5 Minutes with Sian Cullingworth – Looking at what’s trending in kids decor

Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director of Decorex SA

Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director of Decorex SA

With extensive experience in marketing and communications strategy and business development, Sian Cullingworth is the Portfolio Director of the Lifestyle, design and retail exhibitions at Reed Exhibitions SA.
Sian started her career in the automotive industry and then moved to head up the marketing team at a top 5 non-profit organisation, before moving to Reed Exhibitions. Within 4 years Sian added two new shows to the portfolio growing it to the powerhouse it is today.

We caught up with Sian to talk about her new journey into motherhood and what is currently trending in kids’ décor.

1. You have a baby on the way, how has it changed the way you look at décor for children?
I have always loved the grey and white neutral pallet for baby’s rooms. So when I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to decorate the nursery with a style I have always loved. I have now just used cloud accessories as a playful, whimsical aspect of the room.

2. It is always interesting to see the different ways you can furnish a baby’s room. What has been your method?
With any room stick to what you love. There are so many trends out there that sometimes it becomes overwhelming to decide on what to choose and how to execute. I decided on a colour palette first and then it starts coming together. Once you have the furniture style and colour you love, start adding in one or two trends that compliment your style.

It’s important that it becomes a special place that feels comfortable and calming. I already spend time in the nursery every day, because of the calming colours and playful theme.

Sian’s baby room

3. Give us a sneak peek into your baby’s room – what look and feel have you gone for?
I love changing room styles in my home with paint – it can change a room completely or just add a new dimension. When I found out I was having a boy I chose a grey with a blue undertone, with a white dado rail to break up full colour walls.
The furniture I chose is white a modern – something I love, adding accents of greys and blues in toys and linen breaks up the starkness of the white furniture.
I fell in love with a cloud mobile, that I have hung above the cot, which inspired me to add a whimsical cloud theme to the nursery, from linen to wooden dye cut wall decals.

Sian’s baby room – cloud theme nursery

4. What is trending at the moment in baby décor and bedroom settings?

  1. Letterboards
    Sometimes you just need to spell it out – letterboards are sure to add a smile to anyone who walks into your baby’s room. These are also great for photo announcements and bumpies.

    Letterboards

    Letterboards


  2. Scandinavian Design
    The declutter of the clean lines of Scandinavian design and its signature natural wood featured in furniture is still a major trend in nurseries.

    Scandinavian Design

    Scandinavian Design


  3. Master Bedroom Nooks
    Parents who are pro co-sleeping are now decorating small corners of their master bedroom for their babies. We are now seeing furniture that can transform from a small crib to a cot depending on space and size.

    Master Bedroom Nooks

    Master Bedroom Nooks

  4. Modern Boho
    The laid-back, bohemian aesthetic that’s taken over the fashion world has entered the baby room. It’s all about textiles and accents like fringed tassels, a single hanging plant, handmade wall hangings and even hanging chairs.

    Modern Boho

    Modern Boho

  5. Large scale wall prints
    This trend has taken the design industry by storm in 2018 and we are now seeing parents being brave and incorporating it into their nurseries. Whether we’re talking clouds, animals or florals, the bigger the better.

    Large scale wall prints

    Large scale wall prints

  6. Velvet
    This textile has made a comeback in the last few years on the décor scene. Be on the lookout for velvet rocking chairs and scatters.

    Petit Love in the Rooms to grown feature, Decorex Joburg 2018

    Petit Love in the Rooms to grown feature, Decorex Joburg 2018

  7. Modern Farmhouse
    This is great for gender-neutral. Mixing old with the new, from soft toys, to furniture to your mom’s rocking chair from 30 years ago!

    Modern Farmhouse

    Modern Farmhouse

Reference: Project Nursery, Mother and Baby and Fit Pregnancy

5. What must-have item would you recommend to a new mom?
Right now a rocking chair – I love my chair already. I am looking forward to spending many hours with my baby in that chair. Once he is born, I may recommend a new must have!

Sian Cullingworth

Sian Cullingworth

6. Which exhibitors have really stood out in the kids’ décor industry?
Clever Little Monkey is a great online décor and furniture store for baby and kids rooms.  Their collection is beautiful and there are so many options and themes to choose from.
Petit Love is also a great online store and their custom design work is magical.

Clever Little Monkey in the Rooms to grow feature, Decorex Cape Town 2018

Clever Little Monkey in the Rooms to grow feature, Decorex Cape Town 2018

Petit Love in the Rooms to grow feature, Decorex Joburg 2018

Petit Love in the Rooms to grow feature, Decorex Joburg 2018

7. This or That:

  1. Pastel palette or bright colour pops? Pastel palette
  2. Wood or rattan? Wood
  3. Floral prints or monochrome? Monochrome
  4. Brass & Mixed Metals or Natural Accents? Natural Accents
  5. Animal prints or abstract design? Abstract design
Top left: Pastel Palette; Top right: Wood; Bottom left: Monochrome; Bottom middle: Natural Accents; Bottom right: Abstract design

Top left: Pastel Palette; Top right: Wood; Bottom left: Monochrome; Bottom middle: Natural Accents; Bottom right: Abstract design

Don’t miss The Playroom: Children’s Décor Project at Decorex Durban, Cape Town and Joburg in 2019.

Decorex Durban
21 – 24 March 2019
Durban Exhibition Centre

Decorex Cape Town
1 – 5 May 2019
CTICC

Decorex Joburg
7 – 11 August 2019
Gallagher Convention Centre