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~Designing Kids Spaces~

How to put the "Fun" into functional for the best kid's rooms

We talk mostly about designing main living spaces and DIY projects on the blog, but today I want to visit with you about a love of mine, and that is designing kids spaces. Once upon a time...I really wanted to go into the business of interior design for children's bedrooms. I never explored this dream because the truth is, I was terrified that what I would envision for the room, would not satisfy my clients, therefore that dream just lived in my head. Instead, I spent time designing and re-designing my kids rooms using their ideas, and a few of my own, to make it a space that brought them joy. As parents, you don't really want your children to spend all their time in their rooms away from the family, but there is a certain amount of alone time that is healthy and necessary, wether it's watching tv, creative playtime, or resting and relaxing. It was always important to me that their spaces/rooms were always a place with a little whimsy and interest but also peaceful and organized.

Now that my youngest is 18 and a senior in high school, she is extremely busy and doesn't get as much free time, but when she does, she enjoys relaxing, watching tv, and working on her computer in her room. One of the reasons, we talked about changing the design in her room was the way it functioned and the best way to utilize the small space with her changing needs; which meant switching out the furniture to make the most of the space. She has always loved the outdoors and especially the forest and woods. In fact, she has jokingly said she is going to live in the forest in a little cabin, remain single and live like a hermit. (We think she is joking anyway) :)

About a year ago, we set out to re-imagine her room. It was really my way of getting her to repaint it because I hated the taupe color on the walls! But give the girl some creative outlet and she takes off with it. I tried to get her to paint it a grey with fun pops of color in her pillows and curtains, but as the rest of my house is grey, she said there was no way! :) HA!

Since painting the room was the main goal and I couldn't convince her to go gray, I took her with me to pick out some paint colors. She wanted green and we came home with about a dozen swatches to try and decided on a beautiful sage green for the walls. After that, her imagination took hold of the project and she decided she wanted it to look like the forest; hence the green walls. I let her run away with the idea and pick out the bedding, and the decorations. We picked out new furniture, painted the bed to match and bought a new desk, while also creating some fun DIY projects to pull it together. The piece of resistance of the whole room however, is the DIY project that she, her brother and sister in law made for the room; but I will save that for later. It's ahhhmazing!

Here is a look at her room before the remodel and you can see just how small the space is which looked even smaller with the massive pieces of furniture. Although the room is small, a few features make the room special with it's vaulted ceilings, a huge picture window that lets in a ton of light and an en-suite bathroom.

The color palette was taupe (wall color), ivory and turquoise. She had a bird mural on the wall and we focused on a nature theme in that color palette.

Now...take a look at her new room!

The bedding that we choose to go with the soft sage green walls is "Vintage Blush" by Wamsutta that we purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It is a soft blush pink. We also paired it with the Vintage Linen sham and a velvet throw pillow in the same line. The result was a soft and vintage feel to the room that paired nicely with the sage green of the walls. This owl was a gift to her from a friend and it is a perfect match to the the woodland theme and the soft brown fur throw on the bed.

The Magical Mushroom Light

The best part of this room was the awesome DIY project that my daughter, son and daughter in law imagined together. My son found all the supplies online along with a tree limb cut down from the back yard and the 3 of them set out to create a one of a kind feature for her room.

It turned out amazing and with all the lights out, it truly looks like a magical forest.

We found the dresser and side table by Better Homes & Gardens at a second hand store in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Some of the greenery and lanterns we already owned, so we basically just re-shopped our house to pull in some rustic elements into the design. I love when that happens!

I found the wall lanterns at Home Goods and the "tree limb" lantern hooks on Amazon which I painted to look more realistic before hanging.

The white owl, as some of you Harry Potter fans might recognize, is "Hedwig" the Owl. This was a birthday gift from us this year. The owl fits into the theme but also doubles as a wireless speaker. We purchased it from PB Teen, which has a cool Harry Potter line. So much fun all in one room, right?

Finally, I found this vintage looking desk online made by Safavieh American Homes Collection, called the Wyatt Writing Desk in Oak. It has a pull out table that extends the desk, along with two large drawers.

She uses it basically as a vanity and the drawers hold all her makeup. The door to the right is her en suite bathroom. As you can see, it's a tight space around the desk, so I needed a narrow bench that could slide underneath while not in use. However, I looked all over and nothing really worked, so I built this for her.

I tend to do this quite a bit, when I can't find something that I imagine, I just figure a way to build it myself. I think it could have been about 3 to 4 inches taller but I also had a hard time finding legs any taller. It works for her needs now and eventually she can buy a more size appropriate chair to use with it for long term in a different space. I found these vintage botanical prints online and printed them to make into wall art above her desk.

I cut trim boards and attached the twine to make some cute DIY art that matched her forest theme. We had fun shopping for the cute little cloche, wooden toadstools and various decor to match the theme. The tulip vase that holds her green makeup brushes is something she made in a ceramics class she had this year. It was the very first project that they made and the assignment was to make a small vase, but instead of keeping it simple, she designed this vase to look like a tulip bulb. It turned out so pretty and is a perfect decor item for her room underneath her botanical prints.

The vines draped above her bed and her mirror were made for my son's wedding last year, so after the wedding, we thought it would be a fun addition to her room. We already had the large wall mirror in her room before, but it was ivory, so I painted it to look like wood to match the other vintage wood furniture.

We found this mossy green rug in front of her dresser at IKEA last summer. We initially were going to cut it down to make it look like moss growing throughout the room, but decided we liked it just like it was, so we kept it square.

The faux moss covered snail is an outdoor ornamental piece, but we decided to use it as a doorstop to go along with the forest theme. Our pup Chewy is very suspicious of him! :) Once again, he always find a way into my photo shoots; the dog not the snail!

The green vase on the night stand was another project made by Emily in ceramics class, it was a happy accident that it matched the lamp shade design so well. Again, I love when that happens!

It did seem like it took us a long time to get the room where it is today, but every addition made the design even better than before and helped to create exactly what she imagined. We have had it done for about a year now and she loves it! When the main light in the room is off, the soft glow of the mushroom lights, the sparkling mini lights in the garlands, and the flicker of the candles in the lanterns, cast a cozy and relaxing space. Even if she can't actually live in the forest right now, we can at least make her "feel like" she lives in one; and that is the best part of designing kids spaces; creating magic and wonder, even when your "kid" is 18.

Thanks for visiting the blog today!

Until next time....

Hope you find little bits of magic in your day!



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