I love helping friends restyle rooms. My process of décor coaching is a bit different than what an interior decorator does. A decorator wants/needs to have their clients require their talents each time the client wants to change a room; that is how they make a living. This is a valuable service if you have the budget to work in their cost every time you redecorate. My goal is to try to inspire the person who lives in the house to make the room represent their personality and learn this skill so they can do it on their own. That is how I gauge a successful client; by the time I am done they should feel confident to re-do a room without my help. I do this by actually having my client do much of the design work with me. I have them come with me to buy pieces; I send them on shopping assignments to find different items, and I encourage them to make design choices. I don’t tell them what would look good as much as I give them a few “good” choices and let them decide. This helps them gain confidence to make choices alone and teaches them how to edit all the choices there are in a store. I use the same technique with my fashion clients; my ultimate goal is for each person to be able to choose for themselves in a way that works for their personal style; no matter if it is décor or fashion. If a client has a creative flair or a talent that we can use in the restyling I have them make or refurbish items to be used in the room. This makes the new room very personal and custom.
This Sweet Sixteen Birthday Bedroom was for a good friend of mine that already has a very keen sense of style. Her daughter was turning 16 and she wanted to update her room to reflect a more mature and individual young lady and not a “little girl” room. I had her ask her daughter for some insight and direction but the majority of the styling was a surprise for her birthday. This made the project a little tricky since we could not ask her daughter as we went along and we had to guess what “Boho/Romantic” meant to her.
If any of you have teens or spend any kind of time with them you know how impossible it can be to get detailed information. Getting a teen to tell you clearly, with description, what they are talking about is really close to… Well, brain surgery might be easier 😉 None the less, we did get a good idea of the general direction to go. If I may offer a bit of advice; photos from the Internet or design magazines are really helpful when working with teens. I have found that a teen’s definition of a style trend can be quite different than the actual or traditional definition of a trend. So, show them photos or have them find photos of what they like. It will make the process much easier and less painful. If you are working on a boy’s room gather all examples of color, style, décor ideas all at one time. Let them know they will only have to sit with you once. Trust me; I have boys, all with decorated rooms that represent their style. If you keep bugging boys over and over again with choices they will either shut down or say “yes” to everything to get you to stop bothering them. Then after you are done doing what you think they want, they will look at you like you are totally crazy and promise you that they “never agreed to any of it”. Actually, men will do this too, they never outgrow it, so if you want a man to be any part of your design choices; do it once and make it simple. You take care of all the fluff, have them help with colors and general theme and stop there.
For this Sweet Sixteen Bedroom I was asked to create a room that looked Boho/Romantic; the definition being a combination of Shabby Chic, bright Bohemian/ Moroccan, lace, floral and antique all melded together seamlessly without looking psychotic. I wasn’t sure that we could actually pull it off since the Boho Bright look really doesn’t transition well with the romantic pastel that is traditionally Shabby Chic, antique and lace. I decided that the best place to pivot from would be a color palette and then go from there. When starting any room it is best to find a piece or group of pieces (work in odd numbers) and have the entire room move outward from that item(s). Since our styles didn’t really meld, I thought it would be easier to start from color then décor pieces. The color palette we used was pink, purple and aqua and we used both brights and ice pastels.
The room needed storage so we used baskets in the color scheme. All of the existing furniture was reused; it was all white so it made it easy to use. We used decorative hooks to hang jewelry and a large mirror to stand in for a headboard. I made a custom bulletin board to give her the ability to personalize her room with photos and keepsakes. I like the way we blended all her distinct styles to give her a totally unique and personal space that represented her as an individual; what more could you ask for in a bedroom 🙂
Mirror at the head of the bed is an easy way to do a headboard.
I made the bulletin board to coordinate with the room colors. See the “How To” on my Embellish Blog.
The hooks are a fun way to hold necklaces.
You can see how the bright and pastel colors work together.
The stool cushion is a throw pillow that I attached lace ties to.
This was a fun room to design. It was a challenge to meld all the different styles. A well decorated room is a room that makes anyone in it happy and comfortable.