The best part of my new career is that I still get to do design work for clients. I am seeing opportunities when showing homes on how to make them sparkle and achieve their highest and best use and once in a while I get to play at a purely creative project which is just fun. It is a breath of fresh air to be able to just decorate without worrying about housing value or resale considerations.
My current client is 11-years-old and has been gathering photos on line for her dream bedroom. Her mom and dad have agreed to re-design it for her and have made her vacate the room with the big reveal happening on Christmas Day. I think I will have to visit them on that day to see her reaction when her bedroom door is re-opened; it will be the first time I have been at a client’s house on Christmas Day.
One of her requests was turning her closet into a reading nook. There have been many pictures of this type of project floating around on social media lately and I think it’s a completely charming idea. Once I actually finalized the design I wanted and found a handy guy to build it, finding the fabric for a custom bench and cushions was the fun part. A design project often needs a launch pad and the bedding and bench fabric began to put the whole palette into place.
I have approached this project by looking ahead to this soon-to-be-teenage client and knowing that while she may not have much need for storage right now, in a few years she will be missing that closet space. My solution was to purchase a large freestanding wardrobe which would serve as her closet in the future. My experience with my daughter and how her clothing collection exploded at about 14 years of age gave me the foresight to redesign this to her 11-year-old taste yet look forward at what she would probably need in the next few years.
The challenge with this age group is also the patterns and palette that they choose. Being a pre-teen and living on the cusp of teenage life can be a place of uncertainty. Little girly things are still loved, stuffed animals are still precious and pinks and purples are a huge part of what is currently in her room. Moving forward we are creating a fun yet sophisticated look in her room with teal and navy which I think she is going to love. I chose room darkening curtains for her and explained to her mom that in a few years she is going to start wanting to sleep in and her mom thought this was a fabulous idea.
Since Christmas Day is less than a month away I’d better get shopping to finish the accessorizing of this room! Creating a more grown up yet fun room for this little girl has been a wonderful experience and has taken me back in time to when I would create a new room for my daughter as she entered into different phases in her life. The creative whimsy combined with practical solutions for her life in this room have been truly inspiring to me and I’m so looking forward to Christmas Day!
Kim Wyse is a freelance interior designer in Red Deer. Check out her facebook page ‘Ask a Designer’.