Before and After: Orla’s bedroom makeover {AD with Newbie}

This post is sponsored sustainable Swedish childrenswear brand, Newbie, as part of their 10th birthday celebrations. I’ve been a very happy Newbie customer for years (Rory even has a tattoo of Orla in one of their dresses),  so this partnership was a very easy yes for me!  ❤️

Orla’s never had a bedroom. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds – she’s always had both a bed and lots of room – but owing to the unusual layout of our top floor, her space was always more of a ‘corner’, lacking two of the four walls most children can typically expect.

It’s worked well for us, until now. She hates sleeping solo, and we don’t try to force it: I’ve never really understood why as adults we’re allowed snuggles and nighttime companionship, but expect our smallest, most vulnerable humans to sleep in dark empty rooms by themselves.

The catalyst for change, more than her sleeping, was her need for a dedicated space to hang out. My health means I’m often sneaking off for daytime naps, and when Orla had friends over and wanted to play in ‘her room’, there was an inevitable clash between my napping needs and her needs to play super loud ice cream truck sirens or whatever the hell those noises they’re making are.

So in November last year, we brought in our favourite local joiner, and set about building some walls.

I can never plan very far ahead when it comes to interiors. I infuriate my husband with it; he’ll want to talk about wardrobes or bathroom fixings, and I’m unable to form an opinion until we’re actually ready to choose. I just need to see and feel a space before I know what it needs from me. When I rush ahead, I wind up making annoying and often expensive mistakes.

But I knew, right away for Orla’s room, that we would be wallpapering the back wall. So with that as my starting point, it was time for a Pinterest board.

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It’s no secret I’m a big fan of white interiors, so when Newbie sent over the wallpaper sample book, I was instantly drawn to the Forest Friends in White. But then I began to doubt myself… It was a light room, and could take more colour. And they were all so beautiful – had I played it too safe with my choice?

Once we got the first piece on the wall, though, I knew it was right. The dense lines of the hand drawings mean it packs a ton of impact, and in a house of plain white and wood, it feels like a vibrant and charming surprise. The grey ink has a slightly magical quality to it where it seems to change colour throughout the day, too. In the evening it’s a dark, dusky green; my morning, a chalky Paris blue.

The paper went up surprisingly easily: wallpapering feels like a bit of a dying art these days, and I always have to rope my Dad in to help with the trickier parts. Newbie’s papers are made in collaboration wit the prestigious Swedish wallpaper house Boråstapeter, which meant they didn’t stretch or bubble, and we were able to do it the easy way and just paste the wall.

If it were just up to me I’d have left it here: wallpaper, wood and light. But this is Orla, and she’s firmly a member of the more-is-more school of thinking, so the next step was to bring in some colour.

One of my favourite things about keeping walls and floors neutral is how it allows the colour accents to totally transform a space. Newbie’s soft pink, green and florals are the stuff childhood daydreams are made of, and with Orla still bunny mad, we had a lot of fun adding floppy eared accessories to bring her room to life.

There’s still a few things to add in. The hideous hot pink Barbie dream house needs a home somewhere, and I’ve ordered a mini clothes rail in place of a wardrobe as there’s not really any wall space for anything that high.

But already, Orla adores it. She’s spent ages arranging her stuff, putting things onto shelves and in cupboards, making it all her own. She storms off their when she’s annoyed with us, and delights in slamming the door like she never could before.

My favourite feature of all, I think, is her little hideaway. I got the joiner to build it into the wall of the little hallway, so it feels totally hidden and unexpected unless you know where to look. It’s full of soft things and the glittery glow of fairy lights, and it always seems to be warm. It’s the kind of thing I dreamed about as a kid, and if I’m honest, would still quite like to have on difficult days as an adult even now!

Clockwise from top left: Animal Kids Full Size Bedding  | Bunny Trunk (Orla keeps her knitting in hers!) | Pink Floral Trunk | Bunny Pillow | Bunny Play Mat | Pink Trunk | Animal Pyjamas (with mini matching top for their toy!) | Green Knitted Blanket | Pink Bunting

The Newbie Room collection is available online here with a huge range of timeless styles, colours and prints.
Look out on my Instagram in the coming week for a giveaway, too!

Extra special thanks to The Melias, including little Margot, for the extra photos and playdate fun! x