Christina Dutton, National Symphony Orchestra Showhouse, Washington, D.C.
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.
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.
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.