Some rooms are just tricky. My daughter’s bedroom was converted from an attic space many decades ago, so the ceilings are slanted down both sides and the only light enters through a small window on the east end wall. There’s no true closet in this room, just a small storage area accessed through a mini-door. My girls have always referred to it as the “monster closet” (you know, because of the monsters in there!). For her 13th birthday, my daughter asked for a more grown-up room – no pink and no vintage.
This room was often dark and always a bit crowded before, I have found that there are at least five things that can affect how you perceive the size of an interior space: lighting (natural and/or artificial), color, color placement, ceiling height, and furniture arrangement. I considered all of those things when redesigning this space. Popping in a new window dormer on the side wall would have been a great solution, but that was NOT in the budget. Here’s the room before:
Daughter’s Bedroom: Little Girl Version, Melanie G Photography
I know the room looks light and bright in the photo above, but that was shot by a professional photographer. You can see the window is quite small, so believe me when I tell you the room was typically quite dark. The yellow previously on the ceiling only made the long, narrow room feel more long and narrow. Hanging the window panels well above the window helped “enlarge” the small window to some extent. In this makeover, I had Mr. Man install the window treatments waaayyyy outside the windows, as you’ll see below where he mounted the brackets. Just shocking, no?
hanging curtains way outside the window isn’t as crazy as it initially appears . . .
The new colors and color placement were chosen to 1) appeal to my daughter’s maturing taste, 2) make the room feel larger and wider, and 3) help bring more light into the space. The only color that can really light up a dark room is yellow – and it’s notorious for being a difficult color to get just right. It can easily go too watery, lemony, or flourescent. I decided to use Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorne Yellow HC-1, which has proven to be a good go-to yellow for darker spaces. I decided to put the yellow on the end wall, as well as all the trim in the room, while the rest of the paint color in the room would be Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl OC-52. This would create a focal wall and a symmetrial base on which to place the twin beds. You may remember the Inspiration Board I created for the room. And here’s the real-life result:
Teen Girl’s Bedroom After
Notice the placement of paint color – gray wraps the wall and ceilings (eggshell), with yellow on the end window wall (eggshell) and most of the trim (gloss). The “monster closet” is painted the same as the wall color. Why? Becaused I wanted it to fade into the wall so it wouldn’t be as distracting.
Painting the window trim in glossy yellow reflects and maximizes the natural light coming through. The window panels match the walls to avoid choppiness and expand the width of that short wall. Hanging them up and out really gives the window a feeling of importance and allows every bit of light to come unhindered into the room. They’re black-out panels, so they block all light when closed at night.
The tub that was original to the upstairs of our home was painted in a gloss yellow like the trim. My daughter is the only one of her friends that has their own “reading tub” in her room, and she’s always loved that. The graphic art above it is from Target.
The antique dressers remain unpainted, but are enlivened by fresh accessories. The Happy, TX graphic poster was created by artist Marcus Melton, a friend of our family. That piece was really the basis for the color scheme in the room.
Most of the new accessories are from Target, such as the patterned lampshades and aqua unicorn heads.
The chevron bedding in gray, yellow, aqua, and white is also from Target.
The art above the beds are from IKEA, and the Possini Euro light fixture is from LampsPlus (although there is a similar one at IKEA). The new overhead lighting provides much more light than the previous one that sported lampshades on its chandelier bulbs.
I painted the antique spool beds hot pink a few years ago, but now they’re coated in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. I actually won the wall paint as part of my prize package in the recent 2013 Color Trends Design Contest sponsored by Benjamin Moore, Olioboard, and Tobi Fairley.
Here’s what we did in this room:
Painted walls, ceiling, trim
Painted beds, lampbase, vintage tub
Rearranged furniture layout
Rehung window treatments
New bedding, hanging light fixture, art, lampshades, and accessories
And here’s what we got to show for it:
One Happy 13-Year-Old Girl: PRICELESS
There’s nothing like a dramatic “big reveal.” She really appreciate that I heard her – heard how she wanted her room to look and feel, and then made it happen. Which is what I strive to do with all my clients.
And she’s the most important client I have ever had, naturally.
After being banned from even going in her bedroom for five days, now she won’t hardly come out of it! She keeps asking me how I made it look so much bigger. Let’s just hope she will be inspired to keep it clean . . .
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