Turning a child’s room into a personalized retreat
Written by Leslie Gregory Haukoos
The 16-year-old Westlake Village girl who lives in this tropical paradise loves to surf—when she’s not on the basketball court, that is. Her room was completely remodeled from floor to ceiling and now reflects her love of the ocean.
The teenager worked directly with interior designer Genoveve Serge on the various design choices. “She and I were thrilled with the results,” Genoveve says. “The bold colors have grown on the rest of the family.”
New furniture wasn’t necessary to make this room personal. The girl and her father painted an older bed and nightstand white with inset panels the same aqua as the walls. The bedding is all machine-washable, a must in any kid’s room, says the designer.
The room remodel included installing an aluminum slider with an interior wood frame in the place of a previous small window so the teen could enjoy the grove of oaks just outside her room.
Add the final touches—the photo enlargement on canvas hanging above the bed, an online find, and a skateboard the teenager made in her art class at school—and the result is a very personal, comfy teen retreat.
“It’s important to allow kids to have their own voice in their design,” Genoveve explains. “It empowers them and their bedroom becomes a true reflection of who they are.”
When designer Janice Peters conceived of this Newbury Park room for her own little girl, her goal was to create a room that would grow along with her child. She chose colors that “weren’t too specific to a girl or a boy,” splitting the room into two colors, using the chair rail as a separation point. Her plan was to keep the more neutral yellow and eventually change only the green paint to whatever color her little girl chose once she was old enough to voice an opinion. “Sure enough, (she) is asking for a color change now that she’s 9,” Janice says.
The bed originally had a pine finish. Janice painted it white and added a wood applique on the headboard and footboard to tie in with the new dresser’s detail.
The flower hooks were an online find. Janice found a similar flower stamp at Jo-Ann craft store. “I just dabbed the stamp in a white acrylic paint and then hand-painted the yellow centers,” she says. “I wanted the back wall to look like wallpaper without the commitment.” As the little girl grows, the displayed wardrobe changes with her. What began as a series of sweet little baby clothes has evolved into a place to hang the favorite outfits of an older child.
Dragonfly and butterfly accents, discovered at a local children’s store, offer the final touch of whimsy to a magical room.
Designer Janice Peters took on a different challenge in her son Jason’s room. Now 13, Jason is an avid reader, so he needed a cozy place to read as well as shelves to display his books and gem and mineral collections.
Janice added a built-in, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and supplemented that with hanging shelves from Pottery Barn.
“Jason’s dad installed a small rounded desk/shelf under the window to give him a place to do his homework and also act as a nightstand,” to optimize every bit of the 10’x10′ room, Janice says.
The wall-mounted swing arm lamp provides good reading light without taking up any surface space so Jason has more room for his books and personal treasures.
Jason originally wanted an entirely blue room, but his mom/designer knew that would be “too much,” so she chose a complementary beige that would “keep his space calm and interesting.”
She repeated the colors in various design elements throughout the room.
“Originally, the big blue stripe was a headboard accent color but . . . Jason moved his bed on the diagonal and the blue stripe still looks great.”
The wall appliques known as Wallter circles are available through various online soures. They come primed and with adhesive on the back for easy color coordinating and hanging.
An oversized initial J, discovered at a yard sale, adds a touch of modern fun to the room while a laminated poster from a museum gift shop reflects Jason’s personal interests.