From girlish to grown-up

This bedroom transformed from little girl to trendy teen with a

Little girls are sugar and spice and everything pink. But when
it comes to 12-year-olds ready to burst onto the teen scene, pink
just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Little girls are sugar and spice and everything pink. But when it comes to 12-year-olds ready to burst onto the teen scene, pink just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Caroline’s bedroom had been lovingly designed by her parents when she was just 4 years old. It featured child-sized, built-in furniture and baby pink walls. Everything was tailored to meet the needs of a little girl, but eight years later Caroline had definitely outgrown her pint-sized digs.

She wanted a contemporary bedroom with lots of blues and greens and a retro feel. She wanted her room to reflect her personality, with space to do homework, entertain friends and showcase her athletic trophies and awards. She also wanted to keep her two twin beds for sleepovers.

The attic bedroom presented a few design challenges. Angled ceilings limited the functional space in the room, and the dormer windows created niches that just begged to be useful.

Caroline was crystal-clear about one thing: The pink had to go. So a beautiful periwinkle blue was applied to the walls, with a funky chartreuse accenting the wall space around the dormer windows. The trim was painted a crisp white, with all the colors combining to give the room a fun, high-energy feeling.

Next, I designed some adult-sized cabinetry for the room. We created a white built-in vanity with lots of space for makeup and other paraphernalia. I topped the vanity with a piece of half-inch glass, which does double duty by protecting the surface while displaying some of Caroline’s athletic award ribbons underneath.

Homework headquarters became a new built-in desk with a large work surface and three deep storage drawers. We installed a long shelf above the desk to create more room for Caroline’s favorite keepsakes.

To boost the light in the room, we installed a longer track lighting fixture with halogen bulbs. These shed a pure, white light that makes the periwinkle on the walls look true blue. We also installed a funky track lighting fixture over the desk and a sconce over the vanity mirror.

The twin beds were a bit awkward in this space, but I solved that problem by using them to create a lounge area. I arranged them in an L-shape and designed slipcovers from a white waffle-textured fabric.

The slipcovers create the illusion of a sectional couch that simply unzips and folds back when it’s time to hit the sack. The fabric is washable so it will easily clean up. I also installed padded backrests along the wall above the beds to make a really comfy lounge area for Caroline and her friends.

Throw pillows in our color scheme of blue, chartreuse and white really pull the room together. A coffee table in front of the beds completes the lounge area and provides a convenient place for magazines, books and snacks.

Caroline’s room featured one full-height wall. To take advantage of this space, I installed a tall storage cabinet perfect for stashing sports equipment, books and other gear. I also created a special wall-mounted magnetic board to showcase the rest of Caroline’s ribbons and awards.

To update the window treatments, I installed sleek, modern Roman blinds topped by arched valances made from a checked fabric that incorporates all the room’s colors. A high-octane area carpet under the coffee table and a couple of Lucite chairs give Caroline’s room a contemporary feeling.

With the help of some full-size cabinetry, a lounge-inspired bed and a hip color scheme, Caroline’s room has really shed that little girl feeling. The space has gone from totally girlish to totally grown-up. How divine!

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