#MyGLTC Meets Lydia Elder

Today we’re going behind the scenes of the wonderful photos that we're tagged in on Instagram to find out a little bit more about the people who post them and why they choose GLTC.

We first met Lydia last year when we teamed up to help her create a stylish yet practical play space. Lydia's gorgeous home has been featured in Style at Home Magazine and you can read all about her interiors journey on her blog, Home by Lydia. You can find her on Instagram as @lydias_layton_life.

HI LYDIA, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND WHERE YOU LIVE?

Hiya! I am a full-time Marketing Manager and part-time Digital Content Creator who lives and works in Kent. Our household is wonderful chaos with my two gorgeous boys, Teddy (5) and Arlo (3), my husband, Peter, and our fluffy black cat, Bumbles. My 4-bed house is on a new-build development and is definitely a forever family home – the two-story, open-plan layout is perfect for young children or young adults! When we moved in two years ago, I was a complete novice to the world of DIY, and I’ve really enjoyed putting my stamp on the property to make it our own.

Lydia's layton life

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HOME STYLE IN THREE WORDS?

Botanical, contemporary and vibrant!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE, AND WHY?

My favourite room is the one we spend most of our time in, the open-plan kitchen/diner. The reason I love it is that it’s a space the entire family can be in together, while still getting on with our own thing. Rather than have a separate dining space, we have a large table in the kitchen area and turned what ‘should’ be the dining room into a playroom for the boys. We used GLTC Alba units to create a built-in look along a DIY panelled feature wall, complete with the Poppins Toy Chest & Grey Stardust Cushion. Any mess or clutter is now sorted in drawers, oilcloth cubes and storage baskets. I love how the play area decor fits seamlessly with the kitchen without looking too 'kiddy'. The boys can feel independent playing in their own space, while I am still able to peek over the half-height wall to keep an eye on them!

Alba playroom storage and pink feature wall

OBVIOUSLY, WE BELIEVE THAT STORAGE IS THE KEY TO A TIDY FAMILY HOME, AND YOU HAVE LOTS OF OUR PIECES IN YOUR HOME. WHICH WOULD YOU BE MOST LIKELY TO RECOMMEND TO OTHER PARENTS AND WHY?

I would definitely recommend your Alba Storage Sets – not only do they look sleek and can be easily adapted to any interior decor, they are modular so customisable depending on your storage needs. The top shelf is also perfect for adding a touch of your individual style, with potted plants or family photos. The drawers have handles that are easy for little hands to open independently, and I love that you can personalise your unit using GLTC’s range of fun patterned Storage Cubes or Rope Baskets. I chose the Grey Dashed Cubes paired with Ivory & Grey Rope Baskets with Tassels, for a contemporary and sophisticated look that tied in perfectly with our grey flooring and walls.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HANDY STORAGE HACKS THAT YOU COULD SHARE FOR PARENTS WANTING TO DECLUTTER OR ORGANISE THEIR HOMES?

If you have extra storage space, such as a loft or garage, I am a strong believer in ‘toy cycling’. Keep toys out for a couple of months before swapping them with ones you’ve had stored away – it’s amazing how quickly children forget toys that were ‘the favourite’ a week before, and how excited they are to play with toys that suddenly seem brand new when brought out again!

This is a great way to streamline and free up space in your accessible storage units in the playroom, kids’ bedrooms or living areas. If you are really pushed for space, I always recommend looking for items of furniture that are 2-in-1, or even 5-in-1! Storage boxes that double up as benches, underbed drawers and push or pull-along book carts all do their bit to keep clutter at a minimum.

Alba playroom storage drawers

FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM, WE CAN SEE YOU LOVE A BIT OF DIY PANNELLING! DO YOU HAVE ANY TOP TIPS FOR READERS WHO MAY WANT TO TRY THIS OUT THEMSELVES?

Oh do I ever! My first attempt at DIY panelling was for our playroom, when I created a Sulking Room Pink geometric feature wall, and I loved the end result so much that I became addicted. We currently have three different styles of wall panelling in three different rooms in the house, and I’m sure more will come!

The most important aspect of panelling is the planning – measure, measure and measure some more! I like to sketch out my design ideas on a piece of paper first, and then do all the calculations for how long the pieces need to be. I’d also recommend using No More Nails Glue rather than having to nail each piece of strip wood to the wall, although if your walls aren’t quite flat (like ours!) you may have to pop a couple nails in to ensure the glue can dry onto the wall. It’s also a good idea to paint the wall first, before attaching the panelling, and then paint a second coat.

YOU RECENTLY CHOSE OUR NIMBUS CABIN BED FOR ARLO’S BEDROOM TRANSFORMATION. WHY DID YOU GO FOR THIS BED?

The number one thing I was looking for was a comfortable bed that incorporated storage, and the more the better! I loved that the Nimbus was so compact, and yet packed so much in  it’s basically a whole room in a bed.

I also really liked the stylish, timeless look of the bed, with its textured natural details. I felt that it would be a bed that would grow with Arlo, and one we would keep for years to come. I had also never seen a bed with a child-sized built-in wardrobe before, and this one is incredibly spacious, reaching really far back to maximise all the storage space under the bed.

I wanted to keep as much floor space as possible for Arlo to be able to play, so the sliding desk that tucks neatly under the Nimbus Cabin Bed was another key element that ticked the space-saving box.

Nimbus cabin bed in boys bedroom

HOW IS ARLO GETTING ON WITH HIS NEW BED? WHAT DOES HE LOVE MOST ABOUT IT AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?

Arlo’s main requirement for a new bed was that it was ‘really high, like Teddy’s bed’, had ‘stairs’ and that he could touch the ceiling. These conditions have all been met, with the added excitement of having a shelf running alongside the length of the bed for him to keep all his favourite toys and night light within easy reach. What I love most is the sheer amount of storage that means before bedtime I can tidy all his toys, clothes and knick-knacks away to leave a clean and clear environment, free from distractions, conducive to a peaceful night’s sleep!

 Nimbus cabin bed against moutainscape

WHAT DOES ARLO THINK OF HIS NEW GLTC MATTRESS?

He has slept like a dream since we got it, so I think it’s a great success! I asked him if his bed was comfy, and he said that it was like a soft, soft cloud. I myself was amazed at how plush and supportive the mattress was when it arrived, as very often children’s mattresses seem rather thin. It has made me think we need to upgrade Teddy’s old mattress to a GLTC Luxury All Rounder Mattress, as you can really tell the difference in comfort and quality.

WE’VE RECENTLY LAUNCHED OUR NEW AUTUM RANGE, DO YOU OR YOUR BOYS HAVE YOUR EYE ON ANYTHING?

Where to begin! I love the look of the Dandelion Toddler Table, with its nifty hidden compartment to store toys or colouring pencils. The Stackable Bear, Cat and Fox Boxes look like another well-designed, space-saving storage solution. I adore their cute faces and that you can get matching accessories like the Animal Rugs. My 5 year-old, Teddy, has said he wants a Daily Calendar so he 'knows when it’s Friday which is the weekend' (no school!) and Arlo pointed out the Dinosaur Sleeping Bag, which he apparently wants in order to go camping in the garden with his grandparents!

Browsing through GLTC’s new Nursery Collection has also made me incredibly broody – oh dear!

FINALLY, WHAT MAKES A HAPPY HOME FOR YOU?

For me, a happy home is one that is enjoyed and loved by the entire family. Everyone needs to have some input into how a home is organised and used. While I am a bit of a neat-freak, I do honestly love that my children have the space to run riot and enjoy every room in the house, as they should!

Colour, quirky but tasteful features, and vibrant plants are what bring an interior to life for me. It also makes me happy to know that we have all worked hard together to create a beautiful home – from my husband’s wallpapering to the children’s expert roller-painting skills!

Toy storage in open-plan space


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