Saturday, July 16, 2011

Child’s Play

Every now and then, when the design phone rings . . .

Vintage Teal Hollywood Telephone

. . . I get asked to come out and play!  Less desk time and more fun!

Recently, I’ve had the great joy of working on not one, not two, but three rooms for children and all in the same household!  We’re in the process of flip-flopping spaces, updating a couple of bathrooms, repurposing existing furniture and adding new pieces as we bring each child into their next stage of growth. 

Oh, and just a side note:  Through my years of design experience, I’ve come to expect that the life of a design trend or the “freshness” of a room is about five to seven years.  After that, it’s time to revisit and renew the space.  A little design nip and tuck, as it were.

Crowley Carolyn's Design Plan

This room is being created for the cutest little four-year-old redhead.  If you’re familiar with the Eloise series, you know the main character is the bubbly and whip-smart little girl who lives in a "room on the tippy-top floor" of the Plaza Hotel in New York with her Nanny, her pug dog Weenie, and her turtle Skipperdee.  Take away the NYC residence and the pets, you still have a client who’s totally in character to keep you entertained!


I’ve also caught on that we’re not looking at a child who is going to be a frilly sort.  I think we tend to think four-year-olds should have ruffles and bows, but with a bit of tomboy added into the mix, I think there’s still a way to create a feminine balance.

Crowley 6-17-11 044

Here is her current space.  As you can see, we’ve got some perfectly good starting points.  A cute clock, window treatments, and a furniture piece.  These are all going to be reworked into a different room and with some of the added pop I’ve presented in her color board, above.

Crowley Carolyn's Spc Planl

Of course, I always begin with laying out the room to scale and then create a space plan according to function and balance.  I can have a better view of what’s needed to fill in or to enhance the area.  I can jot in reminder notes and develop the plan for more of the layered details.


We’re going for a bit more immediate gratification so it was important to begin with deciding on the main leading pattern.  This pattern might be a bit bolder than her mother imagined so she’s going to ponder over it a bit.  Whether my client is four or forty, I do like to incorporate their personalities.  It’s all about reflecting who they are so they’ll receive the spirit of “happy”, each time they enter.  I think this design fits a spunky little one, while adding a practical touch.  (Remember I mentioned a bit of a tomboy leaning?)


Even though we’ve selected some ‘off-of-the-rack’ product, I always like to add custom touches.  The shapes of these fabric blossoms are a perfect compliment to the design.  Jackie Von Tobel shared them in one of her latest posts, Diane Gilleland, Kanzashi In Bloom


Two copies are now on order.  One for me and one for the workroom!

Madison Bedding Ensemble

My four-year-old client’s room won’t be a replica of a catalog, even though I’ll be pulling in a few pieces from one of those stores.  I’m honoring a request to consider working with a bit of ‘ready-to-wear’ while making it a more personal and unique statement.  My clients are planning a move, in a couple of short years, so we are also being practical about the idea that a new home will bring more space options.  A twin bed may become an accessory item to the room, rather than the major focus. 

Of course, we don’t have to be four to have fun with design.  Whimsy lives on at any stage!  Don’t you agree?

Playfully yours! ~ Wanda


The Fine Life said...

Nice post, Wanda. This is one lucky little girl!

Stitchfork said...

Whumsy is essential! Great room! Hope we get to see the others too.
xo Cathy