Name. Amanda Woodward-Brown
Children. Violet (2 years) and Isla (2 months)
Location. London, originally from Sydney
What was your priority when creating your nursery space?
I wanted to create a nursery that my daughter would love to spend time in and which would inspire her imagination. I painted the walls in a soft grey so they acted as a blank canvas of sorts then added a simple white crib as well as a mix of vintage furniture for an eclectic feel. I don’t think you have to decorate with pieces specifically designed for children – for example I turned an old chest of drawers into a change table and an apple crate into a toy chest. Violet's room also doubles as a playroom so I installed white built-in wardrobes across one wall to store all of her books, clothes and toys as well as her arts and crafts materials. I like to keep the nursery as clutter free as possible (I love Ollie Ella's pom-pom embellished baskets for cleaning up mess in seconds) but I always keep a few of Violet's favourite toys and books out, including a traditional painted dolls house and little wicker pram from children’s boutique Cottage Toys. Not only do they provide an endless source of imaginative play, they also lend a sweet, girlish touch to the room. I wanted the nursery to have a touch of whimsy too, so I added a few playful pieces like a pink cloud cushion, a pom-pom garland and a bunny wall hook for displaying special pieces from her wardrobe.
What is your favourite piece?
I love all of the pieces in the nursery - almost everything has a story - although my favourite piece is a framed print of pink peonies in an old laundry detergent bottle, which originally hung over Violet's cot and now hangs above her bed. It is a still-life by one of my favourite photographers Derek Henderson and I have had it for years. It is such a beautiful yet offbeat image and it somehow works perfectly in the nursery.
How do you create the perfect sleeping environment for your child?
I used neutral tones throughout the nursery to create a sense of tranquillity. I had Violet's bed linen custom made from a British label called Emily and Heath in Betsy Liberty print fabric in the same pale blue colour as Louelle's new collection. Not only is it pretty - the cotton fabric is light and comfortable. A mobile of floating pastel hot air balloons used to hang above her cot, which helped to soothe her when she was a baby and now she is older she has her two favourite stuffed toys on her bed, which she never goes to sleep without. Also white noise! It was a sleep essential for when she was little.
Are there any aspects of your nursery you would change in hindsight?
We moved into our house - a very run-down Victorian terrace - when I was eight months pregnant so Violet's nursery came together quite slowly as we had so many other more pressing issues (like rewiring the ancient electric circuit!) The room originally had moth-eaten blue carpets, terracotta-red walls and pine cladding on the ceiling. Only a week before Violet was born I was sitting on the nursery floor pulling old nails out of the floorboards - decorating the nursery really was a labour of love! Perhaps because of this it is one of my favourite rooms in the house and even in retrospect I wouldn't change anything. Although... maybe I would swap the rug! I didn't know about lifestyle boutique edit58 when I was decorating the nursery but if I did I would have invested in one of the beautiful vintage boucherouite rugs sourced by the owner Lisa. It's on my wish list for wherever we end up next…