As an American raising Australian children, I often think about ways to infuse Aussie culture into their day-to-day lives. Because I’ve been the primary care giver for the last 20 months, they’ve been bombarded with Americanisms that will either ostracise them from their peers or position them as the coolest, most cosmopolitan nuggets on the playground.
That’s why I decided a few weeks back to redecorate their bedroom, bringing as much Australian culture into their space as humanly possible.
To bring this bold vision to life, I’ve partnered with Linen House on this fabulous makeover. They gifted me gorgeous products from their Hiccups For Kids range throughout the space – plus I threw in a few other Aussie-themed items (books and DIY projects) to add my own personal flavour to the room.
Up first, the floor!
I’m obsessed with rugs and play mats, so I decided to kick-off the design process there. I already had a teal colour palette in the space prior to the makeover, so when I saw the Aussie Friends Play Mat from Linen House, I was instantly sold.
It’s 120cm rounds and printed on quilted white cotton with Aussie animals and a teal rim. It actually reverses to a fully teal background with a gumnut print, so if you’re anything like me and like to change up your space frequently, this is a perfect (and cosy) option for you. 2-in-1 for just $59.95!
And if your kids spill your red wine on the play mat two weeks after the redesign, you can just flip it over and pretend the whole incident never occurred. Or so I’ve been told.
Up next, the bedding!
After falling in love with the Aussie Friends Play Mat, it was quite easy to make decisive decisions for the rest of the room. I knew I had no choice but to buy the entire Animal Friends set, so bedding was finished in less than one minute.
They have a sheet set for $119.95 and a quilt cover set for $109.95. Similar to the play mat, it pays homage to an array of Aussie animals and flowers, with calming accents of aqua and peach. They are just so damn beautiful!
The sheet set comes with 1 Flat Sheet, 1 x 40cm Fitted Sheet and 1 Standard Pillowcase. A bit big for the cots the babies are currently sleeping in, but that didn’t stop me for using them. They are 225 thread cotton percale and feature a printed cuff and cord piping header.
If you don’t know what the hell that means, let me translate it for you: it’s bloody beautiful!
Up next, toy accents!
Weirdly enough, we didn’t have a single Aussie animal toy in the house prior to parenting with Linen House. And because these are the only damn things the kids will care about, you need to put some extra effort into selecting the perfect ones.
Not only were their Kool Koala and Take Flight Cockatoo Novelty Cushions the perfect solutions for this embarrassed Aussie parenting fail, but they also happened to be the first stuffed animals our babies fell asleep holding. They are large, comfortable and the colours are bright and beautiful.
Up next, the books!
If you follow me religiously on Instagram, then you know that our twins are obsessed with books. There are plenty of great Aussie-themed books to choose from, but these three are our absolute favourites:
- Sydney Word by Word by Sonny & Biddy
- A-Z of Australian Animals by Jennifer Cossins
- Australian Animals by Roger Priddy
I reckon I get more enjoyment out of them then the rest of the family, as (most of) these animals are new to me, so I feel like I’m back in school each time we dive into the reading nook.
Up next, the walls!
You can’t have an Extreme Aussie Nursery Makeover without a little wall art! The A-Z of Australian Animals book came with an adorable poster. I hung that up on the wall and made sure to pull out the book the moment they noticed it. I have to be honest… the kids ripped the poster in half less than 48 hours after I put it up, but it looked so damn cute for those two days!
Which brings me to the very last (and most important) category of all, Custom Creations!
It wouldn’t be a Bringing Up Gaybies blog post if I didn’t weave some crafts into this makeover, right?
I decided to paint three Aussie birds to place above the kid’s cribs. For each bird, I started by Googling cartoon examples to understand the key features were. I then used a pencil to sketch out the basic shape and accents, painting over those thin lines with black paint. Then, much like a traditional paint-by-numbers, I filled in the leftover white spaces with various colours that I hand-mixed to match the actual birds. Each painting took about two days in total, with drying and various coats depending on the birds natural colours!
I then got the kids involved with their own bird “paintings”. This is a super simple project I learned from Studio DIY. You just cut anything out of cardboard (Aussie birds in my case) and place them in Ziploc Bag with blobs of paint. Then hand them to the kids and let them smash their creations around the house.
The last thing I did was let the kids decorate some Aussie art of their own. The Hiccups For Kids range actually comes with this adorable koala art that you could easily frame to tie in all your new Aussie accents. I decided to give that poster to the twins and let them take black markers to it. I then added the art piece to the gallery wall above their Arts & Craft station.
In total, the makeover took just two days. Minus the painting, it took minimal effort for maximum impact. The twins loved the change in the space, singing “BIRD! BIRD! BIRD!” each time they notice the paintings. And I found myself a new favourite online retailer, so who’s really the winner here?!
Until next time, stay crafty!
Important Information: This post was sponsored by Linen House. They did not pay me to write this post, but they gifted me the products and provided me with information for each item. Additionally, each photograph was taken by the amazingly talented Ramone Minchero.