Turn a nursery into a big kid's room
From cot to bed is not only a big transition for toddlers, but it’s also
a chance to redecorate.
Hannah Whitehead is a mother and graphic designer living in Whangarei. Having recently purchased her first home with husband Dylan, Hannah is enjoying the blank canvas upon which to unleash her creative flair and passion for interiors. The couple’s daughter Frankie recently moved from a cot to a ‘big girl bed’, which meant it was time to revisit the design of the nursery and create a new-look space suitable for a little lady.
What was your inspiration for the room? Hannah: In this case, it was simply the need to swap the cot to a big bed. Frankie's new room was based around her bed from Early Settler. The bed is more of a vintage style, which is completely different to the rest of our home. I really wanted to keep a nice balance of ‘little girl vintage’ and more modern styling for her new space. I am always so inspired by others online. Lots of people overseas (especially in Scandinavian countries) have decorated in this fusion of style and something about their beautiful spaces really jelled with me.
Where did you start? The bed was definitely our starting point so once we had ticked that off, it was just a matter of finding the smaller pieces to fit in with the bed's style. We didn't do any major renovating when changing her room as we had recently painted it, so it was all smooth sailing changing things around. What elements did you retain from the nursery set-up? We kept a lot of the same pieces from her nursery in the new bedroom. Her canopy (which is one of my favourite items) is something I don't think I could ever bring myself to part with. We also reused her rug, cushions, teepee and a lot of the smaller soft furnishings. It is amazing seeing how different items can look in a new setting and how easily you can fall back in love with some pieces that you had become so used to seeing!
What is your favourite feature of the room?
I absolutely love every part of her room but my favourite side is the sleeping side. I love how comfy and simple it is, plus the linen bedding makes bed-making the quickest process ever each morning! Any special family heirloom-type items? We haven't used any family heirlooms in her new room but there are a lot of pieces we will treasure for a very long time. Her white Jamie Kay rug is handwoven in cotton upcycled from the fashion industry, which is pretty special! The canopy is another piece that will become an heirloom of our own family. I love it so much I have ordered one more for the other side of the room.
Best bargain in the room?
Our little Kmart storage box, for sure! It was only $24 and is awesome for storing all of Frankie's favourite books. How will you update the room as your daughter gets older? We will soon make more changes to the room as we are expecting our second child early next year. Frankie's beautiful feature wall will be replaced and a cot will be going in for her sibling. I am really excited to design a shared room that makes the most of the small space, for my kids to enjoy together.
Any challenges or tricky bits?
The biggest challenge would have been my fear of changing Frankie from her cot to a big bed. I think a little part of me didn't really want to admit she was growing up and moving on! However, it was a really smooth transition and we are so lucky with how well Frankie took to sleeping in a completely different setting. That said, it doesn't stop us from still popping pillows down the wall side of the bed and keeping a pool noodle under the sheet so she doesn't accidentally fall out.
Any other tips for the cot-to-bed transition?
We chose a single bed that was not too high off the ground and also had a headboard and footboard, which helps our little girl look and feel more contained. As I mentioned, we also placed a pool noodle under the bottom fitted sheet. This idea was recommended to us by other parents — it is a brilliant (and cheap!) way to help prevent your child from rolling out of bed. Best $2 we ever spent! The other thing we did to help ease the transition was to set up the bed first thing in the morning so Frankie had the day to play in her room and get used to the new arrangement well before bedtime. We then kept her bedtime routine exactly the same as usual and she took it all in her stride!
Photography: Hannah Whitehead, blondeandbone.com
Numero 74 canopy, $249.95, littleco.co.nz
Maileg wooden cot bed, $53, and baby rabbit, $25, littlewhimsy.co.nz
Star lantern, $154.95, littleco.co.nz
Aura throw, $210, alliuminteriors.co.nz
Bonne Mère single quilted pillow, AUD$69, bonnemere.com.au
Stockholm side table, $29 from Kmart
Chloé Fleury paper flamingo kit, $90, mildredandco.com
Miniroom star cushions, from $22, littlewhimsy.co.nz
Natural cotton floor rug, $119.99, tradeaid.co.nz
Lola basket, $79.99 for a set of three, ezibuy.co.nz