Kids Decor: Creating A Cosy, Colourful and Cool Reading Nook (plus a sneak peek at Rafferty's bedroom makeover)
I love books. Like many of us, I don’t read anything like as much as I used to, but again, like many of us I have ambitions of getting back into the habit. Literally nothing compares to the way a good book can make you feel. I like my books big, sprawling and epic and have been known to sob real tears when something terrible happens (this happened more than once during A Little Life but oh how I loved and admired that book).
While my own reading might not be as voracious as it once was, we’ve always worked hard to foster a love of books in the children. We read to each of them separately every night, and now Rafferty is reading by himself, he reads to us too. It makes bedtime quite a long, drawn out process, especially when one of us is flying solo, but it’s non-negotiable. So when I started making plans for Rafferty’s bedroom makeover, a reading corner was something I wanted to make space for. There is already a desk he can use on the landing outside his bedroom, so a cosy reading nook was more of a priority.
The room isn’t finished yet so this is a sneak peek of where we are at so far. There’s still a bookcase to add and the carpet to go down. But when Homesense asked me if I wanted to work with them to discover what they had to offer at their new store in Purley Way, Croydon, it was the ideal opportunity to put my reading nook ideas into action. It had been a while since I had visited Homesense, but I was hoping to find something bright, fun and comfortable to encourage him to hunker down and be swept away in a good book, rather than nag me to turn the TV on.
I didn’t need to worry because as soon as I arrived in store (its a 25 minute drive from my house) the first thing I noticed was the rainbow of lush jewel like velvets sofas and chairs on display.
It’s a pretty joyous sight to be greeted with that much colour as soon as you set foot through the door. You can go all out with a statement sofa, which come in at around £500. But where Home Sense really excels in my opinion, is in their accent chairs and footstools offering. There are SO. MANY. great options in SO. MANY colours. I saw an Art Deco inspired scalloped chair in either mustard yellow and blush pink, which would have made the perfect addition to a dressing room, or bedroom. I also eyed up a pleated coral velvet ottoman and footstool…but managed to stay focused on the task in hand, a chair for Raf’s reading corner.
We’ve all done it haven’t we? Nipped into Homesense for a frying pan, and come out 30 minutes later with a new coffee table, a chair for the bathroom and a lamp that it would have been criminal to walk away from. I’ve come up with a name for this particular phenomenon…Homesense Hysteria. And I was gripped by it. I ended up spending over two hours wandering round and came home with much more than i was planning to, including some pink terrazzo frying pans!
One of the brilliant things about Homesense is the ability to choose your item on the shop floor and take it home with you right there and then. Obviously it depends what you are buying and if you have a car big enough to fit it in (which I didn’t) but even if you don’t, they offer a speedy next day delivery service to your door. I was super impressed by this service. Often when you’re buying furniture, you would have to wait up to 6 weeks for it to be delivered, which is hell for someone like me, who can spends months deliberating about what I want, but once I decide, I want it in my house asap.
I had sent Raf off to school that morning with the promise that I was going to find him the perfect chair for his reading nook (these kids don’t know they are born!). I’ve painted his walls in the deep and rich Hague Blue which is very grown-up, so I wanted to inject some fun with the chair, whilst also keeping it cosy. I also wanted a shape that would last him, as he grows up, because much as it pains me to admit it, he’s not a baby anymore.
In terms of colour, I love the contrast on orange with the deep blue green, so an orange velvet chair was top of my wish list. I find it’s good to have an idea of what you want before you go…even if you do end up being tempted by the other wares on offer.
I was briefly distracted by the teal version of the chair I eventually ended up with, but that was because I couldn’t see the shade I wanted in the first section of the store I was viewing. Luckily I did decide to peruse the kitchen department because as well as the pink pans, I also found a whole other section of furniture in, you guessed it, orange velvet. Yassss!
I quickly honed in on the mid-century modern style of this armchair in a Marigold velvet. Don’t tell him it’s Marigold orange, mind. Its a compact style which is perfect for the corner of his bedroom, but has a deep enough seat that he can still curl up with his favourite book. And it was £149.99 which is a steal in my eyes. To reserve it I simply caught the eye of one of the super helpful staff who marked it up as Sold, and notified the delivery team that it was on its way to a new home. I went downstairs to pay and they told me the chair would be delivered the following day. Then you simply go to the till and pay for your item/s, before heading home to make space for its imminent arrival. But I wasn’t finished yet…
While I was browsing I had spotted a floor lamp with a marble base for £59.99 which I thought could work well as his reading lamp. The room is definitely quite dark in the evenings so different light sources is important. The main pendant in here can be a bit too bright, so an overhead lamp was a good solution to create a cosy vibe. I love the simple design, and the fact that it has a sturdy, solid base which won’t be easily knocked over when his friends come to play.
The final item I bought him was I’ll admit, a bit of a frivolous purchase, but it’s also another great example of what Homesense does really well. Quirky talking points. I spotted this astronaut on one of the shelves in the Home Decor section early on (it was £39.99) and I could instantly picture it becoming a major feature of his dark blue room. Do I want a metre tall metallic astronaut in my lounge? No! But would Raf love it in his bedroom? I knew the answer was Yes! And love it he does.
So that’s my Homesense haul, oh and the pink terrazzo pans. I could have bought wayyy more but I’m proud of myself for demonstrating some self-restraint. That said, I am planning a return trip next time my mum comes to stay.
Raf loves his new book corner and couldn’t wait to get up there last night to read to us. It didn’t even take any persuasion like it normally does. In case you’re interested in what’s on his reading list at the mo, here are a few current faves. We bought him You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed because he sometimes struggles with confidence academically speaking and we’d heard great things about this book. It talks a lot about how to deal with negative thoughts and sayings like ‘I can’t’ and ‘I’m not good enough’ etc and gives you the tools and tricks to develop a growth mindset instead. We have seen a noticeable difference in him since we’ve been reading it so I’d definitely recommend it. He also loves the Sam Wu series, the Oscar series, How To Train Your Dragon, Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss and anything from Flying Eye publishing house.
I’d love to hear about your best Homesense bargains in the comments below, and/or any books you recommend for a 7-year-old boy.
This post was a paid partnership with Homesense but I had to freedom to chose the product and create content accordingly. All words, thoughts and opinions my own.