Monday, April 11, 2011

Mondays @ my house - Kyle's room

I love decorating kid's rooms ... I think they should be whimsical, colorful and spark imagination ... but they also need to stand the test of time so you're not redecorating every year or two. And while, as a parent, you may be the one picking the furniture, lamps, fabrics, etc. ... a child's room should be just that ... his or her own place to put their special treasures, memories, collectibles and the like. It should have the fingerprints of their personality all over it.

Here are some pictures of my oldest son Kyle's room.

Much to my delight, Kyle became an official Southern California beach bum on our first trip out there when he was 4.  Since I spent two weeks of every year of my childhood visiting my grandparents and exploring the coast between San Diego and Laguna beach with my family, it has always been important to me to have my own family fall in love with the area as well. No problem there. 
This is a kid who's only request of his grandparents when they go on vacation is to bring him back a "cool shell."

So Kyle was on board (no pun intended) with turning his room into a kind of beachy, surfer's mecca. It has evolved over the years as he's collected things from our own travels, not to mention his ever-growing shell collection.

For artwork, I asked my dad to take some pictures from our favorite beach, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. Here's what he took.

I had them blown up and printed on gallery-wrapped canvas. We love the vintage woody and the pops of color the surfboards and "surfer's crossing" sign bring to the room. Plus, they have special meaning to both Kyle ... he can say that "Pa" took them ... and to me, as they evoke memories of many sunny sand-filled days in my childhood.

The lamp in the above picture was a steal I found at Target ... I've seen much more expensive versions of this beach glass style at other stores. The base and shade are sold separately, which I love, so I was able to pick out a nice textured burlap fabric for the shade. The colorful buoys I purchased from Wisteria, and of course, the starfish collection is Kyle's own.

The paint color inspiration for this room was taken from Serena & Lily's Chambray. I purchased a sample from their website and then had it matched at Home Depot. To me it is the perfect soft blue for a boy's room.

The bedding is also inspired by this look from Serena & Lily.  Their catalog business was pretty new when I was designing Kyle's room, and when it first hit my mailbox I was so excited by this company that was creating kids' room using sophisticated colors, patterns, furniture and antiques ... especially in boys rooms where it's usually harder to find inspiration. I thought this room was especially swoon worthy.

George Bedding Collection

I love the playful mix of a subtly geometric sheet with the seersucker stripe and the yellow trim. So I purchased the sheets and pillow shams through Serena and Lily and then had my own comforters made from a place called Kids Komfortz.

They have a genius product called Huggers. It is a comforter tailored to fit the mattress. The corners at the foot of the Hugger include elastic so that the Hugger "hugs" the mattress, making it super easy for kids to make their own bed!

I love how it creates a nice crisp and clean corner.  I purchased my fabric and yellow trim at a local fabric store and sent it out to Kids Komfortz. A few weeks later I received 2 large boxes in the mail!

Kids Komfortz does have it's own large selection of fabric you can choose from, but through trial and error in making a comforter for my other son's bedroom, I found that many of the fabrics I liked and ordered swatches of just weren't very soft.  What I love about these comforters in Kyle's room are that they are so soft and cozy and the wash extremely well.

We added a clip on light to his bed for reading ... which makes it a cozy little nook.

On the top bunk sits his Chicago Bulls Build-a-Bear and the new baseball pillowcase he just got from a friend for his birthday. I got the lifeguard ring pillow from Land of Nod.

For additional artwork, I decided to create a mini art wall above his top bunk built around this vintage french ship print I had purchased that Kyle also loved. ( I had originally wanted to hang it somewhere else in my house but Kyle really liked it.)  On Etsy, I searched for a large wooden K and found this one from Compulsive Collection. I bought the weathered wood frame at Hobby Lobby and hung it around the K to give it a little more presence. I found the collection of coral prints at Pottery Barn.

On other walls, I wanted to create display space for some of his other collectibles.

(Those are some of his largest shells.)

This surfboard shelf was a must when we saw it at Pottery Barn kids. Kyle also has a thing for Alligators. That little alligator head is from a trip to the Everglades. (I am still in search of a more interesting clock.)

I got this little side chair from Ikea. I love the texture and outdoorsy feel that the wicker brings.

The pennant banner below is also from Pottery Barn kids. I like the extra color and interest it brings to the bunk beds.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I think it's so important for a kid's room to be filled with the things they love. And so even though his bookshelves and  bulletin board may be a little more cluttered than I would personally choose them to be ... this is his room and I want him to have the space to display his favorite things.

(Fortunately, he has a large closet with some extra shelving ... perfect for displaying his many Lego Creations!) Also, lest you think he is not a total sports nut ... he and my husband have turned 1/3 of our lower level into a sports arena called The Worick Center. (No idea where the name Worick came from ... it's a kind of like the United Center just with the added imagination of a 6 year old.) That will have to be a future post!

While we did purchase several things for Kyle's room from traditional children's stores, I think the key to creating a more sophisticated room is to mix in some things from "regular" stores as well.  Those are the things that will bring longevity to a room.

Some future ideas for the space include finding a great, vintage authentic surfboard to hang on the wall, to do something with paint ... either a large wide yellow stripe around the room or to paint the ceiling a bright yellow like this one I spotted in a nursery designed by Sherry Hart.

I've also toyed around with the idea of painting ... or making ... a crossroads sign on one of his walls ... you know, the kind where all the signposts point in different directions.  Each one would have the name of a great surfing beach. Something like this ...

What are some of your favorite ideas for creating design-friendly rooms your kids still love?