Designing rooms for me usually starts with a color palette or a piece of art or furniture I want to work with and around. When designing my daughters’ room a few years back, I wasn’t sure where to start. (You'd be shocked how hard it is for a designer to design their own house!) I have one really girly girl (hello, pink everything!) and one that doesn’t really like pink but likes bright colors. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of using bright colors as I’m usually drawn to muted palettes for bedrooms, but I also really wanted their room to be a place they love.
For more pictures of the whole house renovation, visit the project portfolio.
My first starting point for their room was that I knew we’d be using the Ikea Kura bed. Looking through Pinterest for ideas on ways to decorate the bed and around it, my board was clearly leaning towards a Scandinavian design. But again, the bright colors…
So, as I perused the internet for more inspiration, I came across Otomi art, based off Otomi embroidery that you’ve likely seen. I loved the bright colors, but also the modern feel based in an ancient culture. So that was my second starting point, and really the thing from which the rest of the design developed.
I wish I had before and after pictures, but alas…this was before I considered all design projects fodder for my blog. (And let’s be real, I still struggle with that.)
But here’s what I started with…
· We’ve had the mid-mod dresser for a couple years now. We bought it off craigslist and painted it. I still love that dresser.
· We had the small table. My mom bought it at an antique store and someone had already stenciled it/painted it a soft pink and white.
· My high school best friend built me the bookshelf as her baby shower gift to me for my first kid. How cool is that?
· Little bird hooks for the girls’ backpacks. These were so random, but they had picked these out at World Market one day and were so obsessed with them. It turned out, they kind of worked with the bird images in the Otomi art.
· The modern dollhouse
· A brown metal end table
· The curtains – From Target. We had these in another room in our previous home, so that worked out great.
· Artwork above the dresser – these are quotes that a graphic designer friend made for me (again, for my baby shower…I have the most talented and thoughtful friends!). They didn’t necessarily go with the theme, but they meant a lot to me, so I wanted to still incorporate them.
So, here’s what I changed and some things I bought to add to the room…
· The Ikea Kura bed – I knew I wanted to decorate it somehow, but I was having trouble committing and any peel and stick wallpaper I was finding seemed to be a little “extra”. So…..
· I added the string of beads and yarn pom poms to the bed for décor. I kind of love how they turned out—a little organic, a lot of texture, and definitely some personality.
· I re-painted the small table. Keeping with the bright colors and Otomi’s juxtaposition of white space with pops of color, I painted the top white and the legs bright pink.
· I repurposed the metal end table. First, I spray painted it white, then, by turning it upside down, I repurposed it into a stuffed animal bin because there are too many stuffed animals in this world and they must be contained!
· The otomi artwork – I wanted some otomi fabric, but to get the real deal would have set me back a pretty penny. So, I decided to go for a printed version and found these as digital downloads on Etsy.
· The round mirror – I found it at Hobby Lobby and instantly loved it for a little girl’s room. I hung it low enough so they could easily use it.
· The rug – I found this at HomeGoods for $25! I’m honestly not sure what to call it, but it reminds me of a Mexican braided rug which went perfectly with the Otomi theme.
· Wall-mounted lamps – from Ikea. I love the idea of the girls having their own lamps for reading at night. (The ones I used have been discontinued, but here is a similar model)
· Wall-mounted bookshelves – I found these at Hobby Lobby. I looked high and low for an affordable option and for something that would be somewhat low profile to the wall but would still hold their books. These look great, but after a few months, it turns out they were constantly getting kicked off the wall when friends were over and fun was had.
· Bedding – I got all their bedding from Target, including the yellow Otomi accent pillows!
· The chandelier – I actually had bought this years before on sale from West Elm and had been dying to use it, but never had the perfect moment. I couldn’t help but install it for this re-design. (Also discontinued, but here is a similar one)
· The scalloped edging – oh how I love this detail. Other than the color, I seriously don’t know that it actually fits with the design, but something about the scallops just made me swoon, and I was determined to use it somehow. In and of itself, it felt maybe a little too soft or girly, but when we painted it bright pink, I think it did the trick and really stands out!
All in all, this wasn’t a hard room to transform…it just took a little time and effort. I’m not exactly sure about the budget, but I’d say it was somewhere around $500 (that’s including the bed) since I was able to reuse so much of what we already had.
We completed this room in 2018. As much as I really do love their room, I look back and think of all the things I’d do differently. I think my style and approach to design have changed, but in the end, I decided to write about it because it’s part of my journey as a designer and a really intimate part of my everyday life. So whether it is designer-worthy or picture-perfect or not, it will always be a beloved room in our home.
To see pictures of the entire home, visit the project portfolio.