Young Designer Of The Year

Young Designer Of The Year

Young Designer Of The Year

Meet The Talent

 

Rooomy introduces Chloe Flint winner of

the Young Designers Initiative from Aspace

 

For over 20 years the Aspace team have understood the importance of giving children a comfortable, safe and fun place to sleep, learn and play – a space kids’ can call their own, and let their imaginations run riot. So that’s pretty much the Rooomy mission in a nutshell. And they to top it all off they’re based right here in the UK, British Made in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside.

They have been designing and creating wonderful furniture for children’s bedrooms, thinking of all the possibilities and have something for every child. If you’re designing awesome furniture you’re going to have a range of accessories to compliment them and they have an array of options from lighting to rugs and of course bedding.

This summer Aspace launch their Young Designers Initiative and they are proud to introduce new and upcoming textile designer Chloe Flint. Chloe is currently in her second year at The Royal College of Art and in collaboration with Aspace, she has created two unique, playful and fun reversible duvet set designs with a few cushion options. Whittling down the choices was tough but they reached their verdict in the end and their choice is wonderful.

“The Young Designers initiative is a testament to our approach to collaborative learning – one of our core company values,” says Caspar, Aspace’s Chairman. “After I met Chloe, I realised we had the opportunity to provide young people with a platform to showcase their skills. In turn, we are delighted to have young talented people like Chloe bringing new life to Aspace.”  

Roomy caught up with Chloe to see what it was like to be a part of this new initiative.

RB:         How has it felt working in collaboration with Aspace to come up with these fun designs?

CF:          It has been exciting and a great opportunity to learn some more professional skills. I have really enjoyed seeing my work being made into real life products. Designing for children has been an exciting chance to explore a completely new area of textiles.

RB:         Had you ever envisaged yourself designing for children?

CF:          Yes, when I was studying at Chelsea College of Art I did a project designing prints for childrenswear. I found it really fun as it enabled me to design more freely. Since then I have always been interested in designing for children.

RB:         What did you enjoy most?

CF:          I always enjoy the initial research and drawing of ideas. It’s an exciting time in a project when thinking about all the possibilities, the concept, and the colours to use.

RB:         What was the biggest challenge?

CF:          I am just about to graduate from the Royal College of Art so definitely studying for a masters and taking on a project that I wanted to fully immerse myself in was hard to juggle.

RB:         Would you like to design for children again or are you itching to get into something more adult and edgy?

CF:          I am always excited by any opportunity that comes my way and am open to designing for both children and adults as that will keep things fresh and exciting for me. I would love to carry on designing for children in the future though.

RB:         Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for the Aspace Young Designers collection?

CF:          I took inspiration for colour and shape from playgrounds tried to capture a childlike feeling of naivety, playfulness and spontaneity. I tend to look at artists, illustrators and designers; Matisse and Lucienne Day are a constant inspiration as well as more contemporary designers such as Atelier Bingo and Marimekko.

RB:         How do you think the Aspace Young Designers initiative might help other up-and-coming designers, like yourself?

CF:          The initiative has given me the chance to collaborate with an exciting growing company which has helped me to develop my professional skills and develop my own creatively through a unique project designing for children. It could give others the opportunity to share their designs, thoughts and passion within a commercial context.

We want to wish Chloe the very best of luck with her design career, she has a very bright future ahead of her, kicking off with these wonderful kid’s designs for Aspace.  You can see all that Aspace and their award winning products have to offer here.

Kid’s Bedding…

 

Sustainable Accessories for kids bedrooms

Sustainable Accessories for kids bedrooms

Sustainable Accessories your kids will love Rooomy's best sustainable accessories for kids and the family home   Whether you’re redecorating or simply looking to update your kid’s space, accessories are where you can have a lot of fun with stylish or playful items...

Interview – The House that Jen Built – Boys Bedrooms

Interview – The House that Jen Built – Boys Bedrooms

Interview – The House that Jen Built – Boys Bedrooms

Monochrome for Boys Bedrooms

 

How do you mix monochrome style with an affordable budget? 

Rooomy asks Jen Guest 

 

Jen Guest is mum to Henry (6) and Oscar (2). A self-confessed serial houseplant buyer, Jen also manages to fit in a much loved career in the public sector. A Yorkshire lass, Jen went to university in Liverpool where she fell in love with Mr T. The young couple decided to stay, and in 2015 Jen and her husband, fell in love with a three bedroom Victorian end of terrace home. With high ceilings, original fireplaces, tall skirting boards and stripped wooden floors, it was Jen’s dream home.

Jen’s second son, Oscar, was born shortly after moving in. During her maternity leave, Jen created The House That Jen Built to share her house transformation and love of interiors. She has grown a strong and loyal following and has collaborated with top brands such as Dulux, TK Maxx, Mo Rugs UK and Piglet in Bed. Jen has a clear passion for light and dark interiors and has great skill in balancing traditional and modern styles. Once she has her ideas, she enlists her husband and dad, and together they create them making her home nearly entirely furnished with readily available and affordable items, they’re simply tweaked to make them perfect for their home. To see more of her house and projects check out her blog here.

RB – What is it that you love so much about monochrome?

JG – Stumbling into monochrome was a bit of an accident really! It started with our living room then just slowly spread throughout the house. I have a thing for dark interiors but our house doesn’t get the best natural light. Pairing a dark and light colour helps to lift a room so it’s perfect for us. Monochrome doesn’t just have to be black and white – I use dark grey and blue-blacks too.

RB – How do you approach the design of your sons’ rooms?

JG – Oscar’s room was decorated before he was born, and we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl so we used a neutral palate, making a feature wall with a hand drawn animal wallpaper by Beware the Moon. When I start planning a room, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and use that as a mood board. I already had an idea of the split wall paint effect and it went from there. I did consult with Henry on what he would like. His idea was brown and red, though, so I had to gently sway him towards black and white! Once I have the colours I plan the furniture and smaller details, like door handles and light fittings. Introducing wood was important to me, and I achieved this with storage cubes, hooks, shelving brackets and display shelves.

RB – Rooomy readers are always stressing over storage in their kids’ rooms. What are your top tips?

JG – Storage is a big issue in our house too! There never seems to be enough of it for all the toys the boys have and trying to make a room look stylish with a pile of brightly coloured plastic is hard! We have the Ikea Expedit unit in the dining room and the bottom two rows are filled with 8 baskets full of toys. We also have a large storage bag in there too! A lot of Oscar’s things are in Henry’s room, as Oscar’s room is small. We specifically chose a bunk bed that has a large storage drawer underneath because it holds A LOT of stuff! Both boys’ rooms have Ikea storage cubes, baskets and storage boxes. Shelves are a great way of storing books and toys in a stylish way.

RB – If money was no object what would you would love to buy for the boys’ rooms?

JG – I would love custom built bunk beds as we plan on the boys sharing when Oscar is a bit older. I’d design one with a ‘floating’ top bunk and some cool way of getting down – like a slide!  This sounds brilliant, I know my girls would love one!

RB – If they could have anything in their rooms what do you think they would choose?

JG – I think Henry would love goal posts and one wall to be covered in a Liverpool Football Club mural!

RB – What are your three favourite items in Henry’s room?

JG – His moose head wall art by HU2 Design, the striped door on his built-in wardrobe and his gallery wall which is made up of his own pictures and some lovely prints I have collected.

RB – How do you manage to achieve the stunning finish with the affordable budget?

JG – DIY! We try and do as much as we can ourselves (with help from my Dad who is a DIY whizz and has a tool for everything) plus my brother who is an electrician! I’m so fussy that they both hate working with me. However, I find if you have a clear plan it saves on costly mistakes.

RB – As a serial houseplant buyer which is your favourite? And do your kids’ have plants in their rooms?

JG – It’s hard to pick a favourite houseplant – I’ve become a crazy plant lady! I was on the hunt for a Devils’ Ivy for a long time then stumbled across one for sale at a local café which was great because I love supporting small businesses. Devils Ivy is a trailing plant with bright green tear shaped leaves and grows like wildfire so I’m hoping to propagate it soon. I also like Boston ferns but can never keep them alive. And the boys do have plants in their bedrooms but just succulents or a few cacti in Henry’s room as they’re easy to look after and can handle plenty of neglect!

RB – We all love to discover a new place to shop. Which three brands would you recommend for kid’s decor?

JG – I really love Oskoe Living, Nubie and This Modern Life. Ooh I’ve not heard of Oskoe will check them out, thanks!

RB – If someone had told you 10 years ago that you’re going to have a successful Instagram account featured around your home with collaborations with top brands, what would you have thought and said?

JG – Well I certainly wouldn’t have believed them! We were renting 10 years ago and I was just starting out in my career so money was tight and I didn’t have much creative control over the rented décor! I also didn’t have a clue what a collaboration was until I started my account! I still have to pinch myself when well known brands get in touch as I think, ‘how on earth do they know who I am?!’

RB – You’ve collaborated with lots of great brands within your home. If you could work with one new brand on one or both of your boy’s rooms, who would it be and why?

JG – H&M or Zara Home as they both do some really cool affordable stuff for kids bedrooms. If I were to collaborate with some high end brand it just wouldn’t fit with my home as I try to stick to high street prices or DIY.

 

 

RB – What’s your best way of spending time with your boys?

JG – Both the boys are football mad so the best way to spend time with them is in the park with a ball. We started baking over the summer holidays which is great because we get to eat the treats at the end.

 

It was great to hear all about how Jen creates these wonderful spaces for her boys.  To keep up with her latest home improvements and epic DIY projects, follow her on Instagram.

 

More Monochrome Please…

 

Sarah’s World – Marley’s Room

Sarah’s World – Marley’s Room

Sarah’s World – Marley’s Room

Sarah’s World

 

What does the superstar stylist do for her number one babe’s bedroom?

Rooomy finds out. 

 

You may know Sarah Akwisombe from her award-winning blog or her kick ass business school, No Bull Business School. Along with her her lovely husband (Jason), she is on a mission to encourage us to show off our wicked personalities through our interiors. She certainly practices what she preaches, so how could we not get on board? Sarah has worked with M&S, Dwell, DFS and more and she has appeared in an e-bay ad campaign. Her current projects include styling new builds and photography. Above all this, Sarah is a wife to Jason and a mum to Marley (5). She is as passionate about her family as she is about her work, something that is always clear from her social posts. Marley is full of life, always ready to dance and play, with a mum who’s been credited with defining the millennial interior style. I couldn’t wait to see how this would translate to a child’s interior…. Well, let’s see what she did…

RB:         When it came to Marley’s room how did you approach this?  For example, was Marley involved in the decision making? 

SA:         Haha, I should say yes but nope! She was only 2 so I just went for it. I knew she would like it. Now she’s older I would definitely involve her a bit more if we come to decorate it again. 

RB:         Fair enough. How did you go about making your choices for her room?  Was a mood-board created?

SA:         Yes: I created a moodboard first as I always do for any room. It really helps me to visualise which pieces will work best. I use it as a bit of a moving doc for a while, like trying different artwork, furniture and stuff until I get the right combination.

RB:         Rooomy readers are always stressing over storage in their kid’s rooms.  What are your top tips?

SA:         Utilise the space under the bed – Marley has all her pants and socks in a pull-out organiser thing and we keep all her shoes and boxes of toys under there too. We don’t have any wardrobes in her room, we pretty much fold/roll everything into drawers. I learnt that from Marie Kondo!

“I created a moodboard first as I always do for any room.  It really helps me to visualise which pieces will work best. 
I use it as a bit of a moving doc for a while, like trying different artwork,
furniture and stuff until I get the right combination”

RB:         As Marley is now at school and growing up what changes will you be making to her room?

SA:         She definitely needs more space for books, so we are thinking about buying some kind of wall rack – that kid gets through so many books. Also, it’s so messy all the time now so not really a room change but maybe something to incentivise her to tidy up! If I can trust her to keep it nice maybe I’d get her a better carpet, we had Vorwerk  put in our bedroom and its soooo soft. Still not sure I could trust her not to drop yoghurt on it though. 

RB:         What would you advise new parents to really invest in for their children’s room – something simple that won’t date quickly…

SA:         Artwork! It’s affordable and an easy way to create a cool space. I love pop art for kids as it has a young feel but is still cool enough to not be cringey, as some kids artwork can be. A bit too ‘twee’, you know? – [Yes I know exactly what you mean: how can you put an age on when they’ll like something? Taste has a different impact at different ages and stages. Pop Art is perfect for kid’s rooms]. 

RB:         If Money is not object, on the market now, what have you seen out there that you would love to buy for her room?

SA:         She’s still a bit small for it but I love this cabin bed from Made.com. I think these are great as they free up important floor space in a small room. 

RB:         What’s your best way of spending time with Marley?

SA:         We love baking! To be honest she’s not entirely interested in the finished product she just wants to get to eat the mix. She’s obsessed!

RB:         Favourite book to curl up and read to Marley?

SA:         We’re currently enjoying making our way through the “Anthology of Amazing Women” by Sandra Lawrence and Nathan Collins. It’s really good as it’s fun for me too.

Shopping List

Curtains: IKEA, £39

Chest of drawers: IKEA, £140

Brass Curtain pole: Wayfair, £28.99

Junior bed: IKEA, £100

Cloud bedding: Farg & Form

A4 Acrylic book display units: Amazon, £11.22 each

Dog cushion: IKEA, £9

Cowboy Dinosaur: IKEA, £4

Wall colour: Valspar, Apricot Whisper available at B&Q

Above picture rail colour: Valspar custom mix

Girls, Girls, Girls…

 

Sustainable Accessories for kids bedrooms

Sustainable Accessories for kids bedrooms

Sustainable Accessories your kids will love Rooomy's best sustainable accessories for kids and the family home   Whether you’re redecorating or simply looking to update your kid’s space, accessories are where you can have a lot of fun with stylish or playful items...

FANTASTIC PLASTIC FOR KIDS

FANTASTIC PLASTIC FOR KIDS

Plastic Fantastic for Kid's Bedrooms   Creating beauty from plastic waste, bravo EcoBirdy     Do you worry about plastic? Do you recycle? Are you concerned about what will happen to your kid’s toys when they are no longer played with, or broken beyond...

Edward Bullmer on paint for kid’s bedrooms

Edward Bullmer on paint for kid’s bedrooms

Edward Bullmer on paint for kid’s bedrooms

The Paint Master – Edward Bullmer

There is nothing this man doesn’t know about the beauty of proper paint:

Rooomy meets colour expert Edward Bullmer

 

Edward Bulmer is an interior designer with a passion for historical buildings. Living in Hertfordshire, Edward has spent the last 30 years working as a leading interior designer, architectural historian and ‘colourman. He’s an eco-warrier, farmer, husband and father to three daughters. He is renowned for restoring heritage buildings, bringing his expert knowledge and design flair to the creation of new modern spaces. He has restored some of Britain’s greatest historic buildings; Sotheby’s, Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Castle Howard to name a few.

Edward is a master in the art and science of colour, an expert with a mission to revive the world with natural colour.  Imagine if you could invite one of the country’s leading interior designers into your home to advise you on colour choices and types of paint for either period or modern interiors, to help you chose a colour for your kid’s room … well Edward has done just that, creating a wonderful nursery edit selection. Rooomy has asked him how all of this has lead to the creation of natural paint and a whole range for children.

RB:         Edward, you have an incredible background in interior design, steeped in your passion for history. Why the production of a paint range?

EB:          As an interior designer it was paramount for me that I captured the perfect colour for each project, for each customer. I was able to take control of that process by mixing my own paints.

RB:         What are you thinking about when you consider colour and the development of your range?

EB:          I’m not, I don’t focus on the colour, it’s all about the tone. I enjoy thinking about elements such as the impact of darker pigments to create warmth, like coloured earth and spices.

RB:         When you are designing a room, or a new colour option, do you have a specific goal each time or does this vary?

EB:          There are a large number of differences in each project but my main aim is to always create comfort.

RB:         You’ve been creating your natural paint range for 10 years; why have you developed a nursery selection at this time?

EB:          Parents have been using our paints for their kid’s rooms for as long as we have been in business. In recent years parents have been giving much more consideration about how they decorate their children’s spaces, thinking differently about the effects of colour and also possible toxins. This new-found consciousness around bringing new life into the world and becoming parents was very moving to me, and it felt important for me to be a part of it.

“Parents  can bring vivid colours into ther kids’ rooms if they like, and of course the kids will change
their room as they grow up.  But starting with a muted palette avoids having to re-decorate very few years.”

RB:         Your new range is a muted palette, no bright red, blue, or yellow. Is there any particular reason for this?

EB:          I feel that muted tones create a fresher, softer and more comfortable environment for children. Parents can bring vivid colours into their kid’s rooms if they like, and of course the kids will change the room as they grow up. But starting with a muted palette avoids having to re-decorate every few years: accessories can just be changed, which is much easier and cheaper. I am not a fan of highly pigmented paints as it leaves me wondering what has been used to create such colours.

RB:         What questions do you have about conventional paint ingredients?

EB:          Mixing paint is all about getting the right tones. If natural products are being used as much as possible then tones will be calmer and more natural. To create a bright pink paint a lot more must be done with strong chemicals to create the colour than if you used a natural paint that had a muted pink finish. Have you ever noticed there’s no ingredient list on the side of a tin of paint?

RB:         I haven’t. I have not looked for or considered needing to know. What should I be aware of?

EB:          There is no requirement for the ingredients of paint to be listed. This means we are told what companies believe sounds reassuring. If a paint is described as ‘water-based’ we are told it is safe and eco-friendly; all paint seems to be made with ‘the finest ingredients’. But what does that mean?

For example, all paint needs binders in their ingredients. Conventional binders are made from waste hydro carbons processed by retort chemistry or ‘cracking’. Some studies are raising concerns about the effects of these binders, particularly in children. Plastic-based binders like these create a film that is not adequately breathable. This matters because properly ‘breathable’ paints allow the regulation of moisture in the air and prevent damp in the walls. By using natural oils like castor oil or linseed oil as binders, natural paints are significantly more breathable. As we don’t use petrochemicals, our paint can genuinely be called ‘eco-friendly’ or ecological. Micro beads are now being introduced to some paints and this is an awful development. Plastic should be kept for computers and solar panels.

RB:         Can you remember when you first became aware of the need for a ‘healthy’ option of paint?

EB:          At the turn of the century a client contacted me about her need for a natural paint. Her son was suffering with awful eczema and she had researched into possible links with chemicals in conventional paint and eczema. My paint was toxin free, better for her son and looked great, too. Win, win.

RB:         That certainly is a win win. You have three daughters. They are grown up now, but did they get to choose their room colours when they were growing up?

EB:          Two of them made choices I could work with easily, duck egg, off white, bluey greens which worked great. One had their heart set on mauve which I was able to make happen, despite my personal preferences.

RB:         With your knowledge of colour, interiors and the history of both, what are your thoughts on how we choose the best colour for our children?

EB:          A German poet called Goethe wrote beautifully about colour, and some of his definitions mean a lot to me. Goethe said that green is the most universal colour inviting balance as it is the result of mixing two primary colours. I also think that grey can be a great pallet if the tone is right. I often hear customers rejecting blue as it’s perceived as being too cold. But it’s the most popular colour in the world.

RB:         What’s next for Edward Bulmer Paints?

EB:          Well over the next couple of years I would like to add 20 more colours for the range and I’m really keen to develop a natural wallpaper range.

RB:         You are clearly very passionate about looking after our children’s health, our homes, historical buildings and our planet. If you could wave a magic wand what would you wish for?

EB:          To change the paint industry. A large legacy is being left that will be too expensive to clear up. All decorating can and therefore should be natural.

If you have any queries regarding paint following this interview then why not send Edward Bullmer Paints an email to get some answers info@edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk or call them on 01544 388535.

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CHARITY ART FOR KID’S ROOMS

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Kid’s Art Charity Sale for the Hungry and Vulnerable Print’s and Designs for your kid’s room that will make a beautiful addition to the family whilst ALL proceeds go to UK charities FareShare and Magic Breakfast   Throughout this year I have shared several wonderful...

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