...is that they just keep on growing. Growing and changing. Just when I think I have it sussed they move on to the next new thing, leaving me to catch up. Their needs, their wants, their hobbies and favourite things, they just keep on moving. Also, my children seem to have a lot of stuff.
We've been tinkering with Bella's bedroom these last few weeks, trying to create a bedroom which reflects her personality, gives her space to play and meets her rather, err...demanding storage needs. We refreshed the paint on the walls in a most disorganised and sloppy fashion. We went through cupboards and drawers, sorting as we went, filling five bags for the charity shop and as many for the recycling bin. We had a thorough spring clean and changed arrangements and moved toys and books around. But it's still not right and it's very much a work in progress.
Take this wall with the chest of drawers and wardrobe - she can't reach what's on top without standing on a chair.
|These before and after photos look depressingly similar! I did tidy, honest.|
Even after a big tidy up it needs something to break up all that white.
The pink wall has gone, along with the grubby fingerprints and peeling wall sticker that had been there since she moved into this room when she was two...
...and it's now clean and fresh with a picture ledge like the one we have in our room. We'd bought two and found we didn't need both so we used the second shelf here.
Bella absolutely loves this shelf. She made the little arrangement you see below and has changed it six times since, putting her favourite books on display. It's deliberately high on the wall so that everyone who sits on her bed doesn't bang their head on it.
This little bedside table (just an old Ikea bedside cabinet with the door removed) which has served us so well for so long looks tired. It holds picture books perfectly but the trouble is, Bella doesn't really read those picture books so much anymore. For a bedtime story, she prefers us to read a chapter of an "older" book with her, something like Roald Dahl or Pippi Longstocking, or she reads her school reading book. The routines are changing.
She likes somewhere to sit and write and draw, but she will soon have outgrown this little table and chairs, and need a proper desk.
Bella's main wish is lots of space to play which she has as it's a good size double room. She needs a proper bookcase I think; I would like to find an old one and paint it but the reality may well include a trip to Ikea for a small white Billy bookcase. Then she can reach all her books easily whenever she wants. I'd like to make her some new cushions in some brightly coloured fabric I've been dying to use. And crochet her a blanket (that's a long term project, definitely!). And do something to break up that big white wall.
I found one box of picture frames in the under-stairs cupboard, and another under our bed. The black frames once held photos in the hall, and most of the white ones were on the wall above our bed before we decorated our bedroom. A collection from various places over the last ten years, none of them expensive of precious, but when I laid them out on the floor I had an idea. I think I will paint them in bright colours and hang them in a square arrangement similar to the one below.
Then Bella and I can fill the frames with pictures, embroideries, postcards, all sorts of pretty things. Again, another long term project.
How do other parents manage the storage issue? How do you create a room that will grow with your child? Any thoughts gratefully received! Although Bella annouced last night that she wants to share her room with Angus and have bunk beds. I think she actually wants the bunk beds a lot more than she wants Angus there, but she knows she can't have one without the other!
Last of all, thanks for your macaron suggestions. A couple of you recommended Nigella's How To Be A Domestic Goddess, which I have, so I will try that recipe. I will not be defeated by some egg white and ground almonds!