Post by Amy of This Little Miggy Stayed Home
I approached The Land of Nod last fall to help me design a room for my 2 daughters who would be sharing a room for the first time. The main catch? One daughter has special needs. They happily accepted the challenge! Designing with special needs in mind is a common concern for a lot of parents, and often one that is much more about functionality than fun. Whether there is extra medical equipment in the room, sensory issues to take into consideration, or in my case, physical limitations to work around, special needs families often have more problems than solutions when it comes to room design. Our daughter, who goes by Lamp on my blog, was born with limb differences on all 4 limbs and therefore she doesn’t have long arms or ‘grabbing hands’ as she says, and can’t stand or walk independently. What she lacks in limbs she makes up for with a spitfire personality and a strong desire for independence. Designing a room that will be accessible and foster this independence while also serving the needs of our older daughter was the challenge. Creativity and good design can often save the day and luckily The Land of Nod has them both in spades.
First I connected with Tim, one of designers on the The Land of Nod’s Design Services team. Tim was so great to work with–SUPER patient with me (coughcoughfickelcough), a great designer and his mom also has a limb difference, which probably doesn’t usually get the reaction that it did from me which was, No way! That is so cool! And it is. Tim really gets what it is like to work around a physical disability and helped think up some great solutions for the room.
Going into the design process, there were three things I had already done with the room that I wanted to keep including:
- The paint colors: the walls are a medium grey with a nude pink on the ceiling.
- Matching Jenny Lind beds: one a vintage full size we refinished and the other is a Land of Nod toddler bed.
- A star wallpaper hack that I DIYed on the ceiling.
I loved all three elements of the room, but I needed help creating a cohesive look and finding storage solutions to accommodate both girls. With the stars on the ceiling as my inspiration, I pitched the idea of doing a camping/outdoorsy themed room. Tim liked the idea and we ran with it.
I wanted to include my girls in the process, but not too much or we’d still be at square one. Ya feel me, moms? So I asked them if they liked the idea of having an outdoor theme and both girls loved it. Yay! Second, I asked them each to pick out three different bedding choices and we would use one of their choices for the room. We all loved this idea since bedding feels like the most personal part of the room. And, of course, it was still hard for them to narrow it down to just three–ha! Then I went through the catalog and made a list of various items that I thought might work well for the room. At this point Tim asked for room dimensions, window sizes and got to work putting together a couple of different Pinterest boards for me to check out. He actually made 3 separate boards. 3 boards ya’ll. I told you he was patient. We landed on the second board pretty early on and made some tweaks here and there.
The great thing about working with Tim is that he would often check with me to see if I thought a certain product would work for the girls–especially Lamp–but he also had some great ideas in terms of accessibility that I wouldn’t have thought of. Together we aced this room. For example, I knew that the floor book bin would be a great option since finding stylish, low-laying book storage is like finding a golden unicorn, while Tim came up with the idea of hanging the Good Hare Day Wall Mirror low next to Lamp’s bed so it would be just for her. He also found an extension cord for the periscope lamp that has a push button on the floor. You guys, she can now turn a light on and off all by herself! For our family, this is just plain genius.
I wanted this space to be functional for two little girls of differing ages, sizes and abilities, but I also wanted it to be beautiful. And it is. Accessibility is important, but just is important is how they feel when they’re in that room. A beautiful room feels like love and love wins every time.
See more pictures and the full reveal on my blog This Little Miggy Stayed Home.
Amy writes This Little Miggy Stayed Home. She likes to blog about life, special needs, her artwork, the occasional DIY, and whatever strikes her fancy. She also blog a lot about her family–her husband B and their three daughters. Her daughter, blog name Lamp, was born with a condition that falls under the umbrella term of limb differences and basically means that her limbs are, you guessed it, different. Coincidentally she was also born with extra awesome. You can read more about our journey under Lamp Links. About a year after Lamp was born, Amy started a series on my blog called The Special Needs Spotlight where she interview other families and individuals about their special needs situations.