One Playroom and Two Beds Later, This 5-Year-Old’s Space Continues to Evolve
The constant through it all: Circus-inspired stripes.
Published Sep 30, 2023 5:47 PM
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The London home of Sarah Corbett-Winder—a stylist, self-proclaimed “wardrobe whisperer,” and founder of the newly launched womenswear brand Kipper—is a love letter to stripes. You can find them on the bathroom walls, artfully hand-painted in her bedroom, and splashed across lampshades and rugs. As she explains: “I think they all just go together and are timeless.”
Naturally, her children’s playroom in the family home, used by Lyon (5) and Nancy (4), received the stripes treatment, too. “We knew we’d be spending as much time there as the kids, and I think there’s a way of making it exciting for your child and also aesthetically nice for you,” says Sarah. She indulged Lyon’s love of green with a slick of forest-hued paint below the dado rail—and when the space became his bedroom (owing to a reshuffle after the arrival of Celeste, now 2), it took on another exciting transformation with a bed like no other and more magical details.
Here, the mom of three shares how it all came together.
Lyon’s unusual but cozy sleeping situation came about serendipitously. His request for a cabin bed during the height of the pandemic saw his mom and dad raid the local hardware store to build a high bed from scratch, accessed by a ladder. “It was a real family lockdown moment, because we’d have ordinarily been so busy that we’d have just bought one,” says Sarah, recalling how Lyon, complete with his toddler tool kit, “helped” his dad, Ned, to make it. Sarah finished it with a durable chalk paint, resulting in a unique piece for a fraction of a shop-made version.
However, once Lyon decided he wanted a proper “big boy” bed, Ned fortuitously stopped his wife from simply getting rid of the DIY project. By chance, the new bed frame slipped in perfectly underneath, creating a cocooning sleep space and a top “bunk” for Lyon’s sisters or sausage dog, Margaret, to stay over in. “It was one of those wonderful, happy accidents of using what you have to create something new, and now it’s the focal point of the room,” says Sarah.
Another clever use of rehashing what the couple already owned? The dresser. A preloved find dating back to the couple’s previous apartment, it lacked a permanent spot in the family home. The compartments were too small to accommodate the kids’ bulky toys—but cue Ned and his saw. By simply cutting the dividers out, the piece was instantly refreshed. “We bought baskets in lots of different sizes,” explains Sarah, “and I painted [the dresser] in a gloss. It’s given it a completely new lease on life.”
Lyon’s room—which Celeste accesses to get to hers—has continued to evolve as he’s gotten older. With the bed den here to stay, wallpapering the ceiling was “an afterthought,” according to Sarah, but the design choice gives the space a circuslike quality. In addition to stripes, the rattan animal heads have become something of a theme, with the family now collecting them on vacations. “If Lyon sees them somewhere, we’ll bring one home and it’s like he has that memory on his wall,” says Sarah. The armchair has also rotated around the house but finally found its place by the window for book reading. Sarah added a throw as a seat pad for a pop of color—and to extend its life span: “Let’s be honest, kids cause a mess, but the results are always creative!”