A Child's Enchanted Bedroom Makeover
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Decorating a young child or young adult bedroom is a creative adventure.
They allow me to apply creativity in a unique way; other adult areas in the home often require some level of restraint. A child's room has its own set of guidelines that I feel should spark their imagination but also provide them a sense of escape, independence and comfort. Their bedroom is a designated place where they go to dream, journal, host sleepovers, and be a place of self discovery where they can be their authentic selves – away from judging eyes and social media pressures. It always helps me to meet and chat with the youngsters and spend some time understanding their personalities, hobbies, hopes and aspirations.
Belle's Enchanted Bird Sanctuary
Belle’s Bedroom takes flight to a whimsical world where we nestle amidst a mushroom meadow and enchanted bird forest. The feathered friends found here chirp us awake each morning and coo a lullaby each night as we drift off to slumber. Our client on this project was a bright and precocious young lady who loves to dance and banter with her older brother. Belle is an aspiring Ornithophile because she loves birds, no matter their shape or size or color.
By infusing aviary and nature themed amusements within the room, we opened the door to our imagination in creative ways. We gave Belle a sense of being outdoors in an enchanted forest and meadow, without leaving her house. Her room created a balance of Casual Elegance and Boho Chic styles to evolve with her as she sprouts her own wings into young adulthood, yet still retain the joy she’ll enjoy tucked inside this nest where she can evolve freely amongst her favorite books, plush toys and feathered friends.
Starting with a floor plan that allows for maximum play area, Belle now has plenty of space to practice her ballet and modern dance class steps or spread out her birdie puzzles and trading cards. The layout is also configured to allow a swap out of her current trundle bed to a big girl's bed when she's good and ready.
As a certified feng shui practitioner, it was important to consider Belle's bed placement to ensure she was in command position. This means her bed faces all the access doors to ensure she sees who's entering the room first. On the floor plan, her bed is optimally placed to have a line of sight to the both the door from the hall, the bathroom as well as to the view outside.
I will also address the fact that her desk chair isn't properly in command position because her back is facing the door. In such cases, it becomes a case of what's most important to her and work from there. A simple adjustment to correct this is to place a mirror on her desk pointed toward the door so she can still see who's reflected in the mirror while she's seated.
1. Creating the Concept
Have we established that Belle loves Birds? If not, Belle really loves birds! They're her favorite, no matter the kind, and that really informed the creative brief in a nut...or 'eggshell', as it were. So, we set off to create something memorable with lots of charm.
There's a whole lotta birds out there in the world! After some diligent research, we decided to play up on varying sizes of two key bird types – the small meadow birds and the more regal swan and peacock. Below is a visual mood board that helped express the style and introduces design elements on the room layout board.
(*Design Tip – Mood Boards are different that Room Boards. I create both on every project.
The first should evoke an emotion or feeling that captures the essence. The latter begins to manifest the space with design elements.)
2. Clearing the Room
Starting with a cleared out room, we brought in the trundle bed first which will become the focal point of the room, followed by a new 8'x10' area rug in hues of pink and cream that was allowed to relax and flatten out. As my delivery movers brought up each furniture item, we placed them where they're meant to be, just to make sure everything fit properly before moving them out of the way to hang the accent wall mural.
3. Hanging the Wall Mural
One of the biggest challenges on this project was that the parents didn't want the walls painted.
Huh? I couldn't imagine doing a youngsters room without adding some level of color or pattern to the walls. I had to put my coaxing skills to use to help them see that a child's space should be stimulating, especially in the early years to cultivate a sense of curiosity.
So after some research, I landed on a perfect solution –– a peel–n–stick wallpaper mural I found on Etsy! This would be my first venture using a peel–n–stick product and it's definitely a task that requires two sets of hands. Fortunately, thankfully, gratefully, my assistant, Denice, provided the extra set of hands needed for perfect placement of the half inch overlap. Oh, and fyi – plan for it to take longer than you think. The upshot for doing the wall was I introduced color and pattern without compromising the walls or the design concept.
4. Dressing the Canopy Focal Point
Since we were keeping the trundle bed that was part of the original room, I thought to add a fabric canopy over the bed to really bring on the drama and create the focal point in the room. Does this remind you of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream? It does for me. The Fairy-ier the Merrier! This pink canopy came with a billowy fabric layer beneath that could be draped over the bed and a top layer of ample tulle netting added a gauzy and dreamy effect.
For added interest, I decided to create a "nest" on top of the canopy, as though enchanted forest birds had come along and set up shop to watch over our little Belle. Instead of sticks and branches, they feather the nest out of foraged blossoms and leaves. Nestled within the foliage, you'll find colorful meadow birds, fluttering butterflies as well as a pair of lovebirds.
5. A Woven Rattan Nesting Chair
This adorable woven egg-shaped chair came from Target and is the perfect cocooning seat for Belle to read a book with her plush friends or just hold court over all the birds in her aviary kingdom. Boho style show up with rattan and woven elements which brought the outdoors in with natural wood-like elements. These are echoed in the two storage baskets and two rattan mirrors that flank the central canopy and offer symmetry to the room.
5. A Child's Creative Desk
I remember having a desk in every bedroom I had as a child where I spent countless hours drawing and painting pictures. For me, the desk was a portal for my escape. With Belle, I wanted to give her this stylishly modern desk from Crate and Kids that came in her favorite color of pink. Adding a favorite color is a fool-proof way of making something feel very personal, no matter the item. From a selection of different desk chairs I curated, Belle chose this pink patchwork patterned Boho Chic style chair from Anthropologie. It was the most maximalist of all the chairs I had pre-selected and Belle honed right in on it.
Did you see the mushroom table? Could you not see Belle in Wonderland having tea with the Caterpillar that later turns into a fluttering butterfly? This is the perfect whimsical accessory that makes a child's room memorable. Everyone takes in the room when they see it, but they'll specifically remember the mushroom table. It's charming, functional and a fantastic prop element to Belle's own delightful story.