A Tween Bedroom in Austin, Texas, Gets a "Not-Too-Girly" Makeover
When you are an 11-year-old girl, on the cusp of your teenage years, life is full of new experiences around every corner. Your world is opening up, and though it's undoubtably exciting, it can feel pretty overwhelming at times—especially if you've just moved to a new city. After relocating from Canada to Austin, Texas, a young family reached out to interior designer Maureen Stevens to help create a room for their daughter, Cawthra. It was important to the entire family that it felt cozy and comforting, but also fun and a little more mature than her childhood bedroom. They wanted to create a place where she could come home after school and just be herself, and soon have her new friends over, too.
Although Cawthra didn't work directly with Stevens, her mother was great at expressing her needs and setting aside her own aesthetic to create something that suited all her daughter's likes and interests. "Her mom is actually very traditional (think antiques and global finds from their travels)," says Stevens. "But Cawthra wanted her room to be bright and cheery—yet not too childish."
Keeping all of this in mind, Stevens decided to decorate the space using a "Bohemian-Scandinavian" theme. "[It is] clean, but layered. Collected, yet functional," she says. "Everything in this space has a place and purpose." When asked which is her favorite piece in the room, Stevens enthusiastically states, "Everything! Can you tell I am a little envious of this girl's space?"
Ahead, Steven walks us through the fun design process.
Pick a Starting Point
Stevens decided to go with a "feature wall" to make the room feel more intimate and pulled together. She chose one of her favorite wallpapers for the single wall, then used it as a starting point for the rest of the room's color scheme. "The color palette was perfect for our Bohemian-Scandinavian theme with its pinks, muted blues, greens, and grays," she says. "We also thought the essence and imagery that it evokes—trees and landscapes from a faraway land—was terrific for this space as well."
Stick with It
Once you figure out your theme and color palette, Stevens says it's crucial to stay focused on it. "After the space planning, a design concept is crucial to any space coming together," she says. "Abiding by those concepts and descriptors (cheery! fun!) is important in creating a space that flows cohesively."
Don't Go Too Girly
Although the room has its fair share of pink, it doesn't feel too saccharine. "It's great that I was given an order right away that she no longer wanted the room to feel girly," says Stevens. "By adding neutrals—such as grays and blues—as well as accessories that aren't over-the-top girly, our vision came together wonderfully."
Add a Boho Touch
When you look at this room, all the different textures, from fringe and tassels to wicker and pom poms, almost envelop you. "That's where the Bohemian part of it comes in," says Stevens. "Layering the same hues in different textures adds excitement to a space without over-cluttering—a pink hue can look so different in velvet versus cashmere." She also says this is the key to making the room feel less cluttered, even though there is a lot of furniture in it. "It's even easier to keep it more tidy now!" she adds.
Divide and Conquer
Stevens came up with the idea of separating the bedroom between a sleep area and a space designated for fun and hanging out with friends. Initially, the client was nervous it would make her daughter's room look and feel smaller, but it actually opens it up. "These two spaces are distinct, but still feel cohesive with one another," says Stevens. "The rug anchors the space and helps make this distinction more defined." Plus, the twin sofa pulls out to a bed, so it's perfect for slumber parties!
Let There Be Light
Lighting can make or break a room, so Stevens made sure there was plenty of it and that the fixtures were fun and eye-catching. "There wasn't originally a ceiling light fixture for the lounge/seating area, so we had to get an electrician to run an electrical box here," she says. "We also wired the area above the nightstands for sconces." The wicker sconces and pink fringe chandelier are both standout unique pieces, that still completely tie back and add to the cohesive feel of the room.