~Delightful~ Disorder in the Bedroom

January 18, 2013



Years ago, as an architect was walking through the second floor hallway of my house, she remarked “You know what  you do with these kids’ rooms, right?”  And she slammed the doors shut.



the desk



With the holiday stuff finally hauled back to the attic and my daughter returned to college, I’ve turned my ~tepid~ attention to her bedroom. We’re packing the whole thing up in preparation for refinishing the oak floors.  To be honest, I’ve paid scant attention to her room over the past few years (like never go in there) but got a little nostalgic today looking around. Got me thinking about kids rooms in general and the reality of what they look like most of the time.



shoe pile #2



If you have a teenager (unless they have an oddly minimalistic bent), their rooms are usually a mess, right?  Lots of stuff laying in lots of piles– most of it important and not to be touched by anyone but themselves. Ever.





But in fairness to my daughter, she’s just a little messy some of the time. There are also some very pretty little vignettes to be snapped– her room is quite nice and filled with the things she loves.  She chose the deep peacock wall color–  “Bluebeard ”  from C2 Paint.





An antique headboard covered in brown toile is certainly “grown-up”  but whimsical enough to feel right with the room’s “bohemian” vibe.





Floaty, embroidered floor to ceiling drapery panels are from World Market.





Art that she loves:



pop art



Warhol. And more Warhol.






Pretty, yes?  But for kids, especially teenagers, it’s only a matter of time before the “Hello Kitty” stickers, posters, ticket stubs and swim team photos start going up on that nice new coat of paint– with bad, sticky tape or worse.  So…. back to the real reason I started this post– to talk about one little (actually kinda big) thing that can help corral some of this stuff in one place and “save” your walls.







It’s called Homosote. Probably never heard of it.  But it is sold at your local Home Depot and can be cut and covered with fabric to create a large bulletin board. There is a fabulous link on all about how to do this here.  For teenagers’ rooms, I love to use the entire 4×8 panel– floor to ceiling. This is my daughter’s accumulation of 4 years of “stuff”  (don’t look too closely).






When it comes to kids’ rooms– you gotta relax.  It’s their space… they’ll find a way to express themselves there one way or another, but you can actually help them do that.

Shut the door if you must.






And always say YES to cats and dogs, but NO to guinea pigs and chipmunks (in the bedroom that is).


+  have a great weekend! 






Reveal: Out-the-back-door

April 20, 2012


I have an “iffy” relationship with my “out-the-back-door” world.  It’s nice.  I’m fortunate enough to live on top of a hill– a really lovely, private and woodsy sloping lot .  My deck is elevated with a treehouse view of towering old oaks and a mature stand of mountain laurel and dogwoods. I’m in Virginia, with an agreeable temperate climate. It is nice — but just some of the time. Which is why I’m not quite sold on the “outdoor living room”  idea. But I’m experimenting with it. : )




First, there is my fickle relationship with the hibiscus plant. In Virginia these would be classified as annuals– showy, exuberant  beauties that are enjoyed during a short summer season. I love them. I buy them every year with high hopes but usually watch them wither and fade away by July.  But I try– so  last week I carted a pair of lovelies off the lot at Home Depot, determined to make them thrive.  Of course, what caught my eye was the gorgeous egg-yolk-yellow color of the blooms (with a brilliant red center)– a new variety. Triple swoon. Perfect.  Form over function every time. : )



A snap after a rain shower today ~perfect~



And by late this afternoon, three blooms had unfurled…shockingly pretty (no, Photoshop not involved)!



So had to capture things at their most perfect because I ‘m guessing the blooms will drop in like 3 days– total peak (MiracleGro -enhanced), including the purple ‘May Night’ salvia that wintered over in its clay pot this year. Color trifecta.



And it’s also time to enjoy my new sunken “living room” on the lower level of the deck… just off the truck from Ballard Designs and unpacked.  LOVING IT so far.  But not sure how it will truly hold up with the onslaught of sticky tree sap, rain and coffee/wine drips. When I first experienced these sorts of outdoor spaces while living in San Diego and Sydney, they seemed so sensuous and indulgent.  Rugs and cushy sofas outdoors? Well it made sense there because this stuff stayed outside year round w/ little rain. We will see. But for now, I’m enjoying morning coffee and evening vino out here.




The colors all came together… a dark green market umbrella, neutral cushions on the furniture, an old outdoor Safavieh rug in an over-scaled red medallion pattern and a pop of color in pillows (World Market).



My girlfriends have christened the new space with Pinot Grigio and gossip.  And the cat approves.  All is colorful, waterproof, blooming and good in my little corner of the world… today.




photo via Mik Caravan



Happy April weekend!