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A bedroom fit for a princess

Alexis Morton in the princess dedroom of her

Alexis Morton in the princess dedroom of her Port Washington home. (March 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Meet Princess Olivia, 6, Princess Alexis, 8, and Princess Stephanie, 17.

The girls vary in age but have several things in common: They love the color pink, things that sparkle and fairy-tale bedrooms.

Indeed, the princess phenomenon never seems to grow old.

What lucky young girl wouldn't fancy a royal bedroom, customized to her personal style? A majestic space complete with all the regal accoutrements, like rich pink velvets, flowing sheers, tulles, lace and crystals?

The first step in the design process starts with the royal inhabitant herself, says Port Washington designer Keith Baltimore.

"You need to find out who this fairy-tale princess is. What does she like? How does she live? These details give the whole vibe of where the room is going." Baltimore, who has designed many variations of the fairy princess room through the years, adds: "As long as the room evokes femininity. I had a princess that only liked black and white and a princess that only wanted magenta. It certainly doesn't have to be pink to be princess; it just has to be feminine."

Although these rooms may not be exact replicas of bedrooms in a royal castle, all have a quiet elegance that translates into a posh, princess-style space.


Janet and Al Rinaldi transformed their daughter's bedroom, which features a 19-foot vaulted ceiling and crystal embellishments, into a pink palace in their Merrick home. The four-poster bed with its wrought-iron canopy is the room's focal point. The top of the bed, 37 inches off the floor, adds dramatic appeal to the space. "The bed is so extremely high that we use a step stool to get on it. It really throws the room into a whole other dimension," says Janet. Rhinestones dress up the pale pink comforter that is adorned with matching pillows. "It's the shabby chic look with a princess flair," she says. So how does Princess Olivia feel about her regal quarters? She gushes and says she likes it very, very much. "When I am on my bed, I feel just like Sleeping Beauty."


Designer Christine Ranieri transformed this Port Washington space into an old-fashioned room that is steeped in tradition. "The space is very sweet and very girly-girly," says Ranieri, based in Williston Park. "We used five different fabrics and used them on everything so you get that custom look. We took the curtains all the way to the ceiling to give it drama. We faux-finished the wall and canopied over the bed to make it very princess-y." Eight-year-old Alexis Morton says she loves the results. "I feel like I am a princess when I am in my pink room. It has my favorite color. I also love the window seat. I get to read on it and look out the window."


Hand-painted panels that feature English roses, hollyhocks, tea roses and tulips add a floral accent to this Brookville bedroom. Inspired by the neoclassical style popular in the 18th century, designer Keith Baltimore created an architecture to the room by adding molding and panels to give the space a more regal look. "There is a sophisticated elegance and a light, whimsical feeling to it," he says. Seventeen-year-old Stephanie Rothman adores the space. "The room comes off very girly and elegant and totally expresses my personality," she says. Michele Rothman, Stephanie's mom, enjoys the room, too. "It's a serene escape. We love to hang out in here."


Millie Gianoukakis of Locust Valley went all-out princess-style when it came to designing this bedroom for the little girl she is waiting to adopt from Colombia. Pink walls, a canopy bed (with tulle) shaped like a princess carriage and a whimsical, multicolored pink and brown rug adorn the bedroom. "After having two boys and having blue all over, I knew I wanted to see pink in the house," she says. Once the canopy bed was in place, Gianoukakis added an assortment of vintage-style picture frames with a distressed white finish from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, a pink chandelier from Toys R Us and a lamp from HomeGoods she customized by gluing mulberry roses around the shade. "This little girl has no idea that there is a special room waiting for her in a loving family, and we cannot wait to meet her. It is a princess room for our little princess."


Don't be afraid to mix it up when it comes to royal design. Pink is not the only princess color around. Go for the blue violets, the pale greens and yellows. Purple is another regal color -- the color of kings, says Roslyn Harbor designer Mercedes Courland.

Wallpaper also can add panache -- many styles available today are loaded with rich detail and timeless patterns.

"The whole concept of a princess room is very customized," says Courland. "You want to customize it to all the specific desires of the princess."

Courland incorporates lots of embellishments into her designs. These rich details include crystal buttons, medallion patterns, glass-beaded trim and fringe, which, she says, all add to the opulent effect. "There is a certain amount of drama, but you don't want it to be overdone, just tasteful."

Although the typical princess room has some pink and purple elements, Courland says she is seeing more people being adventurous.


Outfitting her castle 

For those kids who don't live in a real castle and have a royal parent with an unlimited decorating budget, here are some finds that are fairly reasonably priced:

An essential item for any princess bedroom is the chandelier. "These lights add romance and beauty to any room," says Gayle Silver, designer-owner of Port Washington-based Painting With Flowers.

The crystals, scrollwork and beads give the Georgia Chandelier a fairy-tale quality that is timeless, $425. Available at Painting With Flowers, 298 Main St., Port Washington,, 516-883-4164.

Any princess room will pop with this Rose Castle Window Mural that features an enchanted backdrop of the fairy castle and mountain. Created by a local artist, these murals are made from vinyl and are easy to apply. (Note to parents: When the princess gets tired of having the mural on one wall, she can peel it off and move it to another wall without damaging the wall paint.) The mural can be made in any size. The one shown is 3 feet by 3 feet and priced at $126,, 631-316-8113. Also available at Wall Sticker Outlet in the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, 200 Tanger Mall Dr., Suite 300A, Riverhead, $126, or 888-557-0255.

A princess needs her beauty rest. Indulge in this luxurious semi-fitted grande princess bedspread in blush and cream tone. The style and elegant detail of scrolls and embroidery make a royal statement. This full-size bedspread is $179.99. Also available in king and queen sizes (shams and pillows additional), or 800-457-7456.


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