1For me, there are two ways to look at a kid’s room: One is to let your fantasy freak flag fly, and give a full blown wonderworld with a bed and nightlight.

The second is to create the classic bones of a well appointed room with strong pops of bright, imaginative accessories that can be changed out as the child grows.

Obviously, the latter is the more practical approach, and in truth, often a more calming and restful choice. Cream colored walls, subtle stripes, and simple furniture create a calm, and at the end of the day, that’s a huge part of putting kids to sleep. The downside is that if you’re too conservative in your choices, it can feel a bit sterile and void of that joie de vivre. And let’s be honest, if anyone should have a room that’s full of joy, it a kid.  

IMG_9094Now, going on the crazy train to fantastical rooms has its pros and cons, too.

On the pros list, there’s the wow factor and the bragging rights a kid gets when his little pals come over and stand in awe. I did this log cabin room for a client’s 5-year old son and he loves it! I do, too. This was a small room, and I really wanted to make it special for him. I discussed with his mom the impractical aspects of such a designed room (the cons being over stimulating and the quick turn around of what kids like and don’t like as they grow older), but she really wanted him to move into his new home and be excited. I totally agreed.

For me, this is an example of how you can mix both fantasy and calm serenity. The log wallpaper is intense for sure and when you see it you can’t help but gasp with joy. But you can also see how the room feels cozy and comfortable. Perfect for drifting off to sleep. The birch tree “night light” (from Restoration Hardware’s Christmas decor!) and the pillow rocks help complete both the cool strong fantasy and the simple calm layout. And I think there are plenty of ways (solid comforter, cool big framed poster…) to make this room grow with him for quite a while.

Mia's room, Santa Monica - Version 3This little girl’s room is another example of how you can create a strong and playful palette that will grow as the child does. These hand-painted stripes were done for a little baby girl still in her crib, but it’s easy to see how this could be just as stylish for a five-year old or even a tween girl down the road.

IMG_5827Sometimes, there is a reason for the more practical approach.

I worked with a woman who was having a baby and needed to rearrange her very elegantly styled L-shaped studio to accommodate her new baby girl. Because everything was so open, I brought in furniture that still had the strong mid century, simple lines, so that the place felt light and baby-friendly without forfeiting the mom’s need for her space to stay stylish.  The changing table on top of the great Room & Board dresser blends right in, but also, the strong art seems almost purposefully picked for her daughter to stare at. Kind of a Win/Win.

What are your thoughts on decorating for kids? XO


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