This is certainly the case for the girls’ bedrooms upstairs, which Nicole has carefully decorated to reflect their two very different stages in childhood. Ivy’s bedroom has a mini drum kit and she loves to chill out in here, listening to Avril Lavigne, or practising the drums. Her father, Paul, is teaching her and when she was a baby he would put her in a sling and play. “This room is on its third makeover – it started off green, as I didn’t know what sex my first baby was going to be, then pink for the little-girl phase,” says Nicole. Ivy asked for the room to be red, but a red abstract floral rug on the floor with sky-blue walls was a compromise. Ivy particularly loves her dressing table – another of Nicole’s finds from a primary school – and the mini school desk was bought in Somerset, on a trip to Paul’s parents.
Faye’s bedroom is painted pale pink with a blue ceiling. “I’ve added clouds, because small children spend a lot of time lying in their beds or on the floor looking up at the ceiling,” says Nicole. She and Paul have encouraged both girls to indulge in make-believe, so naturally there is a fairy theme. Above Faye’s bed is a giant mural of a fairy playing a flute to a rabbit; it was painted by Alonza Bevan, the bassist for Kula Shaker. Faye also loves to dress up, so the back of her door is jammed with costumes, while books are crammed onto every shelf. There is a refreshing messiness about both rooms – proof that the girls love to come up here to play. They are also encouraged to display their own artwork and each girl’s room has a painted canvas, decorated by friends and family. “We left the canvas that is now in Ivy’s room with paints and brushes next to it in the living room and anyone who visited could have a go,” says Nicole.