Play Room: Laura Marsden

Scarlett and Isla's inspiring play room
The textile designer and founder of Lettie Belle, Laura Anne Marsden, is mum to Scarlett Isabelle, 4, and Isla Rose, 1, and lives in St Albans. Here she reveals her secrets to creating the perfect play room.

What's the theme?
There isn’t a specific theme, I just wanted to create a fun, relaxing and stimulating environment for Scarlett  and Isla to play, read and be themselves. It was important to me that the room is easy to tidy up, and that they can help! I created many of the decorative details, which I think adds a unique feel to the room.

Did you have a starting point?
The starting point really was the fact we could have a play room in our new house, so I began by making fun pieces like the giant pompoms. The giant abacus and rainbow rocker inspired a very colourful feel. I love the Hello Dodo dinosaur prints, which are colourful and simple in design and are a favourite of Scarlett.

How involved in the design was your little one?
Well, the room is filled with their favourite things: dinosaurs, butterflies, owls and pink (in moderation) all feature. Scarlett loves to rearrange the toys on shelves, and she will let me know if she doesn’t like an element of the design!

Most inspired piece?
I love the daybed. I think it fits the room perfectly, even my husband agrees, after initially calling it a ‘garden bench’. The girls play on it all the time, we read stories and snuggle up on it and it’s a cosy, welcoming place to be.

Best bargain?
The vintage kids’ chair. I picked it up in a local vintage shop for about a fiver, it gets a lot of use!

Five shops/websites you used in the process?
Habitat, Ikea, Verbaudet, Next and Debbie Cripps for felt and felt shapes.

What aspect of the room does your child most enjoy?
I think they really enjoy having a space which is just theirs. They love having friends over to play in it, and get everything out to play. The serving hatch is also ‘the café’, and is a really fun, if retro part of the room, encouraging hours of imaginative play and funny voices!

How did you balance style with practicality?
I kept the storage units very simple and the décor on the walls, or where the kids can’t reach anything. The cushions are easy to wash and surfaces wipeable. The nicer wooden toys are displayed, and double up as decorative pieces, the plastic ones are in the storage boxes in units!

Top tips?
Don’t stick too closely to a theme, I think it’s nice to bring different ideas together to make a more interesting room. Go shopping in vintage/charity shops, there are some great finds there. If you have time, try crafting something with your child for the room. Make sure you like the finished room too, it’s easy to create a pink palace which the children love, but you can't stand.

Check out Laura's delightful felt cushions and other home wares for children at

Nifty storage solutions. Spot the Lettie Belle cushion.

Isla modelling the day bed. Love the giant abacus

Vintage train sets add character adorning simple shelves

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