Camille Flurry's Athens, Ga., bedroom is the perfect example of a tween room done right. To create a one-of-a-kind, eclectic, super-cool space, Camille's mom, Amy, combined handed-down family pieces with finds from local flea markets, vintage boutiques and art festivals. The white bed and nightstand first belonged to Amy as a child. She supplemented these finds with traditional area rugs from local stores. The chandelier is a budget-saver from a local lighting company that Amy customized with red spray paint to brighten Camille's room.
One of the most treasured items in Camille's room is a handed-down wooden vanity. She uses it to hold some of her everyday items, such as an old blue journal, 1980s sunglasses and a seafoam-green-toned coffee cup — perfect for displaying her ready supply of lollipops.
Camille's vanity was passed down to her by her maternal grandmother. Its worn-in, aged wood exterior is ideal for an active, hula-hooping tween like Camille. Her mom has no fear of bumps and dings on the furniture since they simply add to the piece's antique charm.
Graphic, hand-painted wall designs are an excellent, non-committal way to add colorful, one-of-a-kind focal points to a tween's space. Once a tween outgrows the design, simply paint over it. Camille's design is a modern, graphic representation of a chrysanthemum that was created as a gift from local painter and family friend Lou Kregel. The design sports two Sherwin-Williams paint colors, blue-green "Restful" and yellow-green "Gleeful."
Mom and daughter share a common fondness for all things handmade. Amy creates custom couture creations from paper through her studio, Paper Cut Project, and Camille has filled her space with handmade accents. The poppy, floral bedding is from India Rose, the knit dolls are from Blabla, and the framed print hanging above the headboard is by Portland artist Emily Martin. Art festivals are an excellent source for finding original prints at affordable prices, as Amy found when she picked up this print for just $24 at a holiday market.
Handmade accessories, whether for the world of interiors or the world of fashion, are constantly growing in popularity, especially among tweens. Aside from her Blabla animals, Camille's recycled plastic bracelets and headbands are at the top of her list of abso-faves.
Amy explains, "Those are from Senegal. We bought them at a small shop in the Marais district of Paris called CSAO, right around the corner from our apartment when we stayed a few summers ago. Each week the kids would buy a few more. By the end of the summer, Camille had an armful!"
Nostalgia comes in all forms in Camille's room. Not only is the bed the same one her mom once slept in, but Camille has become a huge fan of the same iconic sneakers that were popular when her mom was her age: high-top Converse All Stars. Converse lovers can now create their own custom pair of high-tops or low-tops at Converse.com.
Though they may feel years beyond having their kindergartner school art posted on the refrigerator, tweens still like to display their self-made creations in their rooms. Camille made this teal elephant out of paper mache in art class. She keeps it on display on the shutters next to her bed.
Classic hand-knit creations that defy trends and fads — such as these colorful dolls from Blabla — are excellent for accessorizing tween rooms. They're colorful and graphic enough to make a room fun, plus kids and adults alike can appreciate their timeless construction. When shopping for personal accent pieces, it's wise to consider the longevity of each item's "coolness." If it's just as hip to Mom and Dad as it is to their tween, it's likely it will remain in style indefinitely.
Most designers and stylists suggest having at least one thing that's truly alive in every room in the house. When it comes to girls' rooms, especially tweens, fresh flowers are an excellent choice. One of the most beloved cut flowers for designers is the architectural and feminine peony. As beloved as the peony is, it can be a pricy addition at $35 per bunch. Consider tulips as a great alternative — they last approximately a week and cost between $8-$12 per bunch.
When it comes to technology of the 1960s and 1970s, the saying "everything old is new again" could not be truer for tween rooms. Record players and vinyl LPs are new discoveries for tweens, and fun nostalgia for parents. Camille often invites friends over to hula-hoop while listening to records. Her favorites are records from the 1970s that were handed down from her dad, Alan. Flea markets are the best source for finding old record players and records themselves. To ensure a record player is in working order, always test by playing an album in the store or boutique. Don't forget to inquire about replacement needles.
Since the coal-burning fireplace in Camille's room is no longer functional, Amy converted it into display space for some of her favorite things: unique art, an antique doll and interesting medals. Amy points out the blue and white botanical diptych, noting: "Our good friend and incredibly talented artist Rinne Allen does these incredibly beautiful light drawings as a way to preserve some of the beauty of the foliage she and her mother, both gardeners, love so much. Rinne invited Camille down to her studio and, together, they made this series of light drawings."
Glass-eyed rubber dolls — considered creepy by some and cool by others — have remained a popular collectible by lovers of all things vintage. An excellent source for vintage-loving-tweens and/or their vintage-loving-parents, is Etsy.com, which is also home to numerous shops specializing in vintage-inspired doll clothes.
For flexible spaces that make tweens feel at home, consider choosing blues and greens like Camille's robin's-egg-blue walls ("Meander Blue" from Sherwin-Williams). Although Camille's bedroom has an overall feminine vibe, it feels welcoming enough to older brother Ellis, who appreciates the cool, hip, vintage look of his sister's space.
The most impactful design elements of Ellis' bedroom are the graphic, modern bull's-eyes painted on his room's focal wall. Hand-painted by family friend and painter Lou Kregel, each bull's-eye has five accent colors. From the outside in, the C2 Paints are: "Chamomile" C2-153, "Larkspur" C2-313, "Solo" C2-128, "Calypso" C2-089 and "Hydrangea" C2-315. Ellis' mom, Amy, found the antique brass bed a local vintage shop. Almost as big a fan of Blabla as his sister, Ellis's bed sports a pair of the knit Peruvian creations.
Ellis' room is a huge hit for friends and family, mostly because of its amazing architectural features. The dark wood door was returned to its original tone by Ellis' dad, Alan, who stripped and restored the door himself. To breathe new life into the old hardwood floor, Amy and Alan had it painted a Sherwin-Williams tone called "Adriatic Sea" in porch and floor paint in a high-gloss finish. The black globe was a gift from Ellis' paternal grandmother, and the blonde midcentury modern dresser was a local Athens, Ga., vintage-store find.
One of the most important aspects of successful tween bedroom design is to reserve open space for activities. The basketball net and open space in front of Ellis' closet inspire impromptu Nerf basketball games between Ellis and his dad, Alan, who reports playing his fair share of basketball in his tween days, too.
Mother and daughter show that handmade and vintage go hand-in-hand. At the end of a long day, Amy — wearing her vintage Lanvin dress — cuddles up with her daughter, Camille, who is sporting her own signature style: a Parisian, recycled, handmade headband.