Thanks for stopping by for another interview in our series, Mini Maison Meets. This time I'm SO excited to introduce me to one of my Instagram favs: Coral Atkinson. Coral's business Velveteen Babies was one of the first I followed when I joined Instagram... her handmade garland and mobile designs are BEAUTIFUL and she is always innovating and reinventing her products. Coral's most recent designs in linen are things of actual beauty.
So here's Coral's interview, I hope you find it interesting and gather some top design tips for your children's' spaces... she's given a LOT of inspo here, so it's a great read.
How did you get into the world of interiors?
I have always been interested in interiors, right from Sixth Form back in 1998 when I completed a course in interior design, and had to learn to draw to scale. It’s always been a passion. I remember creating a bedroom scheme and loved every second, I probably put more work into that scheme than my A-levels!
Describe your interiors style in three words
Eclectic, Contemporary, Fun.
From where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! The internet mainly, magazines and Pinterest and Instagram, especially. My travels when I get the rare opportunity.
Describe your own home
We are about to move to a 1960’s house from a turn of the century town-house so I will be reflecting more of a light mid century feel in the interiors of our new home (Note: Coral has now moved into her home and you can see the beautiful changes she's making on her Instagram - hello floor to ceiling windows!). The tall ceilings of our existing home will be sadly missed as they allow more flexibility for colour and lighting, but it’ll be fun to consider new ideas. We have three small children so I’m always very considered towards their storage requirements and keeping a scheme from being too formal or strict. My style evolves constantly and and I rearrange things all the time.
What’s the most important thing to consider when designing/styling a kids’ bedroom?
A good balance of it being fun and inspiring for them, but also maintain some design credentials! Apart from that, creating a cosy, comfortable space that they feel completely at ease in, and somewhere to empower them. That, and toy storage!
When decorating a child’s bedroom where should you never cut corners?
I think taking time to paint and decorate as professionally as possible, and also investing in good quality flooring. A cheap laminate would last about 5 minutes in my boy’s room!
How would you give a kids’ bedroom a new lease of life without breaking the bank?
Prints, rugs and/or bedding. You can even find some inspiring products on the high street that don’t cost the earth, and mix them up with a few kids-design shop finds such as Mini Maison - I think a few really lovely prints make such a difference. Poster hangers are a budget friendly alternative to framing prints and it makes them so easy to change up. H+M Home, Zara Home and Urban Outfitters are my go-to’s for some really good finds.
What’s your favourite current trend that translates well into children’s spaces?
The current ‘nod’ to nature with muted colours and textures, plywood furniture, wicker and linen work so well on a small scale. I adore the current trend of mustards, dirty teal blue and muted blush, all really gender-neutral and a bit less obvious but really beautiful.
What’s the most satisfying aspect about creating a kids’ space?
It’s the ability to have fun, create a bit of magic, but also challenge myself to keep it clean, don’t go OTT, and allow a scheme to evolve over time. I often pack away decor details and prints and swap them over every month or so to keep things fresh and inspiring.
What are your preferred colours & patterns to use in a kids’ bedroom?
Each scheme I work on varies - at the moment for Willa, it’s smudgy greys with hints of dirty blush pink, rose and hints of vintage metallic. For the boys, I like using greys with white and plywood, and I love the idea of some washed teal and mustard for their new bedroom, but as it’ll be a small room I’m conscious of keeping it as light as possible.
Any top tips for soon-to-be-parents designing a nursery?
Try to avoid the obvious high-street nursery matchy-matchy thing. It’s so easy as first time parents to be lured into the new novelty world of high-street nursery chains, who are very clever with all their coordinated nursery room themes. It’s all a bit clinical and lacks a spark for me. Try looking on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration and shop from the wealth of talent you’ll discover on there. Avoid being too ‘themey’ and opt for a colour palette and build in prints, textiles and accessories. You probably won’t use the nursery that much at the beginning, so I’d suggest a neutral base, that way you can add in colour when you know the baby’s sex, or you may find your tastes change, so don’t rush, just enjoy the process, you’ll have plenty of time once baby lands!
What trends do you predict being ‘big’ in the world of kids interiors in the next 12 months?
I think we’ll see less strong monochrome (now the high street is jumping on that look) and we’ll see a softening in kids interiors. More earthy colours, more natural fabrics, more use of wood, and I have feeling we’ll see more of bed canopies, quilting and baskets as storage. I think we’ll start seeing terracotta as a colour working its way into schemes, and wood instead of bright white for framing pictures.
What’s your favourite product that we stock at Mini Maison?
There's too many! The monochrome grid teepee by Wildfire Teepees is on my ‘list’ as it combines fun with contemporary styling so well- both child and adult friendly!
Paint or wallpaper? Paint
Carpet or wood floor? Wood floor
Traditional or contemporary? Contemporary
Pastels or brights? Muted… does that count
Introvert or extrovert? Introvert with a cheeky side
Minimal or eclectic? I’m 50/50
Wood or marble? Both!! (sorry!)
Chrome or brass? Brass
Cats or dogs? Dogs
One thing you couldn’t live without; From an Interior perspective then my Normann Copenagen Trolley!