Into the woods…
In this edition of Cribz, we head over to Henry’s room which was inspired by his mama’s home and native land, O Canada. Styled by our That Mama, Sarah Garner, founder of Retykle, we love all the personalised and detailed touches of his room. Talk about #roomenvy! Check it out!
How would you describe this room? Which style would best describe the room?
Living abroad while having our first child made us feel especially nostalgic for our home country, Canada. I aimed to bring a few elements to Henry’s room which would make it feel reminiscent of our roots. If I had to title the theme of the room, it would be ‘Animal Eclectic with a touch of Maple Leaf’.
Where did you get your inspiration from?
The starting point was the animal wallpaper which I thought was something he would be able to look at again and again without getting bored of all there is to discover. Then I added little touches of Canada to make it feel cosy – dark woods, forrest animals and warm fabrics.
How did you get your kiddo involved with designing his/her room?
Henry was too young to get involved in designing but he has loved owls from a very young age so I tried to incorporate little owl details where possible. He started to express an interest in drawing (all over our white couch!) so we painted a low wall with chalkboard paint for him to have a place to express his creativity any time without our permission or assistance. Our furniture has been safe ever since.
What are your favourite pieces of art in this room?
I adore the ABC needlepoint. My aunt made it for me when I was born and it’s been a keepsake that I wanted to pass on. We had it reframed and hung above Henry’s crib and he’s just recently taken a big liking to it and started learning his ABC’s. There is so much detail and I remember staring at it endlessly as a kid. Hopefully having something interesting to look at right above his bed will continue to give us a few extra minutes of sleep in the mornings!
What was the hardest part of decorating this room?
I find the furniture and decorating options in Hong Kong leave a lot to be desired and the prices tend to be significantly higher than in North America. It takes patience and creative solutions. I found his Stokke change table second hand. The matching Stokke crib was considerably more expensive here so I bought mine while in Canada and hauled it back to Hong Kong.
We pulled the dresser out of storage and I just put new brass owl hardware from Anthropologie on the drawers to bring it back to life. I couldn’t find any lamps I liked here so I ordered the brass bunny lamp from Pottery Barn Kids. I quoted to have a bookshelf custom made when I couldn’t find one at the stores here and it was three times the price of ordering and shipping one from Pottery Barn Kids. So for me, the hardest part was simply finding things I liked which were also at reasonable prices.
What part of the room are you most proud of?
I am obsessed with the wallpaper from Anthropologie. This is the second apartment we have used it in (we moved a few months ago) and it makes the room. My husband thought I was crazy to put up wallpaper in a rental apartment but this is a fabulous alternative to traditional wallpaper in that it’s just add water to stick and it peels down in one pull so, as far as wallpaper goes, it’s perfect for rentals.
My handy husband put up museum hanging rails because we know the configuration of the room is bound to change as Henry gets older (after we remove the change table, big boy bed etc) and puncturing holes in the wallpaper would make for some permanent choices. The museum hanging allows us to move artwork around with ease and give a whole new look as the furniture configuration changes.
I’m also proud of his organised tidy closet which takes a considerable amount of upkeep as he churns through sizes. The whole right side is full of Muji canvas storage boxes organised with outgrown clothes by size or clothes which are too big by size. The outgrown clothes make their way to my company, Retykle, about once every three months to continue their life with another family.
Is there anything in the room you would like to change?
Despite our best intentions, his toy collection has exploded and our storage solutions need some work.
What are your favourite design or furniture stores in Hong Kong? Any online options that you love?
Mirth, in Hong Kong, is a current favourite for little design touches. We bought the ceiling light, a Japanese rice paper pendant, from The General Store which has a unique curation. The majority of our decor and furniture has been collected on trips, custom made, or purchased on it’s second time around – antiques, vintage and second hand. As far as online shopping, we’ve had luck shipping a few items from Anthropologie and and now I keep an eye on the new site Find Love Buy which is a beautiful edit of furniture and decor which all ships to Hong Kong.
Read more: Best Homeware Stores in Hong Kong
What advice would you give to parents who want to redecorate their kid’s rooms?
- I am a big proponent of starting with wallpaper to set the tone of the room and then decorate to compliment the walls. It adds so much interest and personality to any room.
- I love having a bookshelf which is accessible to my toddler. Henry regularly pulls books off the shelf to flip the pages on his beanbag chair, from local shop Common Room.
- Chalkboard paint is inexpensive and a great way to encourage creativity on any surface any time of day.
- Make sure you have a cozy arm chair with enough room for two. It’s our favourite place to spend time together.
- I would recommend using a rug or flooring option which is not too precious since spills and messes are inevitable. We chose a generic inexpensive flat woven rug from Ikea and a durable Berber rug we found while traveling through Morocco.
- Don’t be tempted to over clutter. With enough space to spread out and play, their rooms become much more than a sleeping space.
- Their needs change (quickly!) so I would advise investing in a high quality convertible crib so that you don’t have to rotate furniture more than necessary.
- Most of all, make your kid’s room a space that is functional, comfortable and fun and you will enjoy spending endless hours in there together.