Have you ever seen a children’s bedroom as dramatic as this? We hadn’t before Suszi Saunders (@suszisaunders on Instagram) shared this statement space with us. And we have to say, we’re in love.
The mum of two, vegan interiors aficionado put together this maximalist, monochrome room for her son. Using a combination of ultra-matt Dead Flat and Modern Eggshell in Off-Black and All White to transform the walls, ceiling, trim and floor, she’s created a space that ticks all the boxes. Cool – tick. Washable and durable – tick. Vegan and cruelty-free – tick. We caught up with her to find out all about the transformation.
Can you tell us about yourself and your home?
I live in South East London with my husband and two young boys. We have a Victorian terraced house, which we bought five years ago. It was structurally sound and although it needed updating, there was great scope for extending — that was the clincher for me. We’d moved from a top floor flat with an 18-month-old toddler and I was desperate for my own front door, so I didn’t have to carry the buggy up two flights of stairs every day. Since moving in, we’ve completed a kitchen extension and a loft conversion.
How would you describe your style?
The spaces I enjoy the most are ones with layers of pattern, colour and texture. I enjoy being cocooned by colour so often opt for deep, dark colours, which provide the perfect backdrop for our furnishings. I love mixing vintage and contemporary pieces and I’m a little obsessed with rummaging around reclamation yards and bringing old pieces, like antique chandeliers, back to life.
Tell us about the space before the transformation and how you went about creating such a maximalist space.
Our son’s room has had a few transformations over the last five years. First, we painted it top-to-toe in Studio Green, then our son asked for a blue bedroom, so I painted it with a blue lime paint. This time around his request was “a cool room, mum”. Eek! Tough brief! It’s a small room and I wanted to make an impact, so unlike before, I opted for two colours to create added interest.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
When redesigning a space, I trawl Pinterest and pin anything I’m drawn to, whether it’s the colours, the furnishings or how it makes me feel. Then I look through what I’ve pinned and I’ll often find a common theme. That gives me my starting point. I’ll also search Instagram because this often introduces me to other accounts that share my style.
What made you choose the colours and the design?
I love dark spaces but I wanted to mix it up by opting for a monochrome design. I’ve used other dark greys and blacks from Farrow & Ball but I hadn’t used Off-Black before, so this was my chance to try it. I wanted a stark contrast, so paired it with All White. The combination is dreamy! My love of pattern led me to incorporate stripes, and the old chimney breast between two alcove cupboards presented the perfect place to put them. A kid’s room is the ideal space to be playful, so I decided to follow the stripes up both walls, across the ceiling and onto the floor. My son loves how half the room is black and the other half white. It’s definitely got his seal of approval!
What made you choose Dead Flat and what did you think of it?
It’s my favourite finish! I’ve always preferred matt finishes but with two kids I’ve had to go for the more robust sheens. However, Dead Flat works brilliantly in a child’s bedroom and high-traffic areas because it’s washable and super robust. I was also intrigued to discover it can be used on walls, woodwork and radiators. My decorator said it was a delight to work with and it eradicated the texture of the previous lime paint in just one coat. The depth of colour is so rich.
What do you think is key when decorating a child’s bedroom?
I think it’s an opportunity to experiment in a way you perhaps wouldn’t in the rest of the house. Kids have the most wonderful imaginations so match their creativity and go wild. However, the paint finish absolutely needs to be washable and scuff proof, otherwise you’ll be repainting very soon.
Do you have any top tips for maximalist style, especially when it comes to a children’s room?
Whatever design you come up with, consider how you could push it one step further. Could that mural creep over onto the door or floor perhaps? Could you go oversized with the light fitting? Rather than a few pictures on the wall, how about a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall? When you think you’ve finished decorating, keep going.
How do you see this design evolving as your child grows?
By updating the artwork, bedding and other accessories to match his personality as he grows, I think this design will work for him for a good few years!
Anything else you would like to add?
As a vegan family, using cruelty-free, vegan-friendly products is at the forefront of my interior decisions. This means no animal ingredients in the paints we use. I love that my favourite Farrow and Ball paints, like Dead Flat, fit into this category.