Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cool Retro Modern Funky Kids Bedroom Baby Nursery Child's Room

A few of my friends have told me I should do a post about my son's nursery. They tell me it is awesome, and I guess I agree. I had a bit of difficulty finding baby boy nursery things that weren't branded (Thomas The Tank Engine, Bob The Builder, Transformers etc), or just lame, things I don't think anyone really likes but society tells us is what we should have for a boys bedroom. Baby blue and choo-choo trains, gentle monsters and cartoon dinosaurs. I want my blues to be bold, and my trains loud, my monsters scary and my dinosaurs real. I mean, I say "my", but what I mean is "my son's". Or do I?

Perhaps some of my aspirations for my son's bedroom stem from my own childhood. I always wanted a cool bedroom, and never really got one. My dad tried to make me a cool bedroom for when I lived with him. He painted my old bedroom lavender and got a matching quilt cover, but I was never particularly girly and so while I appreciated the effort he went to to make me feel comfortable in my new/old house I never really felt it was a good reflection of my personality. And then my mum and I moved into a house in which we could repaint the walls, and I chose a neon orange to match the sunset which was simultaneously awesome and the worst idea ever because we spent all our money on paint and had none left to buy a quilt cover that would really capture the look I was going for. Talk about first world problems, right? I've always been like that though, very particular about the way room's are decorated.

I've also always been non-financial, so every thing I have done for my son's nursery/bedroom has been on a tight budget. I've sourced almost everything from eBay and opp-shops, garage sales and sale-of-the-day websites. I tried to stay away from Ikea because, while Ikea furniture is affordable, it is also very 'samey'. Residing as I do in military housing, I am blessed and cursed with a McMansion. All beige and modern, souless and unremarkable in every way except for the fact that three other houses on my street share our facade (albeit with slightly different colour schemes). My own little box of ticky tacky. And on my evening walks I get to look through the windows and see that my neighbor's house is filled with the same Ikea furniture as their neighbors, and their neighbor's neighbors.That said there are a few Ikea pieces, the $9 LACK table for example, and a set of mid-nineties drawers with a curvy front.

Well, less chitter chatter and more nursery tour...

The first thing I bought for Hunter's bedroom was this second hand (replica) Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair. I love how fun and quirky it is, to my mind it is perfect for a kids room. I can see Hunter playing with it as much as he sits on it. Can't you just see a little boy sitting on this chair pretending to be a dinosaur hatching out of a lava egg? Or a man from the future piloting a rocket ship from his sci-fi seat? Or a jelly king sitting upon his wobbly throne? It was also super comfy for breastfeeding (even though it sadly didn't get used for that purpose for long), and is excellent for both of us to cuddle in while we read a book together.

Next came a cot and change tale combo from eBay. For $200 I got a solid wood cot (yes, it meets all Australian Standards) that converts from a cot, to a toddler bed and then a day-bed/lounge. Because it is made to be a bed and lounge it takes the weight of a full adult, which has been useful on those nights when nothing but mummy cuddles will get young sir grump-a-lot to sleep. If you have in your mind a vision of me squished up in there, holding onto a small hysterical baby, silently cursing the world as I go deaf in one ear and numb on one side, in the pitch dark, then you are spot on the money and should get a treat. Perhaps you would like a small baby? He is very cute, I assure you.

The crocodile came shortly after. I fell in love with his googly eyes, and then I found out he was chenille and I was rendered unable to exist without him in my life. When he arrived at our doorstep I named him croca-dealy-ola and spent altogether too long trying to think of ways to create a situation in which Lee asked what "the dealio was" so that I could answer him with crocodile hugs.

The yellow bedlinen is from Kideko, and was picked up for $16 from I was uber stoked to spot the sale, nabbing the yellow quilt pictured above as well as one with a avocado green monster print while fist pumping the air with glee! What a score! Sadly though I think Kideko may have gone out of business as their website no longer exists- possible charging close to $200 for kids bedlinen was not a sustainable business practice? The retro quilt was picked up for $2 from an opp-shop while day tripping with the ever lovely Posikill, $2 being two zero's closer to my budget.

Even before I dreamed of having a baby I was collecting kids books. I adore Maurice Sendak, Neil Gaiman, Shaun Tan, Dr Seuss, Serendipity, Edward Gorey and Lemony Snickett. These have all made their way into Hunter's bookcase, along with a selection of other awesome books. Some new, some handed down, some thrifted, some found- all will be read, first aloud by me and Lee, and then Hunter and us together and one day in the distant future, just by Hunter.

I love a good sale, and this Junior Panton chair from Click On Furniture was only $40. It is moulded plastic, and quite light- I doubt I'll ever sit on it because it does not appear to be strong enough to hold the weight of an adult, but on the plus side Hunter will look super cute on it and will never be able to tip it backwards. I also scored a replica Eames elephant stool, but that sits out in the living room so isn't really a part of this nursery tour. I picked the wooden blocks up at the same garage sale at which I bought the Le Toy Van wooden garage (below). Beatles fans may have spotted the Blue Meanie doll, this was a Christmas pressie from me to Lee way back in 2001.

I really love wooden kids toys. The wooden garage is super sturdy and even after having been played with by the three boys from the previous family looks new. You simply do not get the same level of craftsmanship or durability from plastic toys. The other thing I like about wooden toys is that they encourage imaginative play and don't rely on a TV tie in to make sense.

Most of these toys were gifts from family and friends, although some were thrifted while others (like the Manhattan Toy and Djeco Home Cubes) bought from Urban Baby or Brands Exclusive.

While I'm on the topic of toys I'll mention that instead of a toy box I am using a Radio Flyer Trav-ler trailer. I picked it up for $100 on eBay (US readers, you have no idea how lucky you are. The Trav-ler retails for $569 her in Australia- ridiculous!) and I have my doubts if it was ever even used by the previous family. Hunter's stupidly large stuffed toy collection live here, the king of which is a stupidly large stuffed bear. That cute knitted brown bear was a gift to Hunter from the nurses at Nambour Hospital the night he had a very bad upper respiratory tract infection and scared the hell out of me, but despite the boogers and soaring temperature charmed all the ladies on shift.

And then we have the business side of the room: the change table and clothing storage. Fight Club fans may recognise the dresser...

I actually bought it second hand many years ago from Simon De Groot's partner. I don't know either of them, but eBay has a way of helping you meet all kinds of interesting people. Her apartment was incredible by the way. However the dresser is not what this image is meant to show. This image is meant to show you a removable wall sticker I designed for son. As I have already mentioned, I didn't want a cutesy decal and couldn't afford to import a Blik decal, so I made my own. It documents in a very simple infographic timeline the major genres of music from 1900 until today (however classical music is left off, as is opera- my bad). It is also much much larger than this small section shows, since this section is the half of the wall that depicts 1950 onward. If you want one for your walls, email me with the size you need (and any other genre's you want included) and I'll sort you out a great price.

And then there is the dresser. On top is all the usual baby products (I'm a hippy at heart and am trying to keep the products as natural as possible), as well as a selection of toys to amuse the young man while he lays upon the changetable. I find that having a few small toys on hand helps to keep him occupied which makes change time that much quicker. The huge Lego head is used to store accessories, the tin robot was a gift from an old friend. The stripey toys are Friends With You and the wooden New York was bought at MoMa. The Come In We Are Closed sign is by Richard Tipping (a super cool Australian artist) and was picked up at the National Gallery Of Australia when I went there with my lovely friend and mum who I look up to, Margie. I also love to grow plants in bottles, they look beautiful, are exceptionally low maintenance and purify the air. What's not to love? Check out some hydroculture tips on this informative wiki post.

So that's the tour done. I hope you have enjoyed looking at Hunter's room as much as I have enjoyed putting it all together, and as much as he loves playing in it. Below I have listed some links of where to buy these items.

Left to right from top left:
Lego Head Storage, Haba Wooden Blocks, Neil Gaiman's The Dangerous Alphabet, Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, Shaun Tan's The Red Tree, Atlas Tapestry, Egg Chair, Friends With You, Panton Jnr, Kideko Bedlinen, Le Toy Van Mike's Garage.

Room in my heart for you all,
Sandi D


  1. This room is gorgeous! And hello fabulous egg chair! I have a white leather one, but the fabric on yours is amazing! I'm working on thrifty kid's decor inspiration for you as wee speak, and I'll get it to you ASAP! x Sam.

    1. Yay! I'm so excited to be working with you! I can't wait to see what fabulous things you come up with :)


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