What's my hands-down, all-time favorite email to receive? Your decorating questions! I absolutely love coming up with personalized decor inspiration for you, lovely readers. I recently received an email from lovely Niamh, who said...
"I don't live in a dorm as I still have a year and a half of high school left before I start university. I would love it if you could give me some decorating tips as I am redecorating my room. It looks like it's for a 6-year-old! I have a white chest of drawers and bed. I got Graham & Brown brick-style wallpaper. And I'm painting my room a turquoise blue color. But I don't know what else to do and you always have great ideas. I'd love it if you could help. :)"
While Niamh is still a ways away from dorm life, I was instantly excited to take on the project! Niamh faces a problem many of us do, whether we're living at home with the 'rents or renting a room in a house... making a space feel age appropriate!
I tracked down images of the Graham & Brown wallpaper Niamh will be putting up---it'd a beautiful wallpaper that gives the illusion of exposed brick. Then, I looked up the pretty shade of turquoise blue she'll be painting. Going off of the photos she sent me of her current room, I found a metal daybed, desk and chair, dresser, bookcase and armoire that closely resemble what she has now. I'm all for working with what you have!
I was so inspired by the brick wallpaper and lovely blue that I couldn't just come up with one inspiration board! So I created five... :)
My first decorating scheme for Niamh's room centers on the glamor that every girl craves and the romance no girl can resist. Instead of bombarding the space with color, I focused on really playing up the beautiful blue. With this turquoise as the headliner, I expanded the color scheme to include the crisp white of her furniture and toasty browns of her brick wallpaper and armoire. I kept the curtains, bed linens, and lampshades creamy vanilla in color. Luxurious pillows--one flaunting unexpected chevron--liven up the daybed. The artwork, whether abstract or floral, picks up on the shades of blue. I thought it'd be a cute accent to include a small round nightstand painted to match the walls. A round ottoman, upholstered in cream and turquoise fabric, pulls the colors together and serves triple duty as footrest, side table, and extra seating. I included reflective accessories throughout the room to up the glam factor, such as a chandelier, beveled glass vase, and mirror-finish picture frame.
Option #2: Vintage Charm
My second idea for the room sparked off of my love for pairing robin's egg blue with bold crimson. It makes for a playful yet refined color combination. For the curtains, I selected simple panels in a shade barely lighter than the walls. I kept the bedding neutral again and spiced it up with pretty floral pillows that featured red and blue accents. Brown vintage suitcases stacked on top of each other make a perfect nightstand, especially when topped off with a vibrant red lamp. An old metal chair gets new life painted red. And if Niamh would be willing to work a little DIY magic, I think her white dresser would look amazing with a coat of scarlet-hued paint. Varied red accessories and artwork give the room personality and spunk.
Option #3: Eclectic Esthetic
You know I can't resist a good dose of eclecticism. ;) The brick wallpaper immediately brought to mind some of my favorite coffee houses and their cozy, eclectic vibes. While I wanted the room to be colorful, I didn't want a random array of colors. I started with a fresh lemon-lime hue that contrasted well with the brick while complimenting the turquoise---then I used it on the chair, nightstand, and clock face. Feeling the need for a little metal, I picked slightly iridescent gray panels. I repeated that with an industrial floor lamp, galvanized metal trash can, and super shiny silver lamp base. Splashes of orange--on the lampshade, artwork, and accessories--warm up the room a bit. I liked included rather curious accessories... tall orange feather rather than flowers in a vase on the dresser, a Grecian-style bust, vintage artwork, a faux bear rug, and book posters. Also, the pillows on the bed depict an octopus and mermaid---love 'em! Definitely a cozy, interesting room to curl up with a cuppa coffee, no?
Option #4: Girly Cheer
Sometimes you want your room to grow up just a little... just enough to retain some of its carefree, youthful attitude. That's what this grouping is all about. I went with a color scheme of turquoise, hot pink, and bright yellow. Pink because it's ultra girly. Yellow because it's ultra cheerful. The pink comes in on the curtains, artwork, fresh flowers, and an adorable owl pillow. The yellow gets a little more spotlight since its lighter. So it appears on the lamp base, desk lamp, rug, throw pillow, and furniture. I thought it'd be fun for Niamh to swap out her white desk chair for an antique store find painted yellow. A round nightstand, also painted yellow, would be darling. Simple, colorful, and fresh-faced... what's not to love about this room?
Option #5: Literary Chic
Lastly, I took a "novel" approach to Niamh's room, since she mentioned in her email that she's a bit of a bookworm (like me!). I went with a neutral-heavy black-white-and-cream scheme. Several accessories in the room give off a vintage schoolhouse feel--the lamp base, desk lamp, and metal message board. I went black curtains that really stand out against the brick wallpaper. A wicker nightstand adds nice texture to the room, while a metal cafe chair painted black would look right at home under the desk... especially with a black vintage typewriter! For artwork, I kept with the neutral, word-loving theme by picking two-tone cream and charcoal prints that feature words rather than pictures. Similarly, typographic pillows decorate the daybed. I added some warm color to the room with an antique oriental rug that features subtle sage greens, dark reds, and rusty corals.
Niamh, I hope you are richly inspired by my five ideas for your bedroom! (Please send photos when you complete your redecorating---I'd love to share 'em on the blog.)
To the rest of you, I love love love doing these personalized decor boards. So send your decorating questions (and pictures) to firstname.lastname@example.org.