The girl's bedroom has been a great success over the last few months. All of my initial fears about Bella and Lily sharing have been completely unfounded. I worried that they would wake each other at night but that hasn't happened more than once or twice and even then they've gone back to sleep very quickly. And my concerns about how we would sort out the actual bed time routine have also proven unwarranted, with Lily going to bed earlier than Bella with no problems at all. And on the nights when Lily is still awake, they still both settle with the minimum of fuss.
And having a room big enough to play in has made a huge difference to all of us. Both Bella and Lily will play happily for a good part of the day and are able to really enjoy all their books and toys because they're not all piled up on top of each other. Something that was a real problem with Bella's old room and that led to nothing being played with properly.
The other success with the room has been the different areas that we've created. The photo above is their reading corner and possibly the most used part of the room. It usually has a kids rocker where the quilt and cushions are, and the shelves go from the floor to the ceiling (they have a lot of books). The two baskets hold some of the baby books, so that Lily can get to them easily but to be honest her favourite thing is pulling the books off the shelves! I've wallpapered the alcove with scraps of vintage/ Laura Ashley/Cath Kidston paper with the original idea of hanging the shelves in front of it, so that you just saw glimpses of it behind the books. But once it was finished I liked it too much to hide it so decided to hang the shelves on the side wall. Which has worked out better because it's created a proper little reading nook and it means that Bella can see the bits that she helped with!
The other part of the room that so far seems to be working to plan is their drawing table. I wanted to create a space that would allow most of their art supplies to be at hand all the time, whilst keeping it manageable for both me and the girls to keep clean and tidy.
I've used Ikea containers to store all of their pens and glues etc, with the top row holding the supplies that I don't really want Lily to get (although she obviously just climbs on the table to get them!) and the lower rail holding the baby crayons and chalks etc. Everything having it's specific place really appeals to both girls. Lily has a slightly obsessive need to put things away (hoping that will pay off big in the future) and Bella is at the age where she's wanting to take more responsibility for her own belongings, so being able to put stuff away without my help is proving really important.
Everything at the drawing table is from Ikea and it was all put together really cheaply. I'm aware that thigs will change quickly as they get older and didn't want to invest too much in something that might not be of interest this time next year. But I obviously still want it all to look good, so I've tried to add some extra little touches.
For the actual table I bought a £10 Ikea Lack coffee table and screwed on castors (I took this pic before doing it) so that it was the right height for Bella, and then I covered the top with some Cath Kidston oilcloth (stapled on) so that they can paint and glue without worrying.
There's a container under the table that holds their colouring books and puzzle books and a wire Ikea basket hangs from the rail holding lots of different papers.
The basket on the top shelf holds their paints. Which I'm pleased to say only I can reach.
Their room isn't that big, but because we've created seperate zones I really do think we're using the space to it's full advantage. It also seems to allow the girls to focus on a particular activity more easily and stops the room from getting hugely out of control.
The other side of the room is the girly bit for dress up and jewellery and dare I say it, make up (!!!), but I haven't taken any proper pics of that yet.
So yeah, I'm really pleased that we decided to give them the big room and I really think they are too.