Features: Feature

How to create the perfect kids room

by Mica Kelly on February 22, 2011
beds and bunk
Tilly & George Bunk Bed, £800, Great Little Trading Company

We show you how to create the ideal space for your children to enjoy

Creating a fun yet practical room for your child to spend time in can be tricky and time consuming. Especially when you’ve already got your hands full looking after them! So we’ve put together a handy guide full of exciting ideas for your child’s room.


There is a huge array of furniture available for your child’s room, depending on the kind of space you wish to create. This

Finding a good wardrobe is also important as this can provide valuable extra storage space in a small room. This junior wardrobe from Found Home Store has adjustable shelving as well as plenty of hanging space.

As your child grows up you might also want to consider adding a desk to the bedroom, to create an organised space for them to do their homework. This vintage inspired school desk from Ghost Furniture has space to store books inside, and one lid doubles up as a blackboard; perfect for keeping younger children entertained.


A bookcase is an ideal place for your child to store and display all of their books and toys. This eye catching doll’s house unit from Great Little Trading Company is sure to brighten up any little girls’ bedroom.

Alternatively, a toy box is the perfect solution for hiding away those piles of teddy bears and games. This chunky wooden toy box from John Lewis provides plenty of storage space, and comes in three different finishes to suit every interior.

Doll's House Bookcase, £100, Great Little Trading Company


The perfect time to get creative with your kids room is when choosing bedding and curtains. Textiles can be used to brighten up simple surroundings, and can be easily updated as your child grows. The Pole House has a wide selection of beautiful bedding in bold colours that children will love, such as this pink animal baby blanket.

Buying children’s bedding doesn’t mean compromising on quality either, as this luxurious organic cotton duvet cover from The Fine Cotton Company proves. The blue stars and moons design provides a perfect bed time theme, and with a 200 thread count you can rest assured that your child will have a comfortable night’s sleep.

Cushions are great for adding a cosy finishing touch to a child’s bed. These cute character cushions from BODIE and FOU, will add a splash of contemporary colour to the room as well as being perfect for cuddling!

Wallpaper and Wall Stickers

Prints and wall stickers will help to add the fun factor to a child’s room. This striking animal tower wall sticker from 95% Danish is perfect for animal mad kids, whilst these psychedelic fairground stickers from BODIE and FOU will make an exciting feature of a plain wall.

This funky penguin print wallpaper from Caroline McGrath will give a modern yet practical lift to a bedroom; its wipe clean surface makes it a perfect choice for a room full of sticky fingers!

Children love to put their own stamp on their bedroom and this bold multi frame from Oliver Bonas will offer them an opportunity to get creative. Let your kids pick their favourite photos to add to the 28 frames; you could even add old postcards and drawings for a homely touch.

Penguin Wallpaper in Turquoise, £37, Caroline McGrath


Placing a rug on the floor of your child’s room can make the space feel warm and inviting, and there are plenty of fun options available at the moment to help add a colour statement to the space. This cloud shaped rug from Heal’s doubles as a play mat, and the bold helicopter and plane motif is sure to capture a child’s imagination.

BODIE and FOU offer more contemporary flooring options, whilst still using cute designs that children will love. This apple rug has been designed by Michele Masson for the range, and will add a bright quirky touch to a kids’ bedroom.


Adding an eye catching lampshade to the ceiling, or a lamp to your child’s desk provides a lovely finishing touch to the bedroom. Hunkydory Home have a gorgeous selection of lampshades in different prints. This magic jungle lampshade will add some fun colour to a younger child’s bedroom, and is also available in a matching cushion, whilst this red gingham shade offers a more classic lighting solution.

Night lights are also a great idea if your little ones have trouble getting to sleep. These cute magic lanterns from Great Little Trading Company give out a gentle glow as the pictures slowly rotate for a soothing effect.

Your child will spend plenty of time in their bedroom as they grow up, making it important to create a bright and beautiful space for them to enjoy. Hopefully the ideas above will help you to create a multi-functional room where they will be able to play, learn and sleep.

Trend Watch: Metallics

by Saima Kara on February 17, 2011
Metallics on the Catwalk 3.1 Phillip Lim Credit: Getty Images

Metallics are big news on the catwalk again this season, we show you how to make them shine in your home.

Metallics have been on the catwalk for a few years now, and the good news is they are still bang on trend. During 2010 there was a distinct focus on reflective sequins as seen at Phillip Lim and Balmain, but for Spring/Summer 2011 we have seen the emergence of a more delicate, soft, metallic look. From the flowing shimmer maxi dresses seen at Jenny Packham and Victoria Beckham to textured metallic bags with a hint of a sparkle at Mulberry.

On first thought, metallics in the home may seem sterile and space-age, however, the metallic trend can easily be integrated into any home, maintaining a relaxed yet modern feel. The contrast of soft furnishings and strong metallic lines can create a really interesting look in any room, so get creative and start experimenting!

If you’re looking to make a drastic change, apply Barneby Gates All Star Gun Metal Wallpaper - Gun Metal to one wall, and apply silver shimmer paint to the rest of the room. This Wilderness White Gold Wallpaper from Danish is delicate and elegant, perfect for smaller rooms wishing to go for a metallic wall without it being too overpowering.

Barneby Gates All Star Wallpaper - Gun Metal from Rockett St George, £75.

Mirrors are great way to make rooms look more spacious and fit in perfectly with this trend. Looking for a round mirror? Check out the Lombok Metal Plated Round Mirror and Silver Swirl Mirror from Alexander and Pearl. The Lombok Metal Plated Mirror is a fabulous full length option. Other metallic inspired pieces such as Medina Metal Stool from Coco Male and Lombok Walton Table Lamp would add to the look. The textured finish of these pieces make them less severe and both would add a touch of luxury and sparkle to any room.

For a hint of the trend add metallic accessories such as Lombok Decorative Stainless Steel Leaves. These beautiful metal leaves look great placed on a plain surface or in a vase. Metal Wall Art is another way to embrace the trend and Garden and Beet do some great pieces, such as Metal Wall Art Wild Flower. Looking for something a little bit more unique? Check out Chrome Dreyfuss Telephone from Oliver Bonas and Aluminium Greyhound Bookends from Sweetpea and Willow.

For an instant injection of the metallic trend, incorporate a feature piece such as this Chrome Silver Embossed Large Chest from The Orchard. With a unique look and texture, this attention-grabbing chest pays homage to the decadence of the catwalk. This Chrome Embossed White Metal Coffee Table from Graham & Green is a perfect example of a metallic piece which stands out yet remains stylised and homely. Compliment with Chrome Moroccan Metallic Fabric Pouffe from Coco Male for an ethnic feel.

coffee table
Embossed White Metal Coffee Table from Graham & Green, £195.30.

The trend could also be introduced into your home with a gorgeous metallic rug and Heal’s have both gold and silver rugs to choose from. The Mercury Silver Shaggy Rug is more of a statement piece whilst the Metallics Gold Rug is more subtle, leaving people guessing what you’ve changed without being too obvious. Slightly more expensive, either of these would work as an investment piece, fitting in with various colour schemes for many years to come.

So, step away from the space age, but embrace 2011 by integrating unique metallic pieces into your home. These shimmering tones will make it feel unique, trendy and comfortable.

TENT London: 23 – 26 September 2010

by Catherine Gregg on August 11, 2010
vases and bowl
Spiky Spiky Bowl by Ikuko Iwamoto, stand F21, TENT London

Sneak a peak at what’s on show at TENT London.

Taking place at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, TENT London plays host to the best of contemporary and vintage design, digital innovation, architecture and interiors from established and emerging design studios and suppliers. With a global exhibitor list and an international audience, TENT London is a diverse and vibrant showcase of forward-thinking design across all disciplines. Competitions run throughout the event and there are five separate shows to explore, communicating a real sense of excitement around design. This year sees TENT expand its digital design show, launched in 2009, and present Origin: The London Craft Fair for the Crafts Council at Old Spitalfields Market. TENT enables exhibitors to trade in one-off orders meaning that you’ll have the opportunity to buy new and unique pieces direct from the designers.

Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to…

Tent London is the hub of the event, showcasing cutting-edge contemporary design with a rich multi-disciplinary mix of furniture and lighting, ceramics and textiles, materials, accessories and more. It’s a chance for both established and up-and-coming designers to launch new products, sell to the public and secure commissions. Expect to see an inspiring array of lighting, furniture and interior accessories from newcomers Kitty & Dude, Paola Lenti, Moore Designs, Lizzy Mary Cullen, The Modern Garden Company and Curiousa & Curiousa. Also working on new designs are Ercol, Miller Goodman, Mini Moderns, Zoe Murphy, Ikuko Iwamoto, Kyungwon Kim and Jon Male who will be returning with new and impressive exhibits.

pendant light
Blown glass pendant lamps by Curiousa and Curisoua, stand F24, TENT London

Tent Digital is the only annual showcase for digital creatives and digitally enabled design during the London Design Festival. Launched last year, it was immediately tipped as the highlight of the Festival. Exhibitors are sourced globally within the interaction design and augmented reality industries. Described in 2009 as containing all the best bits of the Science Museum this is the playground at TENT. Work on display is thoroughly interactive, engaging and responding to visitors in beautiful, surprising and entertaining ways. With the increasing integration and intervention of technology in daily life, this is one of the fastest growing and innovative design disciplines. Digital designers and companies will show curious visitors a glimpse of the future with interactive installations and a programme of talks.

Tent Selects showcases the next generation of world-class designers, hand picked by the Tent Selects panel. The panel is seeking out the most promising design graduates from the class of 2010 in UK and abroad. The show will include the best examples of emerging talent in furniture, ceramics, textiles, graphics, jewellery and product design. The aim is to provide the next generation of designers with a platform to raise their profile and gain access to industry and media contacts. The closing date for applications to exhibit is August 10th and we’ll let you know the lucky few to be chosen.

Ceramics by Ben Murdoch, stand F29, TENT London

Circa proves that good design is timeless. This biannual show features iconic designs alongside little known investment items and rare pieces of design history. This year Circa presents a refined selection of dealers who are specialists in a particular era or type of vintage furniture, lighting, accessories or art. It’s a fantastic opportunity to buy design icons and hidden gems, chat to knowledgeable dealers and celebrate the best of vintage style.

Origin: The London Craft Fair will hosted by TENT for the first time this year. Previously held at Somerset House, the Crafts Council exhibition is an annual showcase of original contemporary craft, this year bringing together 220 of the most innovative makers from the UK and abroad. Located in the newly refurbished Old Spitalfields Market (23 -29 September), Origin offers a rare opportunity to buy directly from the makers. With the new timing and new location, it’s great to see craft gaining a greater presence at the London Design Festival.

It’s a rare thing for a design show to bring together both contemporary and vintage pieces, digital technology and traditional craft in one place. It makes for a fantastic atmosphere and an absolute must-see event.