Combining vintage and modern in children's spaces, with Helen Shaw Owner of blue ticking.

At Blue Ticking we are a little obsessed with furniture that has character and a past. We love how a simple vintage school desk or old letterpress tray can
transform a space and add real charm. We also love mixing the old with the
new and this is exactly what we have tried to do in our two daughters
bedrooms. They each have two or three vintage pieces that sit perfectly
alongside more modern items and room décor. For me, this is the key; picking
a small number of stand out heritage gems that help bring the room together
and give it a unique feel.

When we redecorated Edith and Maggie’s rooms last year we knew that we
wanted a desk to feature highly. Both kids love to colour and create and a
desk provides the perfect spot for this. Now Edith is a bit older (the grand old
age of 8) and has a lot more ‘stuff’ we knew that she needed more space to
house everything and get her creative juices flowing!

We therefore chose a wooden double desk that had a shelf underneath for her pads and stationary. To add another pop of colour and to tie everything in we chose a metal legged chair which we then sprayed blue. Above her desk Edith has lots of prints and vintage Amish barn stars, a Block pegboard to hang her bits and bobs and a cork pin board. It very much feels like her space and shouts of her personality, which is exactly what we wanted.

Maggie is a bit younger (6) so we decided to go for a single desk in her room,
but like her sister she has a lot of stationary so we chose one with a lift up lid
to store everything inside. To make it a bit different for her we then added a
chalkboard lid, which she uses all the time to practice her sums and doodle!
We then paired it with a red metal legged chair. Like Edith she has a Block
pegboard above her desk as well has her favourite swinging rabbit sticker by
HAM. Maggies room feels very playful and again reflects her cheeky

As well as the desks they each have a older style chest of drawers as well as
caddies on castors which again tie in really well with the other room décor. It
can seem daunting at first to come up with a scheme for a room, but I have
certainly learnt over the years not to be afraid to give something ago or to mix
and match styles.

Both rooms will grow with them and whilst we will no doubt change things
around we have tried to ensure it’s a space that works for them now and in
the future. By adding two or three vintage pieces to a room means you can
swap things around as the space and they evolve.

Picking the perfect vintage desk

I have talked quite a lot about our daughters desks because these for us are
the focal points of their rooms. To help you decide what desk to go for here
are a few questions to consider before making a purchase.

  • How long do you want the desk to last for? Is it s stopgap or would you rather get something that works for some time? Personally I would always invest in something that lasts and will grow with the child.
  • What will they use the desk for? If homework maybe focus on a bigger worktop so they have plenty of space for all their books etc.
  • If you have siblings would it be worth getting a double desk so they can sit together?
  • Will the desk be used to house all their stationary and pads etc. If it is, maybe think about one with a lift up lid or shelf underneath
  • Do you want a single or double, a metal or wooden desk? There are lots of different shapes and styles out there to suit every space and discerning little person and parent!

Setting up your own creative space

I’ve touched on creative spaces a little above because they are an important
part of our home and family life. The kids each have a desk in their rooms
which they use for more solo creative activities and then we also have a craft
table in the playroom which they often use together. We passionately
believe that having a creative space is so important for children and
adults alike. They enable kids be kids and grown ups to relax and
feel inspired. No matter how big or small we all need that nook, desk
or corner to do our thing.

With this in mind I thought it might be helpful to provide some top tips on what
you might want to consider when putting a creative space together.

1. Pick a designated space in the home where your child feels
comfortable and relaxed. It could be in their room or in a more
communal space. It doesn’t have to be a big space, just a space that
they feel happy and creative in.

2. Ask them what they would like in their creative space. It could be a
desk or simply a few cushions in the corner where they can sit and
draw or read.

3. In order for kids to be creative they need things to hand. Try and have
a creative station that they can reach and can easily get things out.
Obviously make sure it includes items which you are happy for them to
use without you, so it will be age appropriate.

4. Make sure it’s a usable space and not one that just looks great, as
tempting gas this is!

5. Our children love showing off the things they have created so if you
have space why not add a gallery wall to hang pictures or include a
display cupboard for all their creations!

You can read lots more about creative spaces and peruse our selection of
desks and other paraphernalia on our website.


Enjoy creating!