MEET Savanah & Noah
Who lives here? Shelly, 36; Tony, 36; Cahlia, 18; Savanah, 4 and Noah, 2.5
Where? Central Victoria
Aesthetic: Cubby house chic
For mother of three, Shelly, decorating the rooms of her youngest two children has been wonderful fun – and it shows! The spaces are the stuff that small children dream about with fun colours and specially made items that inspire imagination. At the same time, they are spaces that are still easy on the (adult) eye. “When my eldest, Cahlia (now 18), was growing up I didn’t own my own home and I therefore felt that I couldn’t decorate her nursery or bedroom exactly as I would have liked,” Shelly explains. “As soon as I fell pregnant with Savanah, I started on a nursery. I was just so excited to be able to decorate it any way that I wanted. That excitement has definitely extended to the kids’ rooms now. I love creating unique pieces for them and seeing it all come together. I also love that they have such a special space with beautiful things made for them by their mum and dad.”
Moving into a new home when Savanah was about two gave Shelly further motivation to create a special space for the children. “We decided to build Savanah a bed so that Noah could have her cot. Originally, the bed accommodated a cot mattress and then we later converted it to a single bed. When Noah was about two we decided to start on his new bed. He probably could have stayed in his cot longer, but when I start a project I like it finished yesterday,” laughs Shelly. “Once the beds were complete, they became the basis for the theme of the rest of the room.”
“With Savanah’s room, we made the tree first and I knew I wanted it to be girly and pink so the rest of the pieces in her room fit around this. With Noah’s bed, I was unsure about colour. I knew I didn’t want it to be dark wood, but I also didn’t want to paint it a colour. In the end I decided on a white wash finish, and once again, I continued this throughout the room.”
Shelly says the kids have a playroom in the house, but rarely play in it. “They tend to drag their toys into the family room,” she says. “They do love playing in Noah’s ark though! They often take their toys in there to play.”
Being so young when Cahlia was a baby, Shelly knew there were a few things she wanted to do differently when Savanah and Noah were born. “I used to have to cuddle Cahlia to get her to sleep and I swore that any more children would be fed and put to bed to get themselves to sleep! I have been very strict with this for Savanah and Noah and both have been great sleepers from an early age.”
All three of her children are very different and Shelly has found that a ‘favourite age’ with each of them growing up has been a different time. “With Cahlia it was when she was two, with Savanah it was that time between six and nine months and with Noah it was around 12 to 18 months. Cahlia is so caring and empathetic and Savanah is such a people person and so loving, but both girls are like me in that they are easily frustrated and very stubborn. Noah is so sweet natured and really funny and he absolutely has Tony’s nature – placid, sensitive and easygoing. Although, since turning two he has definitely developed a stubborn streak! I am hoping that is the terrible two’s.”
With three strong willed children, Shelly doesn’t think much works with her kids when it comes to discipline. “Mostly we find that time out is the most effective. Just to sit in a part of the room with no toys for a period of time. I think discipline is the most challenging part of being a parent – dealing with difficult behaviours and being consistent with discipline.”
“There is so much to love about being a parent though,” says Shelly. “Watching your children grow and become their own little person. The love you receive from them too, knowing that you really are the most important thing in their world and that they trust you so completely.”
Shelly says that her and Tony haven’t altered their home décor or aesthetic in order to fit around having children in the house. Toys are stored in wicker baskets and things that don’t quite suit are housed in the toy room. Shelly also finds that thinking outside the box when it comes to furniture means that you can have unique pieces that suit the home rather than the age of the child. “You don’t have to buy things brand new. You would be surprised at how beautiful upcycled furniture can be. Not to mention how much fun it is to create something old into something modern. Noah’s bookshelf and chest of drawers were in great condition but I didn’t like the colour of them. I sanded them back and stained them to match his bed and they look brand new. Colour can also change the appearance of anything. Savanah’s chest of drawers and doll’s cradle were both secondhand and looked horrible, but a new coat of paint and they were beautiful. You just need to see the potential in things. Almost anything old can be recreated into something beautiful and unique.”
Thanks so much for sharing, Shelly. I think your creativity sure helps with creating such lovely items!
THINGS SHELLY LOVES ABOUT HER KID’S ROOMS:
- The beds. I love that they both have a special bed that has been created just for them.
- Floating shelves. They are such a great idea to hold all of those special little knick knacks that can accumulate – and most of the time you have no idea where to put them! I use the shelves for the kids’ most special items that I want on display.
- The colours in both rooms. Savanah’s room is so bright and airy, you can’t help but feel happy in there. Noah’s room is beautiful with the timber furniture but it isn’t dark or dull, it feels quite beachy.
- Savanah’s rocking chair. This is a new addition to her room, we made it a couple of months ago. Although it isn’t perfect, we love it and, most importantly, Savanah loves having her own special chair.
- Noah’s oar hat rack. My mum purchased it for him and it not only fits the theme of the room perfectly, but the colours are the same colours that I used throughout. It’s the perfect way to display his hats.
THINGS THAT SHELLY & HER FAMILY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
- An ear thermometer. Kids get sick often, and an ear thermometer is the best invention. You have a temperature reading in seconds – which is great if you have a wriggly, irritable, sick child.
- iPad. The kids love them! There are so many great apps available – not just fun games, but educational ones too. The best thing is that the kids don’t even realise that they are learning while they are having fun.
- TV. You can always count on the kids to sit quietly if their favourite program is on. It’s a great opportunity to rush around and quickly tidy the house or cook tea.
- Each other. Although this isn’t a material thing, it is definitely something that we couldn’t live without! It’s not always a harmonious household, we can definitely get on each other’s nerves, but we are who we are and that’s family. We take the good with the bad, and we couldn’t live without one another.
ADVICE FROM SHELLY:
Enjoy them – even through the difficult times – because before you know they are grown up and no longer your little babies!