For Esther Lee, it was a surfer print from Hawaii that inspired her two-year-old son Miles’ bedroom makeover. The mom of two and founder of lifestyle blog
wanted to create a hardworking space where Miles could sleep and play, and reminded them of their trips to the sea. Plus, he’s been swimming since he was three months old, so the ocean theme was a no-brainer. We chatted with Esther about her quarantine project — which took about three months, from the first coat of paint in April to the furniture arriving in June — and her tips for designing a functional kids’ room that truly does it all! This Wild Heart
“The most difficult design challenge was making sure we utilize the space in the smartest way possible since we had to have it function as a playroom and his bedroom,” says Esther. “I made sure that we weren’t going to excite him at bed time with all his toys, so I ‘hid’ them in baskets and boxes that still work well in the space when he does need to access them.”
Products: Bed Frame, Crate + Kids Paxton Twin Bed; Mattress, Endy; Lion Wall Decor, Etsy; Bedding. Pehr; Pillows, HomeSense
“Invest in key pieces that can be kept even if you do decide to change up the room later on,” she says. “For instance, the bed, dresser and toy shelves (which are actually bookshelves) are all things that will last for years and can be re-used in the space as your child grows.”
Products: Pennant Light Fixture, Ikea; Large Rug, Ikea, Small Rug, Pehr; Black-Out Curtains, Chang’s Drapery; Nightlight, Amazon; Pouf, LD Shoppe; Pom Pom Baskets, Pehr; Dolls, Cuddle + Kind
Esther chose Benjamin Moore’s
Horizon Gray for the accent wall, providing subtle contrast without creating too much visual excitement while Miles catches up on his zzz’s.
A spacious Ikea dresser holds all of Miles’ everyday essentials, while a collection of cherished photos and prints, plushies, wovens and wooden toys carry the seaside theme home.
Products: Rattan Storage, Urban Outfitters; Dresser, Ikea; Octopus, Starfish & Turtle Stuffies, JellyCat; Wall Shelf & Mirror, Crate + Kids; Wooden Name Plate, Little Rose + Co.
“All my favorite things are there, like an illustration that was gifted to us a while back and a sweet photo of Miles in Hawaii,” says Esther. “The little starfish and octopus plushies (see previous photo) just tie the room theme together nicely as well.”
Products: Shelf, Ikea; Make Waves Print, Etsy; Small Wave Print, Etsy; Vase, EQ3; Car, Candylab Toys; Frames, Opposite Wall; Lamp, Ikea; Plant Pot, Ikea; Small Basket, LD Shoppe
Since Miles loves to flip through picture books, Esther created a sweet little reading nook. “The
Franklin + Emily Chair doesn’t even look like children’s furniture,” she says. “I would totally have an adult size one if they made it!”
Products: Luggy Basket, Olli + Ella; Chair, Franklin + Emily; Sun Doll, Bla Bla Kids
All of Miles’ favorite reads are easily accessible on open shelves, so he can walk over and pick one on his own, without his mom or dad’s help.
Products: Book Shelves, Ikea
Everything has its place in this organized closet, which houses Miles’ and his seven-week-old sister Nora’s outdoor clothes and shoes. Extra toys and books fit neatly into the wooden crate and extra baskets.
Products: Large Pom Pom Bins, Pehr; Closet Organizer, Ikea; Wooden Crate, Ikea
“Last fall, we were in Hawaii and picked up this beautiful print (on the peg board) that I thought would be perfect for his room one day,” she says. “I used this print as my inspiration for his room.” On the playroom side of the space, Esther created a dedicated area where Miles’ imagination can run wild. A peg board, alphabet mat, Montessori toys and other wooden knick knacks add to the fun.
Products: Wooden Toys, kiko & gg; Wooden Tree Toys, Agaboshi; Alphabet Mat, Gathre; Peg Board, Gautier Studio; Table & Chairs, Ikea
“I chose storage options that are both functional and stylish,” she says. “For instance, little plastic crates that can house toys but are also adorable, or even the famous
Pehr pom pom bins that can store anything!”
Products: Toy Storage Shelves, Ikea; Plastic Foldable Storage, AYKASA
Author: Victoria Christie