When Nelia van Wyk decided to create a nursery for her little one Nell, an old bed’s head and footboard gave wings to her fairytale fantasy. Here’s how her story goes…
Once upon a time…
I had a base made for the brass headboard and footboard which I received from my mother-in-law, and painted the once dark purple walls an earthier colour to match the room to the rest of the house. An ordinary workbench in front of the window serves as a workspace so everything’s readily at hand when Nell needs changing. I also wanted to use the cantilevered windows effectively.
I was largely inspired by old things that were a steal at second-hand shops, or that came to me from moms and grannies – the old shutters cost me R50 and I just added a few pretty hooks here and there. That was a fun, cheap and easy project; the hooks costs between R25 and R60 each. The hook shelf comes in very handy now for towels, jackets and the like. And it was fun ferreting out the old tins and containers for the workbench.
The corroded lamp has a low-watt bulb, making it the perfect nightlight. The old-fashioned bath and pram captivated me (but I bathed my baby in the bath at night!). And it’s now home to Nell’s rag dolls Heidi, Min and Cinderella. The enamel basin and jug on the workbench were also a gift from my mother-in-law, while my mother had used the antique cake tin for rusks.
The floral-patterned blue-and-white enamel basin started life as a mixing bowl in my mom’s kitchen. The antique cap in the frame belonged to my husband Hennie’s grandfather, and the photos of Nell on the matchboxes are my own handiwork.