Not long before Christmas, December in fact, we took a weekend away with my husband’s family. We had my little girl in tow, and her best friend/partner in crime/cousin for a Santa’s Sleepover event at Alton Towers Resort.
I’ve not been to the hotel before, but our trip included a stayover, food, pantomime, swimming park, and access to the open theme parks – on this occasion CBeebies Land. You can imagine for two excited toddlers it was a winner all around and we loved it so much that we’re likely going to book again.
For me though, as usual when we step away from home, I was looking for inspiration – and I never ever thought I’d find it at CBeebies Land.
After a bit of reflection, I thought I’d shared some of my favourite non-family snaps, alongside some of the reminders that this particular trip gave me about interiors, which you shouldn’t forget either…
Sod the rules
If you want a themed house or room – go for it. Forget that it’s not currently on trend, or that your in-laws might not like it, or that it might deter any future buyers. Forget all of that bollocks. Decorate for YOU. I’m going for a Memphis inspired room for Luna’s new bedroom (still a work in progress). I don’t particularly think the 80s is a very popular era, but it’s always been my fave and I won’t have anyone tell me otherwise, because it’s my personal style.
Start decorating for those who live in your home, and for no-one else. Not for your Instagram followers or to keep up with the Joneses.
At the end of a hard day at work, what kind of environment will make you relax and put a smile on your face? Is it a pirate-ship/around the world in 80 days themed stairway like the one at the Alton Towers hotel? Then you get it done.
Interiors is a creative field, and you don’t need to be a professional stylist to know what makes you happiest. My mum is decorating at the moment and she often asks me for advice, but instead I ask her if she likes it – because that’s all that matters.
Decorating isn’t limited to your four internal walls. Get outside too!
Okay so there is a reason that CBeebies Land is outrageously OTT and predominantly primary in its colour selections. Kids like bold colours. It’s really that simple.
I wonder when we grew out of it? When is it that we start associating the bright and the bold with immaturity and inexperience? Why are muted pastels and neutral beiges taken more seriously? (Legit question BTW, if any colour psychologists are reading, comments welcome!)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of dark walls, and on the odd occasion I will really warm to a monochromatic scheme. My house is mostly getting darker each month when it comes to the decor because it just suits our house, but outdoors it’s a different story. We have been adding lilac to our garden furniture and we went with a sky blue front fence – doesn’t seem like much, but when you live in Manchester, painting anything either red or blue is usually a big deal. (For the record, football-free home over here)
So often, I’ll see the beautiful colourful houses of Notting Hill pop up on my Instagram feed. In fact, most of them are London when I think about it. Why are they so few and far between elsewhere? The main reason we, as a nation, don’t paint the outside of our homes a bright yellow, for example, is because of our neighbours, isn’t it? But what if we’re ALL dying to paint our house a pastel pink and no-one has the guts to speak out? You could be living on an Edward Scissorhands street you guys! Go talk to your neighbours. They might be bloody nice people.
Don’t be afraid of colour. Start off sparingly (these deck chairs are ace examples) and if you like it, keep on going. Front doors are a great way to add colour without going bonkers.
There is no difference between “kids interiors” and regular old adult interiors
I’ve tried, ever since Luna was born, to keep the house tidy. Truth be told, I’m absolutely terrible at it. But more as time goes on, I’ve just learned to accept the chaos and learn to find ways which makes it feel like the wash of toys were always meant to be there. Kids come with a lot of stuff and a lot of toys, if you’re lucky – and Luna has been incredibly lucky and wants for nothing. Can I really be bothered hiding away EVERY possession of hers every day for it to be turfed out again the next morning?
Do I really want an “adult only” space where I’m scared to let her wander? No thanks.
Yes toys should be tidied away safely, and storage for us has been absolutely key when it comes to adapting to a family home, but I’d hate to think that our home looks like she doesn’t even live here. That’s not how it should be in my books. If you’re worried that your guests are going to care one bit about there being a chalkboard in the lounge or a play kitchen in your actual kitchen, then get rid of that negativity and go out to a coffee shop next time.
Embrace the chaos in your home. It’s what makes it your own.
So what do you think? Too much? I’d love to hear your thoughts on colourful houses and toddler’s interiors.
How will you be putting the “family” back into “family home” this year?
AND, most important, please tell me I’m not the only one who goes on holiday and takes pictures of the decor? It’s getting bad you guys. Even my 2 year old has started ‘pretending’ to take pictures of her feet on pretty floors… Oops.