Renovating the bedroom of a beautiful 17-year-old girl with a thing for cars was a challenge Ana Furniss took on with a practiced eye.
In February, Furniss, owner of Kreativa For Kids and Teens in Coral Gables, was charged with the task after Cindy Quick of Davie won a $5,000 kids room makeover from MomsMiami.com.
Quick’s daughter, Lisa Collins, a senior at Hollywood Hills High School, was the lucky prize recipient.
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Neat as a pin, with a color-coded closet and a room spare of clutter, Furniss said Lisa is not the typical teen. And her makeover didn’t contain typical girly-girl elements.
"If it were a 5-year-old girl who likes princesses, that would be easy," Furniss said. "This is a girl who likes cars."
With generations of stockcar racers in her family, Lisa is used to spending her weekends on the racetrack changing tires, washing cars and keeping the tank filled with fuel.
So when Lisa checked out the furnishings at Kreativa with her mom and stepdad, Steve, the first thing she gravitated to was a banner of a race car with a pair of checkered flags.
"I liked it because it fits our whole family," Lisa said. "It’s a family tradition."
BUST THE CLUTTERAna Furniss, owner of Kreativa for Kids and Teens in Coral Gables, gives this advice for handling clutter:
- Take everything out of the room and separate into three piles: 1. Give away, 2. Throw out and 3. Keep.
- Take the items in the Keep pile. Sort them and put them in labled, covered plastic bins, for example, Barbies in one, small cars in another. "That way, everything has a place," Furniss says. "This teaches kids how to organize and put things back."
- When the room looks unorganized, repeat the process.
Lisa’s room, with its stark white walls and neutral carpet, and no art on the walls save a single photo collage, was essentially a blank canvas, Furniss said.
A king-size bed adorned with a purple satin comforter backed up to a window shaded by vertical blinds. A television on a small table sat on the opposite wall. A tall floor lamp lit up one corner of the room. Louvered closet doors opened to reveal evenly spaced clothing on hangers, and shoes lined up neatly on shelves.
"I’m a neat freak," Lisa said with a laugh.
In March, Furniss and her husband, Larry, visited the Quicks to see Lisa’s room and take measurements. Ana spread out catalog pages on Lisa’s bed with items the teen had eyed and approved in the store.
"I want to leave it up to her. She’s got pretty good insight as to what she likes," Cindy Quick said.
Lisa expressed interest in a queen-size bed, to give her more room, and storage for DVDs, folded clothes and other necessities.
"I hate having the remote on my bed," Lisa said.
Furniss gently guided her through the process, offering suggestions while she ferreted out Lisa’s likes and dislikes. Furniss pointed to a photograph of a bed with navy bedding that Lisa had liked in her store.
"Don’t you feel this is a little masculine for you?" she asked.
"I used to be a tomboy," Lisa said.
"But you are not a tomboy any more. You are a beautiful girl," Furniss said. "There are ways to make this more feminine."
Here’s how Furniss and Kreativa tackled the challenge.
Problem: Girly-girl with tomboy tastes
Solution: A black and yellow race car-themed original painting on canvas, (personalized with a No. 1 – a family tradition - and a driver with flowing hair), served as the inspiration for the room’s décor.
Furniss added a sophisticated, yet feminine edge to the room with a royal blue bed quilt and pillow shams. Accent lamps with checkered-patterned shades and acrylic bases housing tiny silver race cars added a touch of whimsy. A gray throw rug with metallic silver strands threw in some sparkle. Sequined accent pillows in black and silver pulled the room’s color palate together.
"Black, yellow and silver are a hot color combination today," Furniss said.
Problem: Oversize bed
Solution: To give Lisa more "living" room, Furniss replaced her king-size bed with a queen. The modern, sleek lines of the coffee-colored platform bed, with stainless steel legs, tied in with the room’s contemporary makeover and provided storage underneath.
Problem: No storage
Solution: Lisa’s folded clothes and DVDs found a new home in a coffee-colored dresser that doubles as the room’s television stand.
IF YOU GOKreativa for Kids and Teens is at 1430 S. Dixie Hwy. in Coral Gables. Call 305-284-0525 or shop online at the store's website.
Problem: No clear focal point
Solution: Furniss moved the bed from under the window to an adjoining wall, creating two strong points of visual interest in the room. The first is the bed and the race car banner above it. The second is the window, which can add personality to a room with the right window treatment.
Furniss said the Quick family can take the room transformation further with these suggestions:
•Painting an accent wall.
Adding a bright yellow color to the wall behind the bed will coordinate with the wall art and add stark contrast to the dark furnishings.
•Creating a sitting area
. Adding a piece like a black, ultrasuede rocker under the window will give Lisa a place to read and a spot for guests.
A collage of Lisa’s family racing photos, printed in black and white, can be framed and hung to bring instant personality to the room.
Inexpensive, removable wall stickers, such as the black silhouette of a box camera and tripod to recognize Lisa’s photography hobby, can liven up a space without a big commitment.
A French curtain, which allows light in through a fringe of delicate strands, can add a touch of femininity without being overbearing. Available in a variety of colors, Furniss recommends black or silver for Lisa’s room. Painting the window’s stainless steel frame black also will help modernize its look.
•Light with flare.
A contemporary stainless steel chandelier with black fringe shades would complement the window treatment while maintaining the integrity of the color palate.
"I try to create something different and personal for each customer, so you can understand who belongs in the room, and their personality," Furniss said.
Lisa said she was thrilled with the makeover.
"It’s an updated look, which I really like."
ROOM MAKEOVER TIPSWhen planning a kids room, the first thing to do is measure the room, Ana Furniss says. Then you can start picking the furniture, the fabrics and bedding and the palate colors, to bring in their personality.Here are some of her solutions to two common problems:
How to make a small room look bigger
• Change the closet doors to mirrored doors. "That doubles the space easily," Furniss said.
• Paint the room a light color.
• Reduce the size of the furniture. "A room will look more open," she says.
How to do a simple, quick makeover
• Add accent pillows. It’s an inexpensive way to brighten a room with colors, patterns even shapes, such as flowers for a ‘60s theme, a basketball and football for a sports them, or a crocodile for a swamp theme.
• Change pillow shams to instantly update bedding.
• Put in a throw rug.
• Update window coverings to add color and freshen up a room.