Achieving style with function in a multi-purpose nursery
Shana Buchanan found her passion in interior design and planning. Years ago, after working late night shifts and saving up, she took it upon herself to purchase her first dream home. And when she decided to leave the finance world to pursue her dream of marrying the two loves of her life (stylish home decor and running her own business), she sold that very dream house to launch her company (and a Sassy Mama fave!), iDecorate. In this edition of Cribz, we step into her 16-month-old son, Axel’s nursery where she’s taken a small space and made it functional, playful and beautiful.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am the Founder and CEO of iDecorateshop.com. iDecorate brings the most sought-after products from around the world to Asia. Our mantra is “Making Beautiful Affordable”. Almost all of our brands are exclusive to iDecorate, such as Ahoy Trader, Ninnho Towels, Sack Me!, Dan300 and Art Club Concept.
I love finding these wonderfully talented creatives, whether they are artists or product designer, and helping them tell their story. We are the brands’ trusted partner in Asia. And that’s the difference when you shop with us; there is a story behind every product, we don’t do not mass production. All our products are made with love, many are handcrafted, they are always on trend and they must make you smile. Simply put, I love my job. I love working with my brand partners to reach a new audience and equally, I love sharing these highly sought after products with our customers. It’s a win-win so building iDecorate is really a dream come true.
What inspired you to start iDecorate Shop?
When I was a little girl I’d spend hours drawing houses with my dad, analysing floor plans and imagining the layout and location of my “dream house”. During my first year at uni studying a law/commerce degree I chose to do graveyard shifts at the local petrol station so that I could get a mortgage to buy my first house. I was obsessed with decorating and gardening and I look back now and realise that I’ve always felt a need to create an environment that reflects my personality, where I can be myself.
After university, I built a successful career in finance while managing a family textile business. I guess that is where I learnt about interior design, sourcing, manufacturing and marketing. It wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong that I took a leap of faith, gave up my finance career and decided to become an entrepreneur.
How would you describe this room? Which style would best describe the room?
Simple Scandinavian nursery with a twist.
Where did you get your inspiration from?
Like most apartments in Hong Kong, this flat was very small and so the starting point is always, “How do I maximise the utility of this space without making the room feel cluttered?” I turned to Pinterest first. You can see all of my inspiration on my Pinterest Board called iDecorate/Kids Rooms. Whilst I absolutely love flicking through Belle, Vogue Living, Home Journal and Real Living magazines, they rarely feature baby’s rooms or nurseries.
How did you get your kiddo involved with designing his/her room?
We had everything ready before we brought baby home.
We all get a lot of art from our kids, how do you display it?
Axel is now 16 months and only just started drawing. I love white pegboards as they’re so versatile for displaying all sorts of homewares and crafts, I will probably install a pegboard for his art and projects one day.
What was the hardest part of decorating this room?
This apartment only had two bedrooms (we’ve since moved into a much bigger space). My mum came to stay with us for six months to spend time with Axel and help me in the business (as we were growing so quickly). I needed to make the room able to fit a sofa bed, a changing table and a cot plus add cupboard space. With careful planning, I made it work.
I designed a narrow but wide cupboard, which I had custom made to sit above the sofa. I bought the Leander cot which is an oval shape not rectangular again to make it easier to move around the room and I installed a wall mounted changing table which I bought from France. I also wall mounted all of the adorable iDecorate shelves from Bloomingville in House Shapes, which really are the key feature in the room for showcasing Axel’s cute toys and colourful books. They really make the space feel playful and fun but still organised.
What part of the room are you most proud of?
I am most proud of all the people who create our iDecorate products featured in the room. For example Li-Ann Scott from Sack Me! who started her business when she was pregnant with twin boys, and Nathan and Jaynie Johnston of Blacklist who are building an iconic brand of art and growing their family at the same time.
Is there anything in the room you would like to change?
We’ve now moved house and I am adding more colour to the walls via art and a feature wall as our baby is now a toddler and we can make it more stimulating, creative and fun. In Axel’s new room, I want him to be inspired to create and play more freely.
What are your favourite design or furniture stores in Hong Kong? Any online options that you love?
Of course iDecorateshop.com is my favourite online store and we have a retail store in Times Square.
Read more: Best Homeware Stores in Hong Kong
What advice would you give to parents who want to redecorate their kid’s rooms?
Don’t feel the need to let your children choose everything, remember their rooms should compliment the feel in the rest of the house. Invest in quality furniture, opt for timber toys and toy boxes and cool shelves. Go easy on the plastics if you can, they’re not good for the environment but also not easy on the eyes.
Thanks to the talented Michelle Proctor of Michelle Proctor Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @michellejproctor