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E-design Project

Moonrise Kingdom Boy’s bedroom

Ricardos Insipiration Board

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.”

Bedroom Before

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.

Ricardos Insipiration Board

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.

Boys Bedroom Floor Plan

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.

Boys Bedroom Product Board

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.

Ricardos Bedroom Dresser And Desk

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).

Ricardo Revised Floorplan

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.

Recoardos Revised Product Board

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

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  1. I want the Moonlight Kingdom room for myself!

  2. I love the second concept – but I’m so curious – if the client said in the beginning that she liked the existing color scheme, why did Remi totally disregard that?

    I have to be honest, this makes me more hesitant to want to spend $2k on your services – and tells me that maybe the process could stand to be tweaked somewhat, before a designer spends a ton of time on a concept that doesn’t really resonate with the client? That seems like a waste of time to me!

    (If any of that sounds critical, it is not meant to be mean – love everything you do, Emily, and want to help it succeed 🙂

    1. I can see your perspective that it’s frustrating to waste time, but I actually disagree!

      I read the initial email and thought Remi took it to a great place with very little direction. The green paint was a suggestion, but Emily noted the blue could stay too. I was really impressed that Emily’s team almost completely redesigned the room to be exactly what the client asked for afterward!

      After reading this, I would trust Emily’s team to work with me until they got it just right. Misunderstandings are bound to happen, and as some of the other commenters noted, sometimes people don’t know what they want until they see something they’re uninterested in. I love that Emily is transparent about that and she’s showing the process. I guess the client has the last word on whether or not it was worth it, but it looks like she was able to get what she was looking for in the end, she just had to invest a little more time!

    2. The fact that the client said she want minimal changes and no style but the first proposed design totally went “explorer theme”. Not criticizing, just feel that it went a typical designer route instead of making the existing room better.

    3. I couldn’t agree more Tara. I read the client’s request and then scrolled down to see what Remi came up with and thought, ‘whaaaat???’. Green was a suggestion, but come on, a “Moonrise Kingdom” theme would never have worked without it. I felt this client was VERY clear and didn’t want a theme, wanted to work with the current color scheme and needed a multipurpose space. I just did my 8 y.o. daughter’s room with all of the same considerations, including using the room as a guest room and a tent or any other whimsical element, clearly works against that.

      If you want to present something a client might like, but hadn’t thought of, it seems you should take the time to come up with a second option that more closely reflects their requests. That ultimately saves time, for the client anyway and definitely leaves them less frustrated that you didn’t listen to them.

      I love Emily and her team’s work as well, but like many designers I’ve known it seems there’s sometimes a ‘I hear you, but I know better’ way of approaching client projects, which feels condescending. Save that for those times when a client is very vague and unsure of what they are looking for. This one couldn’t have been more clear. I also realize it’s important to be creative and think outside of the box, but when it’s a clients money and time, better find a way to make them happy while being creative.

      It is great that Emily is so transparent and real about the process and feedback from clients. Many designers/bloggers would never.

  3. Also, the storage baskets linked to are definitely not felt. Per Target’s website: Material: Polypropylene

  4. I’m sure it’s a bit frustrating if a client doesn’t give you much direction (“I don’t know what theme we like”) but then comes back with actual specifics *after* you present your design. However, I appreciate that you guys take that feedback and completely redo the room! I think some people don’t know what they want or like until they see a full design.

    I also love the moonrise kingdom room!

  5. Love the idea for this room! Perfect room for a boy to grow up in as the style will grow up right along with him.

  6. I’m REALLY impressed that you guys are so transparent about this process. I find it fascinating! Keep it up team!

  7. Ugh, that moonrise kingdom room is amazing! And I love that the designer took it that direction with such minimal direction and tweaked the limited suggestions for color palette perfectly in to a fun, playful and artistic design perfectly suited for the Emily Henderson brand!!

  8. I also want to commend you for being transparent about the process, even if it shows vulnerability and opens you up to criticism for not being perfect (heaven forbid)! As a designer I have also experienced clients who don’t know what they want until they see what they don’t want. And then there is that fine line you walk to give them what they want but design something that you think looks good. After all, they are hiring your for your aesthetic, right?

  9. I love both rooms! I have to admit I’m a little more attached to the Moonrise Kingdom look, but both turned out great.

  10. I’m totally on board with learning more about the process!

  11. I have a lot of difficulty reading the font that is used on the floorplans and furniture selections. It tends to blur together as the kerning is tight and the narrow vertical lines disappear into the white background. Is anyone else having this problem?

    1. Just jumping in to say if Emily and Co. export as a PNG, the text will be easier to read! 🙂

  12. It’s so common for all kinds of design clients to say “oh, it doesn’t matter, just do something”. But that’s not true, resist! They DO care and they DO know what they like 🙂

    So you have to resist doing what you think would be cool – you need to dig deeper, because otherwise you’ll be guessing. And it gets expensive to guess wrong. In this case, it probably would have made sense to ask what kind of things the kid likes before designing.

    And maybe sending a quick “Hey, would you like a Moonrise Kingdom / explorer” theme, before sourcing all the stuff to it…

    I love the 70’s textiles, feels very original Star Wars to me 🙂

    (and I LOVE the Moonrise Kingdom theme, but of course it doesn’t work if the kid isn’t outdoorsy).

    1. I work with designers a lot and in my experience, if a designer suggests an idea without examples or some kind of pretty worked-up mood board, the clients can’t picture it so say they aren’t sure if they’d like that or not, so you spend time explaining the concept and end up showing them the finished version anyway!
      I like option 1 far more.

  13. Also a bummer that most of the styling accessories are missing from the second design- isn’t that what most people love most about Emily Henderson?! She is a styling wizard. I understand that maybe by that point the team would have had to charge more money since it was the second go, but still… just a bummer.

  14. The second look corresponds nicely to the wishes of the clients and feels so much cheerful than the first one. It must the happy orange that does the trick. Nice job guys! http://www.dorisleslieblau.com/blog/

  15. Well, I think it’s awesome! And very timely, as I’m assembling my 2 year old son’s “adventure” theme bedroom today 🙂 The two rooms share a lot of similarities!

  16. Very interesting post. I liked reading about the process, the back-and-forth, and seeing how everything got tweaked based on the feedback. Thanks for sharing the interesting challenges of your work, EHD, rather than just The Perfect End Product.

  17. That explorer theme is super cute! But I totally understand that it didn’t mesh with Ricardo’s interests.

    I really like learning more about your web design services, since I would definitely consider using them in the future. I agree with another poster that it seems like it would make more sense for you to send the inspiration/mood board images to the client before taking the time to actually design the room and source products. That might have saved everyone a lot of time and money.

    Also, how many hours was spent on this E-Design? And what is the the average hourly rate charged by your team? Do you charge different rates depending on who the lead designer is? I know your team’s time is valuable, but do you charge on the order of $50/hr, $100/hr, or some other range? I would feel a lot better spending $2000+ dollars on a project if I knew exactly what it was buying me. Thank you!

  18. Creative work !!! whether we can use wall texture design for this interior home decoration ?

  19. Blue and orange is the best combo for boy’s rooms – playful and classic and bold! Our son picked out a bright orange for one wall in his room and the calming blue next to it balances it out perfectly.

    http://danielleandco.com

  20. Its a great idea for boys bedroom. I think it is great that admin say“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).”

  21. I would love to see the finished room. I really enjoyed reading the process and hearing the first idea sometimes doesn’t work. Although, the Moonrise Kingdom was a great concept!!

  22. I’ve commented this before on similar posts, but please credit those image sources for your inspiration. I understand you don’t mention the sources when you’re pitching to a client, but when you post it… I’m sure your pictures get posted without credit around the internet all the time too, but a big blogger like you can set the right example.

  23. I love the visual way you outline the concept. What software do you use for the floorplans? Thanks

  24. Really love the transparency of this post and seeing the e-design process. I’d love to branch out into this eventually with my blog and I love learning from such a great team. It’s so okay that you didn’t hit the mark the first time. That is life and business and that’s why there is such thing as second chances. I’m reshooting a family session for my photography business this week for that very reason. Thank you, Emily and team for always putting out such amazing and in depth content!

  25. I adore the first room and I really appreciate all of the transparency you have shared with all of us– it really helps to understand how things in the design process works with clients. I love your blog and how “real” it is (on many levels). Keep doing you!! And thank you!

  26. 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.