A well-designed shared bedroom for two
A well-designed shared bedroom provides golden opportunities for side-by-side play and other valuable life lessons.
Interior architect and co-director of Material Creative Liv Patience lives in Auckland's Titirangi with her husband, builder Dave Patience, and their two children, Archie and Sylvie. Creating beautiful and functional interior spaces is Liv's passion as well as livelihood, evident in every detail of Archie and Sylvie's charmingly curated shared bedroom.
The room obviously needed to accommodate two children of different ages and stages. Conveniently, this bedroom was formerly the bungalow's main living room, so its generous proportions easily contain a bed, cot, shelves, change table and two armchairs, while still leaving plenty of space for play. Enhancing the functional furnishings are an eclectic range of delightful accessories that all seem to work together to inspire both curiosity and calm.
Where did you start in the redecorating process?
Liv: We bought this house when Archie was born. It was a complete 'do-up' so has been our project for a couple of years now. This room, originally the lounge, was the first to have a total overhaul – it was re-piled and re-lined, and we covered the fireplace chimney with a timber feature. From there I had a blank canvas to decorate a space for not only Archie, but also – by now – his little sister Sylvie! For a different take on feature walls, we painted the top half of the wall in Dulux Cardrona with on the bottom half Resene Albescent White.
What was your inspiration behind this room?
In essence, it was our move to this Titirangi address. Everything became about nature. We wanted our kids to have plenty to learn and talk about in here – we hope the space inspires their curiosity. From the art on the walls to the Hay Wooden Wonderland blocks on the mantelpiece, most things in this room are nature-inspired and have an educational aspect to them.
I also style rooms in our house around particular items that I love. I found the green striped throw, now on Archie's bed, on a styling job when I was six weeks pregnant (with Archie). A friend once told me that if you see something you really love, you should buy it and keep it until you are ready to use it. The armchairs in this room are another example of this – I bought them off a friend before I was even married and I just stored them until I had the perfect spot for them. And then there is the gold garland now hanging above Sylvie's bed, catching the light from the skylight. I got my brother, who was living in London at the time, to queue for five hours to buy me one when they first went on sale at UK furniture and homeware store Habitat. They sold out that same day. Ten years later I've finally hung it up and I still love it as much now as I did then.
The deer clock (beside the fireplace) that I bought for $1 in a Kaitaia op shop was quite a bargain, especially with a coat of duck egg blue paint to usher it into a new era.
Best tips for setting up and styling a shared room?
Stick to a neutral palette that suits both children. I used greens and warm greys to tie everything together. Also, this room works really well with its different zones – reading, playing, sleeping and changing. This helps create boundaries and space for each child. Another tip is to use items that have personal significance. NZ is small and everyone's homes can start to look the same. Use treasures from your childhood or furniture that isn't necessarily for a nursery or kids' room.
I really like our IKEA cot. Great value at AUD$70, and great design. And my gold garland – still one of my favourite things after all these years! The kids love their Cuddle+Kind hand-knitted toys. (Pictured above with Archie, and left in Sylvie's cot). For every toy purchased, 10 meals are donated to kids in need.
Any tricky bits?
We couldn't move the heavy large shelves out of this room, but they actually work perfectly to store all the kids' stuff. Also, I found it hard to find a duvet cover I liked for Archie's bed, so I made one out of linen I bought from The Fabric Store. Beautiful, affordable bed linen that reflects NZ is hard to come by, although I think Burrow and Be are doing well to fill that gap in the market.
Photography: Sam Mothersole, sammothersole.co.nz
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 37 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW