What happens to their bedroom when your child flies the nest? It’s an emotional – as well as a decor – dilemma that Lorraine Kelly faced, after the “wrench” of her daughter Rosie leaving home to work abroad.
Hanging on to its dated teenage style and clutter because it brings back nostalgic memories of their childhood is one choice, which Kelly admits she indulged for a couple of years.
Leaving the room unchanged, she admits, made her feel her only child could “come back home any second”.
Of course, ruthlessly clearing out their possessions minutes after they’ve gone, and turning the space into a ‘spare’ or hobby room is another option – but bear in mind your offspring may have mixed feelings about that!
There is another way though, which the popular TV presenter discovered was a happy medium: Creating a new sophisticated ‘grown-up’ sanctuary – which you can enjoy and they’ll love when they come back for visits.
Kelly enlisted the help of online interiors brand, Wayfair.co.uk, for the task. The result is a room that’s stylish and still has that ‘home comforts’ feel that returning grown-up kids so appreciated – and it could be just what you need to inspire a revamp of your own ’empty nest’…
“I wanted this to be a welcoming room for Rosie when she came home from Singapore (where she works for a charity),” explains Kelly, 59, who says her daughter’s room was “quite tired before and there were so many soft toys!”
Kelly – who along with her husband, cameraman Steve Smith, recently downsized from their Dundee mansion to a new home in Buckinghamshire so she’s nearer to London for work, presenting ITV show Lorraine – admits the room had been “a little neglected”. Recreating a beautiful bedroom for her daughter was a priority.
Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor for Wayfair, worked with the pair to transform a room filled with unused furniture and childhood treasures into a “functional, quirky” space in keeping with Rosie’s taste, which Lorraine describes as “cheeky yet elegant”.
A light pastel colour scheme offset by deeper hues, such as midnight and matte black, is a hit with Lorraine, who says: “I personally love the colours (which are a bit like a Neapolitan ice cream!) and the clever use of space.”
Her priority was conjuring a relaxing, cosy environment which balanced clever storage with trend-led furniture and fun accessories, explains McCowan Hill – and to create a room in the new house that “Rosie could feel truly belonged to her”.
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Gold details and luxurious touches, such as sheepskin throws, a velvet tub chair and a cosy knitted bedspread, have ensured style and comfort combine. Kelly says delightedly: “It’s completely transformed and I love how bright, modern and elegant it looks.
“Rosie’s always loved fashion and design. She was involved with the makeover from the start and is over the moon with the end result. The wardrobe’s full of extra clothes that she doesn’t need in Singapore but will be invaluable whenever she’s home.
“I miss her, but I’m so proud that she had the gumption and confidence to travel and work abroad,” Kelly adds. “It’s tough to let your children go, but you need to let them fly.”
When updating a bedroom for absent offspring, McCowan Hill stresses: “It’s essential to take on the clutter. Strip back those once sentimental items and recycle and re-purpose. Keep hold of nostalgic mementos from younger years by all mean,s but re-think how they can be stored.”
She advises incorporating them into creative displays on a sleek, modern bookcase, or carefully stowing them away in quirky woven storage baskets.
“A pastel colour palette’s a great base for a transitional bedroom space. It reflects the quirky, playful teen years but is also trend-forward enough to work in a grown-up room context. Just add dashes of contrasting colour to give it an edge,” she suggests.
“Graphic wall art can add personality to decor. For Rosie’s room, we picked prints which included quotes from her favourite TV show, Sex In The City, and tropical wall art to remind her of her travels.”
- Press Association