A New Room for Lola


Hi guys, it’s Holly! As you may know from our recent Instagram announcement, I am due to have my second baby in February, which means Lola is going to be a big sister! At the age of nearly 8, this is a pretty big deal for her – and us. In preparation for the new arrival, we felt it was important to get Lola settled into her new role as soon as possible, starting with a fresh and more functional new ‘big girl’ space as we start to transition our home to accommodate the new little person. We decided to move her to a new bedroom (across the hall from her old room) which offered more room for a larger desk area. In fact you might recognise the space, it’s our old bedroom! Read below how we have transformed the space into a sweet but sophisticated little room for our big girl, using lots of what we already had plus a few new pieces against a beautiful Farrow & Ball backdrop.

You’ll remember from our bedroom reveal that this room started off all colours of the rainbow, then swiftly received a good lathering of white paint across all surfaces. This satisfied us for the time being while we enjoyed a crisp, clean bedroom (this was back in 2015) while we renovated other areas of the house. For Lola’s new room, I wanted to give her a playful but more grown up and personal space to accommodate her creativity and meet her needs more than the old room did. A warm and inviting room, with a neutral base but certainly not bland. I have loved Farrow & Ball’s Tourbillon wallpaper for the longest time, and though I am not generally a ‘wallpaper person’, I found the perfect opportunity to use it when designing this new room.

Graphic, beautifully textured with thick lashings of white paint on a pale grey base, and subtly detailed, the Tourbillon really does give the room so much depth and texture. On top of that, it has been great for the acoustics in the room – with exposed original hardwood floors, you sometimes need more than a rug to dampen the noise of playing children!

Though we moved most of Lola’s things over from her old room (including the rug, bed and accessories) I wanted to breathe new life into the space with fresh bed linens. A rusty red linen duvet and vintage floral sheet pair so beautifully with a striped linen fitted sheet and dusty pink pillow with pom-pom edging by Magic Linen. I love the palette of colours and subtle patterns against all those luscious swirls. Its calm, yet colourful. Fun and feminine, yet somehow serene.

The rug we purchased for her old room (a vintage Moroccan boucherouite) has always added such personality to her space and she still loves it with it’s wild rainbow of colours. I briefly considered going for a more muted textile on the floor but this rug is just so ‘Lola’ and we couldn’t part with it. I love the jumble of patterns in the room, it’s busy and detailed but it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

We’ve done a fair bit of re-using and recycling in this room. We brought the desk, a sheet of multiplex plywood with drawer units and trestle legs underneath, down to this room from my old studio space in the attic, when I used to work from home. The chairs came from around our dining room table, the shelf above the desk was there in our old bedroom situation, above a set of open clothing racks (remember my old wardrobe?).

With the goal of making Lola’s room as personal as possible, to help her to really adjust to the new space and feel that it was her’s right away, we made a giant ‘memory board’ for her to pin photographs, momentos and artworks onto. We made it out of unused sheets of soft board we had lying around, which I gave a few coats of white paint. So simple, and by far her favourite part of the room.

We prioritised desk space in her room because she is such a creative child and spends literally all of her time making and building things, which ultimately also meant less space for clothes. Nonetheless, we created a small wardrobe area which provides enough storage space (for us, anyway) using an inexpensive cabinet and wall-mounted hanging rack from Ikea.

Against the palest grey of walls (Farrow and Ball’s Strong White), a large original Lola Donoghue painting has pride of place. Accessories, such as a large African basket Hedda brought back from Tanzania for me years ago, handmade walnut hooks from Layer Tree, floral quilt from Schoolhouse Electric, bedside light and almond coloured linen pillows from By Mölle all came along from her old room, with the exception of a People of the Sun basket with a gorgeous mahogany handle on the lid.

So that’s Lola’s new room! What do you guys think of the transformation? If you’re interested in seeing it all take place, hop on over to Instagram Stories where we’re sharing the process.

Binky the cat certainly approves of the new room, and Lola’s reaction when she first saw the finished was pretty memorable too. My favourite line: “Oooohhhh, it’s like, all the same stuff, but it looks much too different to be mine!” 

In the meantime we have been working on another giant home project which will be revealed soon, and we can’t wait to start piecing the baby room together. So much to do before this baby arrives – just 3 months to go. Gotta love those nesting hormones! Luckily for you, I’ll be sharing all of it with you in due course.

Spot anything you love? Here are the resources: Wallpaper: Tourbillon BP 4802 by Farrow and Ball | Paint colour: Strong White by Farrow & Ball | Duvet: H&M Home (colour no longer available but there are others) | Striped linen fitted sheet: Magic Linen | Pink pillow with pom-pom edge: Magic Linen| Floral quilt: Schoolhouse Electric | Decorative pillows: By Mölle, Bolia, Rafa Kids | Eye Eye poster: Fine Little Day | Original Art: Lola Donoghue | Bed, floral bed sheet, bedside stool: Vintage | Rug: Vintage boucherouite from The Gardener’s House (formerly Pink Rug Co. on Etsy) | Wooden train on window sill: Ikonic Toys | Bedside sconce: Nordlux | Wall hooks in walnut: LayerTree | Desk storage: Ikea Alex | Desk chairs: Dille en Kamille | Desk lamp: Ikea Tertial | Glass Jars (on desk) and large lidded basket: People of the Sun | Clothes rack: IKEA Mulig | Drawers: IKEA Tarva | Ceiling light: Tammel ‘pure’ by Jet de Bruijn | Floral suitcase (beside drawers): Merci Paris

// Design, Styling and Photography: Holly Marder  | Avenue Design Studio 

Holly x

3 Responses to “A New Room for Lola”

  1. Mariëtte says:

    Holly, I just love the room! It is colourful and very sophisticated. I think Lola will be very happy creating and playing in there. Wishing you a wonderful next 3 months enjoying what is about to come! Xxx Mariette

  2. Hannalieke says:

    Hello Holly,
    My daughter has the same age, so I can easily relate. I love the warmth of the wood on the white base, and the yet the warm colours that you use. Sometimes some toys of my daughter has screaming and not so matching colours, I wonder how you manage that? Thank you for the inspiration though. Nathalie

  3. Kelly Mahan says:

    That room looks really great.The style really sticks to that inbetween kids and teens.

Leave a Reply for Kelly Mahan