Before: Under-Used Guest RoomTara and Scott live in a charming house with their two young daughters, Eliana and Talia. To save on space, Mom, Dad and Eliana have been sharing the master bedroom, and Talia has been occupying a smaller second bedroom.
The cramped quarters weren't ideal, and Tara and Scott were ready to reclaim their bedroom and give their girls a new space they could share. So I summoned up my inner child to see if I could turn the family's under-used attic/guest space into a fun and fabulous bedroom for the two girls--and give Mom and Dad a little privacy.
The room had to please the whole family. It had to accommodate the sisters, who would be bunking down together for the first time. And it had to please Mom and Dad, who didn't want a traditional pink and frilly "girly" space, but a room that was as warm and creative as their daughters. My challenge would be to create a communal space that would still give each girl her individuality and make it inviting and inventive enough to fuel both of their little imaginations.
The room's biggest asset was its view of a magnificent magnolia tree and backyard. This became my design inspiration, and I decided to bring those elements inside and create a whimsical, garden-inspired space for the girls (and any wandering garden fairies who happened to be present).
After: Beautiful Girls' BedroomTo start the transformation, I decided on a color scheme of soft apple greens, funky pinks and light creams. I painted all of the walls a light green and then covered parts of it with amazing floral wallpaper that looks like a painted mural. I then handpainted flowers and butterflies on the walls, floors and ceiling.
For the fabrics, I stuck to smart stripes and box-stitched polished cotton, mixed with pretty laces and roses. For the window, I used small blackout blinds, covered by faux Roman blinds that I raised high above the short window to make it look longer. I then added a gorgeous scalloped valance and framed it all with iridescent side panels trimmed with rosette lace. I also chose a rose pattern for the soft coverlets on the girls' beds.
For the floors I used a unique system of replaceable carpet tiles in various colors and patterns that I assembled into an area-type rug and stuck down onto the existing hardwood floor.
There wasn't much light to speak of in this attic-like space, so having only one junction box at my disposal, I decided on a simple halogen track lighting system to give it the brightness it needed. I also threw in a little magical glass chandelier for atmosphere.
It was then time to undertake the room's organization. I designated one side of the room for Talia and the other for Eliana and nestled both of their beds underneath the room's oddly angled eaves. I also designed an activity center for them to share along one wall, with bookshelves above and two chalkboard painted storage cubes below. I set up a little table and chairs and toy box along the other wall for all manner of play.
I then added the finishing touches that would help to transform this space into a garden fairy's paradise. I included a healthy smattering of toys, pictures, pillows, feathers and flowers, and the room was complete.
This once underutilized guest space got a fanciful face-lift and is now a unique little girls' bedroom that is perfect for tea parties, bedtime stories and fairy-inspired make believe. How divine!
(Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of Home & Garden Television's Divine Design.)