Something we’re told again and again is that when you have a baby, you may wave goodbye to your beautiful house decor. Their toys, their play mats, their buggies and all manner of baby and kid themed paraphernalia goes just about everywhere. Neither Jo or I have kids yet but if and when we do, we’re hoping we can still salvage some of our beloved decor. Is it possible to cater to your kid’s needs while at the same time not having to compromise on style? We think so, and to confirm this we have recruited Sarah of Lucy & Me, a newly launched children’s furniture company in Dublin. Lucy is Sarah’s daughter, she’s 2 years of age and the inspiration and chief tester of all things Lucy & Me. Here’s her expert advice.
COMPETITION – To win either the star play mat or the mini armchair for your little one (you choose!), go to our GAFF Interiors Instagram page.
I’m currently 8.5 months pregnant with my second baby and as such, I’m kitting out my house to ensure its not complete and utter chaos when our little number two arrives in a couple of weeks.
The most important thing that I have learnt is that kids spaces, above all else, need to be practical. So here are my top ideas and tips to create a space that’s gorgeous, practical and of course baby-friendly.
The Changing Table
First up, I needed to think about where I was going to change him 10+ times a day, Lucy’s too young to leave downstairs while I went up to the changing table, so I knew I needed to get a second changing table for downstairs. This doesn’t have to be expensive, because really, you will only need it for 6 months – I found a gorgeous second hand one from Pottery barn on adverts, painted it, bought a new mat and new baskets and it was so perfect.
The Importance of Storage
I spend most of my day in the kitchen so this was a space I needed to get right. As any mum knows, as soon as you have a baby, your home becomes filled with so much more ‘stuff’– your kitchen can turn into a chaotic jungle so the importance of storage was huge for me. And one of the best solutions I’ve found to keeping this stuff manageable (and preserving some level of order in my home) is with storage baskets. They don’t just look stylish — they hide a mountain of things, allow me to tidy both of their very different stage toys at night in 2 minutes flat, and are accessible to them during playtime.
Without a doubt, Lucys favourite activity for the first few weeks and months of her little life was playing on her playmat. This is a piece from the Lucy & Me collection, it offers endless possibilities for use and can be configured in a number of ways. Laid flat, its perfect for tummy time, baby gyms and babies learning to roll. Folded up against a wall or in the corner of a room, it provides a comfy and cosy seat for reading, playing games or watching tv. The cover is also fully removable and is washable at 30 degrees for any spit ups or accidents that will inevitably happen. Because this is something you’ll most likely use at least five times daily, I suggest creating a dedicated space for it.
The table and chairs
When looking for the perfect table for Lucy I knew I wanted a high quality piece that could handle a ton of use, whether it was for her lunch or dinner, or arts and crafts, I knew this piece was going to get very messy so it was important that it was really easy to clean without grooves that food or play-doh could get stuck in, I also knew we would use it for all of our kids so I wanted a really nice one that fit neatly into our kitchen wall and that I could add chairs to as necessary.
The Wooden Bear Stool
This little stool I just couldn’t live without, we received something similar as a present when Lucy was a baby and I wasn’t really sure what I’d actually use it for, and then it became the most used item in my house. From using it as a seat while bathing her, it then graduated to Lucy’s stool for washing hands, brushing teeth, making muffins, you name it, she used it.