Over the holidays, we had a house full of people. Besides our own five grown children, we hosted five other individuals and a dog. It meant next to near constant shopping for food, cooking food, putting food away, and then starting over. Also, note to self: one can never have too many towels.
When it came to sleeping arrangements, everyone made do. Our sons' bedrooms are very little changed from their teen years. Their heads on pillows, our guests enjoyed graffitied walls, chrome hubcap collages, and polaroid picture displays.
It got me thinking about being an adult guest in a child's room. What follows are some interesting kid rooms that I rate as an adult occupant.
I'd like to shake the hand of the designer or the mother who lovingly taped up all these blossoms because this is how you decorate a little girl's bedroom. You take a shit ton of artificial flowers, a roll of green washi tape, a ladder, and voila! Instant romance. I'm pretty sure if I had spent my formative years surrounded by 3-d flower walls, I might have turned into Mindy Copeland.
Rating: 4 / 5
(Photo by Genevieve Garruppo.)
I'm not sure what hygge means, but I bet this room is it. Can a floor be too clean? If I'm afraid to brush my hair, then yes. And while I love the graphic punch, the space feels like a geometry test. (I hated geometry.) The tire swings look fun but there's not enough clearance, Clarence. The cushions and throw pillows along the wall appeal to my inner bohemian but I don't think I could resume a standing position in the morning without a little leakage occurring. Little Sven probably loves his attic room but I'd prefer a blow-up mattress in the kitchen.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
(Photo by Sean Litchfield.)
Designer David Netto says grown-up furniture is unexpected in a child's room. He might have a point. The five-year-old (no joke) who sleeps in this room gets a vintage ball chair by Eero Aarnio, a simulated hornet's nest for a ceiling light, an African feather headdress on the wall, and giant domino dot bedding and drapes. Also, the tile floor is fabulous but not enough to mitigate the musty portraits over the bed. I assume they represent the child's ancestors, watching over her as she sleeps, making sure that she grows up well-adjusted and sane, despite the close proximity of a life-sized skeleton and dead deer heads. Those ancestors might also want to keep an eye on the glass globe lights perched on walking canes next to the youngster's pillow.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
My dad was a safety-obsessed pediatrician who saw danger and dismemberment everywhere. As a result, I was deprived of Easy Bake Ovens, lawn darts, gauzy pajamas (fire hazard) and bunk beds. This sort of set-up -- a lofted platform the size of a balcony suspended over the childrens' beds via four pieces of rope -- would have driven him nuts. I can just hear him growling at the proud parents, "It's a guillotine waiting to happen." Such a paranoid!
Also, the fluffy pillows and carpeting look so inviting. And any child's room with antlers and abstract art gets extra points in my book.
Rating: 5 / 5
Designer Miles Redd must have remembered the sensation of lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I love this room, with its patriotic pilot vibe. Sleeping here, I would imagine myself as Beryl Markham. The anthropomorphic benches at the foot of the bed might freak me out in the middle of the night when I get up to use the bathroom but they sure are chic. The snow white duvet covers make me nervous but I'll keep my cup of tea away from the bed.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
What a space! Overstuffed gingham upholstery, nautical flags, a suspended sled. It's an atelier for future graduates of Brown University, don't you think? If the mother of these children is clever enough to design such a fantasyland, surely she's able to locate a Mary Poppins for the children so she and I can go join the Women's March. Look! There's even a carousel in the foreground. Oh Bert...
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Hmmm. The duality of this room inspires dual emotions of love and hate. It's all so weird that the soccer ball looks strangely out of place. I do appreciate all the texture. The mural of the near-sighted pixie is, on a good day, charming. But she would get on my nerves within a week. Why is she pursing her lips? I do like the owl pillow on the couch, and the ceiling fixtures are mesmerizing. But the daybed looks claustrophobic and I'm tiny.
Rating: 3 / 5
This room, with its plywood floor and walls, calls to mind a kid's clubhouse. Except do kids these days still make things? Do they know how to wield a hammer? Anyway, again with the low upholstered cushion on the floor... but at least I'd be level with the peep hole window. And the ice cream light is delicious. I like how it is making the shark open his mouth in hunger. The scale of everything is whacked in this room and as a kid, I'd love it. As an adult, I'd feel like an intruder.
Rating: 3 / 5
This room is the bees knees! It's an aerie in an enchanted forest! Yes, it's busy. The elements are all in competition with each other, as if the mother and child could not agree so they split up the decisions. "Fine, mom, you can hang that snake print but then I get to spray paint the beds chartreuse." But somehow it all works. And despite my misgivings about iron beds - are they noisy? can you lean back and read? - I'd spend a week in this room with no complaints.
Rating: 5 / 5
(Photo by Pieter Estersohn.)
Which atrocity is worse: the dead and fileted goat pinned to the wall by the weapons that killed it; the stunning architectural element that is obscured and upstaged by said dead goat; or the little girl calmly reclining under, what must be in the darkness, the makings of perpetual night terrors.
Maybe this is how European royalty decorate their children's quarters?
Rating 1 / 5
(Photo by Francesco Lagnese.)
If you like getting a little snarky about interiors, you might enjoy this post: TEN SILLY DECOR IDEAS FROM A SKEPTIC IN WISCONSIN
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