Sunday, 11 October 2015

It's a polka dot flock of moonbeam mermaids thing

DIY in style: A new room in a day courtesy of Graham & Brown

With the help of design specialists Graham & Brown, we created a new look for both our daughter's bedrooms, each taking a day, (give or take a shelf being put up here and there).

Graham & Brown has a wide variety of designs and a brilliant choice of colour, ranging in style from the beautifully understated to the downright weird and wonderful.

Looking on the website at the children's collection of wallpaper, Esme (my creative 7YO) and I, first fell in love with this frame paper, but my husband, Simon, put his foot down as far as having that as an option. I really like the idea of being able to encourage the children to draw on the walls, but I guess his playroom over bedroom argument won out on that one. Shame we don't have a playroom as the frame paper really is creative fun at its best.

Esme eventually settled on a very girlie polka flock paper, a pink velvet raised dot which is now covering all four walls. Sofia on the other hand, (my gregarious 4YO) went for a bold blue paint, with a feature wall of mermaids - yes you read that correct.

I think it is fair to say my pictures in this post, don't do this beautiful foil type paper justice, for I couldn't achieve a clean photo with flash photography or the light streaming in through the window. Frankly, it is exquisite -with a name containing the words Mermaids and Moonbeam, it was always going to be. I love how the two children chose so differently, reflecting their personalities. Look in Fia's room and you see a bright blue background and a drum kit, and look in Esme's and you see a tidy desk, offset with pink and pretty.

Why and how? Well this week is the inaugural National Wallpaper Week and to be honest, with all that has gone on in my LIFE AS IT IS recently, I welcomed the opportunity to redecorate the GraceFaith girls rooms with both arms. Our house build (ground floor extension) that was set for March 2016, has been rescheduled to start this week, and as a) we are going to be spending a lot of time upstairs over the next few months, b) the girls are in the same rooms that we decorated when I was pregnant with Esme, and c) they both totally deserve a special space, it is a welcome change of scene.

In this house, when it comes to decorating, we are usually your average tin of paint sort of people. Truth is, neither of us have ever tried to wallpaper in our lives. Naturally I asked wonderballs Simon to help and he did brilliantly. Especially as the walls are over 200 years old - wonky walls and all that. There are a couple of tricks we picked up along the way; using a pin to help release stubborn air bubbles and going for paste the wall over paste the paper, and although the walls do not bare close inspection(!), we are really pleased with the results. What do you think? Here are the before and after shots...



The iridescent mermaids are quite simply memorising but I worried that this choice of Sofia's would be too grown up for her. Truth is, she loves the feature wall - and looking at the positive, it could still suit her for years to come! We also had these two paintings, that tie in brilliantly with the colour and theme.

I would like to make the room a little more cosy by adding this bunting and these beach hut light garland I've found on Notonthehighstreet - sticking with the seaside theme which Sofia loves.



I worried that covering all four walls in this dot paper would make the room feel smaller. I worried needlessly. The overall effect is gorgeous. To compliment the room we picked up this desk and shelves for a very reasonable price from Ikea, making it feel that much more grown up. Esme is chuffed to bits - so are we.

The Graham & Brown touch of luxury. I especially love the battery operated lighting (with no hanging wires) on the wall in Sofia's room, which to my mind sets the look off. Along with the two fabulous notonthehighstreet items mentioned earlier... the Rainbow Bunting by Lemon Tree Trading and the Beach Hut Light Garland by Little Yellow Birds.

Personality + (Style x Flair) = Wallpaper

Two happy little girls, one happy Mummy, and one even happier Daddy - now that it is all done. Massive thanks to Si, as well as Graham & Brown and Notonthehighstreet. Couldn't have done it without you!

We used polka dot flock - on offer at time of posting at £35 a roll, and Moonbeams and Mermaids, priced £69 a roll. The paint is Hoorn Blue, currently on offer, priced at £27 a tin, and the wall art is priced at £70. All available online at Graham & Brown. The beach hut light garland is £19.90 and the Rainbow bunting is £20, both available at

Life As It Is/Emma Oliver, received wallpaper, paint, bunting, light garland and wall art to help produce this post. All views are my own.

For DISCLOSURE & DISCLAIMER, please view my page on LEGAL STUFF


Cathy said...

The rooms look lovely and so different, I love the mermaid paper x

Emma Oliver said...

Thanks Cathy. Me too. I love that there is suddenly colour in the rooms (not just chaos)!

Everyone Else Is Normal said...

They are simply stunning! Love both papers, the colour blue, and also the iridescence of them. We've never wall papered before either. What a fab review to do! Great job!

Emma Oliver said...

Ah thank you S, it really was! If anyone enjoys writing, I would totally encourage them to blog, would you?!

Nichola myhill said...

Wow Em, both rooms look amazing. Can't believe the girls are so grown up x

Emma Oliver said...

Ah thank you Nic, they totally are grown up all of a sudden aren't they?! Glad you like the rooms - coming from you my designer friend, that is fab! xx