Decorating a childs room is no longer limited to just slapping paint on the wall and buying cartoon character bedding. Today these spaces are as ageless and as stylish as any room in the house.
Parents are investing in convertible beds that transform from cribs to twin and even full size. Rooms no longer scream baby or kiddie. Whites are combined with brights. Wallpapers are upscale with no expiration dates. Poufs, small round or square seats with no sides, provide extra seating. And all shades of gray, plucked from the fashion runways, give the room a more sophisticated palette.
Kendall Marcelle, a Dania Beach designer, has created everything from a black and white nursery for twins to colorful rooms with trundle beds for sleepovers. Marcelle interviews the parents to see what they envision and then tries to get the children involved in selecting fabrics and colors.
Kids really get excited when they feel that this is their space, she says. They take pride in their rooms and may even want to keep them clean. They may go crazy at first saying, I want a black wall, I want a pink wall or maybe we can hang streamers from the ceiling. You just have to bring them around and personalize it in another way. They can stencil on the walls or do their handprints in paint.
She has several suggestions for decorating kids rooms:
• For the floor, use kid-friendly material such as acrylic so it can be washed easily.
• Allow enough free floor space so the children can sit on the floor with friends and play.
• Include lots of shelves so they can display their books, toys and artwork. Put the drawings and paintings they create in convertible frames so you can switch them later with something new.
• Make sure the children have a workstation. It can be used as a desk or as a vanity to put on pretend makeup.
• Include plenty of seating such as beanbag chairs and poufs.
• Trundle beds are a good idea so there is extra space for sleepovers.
• For a nursery, buy a quality bed that grows with the child, such as those that convert to twin beds. Never buy an antique bed because they dont meet current safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Make sure there is ample space for a changing table and diaper disposal.
Parents can get free design help for nurseries from Bellini, which has 23 showrooms including Coral Gables and Boca Raton. Bellini is a hit with celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Bethenny Frankel, Usher, Carnie Wilson and Heidi Klum.
When Bellini opened almost 30 years ago there was little on the market in high-end baby furniture, says Michelle Freedberg, marketing representative for the chain and owner of Bellini in New York City. They created showrooms that featured one-stop shopping with personalized design help for paint color, furniture placement and accessories.
South Florida is one of our strongest markets, she says. The customers are similar to New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. They want what is on trend and what they are seeing in magazines. It is celebrity driven like anything else. What I notice coming out of those stores are designs that are very elegant and sophisticated. They are over the top and overly elegant.