Little girls’ rooms today tend to be bright pink and filled with plastic princesses, which is a direct contrast to the rooms we had as children. I’ve created a calm, nostalgic feel for my daughter, which has been perfect for her as a baby and will work through to about 10 years old, using retro and handmade pieces. Here are some of the ways you can create a vintage room for your little girl.
1. The perfect girlie bed is a modern, white metal framed one, based on old French styles. Choose something with flower or hearts within the framework to add even more charm, such as this bed from Archers Sleepcentre. These look wonderful with floral bedding and layers of throws, blankets, and cushions.
2. Painted furniture works well in a child’s room but if you do this, please only paint furniture that is beyond repair as you could be ruining collectable pieces! These ones in my daughter’s room were painted in the 1960s by my Great Aunt in a lovely mint green colour, which is a great alternative to the usual pink. It also ties in with the vintage wallpaper that was in our home when we bought it.
3. Some toys need to be stored away and some special ones are great to be displayed on shelves. A 1930s vintage ottoman with a floral top makes a great toy chest and doubles up as a seat. A vintage cot or moses basket is the perfect area for all those dolls and bears to be stored!
4. Make a shelving unit from MDF and line it with off-cuts of wallpaper that co-ordinate with the room to display her favourite pieces and collectable vintage items.
5. Store smaller items, such as hair clips, in vintage tins and baskets which look great out on display to create a unique feel in the space. Keep your eyes peeled for vintage or antique hooks in salvage yards so she can hang up all her bags and accessories.
6. Cover the bed in various cushions made from nostalgic-looking materials and patterns, such as patchworks. A good idea is to look in the normal section rather than the kids section to find prettier designs; I love this butterfly cushion from The Range, or ones made from vintage fabric, which can be found online at Etsy or at vintage fairs and festivals such as The Festival of Vintage. Choose a fluffy rug and blinds to match.
7. Add vintage touches by choosing a quilted eiderdown with florals or paisleys all over. Alternatively, why not make your own crochet blanket to keep her extra warm at night.
8. Choose a chandelier with added details such as metal flowers, which can be bought from most lighting shops. We chose a smaller one (just seen above) with long glass droplets and pink flowers to create a girlie feel which is also quite grown up.
9. Add fairy lights over the fireplace and a great directional bedside lamp that she can use to read at night.
The finishing touches
10. Create a feature wall using framed vintage prints from old school books or even greetings cards. I collected 1970s birthday cards, some from my own scrapbooks from when I was a child, and framed them inexpensively using different shapes and finishes from IKEA. Break up the space by hanging other items such as fabric letters and paper pompoms.
11. Hang a mirror from the 1950s above a dressing table or a fireplace such as this white floral one, found in a charity shop. Ones that hang from a chain work nicely and can be found easily.
12. Add the final touches on window sills and shelves such as old dolls, globes, musical boxes and vintage toys.
Kate’s book Style Your Modern Vintage Home is available online and in bookshops now.
Join Kate on her blog www.katebeavis.com
Images: Simon Whitmore for FW Media for Kate’s book Style Your Modern Vintage Home