Design isn’t just for adults. Kids — even babies — should get their own fantastic spaces filled with creativity, color and plenty of possibilities. Designers say that the best way to start is to think about how children’s rooms can provide a place to dream.
A Shopkins theme
A lot can go wrong when decorating with licensed character products, but Lareicha Hunter, 36, found a way to make it work in the Shopkins-themed bedroom of her 5-year-old daughter, Kyla. Among her tips: Don’t go overboard. “I don’t like clutter, and I like things simple,” says Hunter. “There are so many options, and I didn’t want this room to be too much.” Hunter chose a carefully edited selection of character designs, and added each element selectively. “I added piece by piece, so I could see how it looked before adding something else,” she said. “It took about three weeks.”
“I wanted a white background, because I think any other color would be overpowering,” Kyla's mom says. “And when she’s off Shopkins, we can easily transition to another character.” (The wall decals can be peeled off.) “Plus, the basic pink and white colors are still girlie and pretty.”
“Licensed character products cost more than plain products,” says Hunter. So even though she wanted to splurge a little, she still looked around to find items that were both on-brand and affordable. The bedspread and sheets ($49 and $30 respectively, both at Target) were the first buy, followed by a poster and wall decals ($20 and $26 for the package, respectively, both through Amazon). Stuffed animals were purchased from various locations for $10 to $25 each.
Hunter made some of her own artwork. “I made a poster out of a piece of Kyla’s ripped Shopkins backpack,” she says. “I framed it in a picture frame from Michaels that I spray-painted it gold.”
A well-planned nursery
Amanda Peppard of Huntington Station, owner and creative director of Suite Pieces, a home design and DIY store with locations in Massapequa and Huntington Station, says she planned every detail in her baby Madison’s nursery.
Peppard worked with the Huntington Closet Company ($575 for design and install) to create a closet in the former office with pop-out shelves that can be transformed into a hanging space as her daughter grows. Then she added even more storage options, including a 12-drawer dresser and a hutch. Peppard added temporary wallpaper in a gold scallop pattern (Brass Belly Tempaper, $125 a roll) to make the closet sparkle.
“I got all the furniture at my store, except the crib, which was given to me by my sister-in-law, and the glider chair, which is from Buy Buy Baby ($350).” Peppard used Annie Sloan paint ($39.95 a quart) to customize the furniture, and
She also changed the hardware on the hutch and dresser, and she used a Target rug ($79.99) in cream, gray and black to brighten up the hardwood floor. Kate Spade fabrics on the window add another touch of fun.
A little more sparkle for Madison.
Loft life (with plenty of room for sleepovers)
It’s hard to decide what makes 8-year-old Evie Loewy’s Port Washington room more exciting: the loft or the color.
Annette Jaffe, who owns Annette Jaffe Interiors in Port Washington, created the loft space over expansive custom closets. Jaffe and Evie came up with the design for the mural above the loft, which they then took to a graphics company (Minnesota-based Murals Your Way, priced to the trade only).
The closets have plenty of storage and they have stairs built into them. Up top, Evie has beds, toys and a view of her domain.
The bed where Evie sleeps most of the time is on the other side of the room. It and the headboard and bulletin boards are custom made (all built by Workroom Creations in Port Washington, $2,310, with fabric from Osborne and Little, $631). “Between the desk [Pottery Barn Kids, $250], bed and loft, there are so many areas to relax, play and sleep,” says Jaffe.
We knew we were going for vibrant color,” Jaffe says. “The white trim that is present throughout the house pops cleanly in her room.” Jaffe added a jewel-toned Missoni carpet (Tuscany, in Sunset, $3,000 from Campbell’s Carpet in Port Washington) to bring together the colors.
Sports spoken here
In New Hyde Park, contractor Thomas Perno, 50, and his wife, Renee, 52, who works in real estate, decided it was time to refresh their sons’ rooms. Matthew, 22, and Stephen, 14, pictured, who both love sports, got team-themed redos, and Kyle, 19, who was hoping to play Division 1 soccer in college, got a room that reflected his goals.
The family hired Angela Leva and Suzan Visconti of Leva Visconti Designs, an interior design firm with offices in New Hyde Park and Lloyd Harbor.
The redecorated bedroom of the Pernos' eldest son, Matthew.
Leva and Visconti knew that for Kyle, in particular, it would be important to blend his intense love of soccer with a few practical components. Because Kyle is a fan of Futbol Club Barcelona, his walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Twilight Blue ($55 a gallon), similar to the team’s color.
Kyle’s jersey, academic and athletic merit certificates, and personal photos were framed and hung.
Expansive spaces on the wall were the perfect spot for large-scale themed stickers. “We ordered a large sticker [$55, from fathead.com] and also had custom wall stickers [from dalidecals.com, $60 to $110] made of Kyle’s last name and his jersey number to decorate the area above his dresser [Charmer Collection, about $750],” says Leva.
A red faux leather chair (HomeGoods, about $149) was placed in a corner, a small desk (Charmer Collection, about $500) was tucked away near a custom closet. A Barcelona team throw ($30, on Amazon), plus decorative pillows that Leva and Visconti made using patches, add pop to the bed.
Kyle, who did make a Division 1 soccer team at college, says he couldn’t be happier. “What I like most about my room is everything,” he says. “It’s where I feel the most relaxed and in my zone. Truly, I don’t ever come out of it. This room is my sanctuary.”