I just finished a favorite project with the most charming family. They live in a beautiful old rambling historic home in Chapel Hill that sits up on a hill. It is a home I’ve always admired as I would drive by it often to drop my son off at a friend’s house. Imagine my delight when I got the call to help with the design of 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The wife is this very petite powerhouse at her job, mom of 5 children and a successful author. She has style to spare but what she did not have was time. As her children got older, they were outgrowing their rooms and furniture. The little ones would hop around from room to room, so our main goal was to tailor each bedroom to the children’s colors, style and needs so they would feel that space was made especially for them. I loved interviewing each of them to find out their favorite colors and hobbies and we went to work to create spaces that were truly their own. The first thing I noticed were stacks and stacks of books everywhere. The children loved to read and be creative, so every room needed built-in storage to house all of the books, trophies and projects. The mom really wanted the rooms to grow with the children using quality pieces since the first time around she purchased a lot of toddler/child sized furniture that they outgrew. We added new paint, beds, wallpaper, rugs, lighting, and bedding. We saved some original lighting and a few antique and special furniture pieces. Through color, fabric and artwork (that sadly did not make it in time for the photo shoot!) we created beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms that the children just love! The mom has reported back to me that we have acheived success…all of the little ones are sleeping in and loving their very own bedroom!
We can start with the one sweet little girl’s room which was a dream to design. She wanted pink which was such a thrill for me since my own daughter was always anti-pink. She loves to read and snuggle with her mom so lots of comfortable reading spots were a must. The highlight of the room is the built-in window seat that has the softest pink fabric and the sweetest ribbon light fixtures. Every fabric in this room is as soft as it looks. We mainly used pink and white with a touch of soft green in the room using a variety of textures..cottons, velvets, chenilles and mohair. The final touch was the rug we found that was made in India. It has an old world touch that is fitting with a historic home, but the color makes it fresh and modern.
All after photos by the amazing Anna Routh Photography
We took a little used office that turned into a storage room and made that the oldest son’s room. He loved navy and red so it worked beautifully with the wood paneling.
The adjoining half bath was a simple space with light blue paint but was a little serious. We took this as an opportunity to add some more red and bright blue color to the windowless half bath. The angles of the deconstructed stripe wallpaper were fun to play off of, so we added a pedestal sink with an angled corners, hardware with strong geometric shapes…even the fabulous towel ring had an interesting shape!
Since all the boys liked blue, we were lucky that each child also wanted a secondary color to go with it to individualize each space. The child in this room loved blue and orange so we were able to have another great color combo.
The next room was the most challenging of all because it was going to be shared by 2 boys and was the smallest room but had the biggest bathroom and the most closet and storage space. We went back and forth but the tiny closet and smaller bathroom in the larger room would just not function for two people. Since the space was more compact, we did a built-in bookcase with a small desk. We also found twin rattan beds that would offer less visual clutter and keep the tiny space clean and neat. One boy loved green and one boy loved blue so we put this classic color combination together that looks fantastic together but we were also able to individualize each bed and make them more personable.
Before pictures of the room:
Here is the bathroom that had plenty of space for 2 boys to get ready for school every morning. We kept the beautiful marble top that the mom had picked out years ago but gave the room a more kid-friendly punch of color.
I loved working with the parents of these sweet children. They are two very highly respected and accomplished professionals in their field and were amazing to work with. They really understood how challenging it can be to make a fresh start when change is needed and time is limited. It can be very difficult to design your own home since we tend to be sentimental about furniture and trinkets. They gave me lots of creative freedom to make it happen. I will really miss working with their children, too! They were some of the most polite and well-behaved kids I have ever met…yes all 5 of them! It was fun to create a special room for each of them and it is a memory and job I will cherish.