Real Rooms: A Shared Bedroom For Two Little Boys
We don't know how GLTC testing team member, Charli, found the time to answer these questions, with three children, one on the way, and a myriad of pets, but we're so glad she did. She's an inspiration! Let's find out more about her, her family and the room in question, in this month's edition of 'real rooms'.
Type of home: A newbuild home in a leafy suburb, near Leeds.
Who lives here: There’s myself, Charli, my husband, our three children (and one on the way), our dog, two cats and two guinea pigs!
This is 'the boys' room' as it’s become known. We decided to move them in together about 6 months ago, mostly in the hope that it would encourage Rufus (the tyrannical toddler) to spend a little more time in his own bed! We queried whether he might be too young for a 'big' bed, but he was so desperate to be like his older siblings, that it seemed the best option. And the Paddington bunk is great, as having the ladder down the middle has worked really well to keep him contained, without him feeling like he’s still in a cot.
Can you tell us a little bit about the room and how it's used?
The room is primarily used for sleeping (or at least trying to), but I’ve also set aside a little area for their toys so that they have space to play, away from the rest of the house if they want some peace and quiet. We also have the Greenaway bookcase and the chair bed in here, so this is where we all gather for bedtime stories each evening.
What was your inspiration behind the decor?
I try to keep bedroom decor fairly gender neutral as we seem to play musical bedrooms fairly often! There’s no particular theme in here, it’s just a bit of a mish mash of things, but that’s what I love about GLTC, everything always seems to come together to create a really coherent looking space. We have stars and clouds, navy and white; but it all just seems to work.
What do the boys like best about their room?
The boys love having their own space and Ralph is especially happy about having the top bunk! They’ll often come up here to play and it’s actually made a big difference to their relationship. They’re definitely more on an even keel now, rather than the big boy and the baby.
How did you make sure that both of their personalities were represented?
Luckily, both boys are fairly stereotypical when it comes to a love of dinosaurs and cars and pirates, so all their favourite toys are in here and I’ve just tried to accessorise with the things they both love. It works for now, but we’ll see what happens as they get older (and more opinionated).
If you could make any changes, what would they be?
I wish I’d been a bit bolder with colour. I’m really starting to embrace the dark side in other rooms now, so this room seems a bit bland in comparison, although I do love how easy it would be to change it. GLTC furniture tends to hold its own against any backdrop so if we did go bold in the future, we wouldn’t need to change anything else.
Can you tell us about the boys' bedtime routine?
Bedtime is always a bit long winded here, thanks to a very determined toddler, but we tend to follow the bath book bed routine. We all (dog included) usually congregate in this room for a story, then Daisy will take herself off to her room to read, whilst I tuck the boys in and then climb into Rufus’ bunk and lie with him until he goes to sleep. Just before he drifts off, he loves to knock on Ralph’s bunk and shout goodnight to him, which is really sweet.
How do you make sure that they don't disturb each other or wake each other up?
This is still very much a work in progress! Rufus has a tendency to appear beside my bed at various points in the night and whilst it’s very tempting to return him to his own bed, I’m reluctant to disturb Ralph so we usually relent and let him sleep with us. We’ll have to brave it at some point, but for now it’s just self preservation and making sure everyone gets some sleep!
What's your top tip for making a shared bedroom work?
I think just be open and adaptable. Daisy and Ralph shared for a couple of years and loved it from the off. It’s taken a little longer for the boys to get used to each other, but we haven’t forced it and in their own time they’ve grown to enjoy their shared space. Daisy joins them for sleepovers at the weekends too which has become a fun treat for them all. Whilst it works right now, I know that it might not work forever, so I’m open minded about potentially having another shimmy around in the future.
Which GLTC products are your favourite for children's bedrooms?
That’s a tough one! I love the furniture because it’s always sturdy and looks so solid, plus the designs are always really flexible. They grow with the room and the children. But I also love the accessories. The bedding, the rugs, the toy storage etc. You can add colour and pattern to any room without ever needing to pick up a paintbrush.
Do you have your eye on anything from the new AW18 products?
I’m currently preparing a nursery for our new arrival and there are some gorgeous new bits I plan to use in there. We already have the Clifton storage I want to use the wood and white Greenaway to match it and I also love the Gulliver toy storage, except I’ll probably be using it to store nappies and muslins! I also love love LOVE the new backpacks!
And finally, what makes a happy home for you?
My home is perpetual chaos and I’ve learnt to embrace it, but I do love it the most on the rare occasions it’s tidy!
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