Let the neighbor kids festoon their rooms with Frozen ephemera and Thomas the Tank Engine tchotchkes. Your kid is going to be stylish – the kind of kid who trades his Rolling Stones onesie and newsboy cap for a cardigan and Chuck Taylors come elementary school – and a cool kid deserves a cool room.
“They’re so much more sophisticated, I think, because of social media,” One Posh Place owner and interior designer Paige Bailey says of her Arcadia shop’s junior clientele. “They’re almost more current than their parents are. They’re the ones pulling in… unexpected combinations that look terrific.”
Pinterest, Tumblr, Houzz and even phone-camera shots provide design cues for kids and teens conceptualizing their own spaces. “With design inspiration at the click of a button, and the influence of the Internet affecting all ages, we have found that sometimes the littlest people have the biggest opinions,” says Mandy Abed, an interior designer at Studio V in Scottsdale. “We currently have a client with an 8-year-old with some very specific design ideas spanning color schemes to furniture choices.”
Empowering your little Nate Berkus or Dorothy Draper is important, Abed says, since they “will be experiencing the space more than anyone,” but some guidelines are good.
“When designing rooms for kids or teenagers, it is important to choose non-trendy, good-quality pieces as the mainstay furniture of the space,” says Michelle Anderson, a designer at bulthaup Scottsdale. “Then as the children grow and their tastes change, only the décor and accessories need to change without having to redesign the entire room.”
Bailey also advises younger clients to temper their zeal for bright, bold colors. “Mute it a little” in larger spaces and use brighter tones for pops of color, she says. “Base colors go more neutral, [so you can] punch it up with rugs or colors. [Kids] just take it a step stronger and more fun. They can take risks that adults would be afraid to take.”
7550 E. McDonald Dr., Scottsdale
Studio V designers Mandy Abed and Etta Cowdrey designed this nursery for an expecting couple in the Camelback Corridor. The couple’s love of the outdoors inspired them. “The focal point is a feature wall with a calming deep navy background and large white birch trees, filled with golden stars. A moon sconce marquee hangs high on the wall, creating a modern twist on the traditional ‘night-light.’ A fun teepee was added to pay homage to this ‘outdoor is indoor’ concept.” The nursery was furnished for around $6,000.
One Posh Place
5625 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
“I find teenagers especially like to mix colors like orange and pink and turquoise and green,” owner and designer Paige Bailey says. “It’s fun for us because we really get to experiment.” The Habersham dresser with crystal knobs (inquire for pricing) is the perfect backdrop for an assemblage of sophisticated but fun objects (starting at $95).
Thingz Contemporary Living
15125 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
This teen-friendly room takes inspiration from outer space and industrial design, with shades of gray and black providing a modern yet celestial backdrop for intriguing but spare ornamentation. Inquire for pricing.
4175 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale
“It is important to be creative and playful with the selection of furniture, accessories and colors while considering a child’s personality, as well as stimulating the imagination,” owner Robert Moric says of decorating children’s rooms. Peter’s chair and table in beech wood ($500 and $595, respectively) are crafted by Carl Hansen & Son, a third-generation family-owned Dutch company. “They take great pride in wood craftsmanship, which has always been the core of their business, as well as in the collaboration and commissioning of work from designers, such as Hans J. Wegner.”