A Tween Girl's Underwater-Themed Bedroom

A tropical color palette, luxe fabrics and an under-the-sea theme combine to create a pitch-perfect bedroom for an ocean-loving 10-year-old girl.

Small Space, Big on Color

Just 10' x 10', this whimsical girl's room was previously the home office. Mom and designer Kathleen DiPaolo put small-space tricks to work and used her daughter's love of the ocean to create an underwater haven for 10-year-old Posy.

Kathleen and Posy

The DiPaolos California home is just blocks from the ocean, so it's natural that many of Posy's activities involve water. She's such an enthusiastic swimmer that Kathleen's nickname for her is "little fish."

Balance Brights With White

Bright white wainscoting reflects light and keeps the wallpaper's busy pattern from overwhelming the small space.

Custom Comfort

Kathleen custom-designed the daybed which cleverly features a pullout trundle bed for sleepovers. The headboard's curvy design represents bubbles while the pillows pick up colors from the wallpaper.

Kid-Approved Design

Kids are happiest in rooms where they had some say in the design. Kathleen treated Posy as a client and allowed her to have final approval on all the room's colors and fabrics.

Visually Open Up a Small Space

Lots of mirrors in a small space are a must. Posy chose this one because the frame's carved pattern reminds her of fish scales.

All In the Details

Found online, this porcelain ginger jar lamp was hand-painted with apple-green quatrefoils to coordinate with the room's tropical color palette.

Space-Saving Window Treatment

Roman shades are a great choice for a small space. Drawn, they offer the same privacy as drapery panels without taking up any floor space.

Freshen Up Thrifty Finds

A coat of bright turquoise paint gives this secondhand dresser a trendy update. Kathleen and Posy painted it together as a mom/daughter project.

Pile On the Pillows

Posy handpicked fabrics that remind her of fish scales for each of the custom-made pillows topping the daybed.

On-Theme Lighting

To complete the look in a themed kids' room, don't forget the lighting. Kathleen found this overhead fixture featuring rows of crystal lusters that resemble water droplets at a national home improvement store.

A Bit of Bright

Posy's room lacked a closet because it was originally a home office. To stash her daughter's stuff, Kathleen added a free-standing closet to one wall. These hand-blown glass knobs help to tie the white doors into the rest of the room by adding a bright splash of color.

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