Today’s letter comes from Stacy who writes:
I am a mother of a daughter who has just turned 11. I am an avid reader of your blog and love the design of the bedroom you and your daughter did at your house. I have scoured the web for months looking for other tasteful teen bedrooms for tween/teen girls. I am sure you are aware of how tacky girl decor can get...zebra print with Pepto-Bismol pink walls...I really don't like PB Teen either...unless you live at the beach. I love my daughter's room now. The walls are just a "breath" of pink with toile roman shades. My daughter is tired of her "baby" room. Could you please do a post on this? I know if anyone can relate to what daughters want vs. what mothers want you can. I know I have to let Audrey (my daughter) have a say so....but the inspirational photos out there are heinous!
I’m not sure how long you have read the blog, but believe me, over the years Elisabeth and I have been through many phases of her “decorating” and not all of it is pretty. When she was a young teenager, she discovered West Elm and wanted her room decorated with all of it. I let her pick it all out herself, including the purple ceiling and assortment of lilac silk and velvet fabrics. If I recall correctly, I think she even ordered it herself over the internet. My mother thought it looked like a bordello. But, Elisabeth is very strong willed and there’s not much compromising. She wanted a Bordello, and that’s what she got.
The West Elm lilac Bordello room lasted a few years.
Before graduation, I was thrilled when she wanted a new décor and told me to just do whatever I wanted – she trusted me. Boy, things had changed! I bought the Anthropologie headboard that I had always loved, a Wisteria chaise, white linens, a cheap chandelier, a French desk, an Aidan Gray lamp, Tara Shaw mirror and sconces. I bought a few antiques, like the dress form, the table, and a small mirror. Today, PBTeen sells a similar headboard that is MUCH cheaper!
The angel santos from Olivine is my favorite thing in her room. The curtains are a blue and white check. The chair came from Eloquence and the Fortuny and velvet pillows came from BViz. The bedding came from Olivine.
I need to retake this picture – at the time she had piles of junk under her desk! The sconces were old – but I had new amethysts crystals added to them. Elisabeth loves her room – and I thought that maybe some of my style had rubbed off on her, but I was wrong!
Her dorm room at college which she decorated all herself – she picked out the brown and white bedding from Serena and Lily, the Pepto-Bismol (as you call it) pink furniture from Target, and the brown sofa. I did pick out the rug and the desk chair. When we decorated her first apartment the next year, she let me have a big input in it:
For her first apartment, Elisabeth let me help her – we bought the sofa, chaise, chair and ottoman from Ikea that comes with the white slipcovers. The mirror came from Wisteria? Or was it Ballards? I can’t remember which! The brown linen pillows came from Restoration Hardware. This apartment was a collaboration between the two of us – she spent all summer studying online furniture stores, but in the end, she bought what I suggested. Over the past year, she has added things like a French chair she got at Home Source, an area rug, and brighter navy and white pillows.
So, Stacy – you can see from my own experience, daughters (and sons, I suppose) go through stages of letting you design their private space and stages of not wanting your help at all! While Elisabeth’s first teen bedroom was her own choices, she gave me back the control when she was older. Her first dorm room was all Elisabeth, but then, she gave me back some control with her first apartment. Since your daughter is still not quite a teenager, she may be willing to let you decorate her room, with a just a little input from her.
It sounds like you are wanting something more sophisticated for her – not Pottery Barn with its loud colors and beachy-themes. It also sounds like you have seen everything there is to see on the internet and Pinterest, so I’m not going to show you much from the Web. Instead, I am going to show you some teen rooms and guest rooms that I have collected over the years that I personally like. If you like any of the bedrooms, I would suggest you print out the ones you do like, and ask your daughter to choose her favorite from that small selection. This way, you are in control of what she can pick – but she will still feel like she is making the decision. Sneaky, I know, but by not showing her Pepto-Bismol pink, she won’t ask for it!!!
I found this teenager’s bedroom on the blog Classic Casual Home. It’s sophisticated, but still youthful, with lots of color – but not too bright.
And her sister’s room – is done in different colors. I like the textiles that are at the end of the beds in both rooms.
Classic Casual Home does E Designs for clients. This tween bedroom is quiet, but sophisticated. I love the colors used in the room and the velvet mixed with cottons.
A bigger view – with a cute chandelier hanging in the corner.
I designed this bedroom for a teenager – we used an inexpensive patterned carpet and nightstands from Tar-get’! We ordered the headboard from Pottery Barn, but covered it in our own fabric. The chair was hers, recovered and a velvet covered French bench from Shabby Chic goes at the base of the bed. The fabric was inexpensive allowed us to use a lot of it. We mixed in some velvet for a touch of luxury. The sconces add some charm, as does a crystal chandelier – out of view.
The mirrored furniture from Z Gallerie is a great buy and perfect for teenaged girls.
Finally, I made a HUGE bulletin board for the wall between two doors. At the time, I thought she would never get it filled up – but she did, and more. She is leaving for college this year. The biggest problem with tweens room is the “junk.” Baskets help keep it to a minimum, and a bulletin board like this is a huge asset. I always try to add one when doing a teen’s bedroom.
Some of my all time favorite teenage rooms are by Pamela Piece. This classic bedroom could go from teen to adult guest room. It’s just gorgeous. Lilac walls and peach blinds. The duvet that flows to the floor is a great touch. The chandelier is gorgeous too! Using a duvet like this mixed with a taffeta dust ruffle in a different, soft color could be all you would need – no canopy would be necessary.
Another room by Pierce is a favorite. Think about using silk taffeta curtains – just like this! There is nothing more feminine. Simple white linens and a slipcovered bed. The room is simple, but gorgeous and the curtains are to die for.
More Pierce – I know – I just love her taste! Stripes on the walls either painted or wallpapered are something to consider. As is velvet. Velvet and silk are two fabrics I would use in a girls room. They are just so feminine!
Last Pierce bedroom – love the tufted velvet headboard – it’s so pretty. And notice the full dust ruffle Pierce does – ask for a “triple” ruffle for extra fullness. Think of putting down seagrass for sophistication, and layer a rug over it for texture.
This cute bedroom is divided into a playroom and sleeping area. Love the lilac stripped blinds and chair.
Think about using an antique or reproduction day bed.
This bedroom designed by Jane Moore is a mix of new and old. Love the scalloped bedspread.
On the other side of the room, a Swedish sofa. You could always find a new reproduction of this look. But I love how this Swedish sofa is so much more attractive than what is expected.
Sally Wheat used a velvet tufted ottoman as a focal point – and mixed in an antique mirror to give this teen bedroom a touch of sophistication.
Jane Wood used linens in peach and linen to create a serene bedroom. Cute iron beds are so feminine. I love the mini ruffled trim.
Gingham or check fabrics is so cute in a girl’s bedroom. Think about using an antique end table – something that could grow with your daughter until you use the room as a guest room. Ginger Barber.
Michelle Stewart designed this tween’s room using scallops and checks and toile. So pretty in lilacs.
The above bedroom always reminded me of this bedroom, which is still one of the prettiest ever. Checks and toile in a soft lilac with taffeta curtains. Love the touch of green on the stools. Nothing is prettier.
A room like this could go from teen to guest room. Think cornices to dress down the curtains. Plain fabrics keep it ageless.
In this teen room, greens and blues and browns are mixed in a playful combination.
Indulge Décor designs these wonderfully shaped headboards. Here a mix of pink and white – notice the wall is half painted – a great idea! Mirrored furniture is used with an antique trumeau.
Think of a graphic wallpaper mixed with a mirrored and tufted headboard. Once your daughter leaves for college, you could replace the paper with something more sedate. Design and bed from The Amy Howard Collection.
Don’t discount Shabby Chic. They make the most wonderfully feminine bedding.
If the main line is too expensive, Target sells Rachel’s discounted line, like this.
And I love the tutu paintings Shabby Chic sells – a painting your daughter could take home to her own daughter’s nursery one day.
Angie Gren used one of the tutu paintings in her daughter’s bedroom.
Don’t totally discount PBTeen, I love this bed they sell. It is a timeless and ageless piece at a great price.
And certainly, I would not forget about Restoration Hardware Baby and Children’s line. It’s gorgeous. All of it.
This slipped bed reminds me of the one in Pam Pierce’s room with the taffeta curtains.
You could show your daughter any of RH’s rooms to let her choose from. They are all wonderful!
Good luck Stacy, I hope I’ve given you some ideas to show your daughter. Send us a picture when you’ve finished with her new room!