I recently visited the Great Little Trading Co warehouse in Wandsworth,South London and it helped me so much. I was really struggling to design our son’s bedroom space before the visit. It was the design equivalent of writer’s block and meant that the spare room was completely empty until he was 6 weeks old. I didn’t want to do a half-hearted job and he was sleeping in a cot next to our bed so there was no urgent need.
However, my visit to GLTC really inspired me.
During the visit, I felt like a switch clicked in my head and I saw what I wanted and needed to make the room useful, fun and cool. I saw so many lovely things that would make his first bedroom the best it could be – something we all want for our first little babies.
Let me give you some background to my visit and share some furniture pieces that I loved:
I’ve always been a bit of an interior design geek. It comes from growing up in a tiny house and having to share a bedroom with my sister until I left home and went to university. I used to dream about having my own room and what I’d put in it. When I visited friends houses, I’d not only get envious of their space, but I’d take mental notes about what they had in their rooms and put together my perfect bedroom in my head….just in case we ever moved house. Deep down I knew we would never move as my father was a policeman and the house came with the job – we didn’t own it – but I’d had friends that had moved houses and so I saw it was possible.
I worked hard and saved practically everything and bought my own bachelorette pad in a trendy area of Bermondsey, South London in 2007. We signed contracts on my 25th birthday and it was the best day of my life at that point. Finally, I had some space to do exactly what I wanted. For once, I could close the door and know that no family or flatmate could barge in and interrupt my tranquility. And nobody could mess up my perfect space by forgetting to clean the bathroom or leaving plates and tea cups around the kitchen – I could create my dream home and keep it nice.
Fast forward nine years and I have a baby and a fiancé. My fiancé loves design as much as I do, taking inspiration from all the hotel stays he does for work. But the baby? He’s one messy creature and he does not travel light.
When we were thinking about his nursery, our main goal was to keep it looking like part of our house – which has lots of neutral tones, beiges and creams with contrasting textures – while still being a place that the baby would enjoy. I feel very strongly on the enjoyment part as I never loved my bedroom. As I shared it with my sister, I never felt like it was my space. However, how do you keep a baby’s room the same as the other room in your house when their playmats, chairs and toys are just so colourful? How much storage could we put in the room without it taking over the room and making it look too harsh for a child? We had a mental blank….
As I said, we had stumbled over a couple of areas – kid-friendly storage and fun things that don’t look ugly. So check out what we saw at the GLTC showroom:
The showroom is divided into mini rooms so you can see what furniture works well together. I liked the section above as there is so much entertainment packed into a small space. There’s a toy box next to the bed, a cool ‘Mr Bear’ chair and craft table in the centre of the room, a blackboard cupboard and lots of storage cubes for toys. I like the beanbag chairs at the right of the room – perfect for snuggling up with a book.
Storage is what Great Little Trading Company do best. There are two hero ranges – Abbeville and Nortcote – and you can mix and match cupboards and boxes to fit your space. You can even choose the colour of the boxes.
Pesonally, I like the neutral coloured boxes in greys and whites. I don’t feel the need to go overboard with blue just because I have a son.
Books are really important to me and my fiance as we’re both jouranlists / authors. I’ve written two books and he’s written four and we hope that our son will continue the tradition – or at least read a lot. I heard that kids are more interested in reading when they can see the front cover of books so I really liked this book storage table because it’s child-height and easy for kids to select their favourite book. This is way better than a boring bookshelf!
I love things that are multi-functional as it saves space and so a storage bench really stood out as it means we get a chair and a storage solution. You can choose the colour of the cushion and the boxes inside it but I’d go for grey and white…
When Rory’s older, I want him to play with physical toys and use his imagination rather than swiping on an iPad the whole time and I was very impressed by the role play toys that GLTC had. Cafe fronts and kitchen fronts are suitable for both boys and girls and there’s no gender stereotyping and no nonesense that the kitchen should be pink because its for the girls.
If – like me – you see things you like at the GLTC showroom then ordering it is simple. There’s no functionality to take payment in the showroom so you just do it at your own convenience online. This not only makes it easier to hide purchases from your other half because he’s not there watching you buy something, but it means delivery is simple and you don’t need to take your car apart to fit your shopping in the boot like you do after a trip to somewhere like IKEA.
If you don’t live anywhere near the showroom then it doesn’t matter – you can get inspiration on the Get The Look section on the GLTC website.
I’m still in the process of finishing my little man’s room using some GLTC pieces, but I’m really happy with how it’s working out so far. I’ll do a separate blog post when it’s all ready and would love to hear what you all think.