Thursday, 26 November 2015

Creating perfection with Clarabelle Interiors

I love creating spaces where my family can be. Places where we can play and enjoy each other's company and places where we can relax. I have never been one to declare our home is perfect. It's an ex-council house, shabbiness still shines through in some parts but Rob and I have worked very hard at bringing new life to this place and building our home.

As life has changed and we have grown in numbers, bedrooms have changed round and we have had to change decor and style in certain rooms to suit. Two years ago when Etta was born, she moved into the nursery room, the smallest of the bedrooms, Rob and I moved into the converted attic and Raph into the 'master' bedroom. It has worked really nicely until the last few months when Etta started to get quite fussy and wanted to stay in Raph's big bed. It therefore quickly felt like the right time to start thinking about changing her cot into a bed. With that then came the thought of them sharing the big room. They could have had their own rooms but they enjoy each other's company so much that putting them together and creating a new space seemed a nice thing to do. And if it didn't work Etta can have her old space back as it would just be a spare room.

Instantly my mind got working and I built the design in my head. As it was a boy/girl mix this was a project that really got me thinking. I wanted to create a space that wasn't brash or bright. That wouldn't be to my taste anyway and I also didn't want it to be so neutral that neither sexes were recognised. 
One of the first changes that was to take place was the painting of the floor. I have loved having our original pine wood floorboards on show, they were one of the first things that were restored when we got the house. But it seemed time to freshen them so on went the white paint which created such a beautiful scene. It was amazing the difference that it made! I didn't need to repaint the walls of the bedroom, they were already a lovely grey shade that I was really happy with.

There was only one place that had been giving me my inspiration for the decor for the room: Clarabelle Interiors. It's funny that when you shop and research things like I do that you always come back round to where you first get that "that's exactly what I want" feeling. Clicking onto the Clarabelle Interiors website, you are instantly thrown into an interiors home styling book. The pictures are so unbelievably gorgeous that it is like you are flicking through the pages of an unobtainable home. But that's the thing; it is completely obtainable, it's almost unbelievable that you can purchase these beautifully handmade items for your home as they just look absolutely perfect. There is something about Clarabelle Interiors that just makes you feel the warmth and comfort that an item will bring to your home. Maybe it's the thought of the item being handmade to suit your style so you know that there is an amazing personal touch to it. Or it's the fact that Claire (Owner and maker) is so easy to chat to and talk through ideas with, that it's like having your best friend work on a project with you. Whatever it is, my experience with Clarabelle Interiors has been so wonderful and what we have been able to create for the kids' room is just perfect. 

When I first spoke to Claire I had quite an idea in my head of what I wanted to create. I was going to go with pink and blue, why not? Etta is definitely a pink girl and Raph is not bothered so for me, neutral was out and I was happy to gender stereotype the colours!! 

Claire works with a range of beautiful linens but one of my favourite fabric suppliers is Peony & Sage which Claire is renowned for working with. It's hard to pick between their flowers or stripes prints and with this gorgeous Jack print available I decided to simply have items made in the pink colour way and the blue. They would then match, but be defined for each child by the colour. 
Knowing that the children would have white beds and bedding I knew that the only colours would then come from the beautiful items from Clarabelle. 

The first item I want to share is these handmade eiderdowns. There are few words to provide my thoughts on these. By few I actually mean loads; pretty, perfect, beautiful, charming, artistic, classic, traditional, wonderful, handcrafted ......... there is actually an endless list! On opening the box my heart fluttered! It is one of those things that you look and think, "I hope you last forever!" This stunning piece of art work is perfect for little ones' beds. I had this bespoke size, there are many offered, as I didn't want something that I would have to take off the bed each night so the children didn't get too hot. It is a perfect footer for the beds which can be left on to look beautiful.

Claire made exquisite cushions to match in the same print for each bed. I make cushions, but in no way will I ever make them to the standard of these. They are just so totally gorgeous with their piped edges and button backs. Her technique is so perfect that it's hard to imagine that this was just flat sheets of fabric before she worked her magic. Against the plain white bedding the blue and pink linen fabric just sits so perfectly. And against the grey shade of the walls our little boy and girl have there little area which is clearly for them.

To help tie in the theme each child also has a bespoke lamp shade in the same matching fabric. I have looked into and even tried to make my own light shades before but never with success. These are just a perfect addition to the room and and help add to the bespoke look of it all.

Not only do Clarabelle Interiors offer the full package on bespoke makes, from curtains to seat covers,  bedding and lamp shades, they provide home accessories bought in from other brands but match the styling and colours to all the fabrics that they offer. This Makes it very easy to shop when you want to buy little bits to complement new makes. 
Both children got a Maileg rabbit which are just so gorgeous looking. Raphael got a beautiful Bertie dog shaped cushion to add to his bed. They also got a very cute mini Berti dog who sits on the side. With their new Boo rabbit sticker waiting by the door their room has become a very inspiring area. Full of beautiful items that have given us a perfect balance in creating a space that isn't directed at a boy OR girl, but a boy AND girl.

I just wanted to also mention a few bits Clarabelle Interiors inspired me to make. I created soft head and footboards for the children's beds after seeing some similar bespoke items. I have never done this before but using the pictures I worked out a cheats way to create the same effect. These are an item that I am so pleased with. The fabric is one that I already had found but knew that it would fit in nicely with the bits from Clarabelle Interiors
Now these beds were from a set of four that my parents had. They belonged to my brothers and my sister and I had two in a slightly different design, but they were the beds from our childhood. They were bare pine wood and I decided to paint them white which gave them a new lease of life just doing that. As they have a bit of wood work around the headboard I was able to make a cut out that would fit inside it. I then simply covered in wadding, stapled it around the back of the board then covered in the fabric and stapled. They fit into the wood work and are secured with sticky back Velcro. They are easy enough to make once Rob had cut the shape out for me to cover. That was slightly more fiddly. I love a staple gun too so attaching the fabric is more straight forward than you think!

With the grey stars and pink and blue furnishings, the only other items I wanted to have as furniture or decoration were going to be painted white. Their chest of drawers, bookcase and blanket box all got a fresh lick and Rob used his crazy amazing skills to make underbed storage boxes on wheels for their clothes so we didn't need any big wardrobes taking up floor space. These only cost the price of the wheels and handles as they were made from pallet wood! 

With beautiful finishing touches like their letters from Posh Graffitti and handmade art work to match from, Chellebelle, (a lovely little artist specialising in cutout art work) the children's room has turned out perfectly.
A beautiful space filled with two beautiful faces! 

If you would love to work with Clarabelle Interiors on bespoke pieces for you home, contact her via email or call the workshop.
I would also just like to say that the website offered all of her products for sale which you can buy easily but if you want more information contact her here.

We have:
Mini Bertie dog
Bertie cushion
Lamp Shades (you can commission your own from a choice of fabrics).
Boo rabbit sticker
Boy rabbit
Girl rabbit

Thank you to Claire for this wonderful opportunity to work together. I hope you have all enjoyed it!


*This has been a collaborative piece with Clarabelle Interiors.

1 comment

  1. What a gorgeous room Emily & beautiful interiors. You & your husband are so talented making headboards & under bed storage. It all looks great!


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