When Bianca Acke was faced with the tricky task of creating bedrooms for her four young children, Summer, 6, Ava, 4, Arlo, 3, and Chloe, nearly 1, she was determined to develop a space that would grow with them.
The Hamilton-based founder of Le Edit, a unisex children's clothing brand ("because I have four children and hand me downs go without saying"), didn't let the overwhelming task deter her and she successfully created two simple, lovely rooms for her children.
"There is no set theme, I just found pieces that I loved," Acke said. "I think that should work for everyone because if you and your kids love it then you'll be happy with it, it doesn't matter what other people think."
Acke described the spaces as "quite a gender neutral space" which was styled using neutral colours like black, white and grey with warm wooden accents.
She ensured the space had some personal touches by expanding her clothing line to include handmade bedding for each child.
"All my designs begin for my children," Acke said. "It's just things that they love. For example, I was reading Arlo pirate books and he was really into sea creatures and octopus at the time. I like things that are educational as well, so I was drawn to the idea of creating ocean map sheets. For the girls I decided to create sheets with camelia's on them because Ava's middle name is Camille. So everything is really personal."
On top of this, Acke made a black and white and a grey and white striped blanket because she wanted to give her a children sentimental, quality piece that would grow with them and wouldn't be a throwaway item.
To accommodate four children into a small Hamilton home, her two eldest, Summer and Ava and the two youngest, Arlo and Chloe, share bedrooms. A sleep deprived Acke said that situation can sometimes have its ups and downs.
"Sometimes they all muck around and don't go to sleep when we want them too," Acke said. "That's one of the downsides, but if you live in a small house you don't really have a choice when you have that many kids."
"Despite this, there are a lot of positives as well. The girls absolutely love being in each other's rooms and they say 'I'm scared without her' if we ever split them up when they are being too naughty."
Having four kids forced Acke to be smart about her furniture purchases. The kids' bedroom's are filled with handmade pieces, Trade Me buys and vintage finds that are able to grow with the children.
"Your kids furniture doesn't have to be expensive," Acke said. "All the kids drawers I got off TradeMe and we sanded them down and re-did them ourselves. Arlo's bed was an older bed that was in my parents' garage, we had a friend build Summer and Ava a bunk bed that can be detached if needed and Chloe's cot is a classic find that can convert into a toddler bed."
"One piece of advice my mum gave me was if you only ever by things new then you run the risk of it all aging very badly," Acke said. "But if you mix and match, you can get some new pieces, mix them with some vintage finds and the space won't date as badly."
Despite the online popularity of her handmade children products, Acke said she had only four motivating factors.
"At the end of the day, it's all for them," Acke said.
"Everything I create is for my kids and it's just a bonus that other people seem to like my creations as well."
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