Girls’ bedrooms are where great women get their start. In these hideaways, Alice in Wonderland and To Kill a Mockingbird share a shelf, and stuffed animals live in bins that will one day give way to lip gloss and MP3 players. Creativity abounds here—from coloring books to charcoal self-portraits. Girls’ bedrooms are a stage for discovering personal style, mixing the feminine and classy with the smart and sassy. Everything’s fresh and fun in these teen habitats.
Kim Elia, Hinsdale Showhouse
In this enticing bedroom retreat, wall-hung antique plates in faded colors add a delicate touch. The window treatment is a combination of shirred swags topped with rosettes and sheer floor-length panels.
Serious clothes horses share a smart shopping practice: When they find a great look, they fill their closets with it. And when interior designer Kim Elia discovered the perfect fabric for the girl’s bedroom she was assigned, she decided to forget coordinating patterns and use one fabric exclusively as the springboard for the sun-drenched room’s chorus of ruffles and frills. Two hundred yards of daffodil-and-white checked silk later, the room was transformed into a symphony of color and pattern that is delightfully feminine.
"The young lady who is going to live here is a real girly girl," says Elia. "I dialed into her personality and just ran with that, creating a place where she could daydream about the future while enjoying old-world charm."
To match the sunny yellow of the fabric, the walls are painted in a toile-and-stripe design that is tailored but sweet and pretty. An over-the-top half-canopy lavishly embellished with shirred swags and floor-puddling panels drifts around an upholstered headboard. To increase the feminine factor, silk on the bed (and throughout the room) is finished with elegant dressmaker details. Bed pillows, for instance, are laden with ornate touches such as cording, beading, and other trims.
To keep the room youthful, whimsical tiebacks reminiscent of spaghetti straps are used on the traditional formal silk draperies that frame the window seat and echo the pleats of the bed skirt. Cascading sheers with crystal detail soften the geometric checks that blanket the room.
"The window seat and the draperies act almost as a stage in this dramatic room," says the designer. "I was able to take ad vantage of the high ceiling to create a stunning look."
Produced by Hilary Rose and Sally Mauer
Photography: Casey Sills
Christina Dutton, National Symphony Orchestra Showhouse
It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, but for now, the occupant of this teen bedroom knows exactly what she wants. Designer Christina Dutton gives traditional elements a fresh and peppy appearance.
"I wanted this teenager to not only have current things but also a connection to the past," says Dutton, "so I used furniture that might have belonged to her mother or grandmother."
Dutton started with a circa-1915 brass bed that had good lines but a dated look. She enlivened the piece with an edgy brushed nickel finish that gives the bed a unique, where-did-it-come-from appeal. Hot pink sheers hang from a ceiling track along the sides and back of the bed to give a modern twist to a traditional feature. The sheers can slide around to entirely enclose the bed, making a private room-within-a- room—secure but at the same time open to the changing currents of a girl’s life.
Bathroom walls are painted a creamy yellow, an easy contrast to the bright pink used in the bedroom. Ageless elements here are teen-approved, including decorative painting in a floral pattern on a console table-turned-vanity. A vinyl floor covering in yellow and white stripes keeps the room both practical and hip.
A floral fabric covering a retro armchair from the 1950s sets the saucy pink, yellow, and black scheme of the room. A detail from the chair fabric was embroidered on the bed cover, a sly nod to the popularity of tattoos among young people today.
Produced by Eileen deymier
Photography: Gordon Beall
Tish Key, San Francisco Decorator Showcase
San Francisco, California
Creating a haven where a young girl can have play dates, do homework, and daydream was the first aim when interior designer Tish Key conceptualized this girl’s bedroom. Designing a room with lasting elegance for tomorrow’s young woman was the next. A traditional approach and a soft, pastel palette gave the little lady a delightful place in which to grow up, make memories, and return to. "After spending some time imagining this little girl, I wanted her to be exposed to beautiful things that will fill her life in years to come," says Key.
Blessed with great natural light and classic architectural details, the room is filled with comfortable furnishings in sophisticated but simple patterns. An Italian bed hand-painted in a flowing floral motif is topped with a stately canopy made from grand swathes of cream-and-yellow checks pleated and gathered into a center rosette. Shams with an embroidered initial and hand-embroidered twin bolsters mimic the delicate painting on the dove gray headboard.
Tilted against the marble and white-painted fireplace surround is an antique mirror with gilded ornamentation; a graceful iron-and-crystal chandelier hangs in the room’s center.
With no electronics in sight, the hand-painted desk invites letter writing the old-fashioned way. The gingham on the vanity also lines the bed draperies and covers the bulletin board above the desk. A sumptuous linen velvet in butter yellow was used to upholster the tufted love seat in the bay window.
Produced by Carla Breer Howard
Photography: Edmund Barr