We were so excited when fashion stylist, consultant, editor and The Little Stylist founder Charlotte Kewley agreed to answer our questions and share some of her insider knowledge with us on the Mama Diaries. Charlotte has made it her mission to edit through the masses of babies & children's fashion and share the most special pieces, taking the effort out of shopping for kids.
So first things first, can you tell us who you are, about your family and what you do?
I’m a baby & kids fashion stylist, editor and founder of The Little Stylist where I share edits of the best children's wear from the high street and beyond. My background is in women’s magazines & fashion, but I moved over to kids wear 8 years ago following the birth of my first child. I now have three children aged 2, 6 and 8 years.
What are your top five tips for designing a child’s bedroom?
Buy furniture that will grow with your child. My best nursery furniture buys have been great pieces that they can continue to use (or we use elsewhere in the house) throughout their childhoods. Changing tables and mini wardrobes don’t get used for very long…
Have fun! Little ones’ rooms are a great place to try out more creative ideas and experiment with colours, prints and fun pieces.
Invest in some lovely wall art. I love a mixture of antique pictures and frames and new illustrations – there are so many great prints and fun frames available now too. I love @all_the__things for frames, and @moppetuk have the most beautiful hand-embroidered wall hangings which take any nursery to the next level.
Do be a bit practical. I once made the mistake of buying the most beautiful antique cot on Facebook Marketplace. I then realised it didn’t fit any of the EU safety guidelines (the gaps between the bars were too wide etc.) It looked great in a photo, but I ended up buying a new (still beautiful but also safe) one from Boori instead.
Check out your local vintage haunts, charity shops and Facebook Marketplace for lovely furniture – wardrobes, shelves, trinket wall displays and school cupboards make great toy storage. Plus, you’ll most likely come across some fab wooden or retro toys and books.
How would you describe your interior style?
Continuously evolving. We have an Edwardian house, and I tend to go down the more traditional route with a playful edge – a pop of colour or print. I use a lot of fun vintage props on shoots, so am drawn to eclectic, fun furniture and décor that might come in handy for work but looks good on a shelf in the meantime.
What is your number one kid's item you can’t live without?
Hmm, it changes on a regular basis but currently, a white noise machine in my youngest’s bedroom.
What advice do you have for storage in a nursery or a child’s bedroom?
I love old-school cupboards for toy storage. I’ve also had this Ikea chest of drawers since my eldest was born – in each of their rooms as a nursery painted a chalky mustard yellow – it’s great value and brilliant for storing everything a baby needs, which makes it work in even the smallest of rooms. It’s so easy to paint and change the handles on too.
How do you mix different styles within a nursery or child’s bedroom so that it appears cohesive and intentional?
I think mostly sticking to a tonal colour palette pulls everything together.
How can you make a space feel cosy?
I love texture. Layers of different textures. So wool carpets over floorboards, soft blankets, throws and cushions. Wooden and rattan furniture… a blend of colours and prints. Also, some calming lighting.
What are your favourite pieces from the Willa & the Bear collection?
Do you have any tips for shared bedrooms?
My children have never shared, but I’ve seen so many beautiful images of twin bedrooms designed by Lonika Chande and Beata Heuman, amongst others, recently on Pinterest that I’m tempted to insist they do.
Any other advice you would like to share with us.
Not advice as such but I love all the rattan nursery furniture that’s around now. From Scandiborn and Zara Home… also quite excited that borders are back. An easy way to give a simply painted nursery a fresh update.