Emma’s Eclectic Handmade Home

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Emma
Age: 2
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Room size: 11×13 ft

Cinti Gonzalez owns an adorable kid-centric shop called My Poppet full of an eclectic mix of handmade items (made by her!), vintage and other unique finds for kids. It’s no surprise that the nursery she created for her daughter, Emma, is the perfect reflection of those same things that she loves.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We love the way Cinti has allowed the bright colors of her flea-market finds and handmade accents to shine by keeping the walls white and her furniture designs minimal. They balance each other out so beautifully. Here she shares some of her decorating secrets.

How would you describe the look and feel of this room? What decor styles did you draw from? I would say the room is happy and comfortable. It has an eclectic vintage feel that is pretty without being ‘girly’. To be honest, I couldn’t name one particular style, it’s just a whole collection of things I love or that have a meaning to me. If you surround yourself by what you love it all works together I think.

I just wanted the room to be fun and not too serious. I don’t like everything to be super co-ordinated because it really limits what you can introduce to the room as a child gets older. I’d hate to find the perfect vintage piece not be able to use it because it was the wrong colour! I also want Emma to make the room her own by introducing her own collections as she grows up.

What is your favorite piece or element? Obviously the rug. It draws all the elements and colours of the room together and is so wonderfully tactile. I love that it’s made essentially from discarded materials that have been given a new life.

You are a handmade artist as evidenced by the many pieces created by you in your home and available in your shop, My Poppet. How did this influence your nursery decor? Was adding handmade items a priority for you? I suffer from the incurable condition ‘I can make that myself!’ so making most of the elements in the room was really satisfying. There is nothing quite as nice not having to compromise on colour or style, because I am limited only my imagination and skills.

I think there is something really special about having a connection to the objects that surround you. I hope that Emma feels happy and comfortable in her room, and that she grows to appreciate the value of handmade. Maybe when she’s older we can make things like toys, quilts or artworks for her room together.

Because I am slightly obsessed with vintage textiles, it is almost impossible for me to buy things like bedding from a store. I keep thinking how many much nicer fabrics in my collection that would look a million times more amazing. I even made the cot sheets out of vintage sheets because the only ones available for that style of cot were white. (I occasionally sell custom made Leander cot sheets in my shop when I’m feeling inspired).

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What was the biggest challenge decorating this room? I think the hardest part was what to leave out. As a blogger and avid thriftier, I see so many beautiful images and come across some really lovely finds, that it’s easy get carried away and incorporate everything. I chose to keep a couple of walls relatively blank so things didn’t get to overwhelming. Also the room has 2 doors and 2 windows with no built in robes, so trying to arrange all of the furniture was a bit tricky.

Vintage is obviously a big influence in your decorating style. For how long did you collect these vintage items and what were your main sources? It took me around 2 years to put the whole room together. Most of the vintage items were from thrift shops and the occasional flea market find. I love to look at gorgeous vintage items online, but the truth is that I love the thrill of the chase even more, so finding things myself is much more satisfying than just clicking the mouse. I almost feel like I’m cheating if I haven’t found something myself.

The hexagon rug you made from thrifted jumpers and blankets is nothing short of brilliant. I’ve personally never seen anything like it! How long did it take you to make and what was your process in making it? The rug took 2 months to make. It came about because I just couldn’t find a large colourful woollen rug that I liked or could afford. It’s made from felted jumpers and blankets that were picked up at thrift stores or gifted to me, and had been accumulating in my studio waiting for the right project. One night I just had a brain wave and started cutting.

Honestly I didn’t know how it was all going to work, it just did. The best part was arranging and re-arranging all the pieces until I had the balance right. It took a couple of nights and I did need to cut and source some extra colours to make it all tie together. The funny thing is that a couple of the jumpers were my Mum’s, I can still remember her wearing them in the 80’s. All the pieces were hand stitched together then hand sewn onto a non-slip backing.

If money were no object, what’s your dream source? I’d still love to source vintage items, but maybe in lovely flea markets in Europe or Scandinavia.

Paint colour: Dulux Antique white USA
Cot: Leander bed
Light fittings: original to the house
Shelving units and wall shelves: Ikea (repurposed shop fittings from my old store)
Owl artwork: Look at the Wall
Wardrobe: Found in a friend’s garage and re-decorated – instructions for decals here, knobs: Ikea
Wooden cradle and vintage pram: thrifted
Tree painting: painted by my sister
Floral shelf: thrifted and re decorated by me
Change table/desk: free, discarded from a workshop, I sanded it back and refinished it with Danish oil
Art work over change table: Madeleine Stamer Little circus design
Rug: hand made by me
Fringed floor cushions: Ikea fabric, instructions to make here
Small chairs and lion cushion: thrifted

Thanks, Cinti! Be sure to follow Cinti’s blog where she shares updates for her shop, adventures in thrifting and daily life with Emma. If you like to sew, check out her blog Made of Cloth where she shares sewing projects, wardrobe refashions and tutorials.

(Images: My Poppet)

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