Oak Park, IL
My daughter wanted an all purple room. We completely gutted it last year and redecorated it (what we found behind the walls is a whole other story), moving it from the toddler/preschool era into a style more befitting who she is now.
The space is tiny with lots of architectural challenges. Our upstairs is an overgrown attic. Someone added a half-dormer at one point, poorly. The ceilings are low. There are no doors, no closets, and few walls. Each end of the upstairs has a small room, 10 feet square, with pitched sides. We've made these the children's rooms and of necessity they are designed simply. Each room has a twin bed, a desk, a dresser, and shelves built into the knee wall.
We began with the paint color. I found it easiest to give her choices I could live with, so for each item I gathered three or four options I found acceptable and within my budget. I picked up four paint samples in varying shades of purple, and together we painted them on the walls. Then she choose the one she liked best. She took her time with it, looking at the colors at various times. It was fun to watch her envision her space. I did the same thing with the curtains, choosing several fabric swatches and allowing her to make the final choice. Once she'd chosen several purple items, I asked her to choose a contrasting color. She picked teal and then proceeded to freak out when I painted the dresser we'd thrifted (less than $100 people!). She loves the final product though. From there I looked for a duvet cover that had blue and purple to bring things together.
Once we had chosen the big items, I found lots of little accessories to bring things together and make the space feel more grown up for her. The jeweled curtain tie-backs and hooks above the dresser for her necklaces added some sparkly whimsy. There are frames in teal and purple for her shelves to bring the colors over there, too. I found the decals at Home Goods and let her and a friend put them up where ever they liked. I love how she's created little vignettes with her precious objects in the space. Her fairies line the window sill (they like the fresh air and light, you know). There are little Japanese eraser animals set up in lines in a cigar box. Felted animals and elves live in harmony in a wooden house she constructed and painted last year. Even her books are arranged to showcase class photos and favorite items (she's clearly my daughter).
I'm not going to claim it's always this tidy, but as there's very little in there, it never gets too bad. Books and knitting projects everywhere seems to be the biggest problem, and I can't really complain about that. There's always a stack of five or six by her bed and one or two knitting projects in process. It was a lot of fun to create a space with her and choose things for her that reflected who she is now.
Thanks, Kathryn! Readers, visit Kathryn at Designing Around.
(Images: Kathryn/Designing Around)
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