Sarah's House Project: Boys' Bedroom Inspiration

My family and I are in the process of moving into a neo-colonial home, and it's finally time to get started on decorating! The home was built in the 60's, and is terribly outdated. So the first order of business was to pull up the (rather smelly) pea green shag carpet, peel off the frayed flower print wallpaper, and paint all the walls white. Now I have a clean slate to work with, and can better envision how I want the space. In order to help guide me with this very BIG interior decorating project, I've decided to use the Decorate Workshop book by pro-blogger, Holly Becker. I love the book— it's offers a stylized guideline of how to complete a decorating project from beginning to end, and is written in a very down-to-earth and interactive style. It's actually been a dream of mine to write something similar one day with a focus on the psychology of decorating. So I'm certainly taking notes.

I've completed chapter 1, and it's focus is inspiration. This chapter gave me the creative boost I needed. As much as I'm passionate about decorating, there are times when I get so bogged down with job and responsibilities that I don't always exercise my creative side. This is certainly something I want to change. In Decorate Workshop, Holly has us start off by listing our sources of inspiration—hence the title "Boys' Bedroom Inspiration." I really needed an exercise like this because searching for inspiration gives me so much energy.

After giving it a little thought, I've concluded that I love getting inspiration from a variety of sources, not the least of which is major cities and old, quaint towns. I live on the north east coast, and really enjoy both the energy of NYC, and the character of Princeton. I also have a passion for old movies, and have been known to watch them purely for the interiors. (So if you ask me what the movie is about, I may not be able to tell you.) I'm equally captivated by the black and white glamour of 1930's movies as I am by mid-century modern interiors seen in 1950's technicolor movies. I also enjoy the bohemian vibe of many 1970's movies, and have been pleasantly surprised to see how much of our current decorating trends resemble 1970's decor.

And let's not forget the inspiration we can get from good old-fashioned magazines. In Decorate Workshop, Holly has us think deeply about what our magazine reading says about us. I've noticed that I'm really drawn to trend reports and home tours. But while I enjoy being up on the latest trends, I hesitate to jump on the trend bandwagon unless I can really relate to it. (I remember when Uggs first came out. I refused to wear them, and still do, because they just seemed so...everywhere, and didn't appeal to me.) What excites and challenges me is my ability to express my individuality in a fun, new way while still being classic and sophisticated.

With that being said, welcome to my foray into decorating my kids' new bedroom. To be clear, they are little boys, and there are two of them (although together they feel like five). I decided to start by creating a Pinterest page to curate my online inspirations. Also, as recommended in Decorate Workshop, I've been compiling a style file for each room, starting with the boys' room. Style files are a compilation of images from magazines and print-outs that I keep in a manilla folder. Once I'm done gathering inspiration from online, magazines, and anywhere really, then I plan to create a hand made mood board which will pull together all my inspirations for the room. Now let's talk about what kid's rooms have been inspiring me.

New Boys' bedroom 1_edited-3

This kids' room was featured in Domino magazine over five years ago. But I loved it so much that it has been entrenched in my mind, and is one of my major inspirations for my boys' room. First things first, I'm absolutely drawn to the zebra print headboards. It's unusual to see animal print for a boy's room, and adds an unexpected glamour without being feminine. After years of living with all males, I've come to really appreciate glamorous masculine décor- (think Miles Redd—luv him!). I think the vintage cowboy print curtains (which I'll talk more about later) are a smart compliment to the zebra print headboard because it keeps the headboard from being too adult. And I really like the way Jonathan Adler's modern Navajo inspired bedding both tones down the busyness of the zebra print pattern, and adds to the ethnic theme.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I love a pair of twin beds. While I thought about giving the boys their own rooms, I felt that having them share a room is good for their social-emotional development. They've really gotten close by sharing a room up until now, and it helps them learn how to get on with others. But honestly, the driving force behind my decision to have the boys share a room is my love for the look of two twin beds. (Can you relate?) My boys have had a bunk bed in the past, and while there are definitely some cute ones out there, there is something so prim and proper about having two twin beds with matching bedding. Twin beds are a must on my list.

cork board wall

I'm also really digging this cork board wall. Decor that fosters creativity is definitely a do, and I really like the idea of a full wall dedicated to art work. My eldest son is really into drawing superheros, and I love the individuality and charm of children's artwork. In my experience, many kids become increasingly self-conscious as they get older, and do not draw with the same freedom they did when they were younger. So I'm trying to make sure I encourage as much drawing now while my  kids feel "free" enough to do so.

patterned ceiling

This is the bedroom of Jenna Lyon's little boy. It too was featured in Domino years ago, and is another one that has had a lasting impact on me. At the time this room was featured, patterned ceilings were cutting edge, and although it is more common now, the idea of decorating in unexpected places continues to appeal to me. I'm not exactly sure what pattern I'd use on my boys' ceiling, but I think they'd get a kick out of seeing something interesting when they look up in bed at night. The striped ceiling works in this room because it is the only busy "wall" in the room, adds a graphic punch, and compliments rather than distracts from the patterned carpet. My decision to decorate the ceiling will depend on the other features I use in the room like the pattern and color of the wallpaper, paint, and curtains. One other thing I really like about this room is that it is modern, but not minimalistic, and has a lot of character. This is something I'd like to achieve in my boys' room.

Boys' bedroom 3

A chalkboard dresser like this one is sure to be a room pleaser. Isn't it great what you can do with chalk board paint these days? Part of being creative involves breaking the rules, and this dresser certainly does that. Using chalk to label dresser draws is such a fun and unique way to organize, and something I'd really like to incorporate in the boys' room. No more worries about the kids drawing on the furniture with this one.

vintage print

So if you don't know already, I love vintage, and definitely want to make it a part of the room. The vintage cowboy patterned wallpaper in this bedroom adds so much warmth and nostalgia that's difficult to duplicate with modern prints. I'd also opt for a vintage superhero print since that's what my boys' are into now. Either I'll include a vintage print it in the wallpaper, or the curtains as seen in the first pic—we'll see.

New Boys' bedroom 4_edited-2

This work station features modern and classic styles to create an interesting work station. Since I get inspired by many different styles, I'm drawn to eclectic rooms, and would like my boys' room to reflect this. I also really enjoy the way the toys and artwork are displayed. It's orderly, and adds unique visual interest to the wall.

Now I'm off get more specific with regard to the color, patterns, and furniture pieces I'll use to create my mood board. This is the first time I'm following a book, and I'll be sure to document how the process is going. So stay tuned to my next installment of Sarah's House Project! :)

How do you approach decorating? Do you follow a book, seek the guidance of a mentor, or just wing it on your own? Feel free to share it here.