It’s no secret around the EHD studio that we love to design kid’s bedrooms. It just means you get to have more fun and tap into your inner child. With this E-Design project our client Nicole wanted a room designed for her 8 year old son Ricardo. Her initial notes from her questionnaire said “no style per se. Not too sophisticated for an eight year old boy, but not too kid like, as I would like this to carry him into his teenage years with minimal changes.”
The main functions of the space: “A room for him to sleep, play, and study. This is also the room where our guests would stay when they come over. We would like to change his current twin bed for a queen bed with possible room for a trundle underneath (which we already have).”
Nicole’s additional comments about the room were that they liked the existing color scheme – the blue on the walls with orange and gray accents. They wanted the room to feel comfortable, and for the design to reflect that a boy lives there, but also be clean and functional. The main items they wanted to see in the room were a new queen bed, a small dresser, a smaller toy holding space, a desk and chair for homework, and an area rug. And the only items they really wanted to keep were the world map with pins in of where they’ve been, the striped duvet cover, the blue wall paint color, and the baskets for balls.
With the client not really expressing any form of style, we took inspiration from the world map, and one of our designers Remi got to work on a very fun concept: “Moonrise Kindgom” meets nature explorer. We wanted the room to feel playful, yet still feel like something he could grow into.
We kept with a similar layout as the existing, but incorporated a queen bed, a low dresser, and a leaning cado inspired shelf unit with a built-in desk. Unless you get a compact desk, they can end up taking up a lot of space and with him only being 8, we felt that the wall desk still allowed plenty floor area for playing.
Alligator Alley Green Paint | Fieldstone Gray Paint | Custom Tent Enclosure | White Accent Pillow | Plaid Pillow (no longer available) | Grey Texture Print Pillow | Green Pillow | Linen Duvet Cover | Flannel Sheet Set | Canvas Throw | Tree Print | Explore Print | Print Clips | Round Mirror | Bed Frame | Long Arm Sconce | Rug | Floor Lamp
Nicole already expressed interest in a black metal framed bed, so we suggested this one from CB2 and added a really fun tent canopy that further enhanced the explorer concept. This is something that could be easily dismantled as he gets older. We worked with the existing paint color, but also suggested a green one that we thought might work better with the overall concept incase they desired to switch it out at a later date. With them liking their existing color palette we suggested a blue/grey area rug, and paired it with other grey and orange soft furnishings, along with forest green to play on the outdoors elements. We added a mid-century nightstand lamp, which is definitely more “adult” but went well with the overall scheme. We found these cute art prints and colourfl clips that could be hung on the walls to give a more unfinished casual look, almost like a “found” map, or piece of treasure.
Wall Mount Shelving & Desk System | Square Lamp (vintage) | Pencil Holding Log | Thermos (vintage) | Tray | Flag (vintage) | Binoculars (vintage) | Oars (vintage) | Wall Map (vintage) | Frame | Bunting (vintage) | Globe (vintage) | Tray (vintage) | Log Wall Hooks | Dresser (vintage) | Office Chair (vintage) | Alligator Alley Green Paint | Fieldstone Gray Paint
The desk unit played into a curio cabinet where he could display his legos, books, and other toys. We also suggested some other styling pieces and a lamp to go on the shelves. The vintage dresser was an absolute steal at the time, $200 from Chairish! We wanted this to be the anchor for the map to be displayed above, and then we suggested having two rowing oars above with vintage orange bunting draped across. For added hanging storage we found some cute rustic wooden log hooks from Etsy, and no explorers room is complete without a vintage globe or two.
All in all we were pretty excited by the direction of the space, so we sent it off with a few notes and then got Nicole’s feedback:
Thanks for sending this over and there are some great ideas in what you’ve sent over. I especially like the layout. I also admire the professionalism of the presentation and all the work on the sourcing.
That said, there are a several fundamental things that I believe we will need to tweek. My son’s favorite colors are blue and orange and he has been fairly insistent on keeping that color scheme in his room. I believe I mentioned this in the info form but if I failed to stress it, then I apologize. The green paint and the color of the comforter don’t really appeal.
And while Ricardo does love his map, he is more a sports, legos, star wars boy than a boy scout / explorer boy, so the theme doesn’t really resonate. In short, when I saw the design, I loved the cohesion of it but I did not think it reflects him and wouldn’t be very well received
My other concern is the desk / shelving. He does need space to put his many toys and legos (and we are short of closet space in a nyc apt). I am concerned that there might not be enough self space. Finally, a metal desk worries me as I think it will be cold in the winter and not comfortable to study on. Thoughts on this?
In short, there are some things we need to tweak.
While we loved the “Moonrise Kingdom” concept, we also understand that sometimes the first design doesn’t hit the mark, and you have to go back to the drawing board. Ginny jumped on a call with Nicole to discuss the next steps and to see where we could update the design to something she and Ricardo would be happy with.
The main things discussed were changing out the desk, increase the amount of storage, and suggesting a dresser style that would work. Nicole was personally happy to source a dresser locally in NYC (the previous one was on Chairish and sometimes you end up paying more for shipping than you do for an item, which was a concern of hers).
We ended up changing the layout slightly so that the bed would sit central to the room, the dresser would be on one side, and then the desk on the other, flanking the bed as nightstands. We also suggested three cado style shelves that would sit next to each other to provide additional storage.
Exsisting Wall Color | Desk | Rolling Chair | Rainbow Pillow | Orange Pillow | Blue Sheet Set | Canvas Throw | Round Mirror | Blue Felt Storage Boxes | Bunting (vintage) | Wall Map (vintage) | Frame | Shelving | Basketball Print | Soccer Print | Print Clips | Square Lamp (vintage) | Rug | Bed Frame | Long Arm Sconce
We stuck with the same bed, rug, and the idea of the cado, but made this wood rather than metal as Nicole had requested. We also added a cute mid-century desk with a comfy blue chair. With her son loving orange and blue we added a ton of bright poppy accessories, and bedding to compliment the duvet cover he already had.
This concept had less of a theme to it, but worked well with the existing items Nicole and Ricardo loved so much. And once we sent this back over to her she was much happier with the direction and felt it was something that reflected them better.
Interested in having us help you out with a room layout or full redesign? Visit our services page for more details.
* Design boards by Remi Brixton for EHD with design direction by Ginny Macdonald and Me.
* Copy by Ginny Macdonald & Remi Brixton for EHD