Decorating Kid Rooms

Tips for decorating kid rooms:

1) How Time Flies! Children grow up soooo fast. Honestly they are toddlers before you know it and then kids and teens. Clearly taste and functionality will change with time, but decorate for longevity (the best you can anyhow). Stay away from pastels unless you are doing something more vintage. Vintage in general works great...be it pretty quilting patterns or retro furniture finds. Think beyond infants, Tomas the Train & Disney. Save the toy themes for the toys.

2) Budget and a Plan. A child's likes and dislikes can change really fast, especially in the first eight years. Literally their favorite color changes year to year and that's not just being a 'kid' but is connected to their developmental stages. Keep the shell of the room the same such as a bed & dressers. Stay firm with these items and be more flexible every few years with new bedding, paint colors, and updating accessories.

3) Paint/Walls. Personally I don't think paint is so expensive you couldn't change a kids room every few years. However, one way to keep cost down is to select a color that isn't overly trendy. Consider spicing it up with a couple colorful stripes about a quarter of the way down from the ceiling. The stripes then could changed from time to time with little cost & effort (except some painters tape and a couple quarts of paint). Now days there are tons of low cost decals on the market which are also easy to install & remove. For a more dramatic effect, paint a mural which can be easily painted over at a later date.

4) Windows. Choose hard window treatments that can with stand time (e.g., roller shade, plain fabric shade, wood blinds, woven blinds. etc.). Further enhance with curtain panels or a valance. Plain department store curtain panels can easily be embellished with ribbon.

5) Custom Options. If building window seats or a built in desk...plan for future longevity.Those little tykes really don't stay small for long. For younger children supplement with appropriately scaled furniture. Lower tables meant for kids are more comfortable for them plus they are small, inexpensive and don't take up much room anyhow.

6) What do they want? Kids DO have their own ideas. I have two daughters 8 & 10 and I happen to be working with them on their rooms. I listen to them, acknowledge their personalities and try to incorporate elements that represent them. I even compromise on little things like a shade of color and I let them call the shots of Remember - when kids get to be involved in the decision-making, they are more likely to “own” their new d├ęcor and keep it clean and tidy!

7) Ideas. Check out my good friend and designer, Anna Stahl, of Nest Interior. She specializes in children rooms. The dinosaurs and flowers are vinyl decals she designed. All three were rooms for small children, but something they could grow into.


Beds Beds Beds - SALE

Charles P. Rogers is having a great end of summer sale. Seriously these are great prices. I especially like this first bed. Very Martha Stewartish....

Adderley Bed King - $1,299.00 sale

Normandie Daybed - $719 sale

Studio One Platform Full Bed - $530 sale


Trend Watch 2008-2009 - update

Back in October 2007 I posted trends we should expect to see for 2008-2009. Here's an update on that topic as viewed at the summer Vegas World Market Show.

Warming Trend

This is not to say silver is going away, but the spotlight is on gold, copper and other warm-tone metals. Metallics-rich marketplace. Don't forget ethnic spicy colors too. (West Elm)

Imperfect Finishes
Look for livable furniture that is upscale & distressed with gold undertones or highlights. As well, Eco-looks continue to deliver with natural distressed imperfections such as reclaimed woods. (French Heritage)

Home Media
TV and media needs are quickly changing and retailers need to catch up and offer home electronic solutions. Las Vegas Market exhibitors delivered solutions in a variety of styles, sizes and configurations. (Aspen Home)

Take note: we are in a mode of infatuation with the flat screen TV and no longer NEED big armories to hide them; however, displaying your flat screen TV as a feature is just a trend and we most certainly will move towards units that hide your TV when not in use.

Lodge Living
Plenty of products to support this trend can be found from rustic cabin to luxe lodge. As with any "theme" a little goes a long way. (Charles Forge)

Dark Espresso
Espresso wood tones still going strong. (Laurier Furniture)


Painted Furniture

I've been seeing loads of painted furniture. Check out some examples and ideas.

Voltaire Dressoir - $1490 (special rubber coating). If you don't need it for outside or heavy use look at craiglist for a good find, spray out yourself or take it to an auto body shop to be sprayed with a high gloss finish.

Next two photos from Knack Studios. Great reuse of furniture. Check out her site for before and afters. Love how she incorporated fabric or wall paper on the drawer fronts of the side table.

If you are up for a DIY project, check out this craislist posting that has many inexpensive pieces that are great in shape/form.


Stylish Home Office Supplies

See Jane Work is a fantastic site for ordering all things stylish, hip, fun, & functional for your home office! Also check out their section for Pulling It Together for lots of tips and ideas for organizing and managing.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Fabric Trend

I think it's good to let you know what the Trade Only fabric showrooms are promoting and adding to their lines. Here's an example of Robert Allen/Beacon Hill both in fabric and furniture. This will help you recognize the trends while you are out planning and implementing your personal decor projects.


Bookcase of the Day

Need bookcase inspiration or wondering what to do with all those books??? I Suwanne has it covered! Check out this blog for loads of ideas, from colorful to unique to clever.


Not All Corporate Offices Are Boring

I thought this small company in San Ramon was very innovative in their desire to provide a real lounge their employees could relax in, watch TV, eat or have meetings. I've heard they've even had a few Wii game-offs.

How did I do it? Here are five basic steps that anyone could follow.

1) Define Style: Cozy, comfortable, clean lined, interesting, appealing to employees and durable materials.

2) Floor Plan & Budget: What did they need? Dining area, TV, sitting area & some outdoor seating. I created a couple layouts with furniture options, which helps determine scale and size of each piece. As well, a budget was in order. Honestly a budget helps the client take a realistic look at their needs, priorities and plan of action.

3) Select Furniture: These dining room chairs were my first find at a Palecek sample sale at the Palecek warehouse in Richmond. The texture and color of the rattan chairs combined with the golden leather end-chairs set the direction for my color palette. Combining different dining chairs gave a homey, eclectic feel to an office environment. From there I kept the wood tones similiar to keep a unified feel, repeated the leather in a dark leather sofa, and softened the seating area with cozy chair. Take note that the flat screen TV could have been hung on the wall; however, I chose a media console which anchors the TV and prevents the TV from "floating" on the wall. Plus the TV console actually balances the dining table.

4) Create Color Palette: This picture captures the essence of the color palette. Dark woods, soothing blues, golds and greens with pops of aqua blue, plus texture from the rug, pillows & dining chairs. As well notice, how I pulled the gold from the leather dining chair into this side of the room in the art and vases. It's all about creating balance.

5) Accessories & Art: Accessories and art are the last layer that finishes a room. It was important (especially since this was an office environment) to include little touches to create a feeling of comfort & coziness. This was achieved by incorporating throw pillows, vases, magazines and natural elements such as orchids on the dining room. As well, this last layer allows for a balance of color throughout the room.

Do you know what's missing? What's missing is lighting. If I had my preference I would have added a chandelier of sorts over the dining room table and a table and floor lamp. Lighting is an often over looked opportunity to add... light! Surprisingly homes are often missing basic lighting. However, in this case there is plenty of natural light with a whole wall of windows and plenty of florescent light. So even though we didn't add it here light fixtures can balance and create scale to a room as well as incorporate accessories & sculptural elements.

This was a fun project! It worked in an office but it would just as easily fit into someone's home.


Fabulous design team of Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams have a great upholstery sale going on now through 10/13/08. Check out their website for a location near you and in the SF Bay Area you can find their product:

Ruby Living Design
180 Townsend St, SF


Your largest canvas...your floors

As described on their website, FLOR allows people to create their own unique floor coverings and change their minds, and their floors, as often as they like. Available in a diverse array of fashion-forward color palettes, patterns and unique textures, FLOR empowers consumers to have creative control over the largest canvas in their homes — their floors. From checkerboards to stripes to bordered rugs, FLOR’s multiple patterns can change the look of a room to fit any style, season or mood. You'll also find lines from Martha Stewart, Alexander Girard, & Disney.
The colors and options are endless. Great online design tool too!

Here's sample pricing for Tonal Vision ™ area rugs:
$74.99 ~ 6 tile rug
$149.99 ~ 12 tile rug or runner
$359.99 ~ 30 tile rug


I want to hear from you!

I have loads of ideas for posts... some fall into my lap so I post on them, I see something online, I read a magazine, I see something in a client's house or a client dilemma that inspires a post. However, I'd rather post on burning issues that come from readers.

Let me know what topics you'd like see!!!


Purple is HOT this Fall

Here are some picks of what high-end designers have available to the Trade. These are high-end products with prices tags to match. The products below can only be ordered through the Trade, but let these serve as examples during your own shopping trips.
Ramjata - Lilac by Peter Dunham

Deep Purple Porcelain Onion Lamp by Allan Knight

Samara fabric by Pierre Frey

Kimono fabric by Alpha Workshops

Commode LXV by Cote France

Tom Dixon...Sample Sale, London

Calling all collectors and enthusiasts of great design.....British design company, Tom Dixon is having their first ever sample sale! If you are in London or happen to be in London don't miss this sale! Tom Dixon is one of the most talked about avant-garde designers. Completely self-taught he is always trying out new materials and applying industrial ideas/techniques to high-end design such as cast glass, cast iron and wood thus creating innovative products with a timeless approach.

Friday 26th September 10-5pm
Saturday 27th September 10-4pm

For further information:
Tel: 0207 400 0500 Web:www.tomdixon.net
5 Cromwell Place
London SW7 2JB

Sale includes upholstery, lighting and furniture, such as Cone Lights, Slouch Sofa, Copper Shades, Twist, Pipe Lights, and Mirror Balls. Up to 70% off selected items. Cash and Cheques only.