A Chat and a Coffee with The Baby Cot Shop
Welcome back to the Les Enfants Parties’ blog where we showcase the very finest from our children’s party planners and more, In today’s blog post we share a coffee and a chat with Toks Aruoture of The Baby Cot Shop as we discuss all things design related.
What inspired you to become a designer?
I sort of fell into interior design. My friends and family kept asking me to do up their homes and when I was unable (and unwilling) to go back to work following the birth of my third son. I happened to be reading a book where a reader had written in asking the author how one discovered one’s gift. The author’s response was; “your gift is that thing you do effortlessly yet everyone else wows at it.” For me, that was interior design. It was a surreal moment where the answer to my unasked question arrived at the precise moment I needed it. So I enrolled on a couple of interior design courses, set up a residential firm which I ran for a year and then went into retail of nursery and children’s furniture. I merged my design background with the retail business and thats how I started to specialise in the design of spaces for babies and children.
What are the three most important aspects to consider when designing a child’s room?
Space, practicality, and comfort. When you are designing for a child, space is of utmost importance. While we all believe the larger the space, the better, it does not mean that a small space is a disadvantage for parent or child. You simply need to take the space in consideration and not fill every inch with furniture. Children need floor space to crawl and play and it’s essential to provide as much of this as possible. On the flip side, a large room can run the risk of being too big which can evoke feelings of emptiness and may feel cold and unwelcoming. If you are working with a large room, choose warm colours especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light coming in. A large space can handle bold prints on the walls in the form of large scale wallpaper design or a wall mural.
What activities take place in here? Many parents choose to have a live-in nanny or a night nurse that shares the room with the newborn baby. If this will be the case in your nursery, a sofabed will be needed along with suitable storage for the nanny’s belongings. Choose a sofabed or a daybed that fits in with the design of the room. If your child’s bedroom will double up as a playroom, you can create a reading nook using a canopy and if space allows, a couple of beanbags. Will your child have guests for sleepovers? A bunk bed will be a worthy investment, or you may prefer a single bed with a pull out trundle.
For parent and baby, this is a must. You will spend many hours in the nursery especially when your baby is newborn. A comfortable nursing chair for feeding your baby or reading to your little one is a great idea. Choose one that is upholstered and swivels as well as rocks. The upholstery gives you flexibility in fabric choices, the swivel action allows you to reach for items without the risk of straining your back. Add to the nursery or bedroom, various textures like a wool rug or lambswool. Babies are tactile and will enjoy exploring the different textures.
When choosing your products what do you look for?
When I design for parents, I try to capture as much of their personality as possible from the way we interact and from their lifestyle. There is no use designing a space that feels awkward to you even though your friends may think it’s beautiful. So based on their existing decor or their own tastes, I choose appropriate furniture design that tells their story. The cot is the star of the room, so it is important that the rest of the room design feeds into it. I like to draw inspiration from something that means a lot to the parents. This can be a favourite childhood story, hobby or past time like sailing or travelling, or even a single heirloom item. My goal always is to create a space that is serene, and speaks to the heart of the occupants. With textiles, I recommend cotton for baby bedding., especially in areas that come into direct contact with the baby’s skin. We also recommend organic baby mattresses which help to regulate the baby’s body temperature and are free from allergy-causing-chemicals.
How do you remain original and true to your designs?
Because we are all individuals, I am able to design baby nurseries and children’s bedrooms that are reflective of the parent’s personality or desired ambience. With that, no two designs are the same.
What are your influences?
I am inspired by expertise displayed. Whether this is done by a brilliant actor on stage, a talented craftsman with a piece of furniture or a gifted writer in their element, the unbridled display of natural talents moves me every time. All of this in action gets my creative juices flowing as I feel the pull to leave my own stamp wherever I go.
What are the must have looks for this Autumn/ Winter?
Go for rich textures through the use of wool and natural products rustic themes, unpainted wood, outdoor elements like driftwood and leaves make for a cosy and natural space. Warm, earthy tones on walls and textiles as opposed to grey will be the way to go. Think beige, yellow, orange, browns.
What would be your dream party?
My dream party will be held on a yacht somewhere in the mediterranean. The theme will speak of the impossible being possible- I’ll leave that to be translated by the party planner- and it will be decorated in pale blue and white with a touch of gold. Lionel Richie will perform alongside Ed Sheeran and Anita Baker. Maya Angelou will be the life and soul of the party as everyone gathers round to hear her words of wisdom. Other party guests will include Michelle Obama, Sara Blakeley, Kate Spade and Paulo Coelho. Food will be provided by Jamie Oliver!
once again, we would like to thank Toks for taking the time to chat with ourselves. Whilst you are here, why not check out their range of beautiful luxury children’s furniture for some more inspiration? We’re simply loving their luxury feeding chairs that are as comfy as they look!