Sofa Soirée with Honest Mum
Welcome back to our Sofa Soirée where every month we sit down with a special guest to talk home, interiors and everything in between.
As the extended school holidays come to an end and with kids finally heading back to school, it got us thinking about children’s interior design, and we’re delighted to catch up with Vicki Broadbent who runs the award winning blog Honest Mum, is author of bestselling book Mum Boss and mum to two boys, Oliver 10 and Xander 7, to get her expert take on what’s important to consider when decorating your little savages’ bedrooms!
Divine Savages: Hi Vicki! Thanks so much for joining us tonight for our next Sofa Soirée, we’re really looking forward to chatting with you about how to decorate a kid’s bedroom and get your unique take on what to do and what not to do! There’s the opportunity for some amazing creativity when it comes to kid spaces, some designs we’ve seen are so good we secretly wish they were our bedroom!
Divine Savages: As a mother of two boys, can you describe how you decorated their spaces within the home?
Honest Mum: We're mostly gender neutral here so their bedrooms reflect that, plus we're in an apartment temporarily at the moment whilst our house sale is going through. I’ve opted for a minimalist approach to the decor throughout so neutrals and clean lines, and I've used original art along with framed photos of our family to provide some personality and colour. I do love bright colours usually and our house in Yorkshire is a real mix with some rooms swaying more neutral, others with pops of statement colours and prints in the wallpaper and furnishings.
Divine Savages: Adding colour and personality through accessories is a great idea for when you’re in temporary accommodation or renting as you can easily switch things up. When you finally get in your new house is there a Divine Savages wallpaper you have your eye on?
Honest Mum: Yes, your Extinctopia print is so playful and fun - I adore this collaboration with the Natural History Museum!
Divine Savages: Have your boys been involved in the decorating process?
Honest Mum: Yes, to some extent, they chose items like their beds which have desks and storage underneath and annually they select a few of their paintings/artwork that I frame - the rest hit the recycling bin because there's only limited storage here and I hate clutter. Parents need to stop feeling guilty if they don't want to save everything their kid makes - you'll end up swamped by artwork they won't even remember painting!
Divine Savages: We think it’s great to get them involved in the design, start them early! Even if it’s just tapping into their imagination on a few key pieces – choosing my childhood bed is still a really fond memory, and that’s what these spaces help create – cherished moments.
Honest Mum: That’s so true! I have also framed some colourful porcelain finger and toe prints I had made when the boys were babies that are displayed on their bed shelves along with beautifully carved wooden 'treasure chests' which store treasured stones, marbles, shells, origami and letters from friends and grandparents they're saving. Storage is key, whether that’s bookcases for all their reads or baskets for soft toys. It's not always easy with kids around but they're both pretty good at keeping things tidy especially now they have a chore list! Invest in an arts and craft cupboard and make it reachable for your kids (in an age appropriate way). Show them where everything is to make life easier for yourself and for them. Ditto with toys. Lockdown was becoming uncontrollable and I'd had enough of LEGO induced accidents!
Divine Savages: Nothing worse than stepping on LEGO!
Divine Savages: Can you describe your interior style?
Honest Mum: Usually eclectic and bold to be honest although our current, rented abode is more pared back and Scandi style. We have lots of pieces in our house where tenants are currently living, and also in storage, from re-upholstered chaise lounges my mum gifted me to hanging lights from Conran and vintage Lloyd Loom chairs that I love because I remember using them as a child. I believe in being brave with pattern and colour and if you're scared at first, start slowly or introduce a statement wall.
Divine Savages: We’re huge fans of vintage and antique pieces, they really help add to the story of your home, and you know we’re always encouraging people to make braver interior design choices – starting slowly is the perfect way. You’ll soon find yourself wondering why it took you so long to make the leap!
Divine Savages: How do you think kids’ interiors has changed from when you were a child?
Honest Mum: I think it's evolved massively, and to some extent has become more sophisticated – more an extension of your whole house's look. It's less gimmicky with character-based beds and wallpaper, to havens that look beautiful and encourage fun, and more importantly sleep. I'm actually obsessed with my mum's style, she has a great eye, and she's helped me style every home I've ever lived in. She's artistic like me but carefully researches and plans her own interior changes, whereas I'm far more impulsive and often regretful!
Divine Savages: Ha! Planning is a really important step, but also be careful not to get too bogged down in the finer details. Research what inspires you, test some informed decisions, then get off Pinterest and crack on with it we say!
Divine Savages: What do you feel are the "must haves" in a kids’ bedroom?
Honest Mum: Comfortable beds so they actually sleep and ideally a cosy armchair or bean bag you can sit on as you'll be spending plenty of time willing them to sleep! We’ve been clever about the space in our boys’ shared room, saving it with raised beds that come with storage, and sorting toys and games a few times a year so we don't hoard. We do spend a lot of family time in the open plan kitchen/lounge, but I'm also encouraging more play and reading time in their room so I get some space too! My advice to parents would be that whilst it's fun to style up a nursery, children grow up quickly and their tastes, and yours, will evolve. So, rather than focusing on a single character or theme, think long term to allow them a space to grow into.
Divine Savages: Great advice, with some careful interior design you can easily achieve a stylish space that will see them through their toddler years to young adult.
Divine Savages: What is your interior guilty pleasure? We all have one!
Honest Mum: Decadent window treatments that drive my husband mad. Also, too many faux flowers in vases everywhere. He's taken to hiding them along with the millions of framed photos I have of our kids so there's only a few out at a time. I'm great at decluttering, just not when it comes to flowers and framed photos!
Divine Savages: What was the last kids’ interior related thing you bought?
Honest Mum: Graphic monochrome dog cushions from Habitat that made me laugh because the dog in the print looks so miserable. The kids want a dog (and a baby sibling) so I said we'd consider both when we move house - just don't tell my husband ;)
Divine Savages: Your secret is safe with us and everyone here! We won’t tell…shhhh!
Divine Savages: It’s been so lovely chatting with you Vicki, thanks for joining us for our Sofa Soiree! Before you go, we’ve got to ask - would you say your interior style is more divine, more savage or both?!
Honest Mum: At heart a bit of both. Right now it's contained savagery as we're living in limbo until our sale goes through and we can buy, but I’m getting excited for the new place…I might go full on boudoir style in the bedroom when we move with lots of tassels and frills on windows, and I love your Deco Martini Rose Gold for the living room, and your new Zsa Zsa ‘Bottle Green’ would be perfect for a bathroom!
Divine Savages: We love the sound of that! We took inspiration from boutique hotel suites when we did our own bedroom, so we say go for it! Create that sumptuous, decadent space just for you guys.
Make sure you join us next month for another edition of Sofa Soiree!