Pandora Sykes is former Fashion Features Editor for The Sunday Times Style so it comes as no surprise that the nursery she designed for her daughter, Zadie, is beautifully unique and bursting with inspiration.
It’s a surreal thing, decorating a bedroom for someone who does not yet exist. Part of me felt superstitious, designing my daughter’s nursery - that old adage, about not buying anything for your child until you spy their crown, weighed heavy in my mind - but the other part, the anxiously efficient part of me, couldn’t bear not having everything ready for her arrival at the end of February (or whenever she should choose to appear), even though, of course, she’ll be in a crib in our room, for the first few months.
In these gender neutral times, I felt strongly that I didn’t want her nursery to be girly. She’ll wear pink, sure (just as she will wear blue), but I didn’t feel that her nursery had to be frilly and feminine. This approach also stemmed from practicality: in a few years time, we intend to move her up to the attic room and turn that bedroom into a guest room. I don’t much fancy re-decorating in a few years, so the decor had to work for a baby, without making a grown adult heave!
No bunnies and ballerinas, then? Well, the former is a lie. There are, in fact, three bunnies: the giant furry friend, a ceramic lamp bought from a now forgotten website online and a papier mache bunny from Edit 65. I bought five animal heads in total, which provide vibrant cheer - a living zoo - whilst set against the nautical, jaunty blue and white stripe wallpaper from Christian Lacroix. My old nanny joked that the stripes will turn the baby cross-eyed. I'm hoping that it will just make her very good at Magic Eye: we live in a Victorian house, which means most of the walls are uneven. The stripes, if you stare closely, begin to weft and warp at the corners!
I’ve only recently begun to understand how to properly use colour in interior spaces and that if you decorate things in the same tone, you can clash patterns without it feeling too overwhelming. This - at least in attempt - was what I went for, in pairing the curtains, made from jolly 'Beau Rivage' fabric from Nina Campbell, with the striped paper. Hopefully it worked in execution, too.
The Boori cot bed and changing table are not small pieces, so I wanted them to have the space to ‘breathe’. That sounds ridiculous, but beautiful furniture can be completely lost when it’s rammed against something else. I opted for a small furry rug, for her to roll around on, and a neutral-hued chair from Swoon, to feed her on. I don’t typically gravitate towards this hue, but I felt with the animal heads and jazzy printed paper and curtains and the various inevitable colourful toys around her cot, it balanced out nicely.
Part of me is quite traditional, which is why I love things like printed quilts, this beautiful hand-painted hot air balloon mobile from Trouva and good, solid, white nursery furniture like Boori's. I looked at several cots and they all seemed too complicated: I wanted something solid, but beautiful. I’m not a fan of the super-modern cots; I love the image of a sleeping tot, behind bars. Which she will inevitably rattle, once she reaches her terrible twos, if it wasn't for Boori's natty 'rattle-free' function on its bars.
The icing on the cake in decorating my baby's room, is the giant Jellycat bunny, a gift from close friends. I coveted this bunny for so long - having my daughter gave me an excuse, at long last to welcome him into the fold!