Real rooms: A dark blue nursery for baby Dotty
Today we're visiting GLTC testing team member, Charli, for a tour of her daughter's nursery. With four children, Charli is our most experienced testing team member when it comes to decorating and redecorating children's room. How she finds the time though, we have absolutely no idea.
Type of home: A newbuild home in a leafy suburb, near Leeds.
Who lives here: There’s myself, Charli, my husband, our four children, our dog, two cats and two guinea pigs!
Room: Dotty's nursery.
Can you tell us a little bit about the room and how it's used?
The room used to be used as an office and a place to store all of my yarn, but when I was expecting Dotty, we decided it would become her nursery. She doesn’t sleep in there just yet, but all of her clothes etc. are kept in there and we often all congregate for bedtime stories around the rocking chair.
What was your inspiration behind the decor?
I picked up some bunting in an outlet store. The colours were quite an unusual combination, but I loved them together and decided to plan the room around that theme. I’ve always played it safe with neutral colours, but decided to step out of my comfort zone and head on over to the dark side. I love how it’s turned out.
Dotty is your fourth child - has your approach to creating the perfect nursery changed over the years?
Yes absolutely! With my first two, I’d found out the sexes beforehand so went down the stereotypical pink nursery for Daisy and green for Ralph (I managed to avoid being too predictable with blue). Third time around, we kept it a surprise and I kept the nursery white, with a few rainbow accents. I think I thought that something gender neutral needed to be colour neutral too. But this time around I really let my creativity run wild, to create a room full of colour.
Which GLTC products would you advise investing in that are great for nurseries but also ideal for older children's rooms?
The Greenaway bookcase 100%. It’s such a feature and a great space saver too. I also love the Clifton toy organiser (now discontinued). We’ve had ours for a few years now and it was initially in the playroom, storing toys and Lego. Now it’s used to organise Dotty’s clothing. It makes grabbing vests, babygros, coats etc very easy (always essential when grappling a wriggling baby). Once her clothes get too big for it, I think I’ll be commandeering it to store all of my crafting goodies.
With four children, how do you juggle bedtimes? How do you juggle everything, really?
Bedtimes are a challenge. I’ve always aimed to get them to bed at 7pm as I really value my evenings. But trying to coordinate getting four of them into bed, especially when my husband is working away, is no mean feat. I’ve had to accept that my older two (5 and 6) probably don’t need to be thrown into bed quite so early now, so they go into Daisy’s room for some reading, playing or crafting, whilst I get the smallest two to bed. Then I spend some quiet time with the big two before putting them to bed too. It’s not quite the freedom I once enjoyed, post 7pm, but it’s nice to get some time with them, without the noise and chaos that usually comes with their younger siblings.
Are there any GLTC products that help to maintain bedtime and morning routines?
We have the Whittington desk in Daisy’s room and she and Ralph love sitting at it in the evenings, making their weird and wonderful creations. It generally keeps them quiet whilst I corral the small ones into bed. Rufus will select a book from his Greenaway (ALWAYS “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”) before climbing into his Paddington bunk to listen to the story. We keep the Star Bright toy box beside his bed and he’s very particular about putting his empty milk cup on there (I’m not allowed to move it until he’s asleep). So I guess without even really noticing, a lot of GLTC products have become a part of our routine.
We imagine that good storage is essential in a busy family home. Do you have any top tips/picks?
We have a few of the storage tubs (canvas and rope) that are brilliant for stowing away all sorts of things. We have one in each bedroom. Daisy's stores all of her toys, the boys use theirs for teddies and footballs and Dotty’s is full of blankets and spare bedding. They make it relatively easy to persuade the children to tidy up as they can just chuck things in the tub. The pigeonhole wall shelf is great too. We have ours in the playroom where they can reach it so that coats, bags, hats, letters, party invites, random rocks that they’ve collected on the walk home can all be put on there once we get back from school.
Which GLTC toy would you have loved most as a child?
Definitely the Star Beans coffee shop. I play with it more than they do.
A huge thanks to Charli for taking the time to answer our questions. Follow her on Instagram for more family antics and home tours.
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