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Each of the three kids' bedrooms required the expected tidy out, with school books and projects, posters, and old clothing scattered about. Did their dad have any idea how they kept their rooms? The worst walls to tackle were Ali's, as she had scrawled graffiti everywhere. Indelible black marker is impossible to scrub off, and this was even a tough job for high hide primer. DON'T write on your walls! Maggie's room showed some of her artistic spirit with the hot pink blanket draped over her bed. It gave us some idea where to begin. Nico's old room showed that he had a passion for war games and hobbies that included BMX bikes. It was a jumble of the first order and needed a masterful organization plan.
I love decorating kids' rooms. You can really let your imagination go wild. We designed three different looks for three very different personalities.
Ali is the eldest at 17, and it's hard to believe, given all that graffiti, that she really craved a pretty and tranquil room. It took hours of scrubbing and coats of primer, but we managed to end up with clean, calm turquoise walls. The centerpiece is the day bed, painted and dressed in soft gray tones. Its dual nature makes the room a cool hangout for almost grown up young women to lounge around, chat and even study. The walls are turquoise blue, the ceiling is mocha and fabrics are lightweight and breezy. Her old dresser didn't suit the new style, so we jazzed it up with pearly gray transfer foil. There's space for personal touches such as the framed photography over the bed, and shelves for favorite books.
Fifteen-year-old, vivacious Maggie has a passion for color and painting, and wanted a new, bigger bed. There was no stopping us! Hot pink walls set the mood for this eclectic room. Exotic fabrics in golden ochers and reds hang from the custom-made, four-poster bed. Vinyl tiles on the floor are easy to clean up after Maggie's paint sessions. Two plain melamine wardrobe cupboards were fixed up with paint and knobs for hanging bracelets, baubles and belts. To complete this lively teen bedroom, we put up a large framed mirror and huge notice board.
Nico is 12, loves camping with his dad, and military stuff, so we had some fun designing a boy scout barracks. Camouflage colors cover the walls and floor, and fat weave army netting hangs at the window. Even his camp cot bed is wrapped in camouflage fabric. Black metal shelving and lockers provide plenty of storage space, and we built Nico a safe and solid work table. This bedroom is now a perfect base of operation for any young man.
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The day bed is the focal point of Ali's bed/sitting room. We constructed this simple design with plywood; the sides and back are 28 inches high and trimmed with stock rope molding. The bed was painted light gray. Foam pads covered in a pearly satin fabric that matches the look of the dresser, form the backrest. The bed linens and throw cushions range from taupes to grays in keeping with the serene and sophisticated mood.
Ali's old wood dresser was an attractive shape, but needed a facelift. We applied a foiled finish that reflects like frosted ice. The piece was sanded, primed and given a base coat of light gray paint. The second coat of gray was applied in small sections, and the pearly transfer foil was laid down while the paint was still wet, then rubbed firmly with a soft clean cloth. After the piece was completely covered, and the paint dry, the foil coating was removed leaving the silvery texture behind on the dresser. The drawer handles were removed and spray painted silver.
We chose contemporary paint colors to carry a cool, tranquil message. Beautiful turquoise blue walls are topped with a tawny taupe ceiling and trimmed with crisp white crown moldings. The white carpet, and two-tone window sheers keep the mood fresh and light.
A pattern of X's was cut into each of the sturdy 4" x 4" cedar bedposts with a chain saw, and sanded to remove any splinters. A wash of white paint was rubbed on to weather the wood. Large carriage bolts secure the posts to the bed's plywood platform, and copper pipes stabilize the top. Rich and exotic fabrics hang from the copper pipes by fabric loops that have Velcro closings.
This bedroom had no clothes closet, so we used two plain melamine cupboards. They were placed together and decorated to look like one piece. The slippery laminate surfaces were sanded and primed to prepare them for paint. A warm white base coat was applied. Then slender tree branches were sketched with chalk to reach across the four doors. The design was filled in with umber ocher acrylic paint and a small brush, rubbing the paint back to create the different shades of bark. Knobs sprayed gold were screwed into position randomly over the branches to hold Maggie's necklaces, belts and other personal trinkets.
Fuchsia is a hot pink that isn't normally used in a bedroom, but is well suited to this young, eclectic teenager. The rich golden ambers and reds in the bed draperies make a comforting cocoon or can be opened up to let in the sun. There's ample space on the large notice board to display Maggie's artwork, photos and upcoming events. The two tone vinyl-tile floor is an unusual choice, but practical.
Choose jungle paint colors--leafy greens, khaki, blue, and mustard beige for this camouflage effect. To get inspired, copy a camouflage design from the computer or a length of fabric. Draw the flowing shapes with chalk randomly over the walls, running the freehand designs down onto the floor, around corners, over trim and up onto the ceiling. The trick to this effect when drawing the color splotches is "not too many and not too big." Fat-weave army camouflage netting is strung from clothesline for a very cool window shade.
Practical camping gear in basic black fits perfectly with the theme and budget. A wall of black metal shelves holds see-through plastic boxes filled with hobbies, tools, games and other important kid stuff. We painted some secondhand lockers, and found heavy-duty storage crates at an army supply store.
What could be more important for an avid hobbyist than a custom work table? Two pieces of 3/4" plywood, 30"x30", were glued together to make a solid table top and bottom shelf. Hard-wearing, easy-clean Formica was cut to fit and glued to the top, and industrial wheels that lock were screwed into the base.