Please trust me when I say, a mattress on the floor has never looked so good! When Marlo’s room came across our editor’s desk, there was no question we would feature this nursery sans cot! Departing from the traditional nursery set-up is a reality for so many of us, yet so rarely spoken about.
Ceramicist, Lee, and Architect, Chris, are a creative pair with a shared passion for design in any form. Marlo’s room and playroom are full to the brim with carefully considered pieces, each serving their own purpose. The commitment to this family’s design aesthetic is unwavering, and the result is nothing short of spectacular!
TELL US ABOUT MARLO AND HOW HER ROOM CAME TO BE!
“Marlo is eight months old. We knew we didn’t want a classic ‘nursery‘ or ‘baby’ room, and we definitely didn’t want a perceived girls‘ room. It’s a space that Marlo can grow into, a room that is accessible to her from the start. To foster her independence, we have things within her reach and we designed it to cater to her personal growth. Basically, we want for her to feel she has ownership of her possessions / toys / clothes from an early age.”
DO YOU FOLLOW ANY PARTICULAR PARENTING PHILOSOPHIES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
“I had many ideas about how I would parent before I had Marlo (as most of us do)! It has been more than 16 years since Chris was a father of babies, so we quickly found many of our perspectives changed once she was born. As a result, we are a mixture of a few different philosophies leaning towards respectful, gentle and attachment parenting.
For example, Marlo hated the pram from day one so I wore her most of the time when we were out and she would just instantly fall sleep! We also incorporate Montessori and some RIE (Resources of Infant Educarers) into our parenting, the basis of which is to trust children to be the initiators, explorers, and self-learners. Essentially we don’t adhere to one method as there is no space for flexibility, so we just do what feels right for Marlo.”
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF FOR THIS ROOM?
“The room was set up prior to Marlo being born, but after a couple of months it just felt totally wrong for her. There was a cot and a ‘nursing‘ chair – all the things I’d read we would need for a nursery. But as she grew, we just didn’t parent that way so we had to make the room fit us, and fit her. We wanted a calm and accessible environment not one filled with toys, and we were lucky enough to have the space to create a separate playroom for her.”
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
“The Montessori idea that all things should be accessible to your child, that they have the freedom to move around their own space and have access to their belongings, and for there to be no sleeping restraints, such as a cot.”
I LOVE THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN A MATTRESS ON THE FLOOR RATHER THAN A COT, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT LEAD TO THIS DECISION?
“We had a bassinet in our room when Marlo was born and we had a cot ready for the six-month transition, however, I wasn’t ready for her to go in her own room. When the time came for the cot we did use it a couple of times but after one hard night, I brought her into bed with me and it was amazing. I slept better and Marlo slept better. It prompted me to do some research and a floor mattress just seemed the most obvious natural solution for Marlo.
It is something I never thought I’d do, however being so far away from my own family support I needed to be more flexible to find what worked for us. So I joined some online groups and made sure I followed the safe seven guidelines. So many mothers co-sleep / bedshare and there is still so much secrecy around it. It’s obviously hugely important to do it safely and it doesn’t work for everyone, however it just worked for us. If she cries out in the middle of the night, I can just lie down with her and give her a cuddle. She’s so happy in her room.”
YOU HAVE CREATED SO MANY INCREDIBLE FEATURES IN THESE SPACES FOR MARLO – WHAT ARE YOU FAVOURITES?
“For me it’s the bookshelves and reading corner in her bedroom. Chris and I both loved books as children and still do. We would really love Marlo to enjoy them. It’s a great space to sit and read to her. I also love the little play space we have created off the living area – a perfect little hideaway for her.”
Styling: Lee Henshaw
Photography: Francoise Baudet
I’d love to know, would you ditch the cot for a floor mattress? This nursery certainly has got me thinking!
For more pics of Marlo’s gorgeous play room, check out Minty Magazine Issue 13 BE BOLD