Wednesday, 24 February 2021

LIFESTYLE// Home School Wardrobes & A Bit About The Kids

Items in this post are gifted.

The Home School Wardrobe

 I remember at school, home clothes day was the best day ever. It seemed like the ultimate treat, being able to wear your own clothes to school. Following lots of American movies where they get to wear their own clothes everyday always made me jealous. Especially when we got to secondary school. Nowadays it seems to still be the most exciting thing ever. Etta and Raph get especially excited for days when school uniform doesn't need to be worn. Unbelievably, right now, we are finding that every day is home clothes day! Whilst on National Lockdown Number 3 we have found ourselves wearing nearly every item of clothing more than ever. With the recent cold weather too, layers and snugly wear have been key.

Our kids are great at filling the washing basket with loads of laundry. It's been important to me for a long time now not to waste money on lots of cheap clothes but rather to spend money well. I am lucky as the items in this post have been gifted by the wonderful team JOULES, but if you have followed me for a long time you will know that this has been a long standing ethos of mine. Buy cheap; buy twice is something I truly believe in, and in more normal times when the kids have school uniform to wear, I had learned to really keep their wardrobes more minimal and from well made brands. There is nothing I love more than seeing the kids' younger cousins in hand-me-down clothes from us. It means that the item has really served its purpose. It's been used well and with 7 younger male cousins, Raph's wardrobe gets filtered down many times. Joules has long been a favourite in this house, especially for their classic striped tops, but as a staple brand that we buy into because their clothes last and last.

Whilst we have been homeschooling life has been really different. The whole structure of our day was reconfigured to suit the schooling needs and that meant that space around the house has been used differently. We go from dining table to bedroom desks, to working on the floor and sitting in bed. The space we have is used more than ever and luckily since redecorating the two bedrooms for the children, we have been able to really use their spaces in our everyday life to bring movement to our days. Upstairs, downstairs daily life flows through the house and I have never been more thankful that the kids have this space to move around. Their renovations were completed at the end of last year and at the time I didn't really realise that my forward planning in giving them both desks would turn out to be such a useful tool. These days our life revolves around zoom meetings and lesson videos and that is just fine. Like all, we are doing what we can to make remote learning work for us. With each new day comes different challenges but with space, comfortable clothes and a willingness to try, we are just getting on as we can.

The JOULES website is one I like to visit regularly. When in need of a new outdoor coat, some cosy basics or even just looking for something fresh, a trip to the online store generally sorts out my needs. Raph has been loving their joggers for a few years now, easy, pull on, wash well, what is a 9 year old boy not going to like about that? Etta loves a Joules package arriving on the doorstep. She lives in hope that it will contain dungarees, dresses or cosy fleeces; this recent parcel did anyway!
For me, it's the JOULES Knitwear and practical outdoor coats that get me. Every. Single. Time. Guaranteed either one of these is my most searched for item, I just have a thing for chunky jumpers and practical coats!

I thought it would be nice to share just how the kids have been using their rooms (and wearing their clothes) recently. Life has been good to us. I am grateful every single day for the opportunity to just live and do in our easy little way. 
Etta Wears below // FLEECESKIRTTOP

Etta is a real bedroom lover. You can find her writing songs or sitting at her desk. She loves to create; that is something that is quite clear and she is never too far from toys she likes to care for. 
Etta wears below // GILETDRESSTOP

Etta is keen on books and she has wanted to read from a very young age. She is forever picking up the Little People Big Dreams books and is fascinated by people like David Bowie and Rosa Parks. 

Raph is never far from Lego. He plays and plays with the stuff and it is at the top of every present list he ever writes. He loves to be read to at any time and even though his own relationship with reading didn't start out well he now really enjoys comic style books and even children's novels, his favourite being Tom Fletcher as he particulary loves to use gross words!

Raph is a huge Fan of drawings and wants to be an illustrator when he grows up. I put that down to great artists like Joe Todd Stanton whose books are a huge hit round here. Raph loves stories with few words but amazing pictures and that love makes him want to create. 
Raph wears below // TSHIRT

Both the kids are just getting on with life. School isn't boring it's just different to any experience we have had. Their creative studies though are where they have a passion and we encourage that in this house. When the children are home, in their space and comfortable they are winning at living the good life.

Another huge part of our day is getting out for a walk. One thing JOULES has always been good at is producing great grab and go outerwear. Whether that be their easy pull on or pack up wellies or their grab and go coats. I know what I am getting with their products. Every morning we go out for a walk before school. This is sometimes the hardest part of our day but because the day gets so full of doing work, getting out first thing helps to set us up for all of that. After lunch we always do a science, or history lesson and by the time that is done and a round of Horrible Histories has been watched I am ready to just stop. Getting out first thing just means that we do actually get out in the day.
I wear // COATTOP,

No matter how each day starts we get what we need to do done. That doesn't mean it is easy or in fact looks anything like the images above; some days are more picture perfect that others though and that is a real blessing. Day to day life now blurs a bit, it resembles the same shape but all the little things that are within it are most certainly different.
All I know is that the days carry on like this but it won't be forever and soon enough I will be wishing for the washing pile to be fuller of worn home clothes because it means that we have all had fun together. 


Saturday, 13 February 2021

HOME INTERIORS // A Bedroom For a Tween Boy (for now and beyond.)

Creating a bedroom for a near ten year old which will see him into teenage-hood.

When it came to creating a room for Raph I wanted to very much create something that would suit him for years. I think it can be hard to create a space for a boy sometimes that can also represent the idea of minimalism and simplicity yet suit the realities that early teenage boys might like. Much like our daughter's room, a lot of the ideas behind this decoration was creating a space that suited our home and felt like it matched in well. I have never been a fan of having lots of different colours round the house, but when it came to creating a space for the children I also didn't want it to solely be a white space like the rest of the house. I have learned to like colours and how you can use them to create warmth and comfort. 

Raph's room went for being packed with two single beds and lots of toys to being the biggest room for one small boy. As a growing boy there were some features that I knew I wanted to carry him into teenage hood / secondary school and that was really at the forefront of our designs. 

The first choice of colour, a copy of Farrow & Ball's Calke green was what we have on the walls. As this room is so big for one body I wanted to bring a bit of warmth with a darker colour. With the white top boarder and white wooden floors you bring a lot of light into this west facing room so having a warming shade of green against that and then the natural wood colours (I will talk about later) really creates a sense of calm and warmth.

With the room having a dark radiator (now one of my favourite features of the upstairs rooms) and a pine wood windowsill creating a room that had features of natural wood were, like Etta's room, very important. Raph's head board was always going to be self-constructed and was the only way we were tying the rooms together. The feature of natural wood is not only visually pleasing but textually as well. It is now the way that we connect the room's round the house; some wood feature in some way. In Etta's room she has the peg rail and in here there is his wonderful strip panel headboard reaching from floor to ceiling. 

Raph also has a new small double bed, (I point out the small bit as we had that embarrassing error with ordering the wrong sized mattress) From a UK manufactured pine bed company. We have also left this unpainted which matches the headboard really well. Like Etta's room, the under bed storage is essential for not filling up the edges of the room with furniture. The boxes were originally made from their old room which rob just adapted for the new bed. All of Raphs clothes fit under his bed and in his bedside table meaning that he has no wardrobe in his room. 

From the wooden bed came the feature oak desk, an integral part of growing up. I wanted him to have space to work, play and a place to draw. This, and the black chair, were new from Ikea. The bookcase is also Ikea, part of the Billy range, but we had this from when they shared a bedroom. Raph's bedside tables I spotted from Ikea about a year ago and have patiently been waiting to buy knowing they were going to be perfect for a boy's room. Its always nice when you find furniture that you know would really suit a personality.

Parts of Raph's room that were really important to have was a Lego display unit, a desk for the impending homework situation and floor space so that he, with or without his sister, could have another space to play. Raph has a lot of the Lego now in his room. Mostly completed sets that get played with but he also wanted to display. This Great Little Trading Co unit has been in this room for sometime now and works as a great source of storage, with a couple of baskets full of Lego to play with the rest of the space is taken up with complete models right now and they look great. It's messy but neat at the same time. It's well played with but also looks like art. It's a really colourful feature to the bedroom. 

After the physical furniture part of Raph's room was complete it came down to sourcing artwork which I feel will be an ongoing part of decorating. I have written a post all about the art from the kids' rooms: a bit of bespoke by me, art from independant printers and pieces mass produced that I have jazzed up. 

I am so pleased with how this and Etta's room have turned out. Both individual but also both matching well for our little house. Having these two spaces completed has really opened the upstairs to a working space, one that we actually like to hang out in rather than one which hasn't quite gelled for a few years now. 

Shopping list for Raphs bedroom:


Small double bed


Bedside tables

Desk chair

Lego sidboard



Have you seen related posts about Etta's room and our bathroom?

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