Stepping into two-and-a-half-year-old Levi’s bedroom is like venturing into a vast and magical wilderness. It’s busy but beautiful. A hive of animal activity with layer upon layer of intricate detail. It’s childlike and innocent yet has an air of sophistication that wouldn’t be out of place for an older inhabitant.
The thing we love perhaps the most about this imaginative room set is the level of personalisation, and its creator’s evident love for all things DIY. That creator is Sara, mother, flight attendant and VIP Relations Manager for German baby brand, Rookie. Of course, we should add to that extensive list, self-taught stylist, queen of upcycling hacks and owner of Made Of Stardust, a shop specialising in custom nursery art and decorative items.
Project Levi’s Room’ began during quarantine in May and took just over five months to complete. Sara suggests starting with colours and wallpaper first and buying the larger pieces of furniture. This allows you to see how the room looks with the essentials. Once she had established the baseline, she set about shopping for the dressings and accessories, keeping her eyes open for those ‘special finds’ in the least obvious places.
Come with us into the wild and discover Sara’s passion for taking affordable furniture and thrift pieces and turning them into bespoke works of art. There’s a powerful lesson to learn from this room tour. You don’t always have to spend big to design an epic room!
Our first clues to the origins of this room concept are the myriad animals, a real love of Levi’s. It was around this fondness for nature that Sara constructed his bedroom. She wanted to achieve a warm and playful space that oozed calm and cosy. Her choice of colour palette positively contributes to this goal. A muted collection of earthy natural hues including rust, copper, taupe and pistachio lay the foundations for a cacophony of soft furnishings and unique accessories.
Perhaps you’ll recognise IKEA’s extendable Minnen bed? The inexpensive steel frame gets a total overhaul with an extensive paint job using Belton spray paint. It took weeks to sand, prime, spray and seal, but the result is a wonderfully warm terracotta that works well with the mix of different woods in the room. This labour of love also demonstrates Sara’s commitment to customising the everyday and making a piece feel less commonplace.
There’s so much detail it would be impossible to comment on everything. Still, we can’t help but notice the shelf storage elephant from @thecardboardco and the dreamy cinnamon-striped cloud cushions by H&M. We also spot a piece of Sara’s handiwork in Levi’s personalised Christmas stocking, a signature item from her new Made of Stardust collection.
An IKEA closet becomes anything but off-the-shelf with a taupe chalkboard paint makeover and some tasteful home-grown graffiti. A bold ‘Into The Wild’ text is tempered by a splash of bunting and a carefree kite, and there’s an artfully drawn frame at child-friendly height – perhaps encouraging self-expression via a dose of doodling?
With little room between the wardrobe and door, Sara combined a slatted IKEA bed frame and her DIY acumen, to create a space-saving shelf. Amongst the delights on display, we see another of Sara’s creations in the personalised koala clipboard art.
Anyone for coffee? An ingenious role play station is the by-product of lockdown and some serious upcycling. It’s hard to believe that a couple of wooden boxes, a discarded play cafe found in the neighbourhood and a vat of acrylic paint would result in this alternative take on home-brewed coffee. We love the way that this recycled store chimes with Starbucks own mission; to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time. There are also important lessons to impart to our budding barista, young Levi, in creating covetable toys with a sustainable ethos.
Sara has always had a leaning towards custom design and prefers to discover and create pieces that are not easily found in every other kids’ bedroom. It’s this desire for the individual that yields masterpieces like these fabulous dressers. They may have started life in a soulless IKEA stockroom, but they emerged out of the warehouse wilderness as protected species with Sara’s very own signature safari stamp on them. The dresser knobs are animal toys cut, painted and screwed on. Sheer brilliance!
There are still more nods to nature with a tactile felt plant and a super-cute birdhouse, both by @kidsdepot.
An alternative placing of the leopard rug by Kwantum on the wall creates impact and adds texture and the simple silhouetted balloons by CottonMonkeY add an ethereal quality. Jolly bunting waves a daring splash of colour across the wall, introducing strong shades of orange and green, but still aligned to the room’s foundation colours.
There’s licence to go big on accessories in a room like this. The sheer quantity is made possible by keeping the colour palette tight and the artful arrangement of pieces. It may look casual, but a colour too far or an ill-considered placement could have thrown the entire structure into disarray.
Another shining example of Sara’s quest for individuality is this vintage wooden dresser that she found quite by accident in a secondhand store. She removed the original gold handles and substituted them with matt black alternatives to craft an edgy finish. The dresser has a majestic air sitting against the grey mono jungle wallpaper. There’s adventure at every turn. A round shelf full of jungle animals, a vintage horse for rides to imaginary lands and a fabric globe for discovering the seven continents of the world.
Duktig with a difference! A stalwart of kids playrooms and interiors, the IKEA play kitchen more often than not receives a makeover of the glossy or metallic variety. We love how this hack retains all the style but with an understated Scandi vibe. The au naturel look has been achieved using wooden dowelling cut to size to create the fascias and a tree branch to hang mugs and utensils from. It speaks of mud kitchens and forest schools. It feels wholly appropriate for a jungle-themed room – precisely the kitchen you would expect an avid adventurer to cook up imaginary meals in.
Every room needs a corner like this. A shaft of light seeping in through the voile curtain illuminates the vintage giraffe. He holds court over the easel-shaped mirror that catches some of Levi’s extensive wardrobe in the reflection (a weakness that Sara confesses to in stark contrast to her savvy approach to styling and upcycling). A corkboard and homemade sign announce ‘Welcome to the jungle’ and what an extraordinary expedition it has been. Thank you, @momager.onduty. The pleasure has been all ours.
Lion rug on the wall: @kwantum I Dresser: IKEA DIY I Knobs: DIY I Christmas stocking & poster: @madeofstardust.studio I Wooden bricks: @bena.holzbausteine I Wooden lion: @ostheimer I Wodden tent: DIY I Rattan bowl: @kwantum I Box: @zarahome I Felt plant & bird house:@kidsdepot I Shelf: @hema I Bast lion: DIY I Balloons: jmn.made I Keepsake box: @laublust I Airplane:@baghera I Giraffe in corner : vintage I Canopy & bedding: @granit I Bunting: @kidsdepot
Pillows: @kaerwei @kidsdepot I Wallpaper: @kwantum I Light sign: @petitbowie I Moon: @dm I Clouds: @hmhome I Pegrack: @kwantum I Elephant: @thecardboardco I Rug: @kwantum I Rainbow garland: @depot I Round shelf: @koziolgermany I Shelf: @ikea slatted frame I Nutcracker: @petitbowie I Playkitchen: @ikea + DIY I Cart: @smallfoot.holzspielzeug I Basket: @jmn.made
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