By Stephanie Anderson
Sprucing up your child’s rooms can be one of the most fun and personal projects to undertake in your home. As a designer, taking on these kinds of projects for clients is also an honor as the inspiration-to-completion process allows me the chance to get to know and connect with the whole family. Perhaps most enticing, even dramatic changes can be achieved with relative ease and cost.
One theme I have utilized in my own home is incorporating memories of my travels and experiences. Especially in current times, drawing on memories of a favorite trip abroad or Disney vacation can recreate an air of happier, stress-free times. Wherever your travels have taken you, reliving one of your favorite family experiences through tasteful design elements can create a lasting transformation enjoyed by the kids and parents.
For me and my family, one of our favorite places in the world is Paris. (I know I am not unique in my affinity for the City of Lights!) Our trips may be a be a bit different than the average traveler, as our days are often spent simply wandering the streets and letting our next adventure come to us. For me, these ‘walkabouts’ are experiences in and of themselves, as I have the opportunity to admire the amazing combinations of architectural symmetry complemented by unique details. In Paris, buildings can be similar in form, but set apart from the rest via a colorful door or an ornate window as a small statement piece. So, when decorating my daughter’s room, I knew exactly from where to pull my inspiration!
For her room, my goal was to accomplish a playful yet sophisticated look she could love now, but also one that could grow with her. Beginning with some of her favorite things—the ‘majestique’ of the Ferris wheel, the rainbow arrangement of the tulips in the Jardin des Tuileries, the ‘princess castle’ designs of the countryside chateaus, and of course, the iconic Eiffel Tower—all served as the initial seeds of creativity.
From there, it was simply a matter of blending our ‘wonders’ together: the deep jewel tones of a dark teal door, which transformed her ceiling into the color of a nighttime Parisian sky. The classic white walls of a timeless museum which, in my daughter’s room, provided a blank slate to adorn with paintings and photographs of my daughter’s favorite things. The dramatic, thick molding of our rented Parisian apartment were essentially a copy-and-paste operation into the bedroom.
Meanwhile, the pewter roofs atop the Parisian buildings were incorporated via a pewter Eiffel Tower, the gold accents observed in so many classic restaurants were incorporated via gold picture frames and other small adornments, and the pink peonies in the Jardin du Luxembourg were incorporated via a family heirloom of pink pearls draped over a vase. All came together to provide a personal touch and life to the room.
Reach back into your memories of past travels; seek inspiration from your own experiences and get your family involved in the design process. Together, you can create a fun and rewarding experience in a space that everyone can enjoy regardless of whose room it is in the house. And you are sure to create some new and lasting memories in the process!