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Birdie’s Room Progress – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??

I think it’s fair to say that I’m living out a fantasy in this room, with my 7-year-old daughter (who dresses herself consistently like that). This room is not done, nor does it necessarily ‘work’ with the rest of the house but we don’t care. As a reminder, I let her take the reigns on the design (I wrote about that process here), acting as her designer and of course helping to guide her choices. She knows that this is my job and that we arn’t going to buy land-fill/garbage (like the purple LED canopy she wants). It is NOT always seamless, but I’m trying so hard to let her feel like she has control because from everything I’ve noticed, read, and personally experienced regarding parenting daughters, my trying to control her won’t be best for our relationship. She’s only 7 so I know it will get even more challenging so I’m trying to create good habits/patterns now. I will say that we don’t butt heads – I’m not saying that to brag, but just know that working together is easier for us than some of my other relationships. We are both huge enthusiasts, love color and just kinda want to go for it. We are generally on the same page which makes it easier (which I don’t think is normal and is not exactly the case with Charlie).


Months ago I gave up on the sweet and quiet Scandinavian farmhouse bedroom that I had pinned because she was VERY MUCH against it. She wanted BRIGHT colors, and LOTS of patterns so here we are and it’s JUST SO FUN. Again, this is not a reveal, but a ‘here’s where we are today’.

The bed was from FB marketplace and she originally wanted to paint it and now she doesn’t. I kinda want to simplify the room and get a solid upholstered bed (more modern) but she loves this bed. It’s also very crickety and rickety. So this might change. The vintage dresser (also FB marketplace) was also meant to be painted a bright color but we have yet to do that and the wicker side table was thrown there for now.

Obviously, the lampshades are MY FAVORITE ($80 each at an antique mall), but I’m unsure they are working where they are currently hung. I tried hanging them in the corner together at two different heights but they are HUGE. I like the red one over the dresser, but the green one over the wicker table is obviously strange scale-wise.

We also don’t need to use both of them. One could also be over her art table, or over a reading nook. That’s all to say that this is where she wanted us to try the hanging lamps but I’m unsure if they are going to stay there.

Props to my assistant Emily for figuring out how to wire them with a chain and cord (which saved us money and time). We do still need to figure out how to add a switch, so for now they are only on when plugged in.

The rest of the room is very TBD as you can see.

She wants a drawing desk and a reading nook, but I am unsure we have room for both.

That bookshelf is very much falling apart so we’ll replace it with something that will last long term. The kids have just switched to kindles so I’m unsure how many books we’ll keep collecting, but she loves her trinkets, jewelry, gems, etc and collects a lot every time we go antiquing so I want her to have somewhere to display it all.

I considered painting all the trim and ceiling (a light lavender on the ceiling, unsure about the trim) but got the quote and it was $1700 because of all the prep so we are skipping that for now. The ceiling is much cooler than the background of the wallpaper, but it doesn’t bother me enough to do that right now so we’ll see…

But What About The Painting!!

Y’all. I got that painting at Annie’s studio (@shopwilma), by another vintage dealer, Deb Zsori (@fabiusgrange) but it’s by a Portland artist (from the ’80s). It’s incredible. the colors are so vibrant, it has so much energy and the scale is WONDERFUL (48″x48″).

I actually bought the painting for Charlie’s bedroom (I thought it would look awesome with his colorful net chair) as he loves bright primary colors. He said yes to it when I showed him a photo of it, but changed his mind once it was in his room. He said that he doesn’t like it when colors are “mixed together”, which I can appreciate. But I think it’s because it has pink in it and he’s still in an anti-pink phase. So thank goodness Birdie was so enthusiastic about it. Is it a lot going on with the wallpaper? SURE. But I think it’s also awesome.

I am trying to figure out ways to calm the room down a bit. I’m going to put up a huge white corkboard (I might have to DIY It because there is a real hole in the market) and I’m considering adding white curtains just to break up the wallpaper. Stay tuned for that. Also how cute does that Jane Denton artwork look in here! That was originally in Charlie’s nursery 9 years ago, so I’m loving finding a new place for it.

Birdie walked in as we were shooting and wanted to hang her portrait of the pups that she painted during quarantine (2 years ago). Yes. SHE PAINTED THAT, but not without a lot of guidance from Eel Costello (their quarantine teacher) who is a legit incredible artist. It really goes to show that kids can do far beyond what we typically assume. Eel had them do stained glass, threw so many pieces of pottery, mosaic art – all such advanced stuff which made them feel so empowered and confident. It was such a good lesson to us about pushing them beyond their assumed capabilities when it comes to things they love.

So that is where we are right now. We are rearranging weekly and trying out other pieces now that she is sleeping in here. But she LOVES her room and we are having so much fun doing it together.

*Photos by Kaitlin Green


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148 thoughts on “Birdie’s Room Progress – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??

  1. Those lampshades are visionary!
    They make plug-in wall outlets with wireless wall switches – easily found at hardware stores. Simply plug in the receiver to an outlet, plug your lamp into the receiver, and control it from a wireless wall switch that can be put anywhere. It’s probably better than a wireless outlet (wemo) since your kids might not have a smart device that can control the app (although their kindle might?).

    1. I had the same thought about the lamps. I have a set of three, and all three are controlled by one remote control. I’ve had it for years and don’t remember when/where we got it. But there is a solution available. I think this room is lovely and fun. It’s absolutely the way it is supposed to look for a young girl. A young girl who is apparently a budding Picasso. Great job painting!

    2. Yes…you could also use rechargeable LED globes tgat are operated via an app.
      IKEA has a lot if easy options.

  2. So fun! I always thought the pattern was a too small and busy for the scale of the room, so I think the boldness and funkiness of the lampshades is actually anchoring and groovy. I do find this particular red-green combo distracting–to my eye it drains the life from the pretty jewel palette of the wallpaper and softness of the floor and bedding and is just very Christmas. Maybe that doesn’t bother you, but I think the large painting, as awesome as it is, might exacerbate… Anyway, just my 2c—love the progress updates!

    1. I love the painting in the room and the lampshades but not both on the opposite side of bed.

      1. Yes, I like the idea of the 2 lampshades at different heights together in the same corner.

  3. What a fun room ❤️. I think what would make it “quiet” is actually not adding white but rather adding a lot of one solid colour so that it has dominance and grounds the room. Maybe deep hot pink or a vibrant green (green would be more peaceful) . And I’d paint ALL the wooden furniture that one colour (sorry bare wood purists) plus add more touches of it around the room tone on tone.

    I think if you give equal weight to several bold colours or even to two complimentary colours then the room will still seem too intense and there won’t be a resting point. I think that’s why you feel a bit undecided right now because everything is too equal and we know design loves asymmetry.

    If you go for lavender touches as you mention then maybe a saturated iris blue rather than green would be a good base for the furniture, pretty much any pure (non earthy) colour is going to play well with the wallpaper. You can also add bedsheets in a tone of this base colour just to give it even more weight. In fact I suggest start experimenting by ordering some large cheap sheets in a few different colours and laying them in the room, pinning them besides windows one by one comparing photos until you find the base that really plays best with the carpet and wallpaper. I would hold off on layering in too many accessories until you’ve got that base/balance right.

    I think this room is going to give you headaches because you’ve chosen complex elements and a full spectrum palette, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lot of trial and error along the way but I think once you have that aha moment the end result will be amazing. I can definitely see the vision.

    1. One more thing, is feel like the ceiling is drying out for moulding/trim to separate the ceiling from the wallpaper. I think if you added that you might not need to repaint the ceiling itself.

    2. I couldn’t say it as well as Eve said it but I was feeling the same about the room needing another color (a deeper green or blue hue probably?) to ground and balance out the wallpaper and bring the design together. I’m also for painting the bed and dresser the same color. I’d go for a visually light desk and chair and maybe something like a beanbag for a reading nook that’s small and flexible. This is a dream room for a creative girl and I’m looking forward to seeing it come together.

    3. YESSSS! I was thinking the exact same thing. White curtains would absolutely make the room even more unsettled (and FWIW I only think white curtains should be sheer). This room needs some weighttttt it needs to feel grounded. I often feel the reason eclectic/quirky/busy English cottage design works is because of the amount of fabric and weight that is added. For example Luke Edward hall or Beata Heuman. When they’re doing rooms with tons of color/busy pieces there’s lots of big solid, saturated colors to balance it all out. Navy or indigo or hunter green velvet curtains would help so much.

    4. 100% agree! The wallpaper seems weirdly unimpressive in this huge room despite the bright colors. This room needs to be grounded with a solid color. DEFINITELY paint the bed. In any case, it seemed like the initial design direction was fun colorful kids room- white curtains and wood furniture is kind of killing that vibe.
      I would suggest for the art something I used for my kids- we did a huge framed cork board (like 3 ft by 4 feet to give room for big school art projects) and then covered it with solid linen so push pins went in easily without leaving holes.

    5. I totally agree. One thing I’ve noticed when I watch maximalist homes on YouTube (such as Homeworthy or Quintessance) vs. traditional English homes, is that frequently in the US maximalism tends to do pattern on pattern of various scales and colours. Whereas in the UK it leans more towards matching patterns on one large areas say the curtains and bedspread the same but then the walls are neutral or the wallpaper is busy but the bedding is neutral and usually in a deeply saturated (but not overly bright) colour. Both versions are lovely (although I’d argue the British version is slightly calmer. I wouldn’t try and fight the beautiful wallpaper with white.

  4. That dog portrait is excellent! I thought that must have been a vintage find, I can’t believe Birdie painted it herself – way to go!!

  5. It’s so fun… interesting. This is a very energetic room based on the colors. But, because it doesn’t have the energy of perfection in its design intention in some ways it’s more relaxed and homey. I find rooms that are more random, collected in some ways more relaxed than the white walls, perfectly designed rooms-that is on an energetic level.

  6. I love Birdie’s wallpaper, but I wonder if the solution isn’t to either go totally tonal with solids and patterns (for example to pick the light cornflower blue out of the butterflies and just go all the way) or to increase the amount of pattern in the room rather than try to introduce more solids (mixing gingham with florals that play on scale is a tried and true example). House and Garden UK has an amazing gallery of gorgeous cottage bedrooms with paper just like Birdie’s. Emily could find some awesome inspo here and Birdie would love these as they are often ultra creative. Love that you’re doing this together!

    1. I agree! Lean in! I think the part that works the least at the moment is the picture on top of the bed – it’s TOO calm. Add color! Add different sized patterns! If you’re making a peg board paint it pink! Give the kid what she wants. She seems to have a good eye.

      1. Agree. That circle picture is wrong and also doesn’t have any meaning for Birdie so should be easy replace

    2. Couldn’t agree more! I found my eye even wanting a second patterned rug laid on top of the carpet. Like an oval vintage floral hooked rug, you know, to pick up the curves of the wallpaper? Sometimes contrast (quiet stripes/solids in conjunction/conflict with rambunctious color and patterns) ramps up the energy more than a simple “more of the same.”

    3. I’m feeling the English cottage of it all, make gingham curtains and add more pattern. More pattern. MORE!

  7. I think that painting looks amazing against the wallpaper. It’s big and bold — just like those 2 cool lampshades — and the scale/boldness of it serves to balance the small pattern of the wall paper. Shaping up to be a very cool room.
    Maybe you could get one of those bookcases that includes a drop down desk — so that Birdie could have her art desk and storage all in one, and still leave room for the reading nook. Just a thot.

    1. Yes! You’ll want that vertical storage as she gets older and will be able to reach higher as well.

      This bedroom is amazing! My 7yo self would have been in heaven!

  8. Wow. I love it! I remember someone in the comments suggested leaving the bed natural when you first showed it, and I was skeptical. But seeing it all together now, I’m surprised how well it all works. It’s unexpected and cool af, as the young folk say. OBSESSED with the large painting and how it works with the wallpaper, too. And i was admiring the effect of the round wicker table as a nightstand and how it was an elegant and practical solution to needing more space on that side for the closet door. I actually think the scale is fun with the huge lamp, it adds a touch of Alice in Wonderland. I know you are considering many changes but personally, I wouldn’t touch that main wall, it’s perfectly imperfect. I also happen to love Birdie’s outfit choice so I must have a similar POV lol.

    1. Just want to add, this room feels very Architectural Digest to me, edgy in a great way.

  9. This is so fun! I have dreamed about owning lampshades like you since you first showed them off, they are absolutely gorgeous. I agree that they’re maybe not used to the best effect here, but I’m sure you two will have fun figuring out where they go and that is all that matters after all 🙂 I know there was a heated debate yesterday about whether beds in front of windows are “allowed” or not in the comments yesterday, but if you want both a reading nook and an art corner, I think one option could be putting the bed in the corner in front of the window (I love having beds in corners I think it is the MOST COZY thing ever and since this is a single bed there is no need to have it be accessible from both sides). Then you would have space to the left of the bed, to have a deligthfully spacious art corner with a place to draw and such in front of the other window and the place where the bookcase already is could be a cozy reading corner. Just a suggestion if that wasn’t tried already 🙂 Also that peace of art is bonkers amazing!!! SUCH a good find!!

  10. This. Looks. Incredible. Honestly- it is so refreshing to see a real kids room and not one that is for a catalog. Love, love, love it! It’s exuberant! I think the dresser looks perfect as is and the lamp shapes are so odd and perfect where they are! I DO think painting the ceiling would add to the fun-ness. If you don’t want to paint, what about cheap solid peel and stick solid wall paper? In a dreamy solid color that pulls from the bird paper? Great job, love seeing this vs classic insta rooms.

  11. First of all, glad your daughter loves it! I personally think a big circle Noguchi style paper lantern would work better with some of the rounded pieces in the room (Jane Denton art, chair, etc.) I think the wallpaper is really fun but leaning into “calming” it with white just makes it feel jarring in the current iteration. Tbh the Jane Denton art currently doesn’t do much for me. I almost want a bolder color palette to create a more deliberate sense of tension (using color similar to one or two colors in the wallpaper, not an exact match more of a tint). Layering those colors in the bedding & curtains, adding a rug. The color of the lanterns and current coverlet don’t work. I might be tempted to spray paint or fabric paint one, but still think a Noguchi style might do more for the space. It wants to be maximalist! Embrace it!

  12. I actually love the wicker table and dresser flanking the bed. Their similar tones bring a bit of cohesion to the space but interesting with their different shapes. I’m a bad judge of scale, but could you get a slim, higher backed chair over by the wicker table to give her the reading nook while also balancing out the scale mismatch you are worried about? Downside is the right scale chair probably isn’t very cozy so it might not be very “reading nook-like” – sorry, I’m really thinking/typing out loud this morning! I do think if you keep both tables then the bed frame should be painted to break up the brown a bit. Another poster commented on bringing in other patterns to balance the scale a bit and I do think that would be great – like a big windowpane textile maybe on the bed in a more neutral palette?

  13. Question for your designer:
    Birdie – I’m a grown-up whose most cherished possession is a Gladys Goose Lamp. I LOVE Borastepeter’s Rabarber wallpaper but I don’t which colorway to use to bring out Gladys’ best self. What do you think? The room has a wall of white bookcases backed by sunny yellow (Kelly Moore bright fires) and a big south facing window. I appreciate your advice because I like your style. I have goats and dogs and turtles and chickens in case that impacts your design process.

    1. Robin, what a fun lamp! Does anyone know the history of Gladys Goose & Company? Looks like they made blow mold lamps in New York? I see the goose, a pear and a take-out box. Dying to learn more.

      1. I know little of Gladys’ backstory before she took the name “Lucy Goosie” and came to live in my living room.

    2. Your home sounds like a magical place! I don’t know what the Designer would say, but my vote is for the Ivory multi option. But mind you, I have no goats or turtles, so you might not want to weigh my opinion too heavily.

      1. Thank you, Aimee! My home is magical, but it is mostly due to my wonderfully woke and weird kids, my psycho Australian shepherd, and my very old, toothless, shih tzu mix who smells of soup. Well, and my husband who only really cares that the garage is tidy (and tidy it is).

        The house itself has been ridden hard for nearly 18 years of raising kids, hence the current push to make some improvements!

        I like the ivory a lot! Maybe get a turtle or a goat and see if it changes your perspective? That’s what the science demands.

        1. Robin, you sound like a person I would love to know. What a delightful voice and writing style you have! If the NoCo stands for North Conway…we are close enough to be actual friends.

          1. Hey, Sarah! Making a friend in real life? Go on with your bold, brave post-pandemic self! If you’re ever in northern Colorado, just listen for the sound of my dogs going batshit over the UPS truck and come say hi. We can get boba and I’ll dole out unsolicited advice and fresh eggs.

        2. What a lovely description!
          I’ll report back when I’m a turtle and goat richer 🙂

  14. looooove that painting.
    why not try to calm or unify the room with colors rather than white? that might give the space more balance than white would. and your daughter is definitely on board with color.

    1. Wondering if painting the ceiling the blue of the closet doors might unify? Or less unify?☺️ not sure but thought it was an interesting idea.

  15. Cool room, Birdie! Did you try the lampshades closer together, more in front of the wall than the windows? Then the windows could be the resting point. Definitely find a way to fit both the desk and reading nook in, even if it’s just a beanbag in front of the third window.

  16. Aww this is so heartwarming!
    I am expecting my first daughter in a few weeks so I’m taking mental notes everywhere about mother-daughter dynamics. Emily you and Birdie have such a special bond, I’ve always loved it. It gives me hope for how things can be. ❤️

    Birdie your pup portrait is AMAZING. I didn’t believe it could have been made by someone so young until I saw your signature! You are very gifted and this is very inspiring to me that my kids can do things like this too!

    Loving this happy room! Just for fun: If it were my room, I’d keep the natural wood and add blue curtains in the darkest shade of the Jane Denton art, as well as a variety of pink and blue accents around the room.
    (I’d use the green lampshade somewhere else – the art landing, the office outbuilding, etc.)
    But it is not my room, it is yours Birdie and I cannot wait to see what YOU and your amazing Mama do together!

    1. Congratulations, Vera! If you can fit in any reading before your daughter arrives, I highly, highly recommend Hold Onto Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld. If you can fit in another, Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. I have the most joyous, secure, uncomplicated relationship with both my teenage daughter and son, and these books have been integral to me understanding how to build that relationship in our current cultural climate.

      Wish you all the best!

      1. Oh Summer thank you so much!
        Wow – “joyous, secure, uncomplicated” – that is exactly what I want. What kinds of things do you do to create that dynamic? I didn’t come from a close family at all, so this is all new territory for me.

        Our boys are 8, 6, and 3. Right now it’s simple because they’re young and we homeschool, but the teen years sound way trickier. I don’t want to be too insular, and yet I still want to be close then. What has worked for you to find that balance in the season you’re in?

        I LOVE Simplicity Parenting! I’d never heard of Hold On to Your Kids – it looks so good, thank you!

        For anyone else interested in parenting books, my all-time favourite is The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie. I totally underestimated how life-changing it would be. It’s about much more than reading, it’s about cultivating a family culture that sets up kids to thrive even after they leave the nest!

        1. Oh! Lovely! — especially to know you enjoy The Read-Aloud Family too! We homeschool as well. 🙂

          It’s a whole other level of recommendation, but if you’re up for a challenge, I can’t tell you how transformative reading the actual, original Charlotte Mason series has been in our lives. I think of her as the CS Lewis of parenting; in the same way that he gets human nature, and can shine this light on what is going on in our own hearts in a way that can get us to address ourselves more honestly, grappling more accurately with the depth of our need, and the glory of the cure… Charlotte Mason gets children — what they need, and how to give it to them in a form that can most benefit them. It’s not a recommendation for the faint of heart, but if you can really digest what she is sharing, and are up for a radical shift from many of the current norms, you will be building on a genuinely firm foundation.

          Feeling very excited for you — you will never regret all the investment you are making in your little ones. Four is such a blessing!!! 🙂

          1. I can’t believe I am reading about Charlotte Mason in the comments of Emily Henderson’s blog! We use her principles in our homeschool as well, and it is so life giving! I don’t know many people in my “real” life who use the method, but I have a lot of kindred-spirit friends who are interested enough to want to know more so I am going to lead a group to read one of Karen Glass’s book for an intro — perhaps Mind to Mind or In Vital Harmony.
            And yes to C.S. Lewis! I just started The Medieval Mind of C.S. Lewis, and my book club selection for March is Till We Have Faces, which is my favorite of his works.

          2. Till We Have Faces!!! I don’t think I can pick a favourite, but that one certainly had the most profound effect on me. So glad I came to the comments today!

          3. Okay crazy. I have claimed C. S. Lewis as my all-time favourite author for about 14 years and literally considered the names Clive, Staples, Lewis, or even Jack haha for our sons.
            I’ve read a LOT of both his fiction and non-fiction over and over again, AND YET Till We Have Faces has sat untouched on the bookshelf all this time!!!
            Well not anymore! Leah and Summer you have influenced me and I am now a couple chapters in, and it is indeed hard to put down – though, darker than I was expecting!

          4. Love this! It’s intense, but it shakes up your perception of yourself in the best possible way! I have also thought of ways to get one of his names into one of our sons’ names. Ha, ha.

          5. Ahhh Summer! <3 Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing recommendations!
            No joke I am screenshot-ing your whole comment.

            1. That may be the most profound, accurate, and beautiful description of C. S. Lewis I've ever found.

            2. Funny – I have been moving more and more into a Charlotte Mason homeschool-style, and YET I have never read her words directly beyond isolated quotes! Adding her series to my wishlist 🙂

            3. Speaking of those who "get" the human heart, I can't resist sharing my favourite podcast – it's called Ask Christopher West hosted by Wendy West. The topics may seem random or even off-putting but I say to everyone just give it a listen!

          6. So fun to find so many connecting points with you, Vera. I have never heard of that podcast, but given all the other things we like, I have a sneaky suspicion I will like it… Is there a specific episode you recommend me starting with?

        1. Thank you Leslie! Just checked it out and added to my wishlist – as someone with a decidedly non-playful temperament (Enneagram 6 haha!) I could reeeeeally benefit from this!

  17. Birdie’s artwork!!!👀
    As an ex-art teacher, I can say qualitatively, that she has a gift!
    Even if the teacher helped (even a bunch)!!!💗💗💗
    Straight away, it was overtly obvious that the painting was of Buttercup and Oscar!

    The wood … Ooooh! Sooo beautiful and it creates space for the eyes to rest.
    Crazy-glad you haven’t painted it.
    Love the wicker side table and hope it stays.

    The large art work truly seems out of place – and I’m not a matchy-matchy person at all!
    It might be great, bright and pack a punch, but I think it could go somewgere else and serve a better purpose. With the pink in the painting, it could successfully go in the guest room/Brian’s writing room and break up the OTT pinkness a tad. Also, providing energy and movement to inspire Brian’s writing.

    Turquoise-ish curtains would be great in here.
    They’d simultaneously calm, connect and add a block of unifying colour.

    Secretly hoping Birdie gets her drawing desk AND snuggle spot for reading.🤞xx

  18. Wow! I love this room! Those lamps are so fun and perfect for the space. Its great that you let her lead the design with the colors and things that she loves. What a truly happy space to inhabit!

  19. What a terrific and fun room! I would inject modern calm with two balanced matching nightstands/dressers on either side of the bed, maybe white would be good here. I would also suggest picking just one of the fun and funky lights, and having it hang in the corner with the chair, or over the future desk/reading nook. The current location of the lights covers the beautiful original windows you worked so hard to save. Love the big loud modern picture, center it on the wall you have it leaned against, the contrast between the antique bed and sweet wallpaper with the more modern art is a good balance. What a lively space for a lucky little girl.

  20. Those lampshades are my absolute favourite part. Possibly second only to the dogs portrait that I CANNOT BELIEVE BIRDIE PAINTED! I am so impressed and in awe! What an amazing teacher 😀

  21. Hi- this room is basically dying to go full on granny maximalist! I think you are halfway there to be fair. Wallpaper and wooden furniture. I think I would do the trim in a colour ( perhaps same as the doors or different/ something farrow and ball- ish toned. Leave the ceiling for now if you want to same money?) I think drapes to add to the cosy factor. The art is amazing but could you put it downstairs- feel like it would work there and deserves prominence! I actually see vintage paint by numbers in this sweet room. And re: light fixtures – very cool but yeah I might pick just one near the bed and put the other elsewhere? But yeah different than your house and very seeet!

  22. Just came here to say.. put the big painting over the bed! It will look so good with the two lampshades, and break up the busy wallpaper. The circle art is great, but the scale seems wrong in that place. This room is so cute! It will be interesting to see it come together…love to see others’ sensibility about pattern mixing.

    1. I just think that painting would look crammed in on the space above the bed, and fight the windows and lamps. But who knows

      1. Impressive photoshop skills but to me this is a hard no, as Emily would say. The scale and balance is just way off.

      2. Wow KJ you are good!
        Starting at this suddenly gives me an idea:
        What about if the green lampshade was hung centred over the bed and not treated as a lamp but instead used as the top of a princess canopy that came down around the headboard?
        The red lampshade could be used elsewhere (reading corner, or in another room).
        The bed would be a dramatic, whimsical focal point.

        1. Vera, this is my favorite idea of all the comments!! I think that would look incredible

  23. Did anyone else read the title and then imagine Birdie dancing on the bed to “Y’All Ready for This?”
    I love the wallpaper, the bed and dresser, and I love love love that painting. Also digging the idea to use a pattern like gingham–would it be crazy to redo the lampshades in a gingham pattern? To me they read a little Christmassy right now.
    I get what you’re saying about letting go of your ideas and letting her do what she wants (to a degree). My 10yo daughter just had us paint her room an ice blue, and now has these watercolor rainbow stripe curtains and rainbow butterfly sheets with a mustard duvet. It sounds crazy but it actually works–next step is putting up a gallery wall.
    Re: the kindle … our kids have/had kindles but they’re both readers and the Kindles never replaced books for us. We just had to buy another bookcase to hold them all.

    1. Oh and as for a reading nook … you don’t really need much for that. You’ve already got a bookcase, you just need a lamp and a big fuzzy beanbag-type chair. My daughter is super into big fluffy pillows (like this one from Target) and would be thrilled with one she could actually sit on.

  24. I really love the wallpaper, and that painting is amazing! Go birdie! Is the furniture placement final in your opinion? I think someone made this comment on the shared kids bedroom but beds backing against a window always makes me feel unsafe and unbalanced, although this seems to be a more common layout in the US for some reason (different window placement?). I think you could probably work out a desk and cozy reading nook – reading is such a joy at that age. I like the lamps too, but agree that lamps + painting read a little busy and kind of distract from the awesome wallpaper. I also agree with the suggestion to pick a solid color from the wallpaper and go with it. But I would keep some wood unpainted, it helps ground the room. I love your insight into the mom-daughter design process! I have a 5 month old and had a blast doing her nursery but knowing her mom and dad I’m sure she will have her own opinions as she grows up 🙂

  25. I love it as is! Including the wooden, unpainted furniture (which, for me, quiets and grounds things) and the lamps as hung currently, plus the leaning artwork on the floor. Very cool and “Architectural Digest,” as someone else commented. Way to go, mom and Birdie!

  26. I struggled to find a ginormous cork board years ago and realized that they sell foam insulation panels for super cheap at the hardware store. They are fairly stiff, so you can cut to whatever size you like, wrap in fabric and VOILA huge corkboard.

    1. Yep, this was gonna be my comment. Cork boards, foam boards, whatever medium you want to stick pins in, pull it out of the frame, wrap in fabric, put back in the frame. When I was a teen I had the LOUDEST 70s orange paisley 4×6′ cork board in my bedroom with every single sassy button I owned on it. Maybe I need to make another one…

    2. When I did a giant cork wall board for my kids school art we used thick cork floor tiles glued to a thin board and then covered it with linen fabric- the push pins didn’t leave holes in the fabric because of the looser weave. It worked great but you do have to get the really thick cork

    3. A pin board idea from an old Martha Stewart magazine: We used a huge piece of sound insulation board (aka homosote) from Home Depot and covered it with fabric. It can be painted too. They are really durable and inexpensive – like $18 for a 48″ x 96″ board.

  27. This room needs pink velvet curtains to help ground the space. And I would remove the green lampshade. The red one will play well with the pink curtains but with so many shades already the room needs a thread a pink / red thread!

  28. First of all, I love this! I am so excited to see where this room ends up! I agree w others that the room needs solid colors pulled from the wallpaper to help ground it, and other patterns- white curtains would be jarring and not calming imo. I have 4 boys and my 2 oldest are wanting to redo their rooms so I’m loving to see this and not a perfect insta bedroom that the kids don’t care about 🙂 go birdie!!

    1. I do like the wood furniture tho, but of course if it gets painted then I’m sure it’ll still all pull together and look awesome. Esp to a certain 7 year old girl and that’s what matters the most 😊

  29. I don’t think the room needs calming at all! It’s great. I would love to see the bed, trim and doors be painted brightly, like an English house—but it’s not my room! Maybe a green for the trim and doors and not sure what for the bed. Maybe the same or maybe another color from the wallpaper.
    I adore that painting so much.

    1. Also, looking forward to Birdie’s Etsy store, where she sells her paintings and pays for art school!

      1. Okay, I’m going to stop commenting but a calming green for everything and maybe F&B’s Brassica for the bed, if it works with the wallpaper.

  30. I say let it be random and chaotic – fun for your daughter and maybe a fun experiment for you. Then you can always re-do it when you’re both ready. If she likes the bed, but it’s rickety, you could screw the headboard and footboards onto a sturdy platform bed. It’s all looking great!

  31. Here are my 2 cents! I would put that cute little dog painting next to the light switch by the door. It is so small and to have a little accent piece there would be sweet not to mention she would see it all the time right there. The large abstract would look great in the landing outside the bedrooms. So much color and the scale is amazing but I know you might not have the room depending on the furniture you choose.

  32. Love this room and Birdie’s artistic ability is off the charts (I feel like she’s always been a budding artist). Love the big art, too! I would keep only one of the hanging lamps. Having both seems to make them less special – my eye doesn’t know where to go. Love the red; move the green.

  33. Yeeessssss! “Weird Emily” is back! (Said with affection! I’m still a big fan of everything else that has happened too 🙂 )
    This feels like such a joyful callback to some of the original “Styled”(book) vibes. I’m loving seeing such quirky
    vintage playful pieces come together in a daring, fun, free way. Truly felt so refreshing and joyful to see. I’m loving the cooky lampshades, mis-matched tables, rhythm of the bed design. It’s SO fun!
    I tend to lean to more quiet, minimal designs, but this room really feels like it can handle the volume being turned up. Like, the more that “doesn’t quite go together” the more exciting and fresh it feels. I’m here for it! And also, wow the dog painting! Great job, Birdie. It looks great! Thanks for sharing all the progress with us. This might be the room I’m most excited to see develop 🙂

  34. I love the direction the room is going in! Can the lavender from the ceiling be brought down in the room, like with painting a bookshelf or desk nook or even a lavender beanbag? Also, a pull down desk with a shelf to display her littles and treasures would be perfect so there is room for a desk and a reading nook. Ikea makes one but I’ve done a DIY version with floating shelves and a hinges from amazon.

  35. This room makes me so incredibly happy. I kind of think forget trying to quiet it down. I love the idea of painting the trim, ceiling, and door a lavender colour. I love the lampshades where they are. I think if you get a matching dresser so the scale is right they are perfect. What a luck girl birdie is, not because she is going to have this amazing room, but because she has a mama who let’s her express her creativity, even when it is her mama’s job.

  36. It would be wonderful to have Birdie’s dog painting framed. It’s beautiful and she is obviously proud of it. Framing and displaying kid’s artwork builds confidence. I still remember how good I felt when I was nine and my parents had a painting of mine framed and hung in our hallway.

  37. I love Elliot’s painting! There is a lot going on in here but if she loves it, then it’s fabulous for her!

  38. Looking great!! If I were making the decisions, I would paint the bed, not the dresser. The wood grain on the dresser looks like quartersawn white oak, maybe it’s something else, but it’s prettier than the wood of the bed. What about one of the lampshades and not two? They are both adorable and both work, but I agree with the other comments. They seem to be fighting each other and one feels like plenty. She could even change them out over time or with the seasons or whatever. I could see one over a table in the corner, whether it’s an art table or just a decent sized side table (bistro-size?) sitting beside the comfy chair in the reading nook. Then you could quiet the bed wall with by going with table lamps (“quiet” could be scale if you don’t want to give up color).

  39. I love how it’s turning out and would try to resist the urge to tone it down or quiet it or generally make it more your style and less hers. You’ve set entirely reasonably limits with things like no plastic led canopy. Now if she wants the bed and dresser left as-is right now, what’s the harm in doing that? Why not try to do some things to shore up the rickety bed rather than push her buy into a new, solid upholstered one? You can always make that change in the future as the room grows with her, but if she’s happy, it would seem to me there’s no need to invest in it now. If she wants to keep the fun and energy, how about solid color drapes with a color drawn from the wall paper and painting?
    As for the desire for both a drawing table and a reading corner, couldn’t one of those things go where the wicker table is? Maybe a desk or table that can do double duty as a nightstand and drawing table?
    My daughter is a few years older and has strong opinions. She wears color/pattern combos I wouldn’t choose for her; she arranges her room in ways I would never consider. Sometimes I want to control it but then I remind myself giving her agency within reasonable bounds is 100% more important that having things look the way I want them to look. You’ve started down that path, stick with it! (And I’ll add, I think it’s worse to tell her she gets to make the choices and then override her or just talk her out of it than it is to never ask in the first place, as you’re implicitly saying that what she chose is wrong, rather than just saying it’s a choice for the adult to make).

    1. THIS:
      “I think it’s worse to tell her she gets to make the choices and then override her or just talk her out of it than it is to never ask in the first place, as you’re implicitly saying that what she chose is wrong, rather than just saying it’s a choice for the adult to make.”

      WOW! What an insightful comment. Definitely keeping that in mind with my own kids. Thank you!

    2. Yes I completely agree with all that. I wouldn’t paint it if she doesn’t want it painted. Going forward I’d either add things or I’d ask if she wants a bookcase, etc, but make a decision about what kind to her and what color.

      I think I’d put white linen curtains (or some other solid color curtains). I’d add consider big diy’ed pin boards for art (in solid linen) if there’s too much print as background for art. I’d also consider a big/tall bookcase for collections and books. So either a short white wide bookcase with a big linen pinboard above it. Or a narrower board and bookcase, bit both tall. One can always put a desk/table in front of a pin board or have it free standing. This would definitively calm it down slightly and yet it would add space for what’s important to Birdie.

  40. Who is the Portland artist who made the large, colorful abstract painting in Birdie’s room? I love it! I wish I had found it! I would hang it in my home in a hot minute!

  41. The dresser is a beautiful, classic birds-eye maple piece that (unpainted) she will want to take to her first apartment and beyond. Paint it (I doubt a child has the patience for doing it well) and it will be landfill by the time she is a teenager and will wonder why you insisted on paint in a child-favorite color. Why keep referencing a farm house and then remove all the natural elements that were of the same era as the house?

    1. I mean, paint can always be stripped. I have done it myself and had it done to vintage pieces. That said, I like the natural wood on the desk.

  42. How big is Birdie’s closet, and is it already full?

    If not, could you turn one side of it into her reading nook? When I was a kid, I loved to take a cozy blanket and some pillows into my closet to read. It felt like a special, secret hideaway and was the perfect spot to get lost in a book.

  43. How about turning one of the giant shades into the top of a canopy over the bed? Add some drapery hanging down and Bob’s your uncle!

  44. I would suggest that beds make great places to read and see if that convinced her to go for an upholstered bed and then have a little desk for art (and later homework.) A bed is a large soft surface! Kids love to lounge around, just arrange pillows and large stuffed animals for maximum comfort. Can’t wait to see this styled and finished.

  45. Keep the bed! It looks so perfect in there. What a charming, lovely space. Love what you guys are developing with Birdie’s exuberance and you guiding her a bit. Thanks for sharing the work in progress.

  46. I have thoughts. First and foremost being that every time you show that room the wallpaper, the carpet, and color of the door paint makes me swoon. 1. paint the trim and ceiling lavender if you can swing it. It will really tie the room together. That is the kind of genius idea I steal from you. I can see it and it would be amazing! 2. Yes to some gauzy white curtains. 3. move the green lamp to the center of the room (and hang it high) and replace the glass fixture. 4. find smaller scale lamps or sconces for by the bed 5. the woven side table must live there – dreamy. 6. paint the bureau a color from the wall paper 7. call your pals at California Closets and have them build her a desk/shelf space for storage, art, homework. 7a. Hang the red lamp over it. 8. make her a reading nook on the landing 9. ditch the wicker ottoman. Or maybe it’s not as unfunctional as it looks? 😉 This room is on the road to fantastic! Love the artwork. SO many great choices.

  47. The lampshades are GORGEOUS and striking and gives you something to focus in on versus the very loud and demanding wallpaper print (while being SO pretty and fabulous, let me be clear!). Just get something of the right scale below the green one and–boom. Done. Perfection.

  48. I would very much like you to put the big painting in the mail to me right now! Seriously, it’s terrific, as is the whole room. It seems very happy and fun.

  49. Love everything in the room! When I was little my mom included me in the design decisions for my room and I still love the wallpaper we chose. When we moved house Mom asked if it would be okay to use it in our family bath instead of my new bedroom. We weren’t professionals, but my mom had amazing taste and decorating became something we loved and shared till she passed away. To this day I think of her and how excited she’d be when I’m making decorating decisions.

    Love that bed. Instead of replacing it, maybe you can find a craftsperson who can tighten it up.

  50. Omg, love love love so many aspects of this project, and what’s it’s doing for your relationship with your kids 🥰. I actually adore how the lampshades are placed and I think the large scale painting works well. It’s a great exercise in the power of juxtaposition truly. Last, the portrait of the dogs is great work and picks up the blues in the wallpaper well. So excited to see where you go with this and trust the vision you and Birdie have.

  51. I love that you gave her a chance to design it. It’s already so whimsical. It just needs a few more elements to take everything together.

  52. I love the paintings/artwork against the wallpaper! What a fun project for mom and daughter to do together, thanks for the update. So sweet.

  53. If there is enough space, you could put the dresser on the other side of the bed instead of the wicker and find a desk that will replace it under the red shade. It acts as another nightstand but also can be her art space and would preserve enough space in the room for the reading nook.

  54. This is so fun to see and really unpaired me to let my daughter take the lead more than I might have when we build our house. Thank you!
    Where is that chair from? 😍

  55. On a purely practical level from a few years ahead of you with a collector/magpie type: MORE SHELVES for sure. Potentially little ledge-style ones or wall-mounted letterpress trays/shadowboxes to turn lots of small items into bigger cohesive statements, as well as a tall bookcase of some kind. My collector is almost 11 and is a VERY tidy person, and we are deep in a struggle trying to find solutions that allow her to see her treasures without being overstimulated by the effect of “clutter” with lots of small things on big/deep shelves.

    I also agree with all the comments about turning towards deeper colors to ground the room and pull it together, vs. adding more white. Curtains, bedding, painting the furniture; the commenter who referenced Beata Heuman is dead on.

  56. Hello Emily. My entire life I’ve wanted to have a blue cieling in my bedroom. 75 yrs. and have not yet achieved it. All the people around me think a cieling has to be white. Still trying, but not hopeful. Wouldn’t be brave enough to even suggest lavender. But lucky lucky Birdie. Have a little daydream for me.

  57. I think the canopy idea (maybe not purple light up LOL) actually might really help balance out the scale of those lights. I think they are gorgeous! I also agree with other posters that adding a molding between the wallpaper and ceiling could really look nice.
    Also, I have a couple smart lightbulbs plugged into my lamps that I just turn on with voice commands– no need to rewire them at all!

  58. What if you placed the two chandeliers over the head of the bed at different heights? I’m not sure how high the ceilings are but I could see that looking really nice. Whatever you decide, I know it will be beautiful! I love how you walk us through all of your design thought processes as well!

  59. Oh this child is wiser than her years! Lol. My bedroom was very similar as a child of the 70 ‘s. Wallpaper vibrant and similar, very similar bed, and a lamp with fringed shade. Best part are the memories are of my mom putting so much pride into helping me to have a childhood room I loved. My mom was no designer, but I believe she lead my path of love and talent for design…and she never even knew it. I love this post sooo much! Can’t wait to see the finished room. Go Birdie, go!

  60. I think that the lamps look too heavy in front of the windows & block the beautiful diamond window trim & view out the windows.
    I think I’d prefer using just one of the lamps & I prefer the shape of the pink one over the green one. Maybe I’d like the 2 lamps better if they were hung at staggered heights–& not in front of the windows.
    I love the idea of gingham bedding!

    1. You always have such perfect results in the end and this is a fabulous room! For what they’re worth here are my two cents (I am not a professional). The wallpaper is such a statement and I for one believe that it can still be Scandi and incorporate some color esp w the nature elements in the print. Although totally unique and wonderful, I think the shades are distracting and take up too much visual space. I would relocate them to another room or choose only one (I prefer green) – hang it maybe in a corner away from the windows or in the middle of the ceiling. Some linen or velvet drapes in a pink shade would ground the bed and the wallpaper, A small dresser on each side fills and balances the bed and is so functional too. I would design/build or buy a combo wall unit w top bookcase/bottom desk and a cute stool tucked underneath. It could be a white moment or painted a fun green, blue pink etc. Add a little reading chair or beanbag somewhere nearby. I think the bed frame is awesome – I like the natural wood. I totally love the others’ mentions of gingham sheets/duvet – maybe another pink moment but depends on how the colors end up around the room. Such a lucky little girl and she is definitely a future designer in the making!

  61. FOR SURE paint the bed a bright color, as you suggested you might. Pink? The bed seems out of place in its current brown wood state. Agree that the red shade is amazing. Two of them (ie nix the other one) is overpowering this room, I think. Both are super cool tho and see why you love them! Have you considered a more modern style (simple) matching bedside tables? Something in white (gloss even) perhaps? It seems everything is very “Victorian era”, and the room could use a little bit of eclectic-ness to mix things up. Not to mention, the wallpaper is busy and something simple would tone things down a bit? What a fun project, and love that your daughter is so involved. The artwork is amazing. (-:

  62. Thank you so much for sharing this process, Emily! My mom also gave me a lot of control designing (and redesigning) my own room as a kid. It was empowering and such a fun memory. I remember shopping at the wallpaper store and the fabric stores. She showed me how to combine colors and patterns in a fun way. The whole process meant a lot because I knew my mom was very successful at decor but she chose to include me in the design process. She cared about my opinion. Our home was always cozy and beautiful and everyone that came over would say so. When she included me, it proved that she trusted me. And her opinion meant a lot. I’m now 31 and I can’t wait to go through this process with own kids!

  63. I will never get over the fact that Birdie painted that incredible pet portrait! It is so cute and so good! Bravo Birdie!!

  64. So cute! Here are some of my opinions –
    -Keep the headboard and footboard and secure them onto a more sturdy bed (and keep it wood)
    -Velvet drapes in dark fuschia pink! Cheap velvet without fancy tailoring is FINE because it will probably only be for a few years before she totally changes her mind and wants a new theme.
    -Make your own matching bulletin board out of a similar fuschia fabric. Make it HUGE like almost covering an entire wall, then she can put all of her artwork on it and it will pop. Right now, against the busy wallpaper you can’t really see the small art.
    -Put the two lampshades together at varying heights, above a dark green beanbag in her reading nook. Keep the swag chains no matter where you place them, they are half the fun of the lamps.
    -Don’t center the bed between the windows. Honestly don’t get too locked into a furniture arrangement at all, I remember the fun of re-arranging my room layout twice a year all during my younger and teen years.
    -I don’t like the circles artwork in this room at all, sorry! That would look good downstairs.
    -I really like that vintage dresser nightstand as-is, without painting it.
    -Have a blast and let Birdie make 90% of the choices! She’s got fun ideas! And know that whatever she does, it’s gonna be great. Don’t second guess and worry about what strangers on the internet think. It’s all good! 🙂

  65. Oh man, this would be my 7-year-old girl’s dream! I did her room last year with muted pastels, but of course now every piece of artwork/coloring/necklaces and other s*** she makes or finds now hang on her wall with pushpins. They are who they are!

    I think you have a real artist on your hands! Get Birdie’s painting framed ASAP! So good. It’s like a Monet of dogs!

    And yes, why a hole in the market for cute cork boards?!

  66. Ok I already commented, but I was just looking at this again with my 7–year-old girl over my shoulder. I asked her what she liked about this room. She said “the Squishmallow! I think it’s the Sunset Fox.” Hahaha. The obsession is deep!

  67. Don’t paint that beautiful little antique dresser. It’s perfect as is. My husband has one he used as a boy and it was already painted when handed down to him, not done very well mind you. I ended up repainting it when it was passed on to us

    Same with that bed. I wouldn’t rush to paint it either since 1) it will be a pain to get an even fi ish even if sprayed, and 2) she may tire of it very quickly being rickety and noisy like it is right now

  68. Late to the party, but have you considered adding a secretary? A secretary would provide space for books, nooks and crannies for treasures and supplies, and a writing/art surface. Love the creativity and joy being created!

  69. um hello, I LOVE THIS ROOM. birdie is a visionary at 7 (and obviously talented with that painting!), and i can’t wait to see how y’all finish this off!

  70. Awe love the room so far and the process! Kids’ rooms are so wild–you might be unsure of something because your design brain knows it could be edited. but your kid doesn’t even notice because they are so into the vibes and the space is just making them happy. It’s already doing its job before its ‘done.’ <3

  71. Okay I looove this so much! Emily, you do amazing things when you lean wild, colorful and crazy! This partnership with your daughter is bringing out all your strengths like mixing unlikely patterns and objects. Can’t wait to see where it all lands but I say “go for it” don’t tone anything down! Let it shine!

  72. Please don’t give up on collecting physical children’s books. Kindle’s have their place, but there are many studies that show the reading and retention is different and not as deep on a screen (see e.g., the work of Maryanne Wolf). Also, the visual of a beloved book is what causes children to pick it up. As the mom of a 12 year old boy who still L-O-V-E-S to read (and two younger kids who randomly pick up books to peruse everyday), I can attest to seeing this happen over and over again. There is a direct correlation to the number of books in a home and a child’s reading success (see e.g., the Read Aloud Handbook (Jim Trelese edition)).

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