As a Mom, I consider Back to School my New Year. Spring cleaning is done in the Summer for me as well. I wanted to share with you over the next 6-weeks my own, ‘Back to School Challenge’, that I did over the summer.
This summer was quite a big change for us. I needed to get us ready for my son’s going away to college clean-out, leaving my daughter with the upstairs for herself most of the year. So, this first week is sharing with you how to decorate a kid’s room, using my daughter’s bedroom makeover as a good example.
Always start your design using their interests, their favorite things. My daughter’s love/passion is musical theatre, so we knew that had to be in the design. She has been acting, singing and dancing since she was 3 years old. Her Broadway Cinderella poster was actually the inspiration for the room. (this is a collectible not available anymore so very treasured by her)
My kids are my toughest clients. My daughter is very determined and knows what she likes and dislikes. She didn’t want the designer custom look, she wanted her own space that really highlighted all that she loves and that works for her. She turned down the custom bed, desk, and bookcase ideas. My very determined daughter wanted things was from online places she found, so we created a Pinterest board and saved her favorites. Here is the link to a special Pinterest board I created with her.
You see we moved her into the big guest bedroom, so she had more space to practice and have good areas to study and just relax. Here is the plan we created for her. In any space, small or big, always starting with the floor plan it is a must-do. Creating zones sleep, study, and dream are her zones.
Next, you will need to pick a color palette. She wanted her favorite color purple to be the wall color, so we found this fabric from a trade source, Duralee’s Eileen Kathryn Boyd Collection (mystery, plum). She really loved this and it went with the colors in the poster. With the fabric in hand and the poster we knew would be the focal points, we chose bedding and paint. The bedding we found was from PB Teen with coordinated pillows that she liked, and then we painted the walls with a color from the bedding and drapery fabrics. The color is Sherwin Williams Potentially Purple SW 6821.
The furniture was next, starting with the bed. She like this daybed from RH Teen, I liked it for the perennials fabric they have which is indoor/outdoor fabric (durable) since she wanted an off-white upholstered bed. This is my Marker Girl so everything is stain resistant including the carpet. The bed’s legs were too traditional for her, so I found acrylic legs online and was able to screw them in place of the ones it came with. The side tables were ones I had used in my office for a while – custom-designed and built, she really liked them so I opted to give them to her. For lamps we went with the contrasting navy pulled out from the fabric.
Next was all about her books. She loves to read hard covered books and is not much of kindle user at all. My daughter isn’t really tall so she didn’t want a very tall piece to store her books. Now she can easily reach her favorite books. I found this bookcase from Stanley Furniture kids Stone and Leigh collection. I added a bean bag chair (PB Teen) she could sit on to read and use when visiting with her friends. We found a few more fun items to group over her bookcase. She is studying French at school so I added a “Revez” (Dream) downloadable print I found on Etsy, along with an illustration she loved that she said reminded her of herself. The unicorn represents how she feels a lot of time and is a symbol to embrace her uniqueness. We also included a few favorite photos. We created a little spot to let her imagination run free.
We chose this desk and shelves from PB teen which was a real perfect fit for our layout. She also wanted a dry erase board that I found from PB teen but opted to clip off the clothespin wires so she could use the whole board. She can put photos, just doodle and use letter magnets for more fun.
From there it was picking out the drapery hardware. I found this line from Paris Texas hardware custom paint collection for her drapery – really great for kids’ and teen rooms. The fabric really fills the space up well. The paper lantern pendant is from Lamps Plus – she really likes this and it lights up the room well since we can’t put recessed lighting in this ceiling.
Then came her big request, wanting all of her posters hung on the wall. After a few different layout options, we came up with this using West Elm’s frame collection.
The final part was accessories to fill her the shelves, all found at local stores mostly from mainly Home Goods. We added with a few more prints, a few of her latest reads, along with some of her awards and souvenirs. One very important frame piece is a signed Playbill from the original cast of Dear Evan Hansen. I made sure that started the whole bookcase story by placing it on the top bookshelf.
When decorating with a teen remember to include them throughout the process. I had some difficult moments like the shade of purple she wanted didn’t match the drapes and wasn’t quite a good shade for a bedroom being very loud, and how to display all of those posters in a nice gallery versus dorm-style with thumbtacks or putty. But after we did it, she really learned a lot about design and is extremely proud of her room. She’s been asking me when I was going to post the photos – got to love that she is room proud. But she has stated she does not want to be a designer, she will leave that to me.
While cleaning her room is still not her first priority and still a bit of a challenge, I found since we really finished this project she is not leaving it so messy and really works at cleaning it up especially when friends are coming over. Her closet is what Week 2 is all about – the next thing I worked on with my back to school challenge this summer and what I discovered motived her to keep her space clean.
Get this look... I pull together a few details here from her room. If you would like to see all the links we have then go to this special Pinterest board I created with all of the items from the room that is available to purchase.
*These links are affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase something, I may get a small commission from it at no cost to you. I only refer things that I would use myself and recommend to clients!
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