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Oliver's montessori room all Ikea — and how to do it

May 19, 2015

When I was pregnant, while waiting for our little Oliver, we read a lot about the Montessori method and philosophy, and how to integrate it at home, in our everyday life. We loved the idea that Oliver would grow independent since his very first months and we decided to follow our instincts and go for it. It wasn’t an easy choice not to have a classic crib—leaving the known for the unknown—and we knew we would have risen some eyebrows. But going against the flow wasn’t anything we hadn’t already experienced with our paleo diet. We could definitely handle it ;)

When we started thinking about his room, two things were very clear to us:

  • Some of the rooms we saw on the internet were minimalistic to a point they weren’t even pretty. We love design and we knew we wanted the room to be beautiful—to our standards at least—as well as montessori.
  • “Montessori” furniture is very expensive! Woodly, for instance, has gorgeous items but they are really not affordable!

So we decide to do what every smart ;) person would do: take a trip to Ikea! This is the result and we are very happy with it. It’ll have to change and evolve with Oliver, but for now it is good enough.

The sleepy area

The montessori bed

Truth be told, the idea of having a mattress on the floor wasn’t appealing to me. I love the reason why you’d want to have your child’s bed on the floor, but I wanted to find a cleaner, more hygienic solution.

The Sniglar bed frame seemed perfect: light colours, Scandinavian style and minimalistic. Just the way we like it! We bought the frame, sawed the legs off (here how to do it), added the mattress and—done! A great montessori-inspired bed!

Read what happened when we moved Oliver to his room and how his montessori bed has evolved since.

The jungle stickers

I fell in love with these stickers the minute I saw them (this is the only non-Ikea item). How could our little monkey not have his very own jungle? I’m so happy we got them because every morning, when Oliver wakes up, he speaks to his friend Raffe the Giraffe.

The play area

The montessori mobiles

I make myself all the montessori mobiles and then hang them with a nylon/cotton thread attached to the ceiling with a hook.

The shelves

We would have liked to buy the long Kallas Shelving unit, but because the room isn’t very big, we had to opt for the square one. The frames are also Ikea and then I patiently selected images online—I decided for the insects series as I think the nature theme is calm enough—and printed them in a big format, to help concentration.

As it wasn’t easy to find them and buying them is quite expensive, I created a pdf for you that you can simple download and print. :-) Here it is!

… and everything else!

  • Leka play mat. A simple thick blanket would work too.
  • Minde mirror. A mirror is very important in a montessori room.
  • Ekorre toddle truck, because Alex said “Oliver’s room needed it”. Sweet!
  • Tåstrup carpet. A carpet is important if you have a marble floor. When Oliver will start crawling we might want to find a warmer solution also for the other half of the room.
  • Poäng armchair. I got used to sit on his bed when he wakes up at night to feed, but this armchair would have been sooo comfy!
  • Toys. We like wooden and fabric toys, but Oliver likes pretty much anything he can chew. The roll—nice to learn and practice crawling later on—is a common plastic inflatable one that I covered with a pillow case and closed in a candy shape.

The gate

We live with a hairy beast—our gorgeous, curious long-haired golden retriever Colbie— so we have to have a gate. Before installing the gate, Colbie woke up Oliver more than once by sitting next to his bed and wagging her tail. The Patrol safety gate with extension is the only long enough one we found (as we wanted to put in the corridor, not at the door) and that folds to take as little space as possible.

I participate with this post on the #changebeginsinyourfamily Link Up hosted by Montessori en Casa.

What a great idea! Let's share the Montessori philosophy and change our future generations. Sharing is caring!

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.