My Room: Paloma

My Room: Paloma

Carrie McBride
Mar 4, 2010

Anya wrote in to share her daughter Paloma's elegant yet fun and quirky room: We completed Paloma's room in a summer, before she was born. Neither of us had done anything of the sort before. We grew up in design-less Soviet and post Soviet apartments with rug covered walls and the same furniture as our neighbors.

Our bedspreads never had anything to do with our sheets and we were lucky if some of the wood tones of our furnishings matched. We were never taught that a living space can be beautiful as well as functional and that good design is a friend of function and not its enemy. When we finally realized this ourselves, the opportunity to create a room for a newly cooked person made us thrilled and left us absolutely obsessed.

We were on a limited budget, but wanted to use eco-friendly materials - those two don't always go hand in hand. We did our best, dropping good cash on some things, but mostly sticking to all items affordable and reused. Before, the room had white walls and horrid white synthetic carpeting. We had been dreaming of hard wood floors and almost had them installed, but learned about cork. When this material is obtained, the outer layer of the cork tree's bark is cut away while the tree carries on growing in the ground. Most cork trees survive that practice and develop a new layer of bark. We love the floor, it remains a perfect temperature, is very easy to clean, and is ideal for a crawling, running, and falling kid.

We lost loads of sleep over the wall colour. White walls are nice, but we were bored with white. We didn't want bright colour either, because whether we like it or not, children's rooms get swamped with neon toy plastic of every imaginable colour really quickly and it is impossible to put an end to it. Grey is the best, especially when combined with white. We decided on grey-green walls and white furniture. Suffered a few more headaches while choosing the paint chip, "Aloof Green," and finally had non toxic AMF Safecoat paint custom mixed at an eco store. We ended up being very satisfied with the colour, it's deep and calming. Also, our walls are complete chameleons now, shifting tone throughout the course of the day. That summer, I watched In the Realms of the Unreal, a film about Henry Darger, and used his art as inspiration for painting the dresser.

Thanks, Anya and Paloma! (See more on Anya's blog.)

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