Before & After: A Teen Bedroom Grows Up

When I was asked to help two vivacious and fashion forward teenage sisters create the bedroom of their dreams, I was ecstatic...then terrified. They wanted "bold." Their generous parents wanted "reasonable."
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Thankfully, the parents were not wedded to Laura Ashley, and the teens did not insist (for long) on the necessity of neon graffiti covered walls. In the end, the agreement was to create something that the girls wouldn't tire of next week.
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Once the graffiti idea was behind us and I had a general sense of what the sisters liked, I assembled a group of inspiration images, and asked them each to tell me a few of their own preferences. One sister's inspiration list included a Sephora bag and a Union Jack— an ode to their British grandmother who lives with them— and the other sister insisted on animal print, and requested that the room be neither too matchy nor too loud.

We started by painting the walls Benjamin Moore's Simply White— my favorite white for North facing rooms because it has the slightest hint of warmth while still reading as a pure white. I used painter's tape to paint the far side of the room (which has three doors) in bold black and white stripes. Next, we scored the antique basket chandelier for a song at the Old Luckett's Store. The linen union jack pillows came from etsy seller, Ruby Stella, a total pleasure to do business with. Originally we planned on small x benches at the end of the bed, but the girls wanted extra storage space for magazines as well as more surface space for lounging, so in came the mammoth tufted ottomans which have gotten more than their fair share of use.

The only glitch was how to tie in the headboards that the family had previously purchased. Spatially, the most logical space was the wall with the two windows, but the windows were unevenly spaced on the wall, and the headboards were almost ten inches wider than the window frames. To accommodate, I decided to do upholstered pelmet boxes slightly wider than the headboards and hung at the ceiling with opaque floor length drapes that would make the windows appear wider than they really were. I scored inexpensive white cotton duck cloth and black grosgrain ribbon, and sent them to the talented Paul and Nancy Johnson of Paul David Design to be turned into pelmet boxes and curtains.

As for their original furniture, we incorporated a few items while shipping the rest down the hall to their younger sisters' room.

(Images: Leah Moss)

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