have any inspiration, please do share!

Totally addicted: House Envy

I can’t wait to head to House Envy. It’s based in the seaside town of Llantwit Major outside Cardiff in Wales.

But for now, I will have to content myself with an online shopping bag!

They have a massive range of products and many I’ve never seen anywhere else before. Stocking brands such as House Doctor and Broste Copenhagen, House Envy fuels any Scandi wishlists. And it has a lovely selection of things for the little people (and not so little) too including bunting from Life’s a Party.

Not surprising really since owner Nicola Wilkes is an interiors journalist, stylist and goodness knows what else. She’s written for a trillion magazines including Elle Decoration and Ideal Home.

I’ve picked out some of my favourites but which are yours? Let me know if you decide to indulge!

Mint green side table, £105
Lucky stars decal, £39.50 (how perfect for a nursery?)
Purple & aqua basket set, £19
Painted metal stool, £55
Harlequin door mat, £29
Set of zinc baskets, £45

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Sweet vintage snaps

My friends will know that I’m not a big fan of lots of photos in my home. I much prefer prints and illustrations. But there is something special about an old photograph.

My husband’s Grandma died last year so, for his birthday, I decided to frame a couple of snaps of her and his Grandad that I know he loves and always remembers seeing in her home.

I decided to go for these frames from Nkuku. They come with a recycled sari tie which, while quite sweet, I swapped for white ribbon.

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Sari ties:

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They come in antique brass or zinc. I opted for the latter. Cox and Cox also do a similar frame, in a few different styles which are worth checking out.

I particularly love the one on the left. They look as if they are in a photo booth. >

Which cushions do I plump for?

This is only my sixth post but I have realised that cushions have featured rather a lot already. Perhaps it’s time to get them out of my system and focus on them properly. So, let’s talk cushions…

I want to create a cosy bedtime story spot in my son’s room. Fortunately he’s only 18 months so I get to choose! No Spider-Man duvets in this house just yet.

These are currently my favourites:

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From top left corner clockwise:
Soft faux suede bear by Ooh Deer, £34.95
Turquoise spider by Ooh Deer, £34.95
Bear in trousers from This Modern Life, £28
Mammoth by Ooh Deer, £27.96
Green and yellow birds, from Hus and Hem, £28
Elephant, from This Modern Life, £25
Swan Lake from Hus and Hem, £28
Hello Sunshine, from This Modern Life, £25

I love how in kids rooms you can be a bit more adventurous than in the rest of the house. Which would you plump for?