Name: Sebastian, 5 years old
Designer: Sissy + Marley
Location: Brooklyn, NY
We were first introduced to young Sebastian's nursery in 2011. Its minimalist and well-tailored aesthetic immediately transformed my preconceptions about children's decor. Sebastian's mother, Chelsea Reale, one third of the children's interior design mavens Sissy + Marley, has transformed her son's space from dreamy white nursery to a graphic, high contrast bedroom befitting an energetic 5 year old superhero.
Using their award winning Lucky Star wallpaper, in which they collaborated with designer Jill Malek, the group brought instant drama to these once serene quarters. The black and white space, with its strong Scandinavian influences, is broken up with small pops of colorful accessories.
What was your inspiration for Sebastian's room update?
As he quickly approached 5 years old, we knew it was time to update his dreamy, all white nursery to reflect the energetic, lego-loving, super hero obsessed, and charismatic kid he has grown into.
How did Sissy+Marley's wallpaper collaboration with Jill Malek come about?
It's a long story, but the short of it is...we are both obsessed with great prints and wallpaper, and together we knew we could create magic and design a stylish, playful, and inspiring collection of wall coverings for children's spaces.
How much input do the children whose rooms you're creating have in the final design, and what was it like having your own child as a client?
When designing nurseries, it's more about what the expecting parents are dreaming about. But once that little person has a mind of their own, it's all about them. It's important that the child connects to their space and that it is filled with all of the things that make them happy, whether it is a color they love or things they are obsessed with. From an aesthetic point of view, our job is to magically make the kid and their parents happy. Since we know all of the things that make Sebastian happy it was quite easy, though he is a tough critic.
Our only regret is not doing it sooner. Sebastian loves his new space and being in his room. He actually sleeps in his bed all night now, so we are kicking ourselves that we didn't do it sooner, as we spent many nights sandwiched in bed all together getting beat up by this little guy who is a very restless sleeper.
Do you have a favorite source for children's decor?
Too many favorites to choose one.
Tell us the truth, on a regular day, does your son have ugly toys scattered about? (because mine does!)
Ummm....Yes! That's why we love all the cool storage boxes and bins to hide unsightly toys.
Do you have recommendations for where to splurge and where to save in a child's bedroom? What was your biggest splurge and save in Sebastian's new room?
We love mixing high and low pieces in every room and re-creating rooms that we splurged on in a budget-friendly way. There are so many amazing pieces out there these days at every price point that, whatever your budget is, you can create a drool-worthy space. Our biggest splurge in Sebastian's room was his DucDuc bed, but we felt that it was worth it as he will have this bed until he leaves us and goes off to college. It's gorgeous and very special. Sebastian loves the trundle that his Nonna or cousins sleep in when they come over. The biggest save was his Ikea desk. It is a perfect fit in size and style for his room, so we didn't need to go overboard here. Actually, this is his favorite spot in his room.
Any DIY's in this bedroom?
His daddy made his chalkboard using chalkboard paint and molding. And his Nonna made his hand-sewn lightning bolt (or shazam as he calls it) that is framed on his shelf.
Has your design sense or philosophy changed since designing Sebastian's nursery 5 years ago? What advice would you give to parents designing their children's rooms?
I think our design sense and philosophy have stayed the same, but our obsessions with color and print change all the time. Our only advice would be to have fun, dream big, and create a magical space for your child to laugh, play and dream in.
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(Image credits: Marco Ricca)