Madeline Kids’ Room

For my final post in Paris Week, I’ve pulled inspiration from a children’s book series (and TV show) that takes place in Paris. The lovable heroine who lives in a house covered in vines… Madeline!

Wallpaper: Well, the beginning of the poem says that the house is covered in vines, and if you watch the video you will notice the walls inside have wallpaper on them… I have combined those two aspects with this wallpaper. To keep it from getting too crazy, I only wallpapered one wall, and plucked a pale yellow out of the pattern for the other walls. This is so outside of my comfort zone, but is perfect for a feminine girls’ room while at the same time staying away from Pink Overkill (like all the Pottery Barn Kids girl’s rooms suffer from).

Floor: Here I’ve got a limed hardwood, which is totally gorgeous but I know isn’t that common. Regardless, you can see how a builder-installed, neutral-colored carpet would look with an area rug on it creating a central “play zone.”

Shutters: Growing up, I had shutters on the inside of my windows and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Functional or non-functional, placing these deep blue shutters on the window (in the middle of the wallpapered wall, nonetheless) breaks up the pattern and adds architectural interest. Even if they don’t open and close, they’re sure to add “age” to the room and make the girl who lives here feel like she’s been transported to France.

Bed: In Madeline, the girls live in a boarding school, and the 12 beds are all matching hospital-style iron beds. This one is a twin size (as opposed to a toddler bed) and the classic design will never go out of style, which is perfect for the girl to adapt with as she grows and tastes change. Better yet, if there are two girls who share a room, the multiple twin beds can even more closely imitate the book ;)

Bedding: Classic white completes the “boarding school” look and, since there is no color, can be bleached when kids get anything on it. Bring in dark red or navy blue accent pillows, if you’d like.

Rug: I chose this braided rug for durability and cushion. The navy blue color adds a much-needed dark dimension to the room and plays up the blue shutters. I went with a denim or tweed look (instead of solid navy) to add another layer of texture and visual interest. Juxtaposed against the feminine wallpaper and with classic furniture, the denim rug does not look too “country.”

Easel: The girl who lives here has a wild imagination. When not pretending she lives in Madeline’s house, she loves to be creative and the easel provides a place to corral art supplies and a large work surface for drawing with chalk or painting (the other side has paper on it).

Bookcase: Naturally, any child who chooses to theme a room around a storybook character must be really into books. This Parsons tower is pricey, but provides ample space for books and toys, and will never go out of style. It can adapt to any room in the house, so in my mind it’s a worthy investment. In this inspiration board I loaded it up with kids’ books and a few Paris-inspired models. 

Think back to when you were a child. What character would you base a room on?

My other Paris-inspired inspiration boards focused on a half-bath and a balcony

Wizard of Oz Inspired Kid’s Room!

I’ve been meaning to really amp up my numbers of inspiration boards*. With a house that’s pretty much “finished” as far as we’re willing to go (trying to pinch pennies helps stem the urge to constantly redo things or buy new [old] furniture) I’ve started creating imaginary rooms for imaginary people. That was always the most enjoyable part of playing The Sims, right? Or is it just me?

For kids rooms, I love going with a theme but at the same time I see the benefit of not going too themey, that is, not plastering the room with a character’s face. Kids hop from phase to phase (okay, okay, adults do this all the time too) so it’s not good to spend TOO much on particular items that fit within a certain theme. I’m also drawn to “reviving the classics,” that is, stepping away from the pre-packaged Disney bed in a bag (I will admit–in elementary school I was dying for any Disney bed in a bag. My neighbor had the Pocahontas set. So lucky).

Here I’ve taken my inspiration from the Wizard of Oz. A movie that here in Kansas is either met with great enthusiasm or great scorn, depending on who you talk to. Anyway, I digress.

This all started with the yellow rug. I love the idea of a soft “yellow brick road” underfoot and the ombré style is very on-trend. Ideally I wanted a poppy bedspread, since that is where Dorothy & her crew fell asleep, but in my searching I came up empty. Instead, I used the Marimekko poppy shower curtain for a graphic punch of red. Yes, it’s polyester and not cotton, but don’t you think it would clean easily? For the bed, I dressed it in a sweet blue but stayed away from Dorothy’s signature gingham because I felt that its rigid geometric properties (it’s a grid) wouldn’t jive as well with the crazy poppy curtain–I wanted a larger scale print. And this whimsical animal print  just stole my heart.

I like a rich wood bookshelf (this one from Land of Nod) with some concealed storage to wrangle books and toys and everything else that comes with being a kid. The dark wood looks a bit more mature, and will last longer, than white laminate particle board (which is common in kids’ rooms). For the paint, I chose a soft gray as a nod to the black and white beginning & end of the film. It will add dimension to the room while still being light enough to bounce around natural light. I also like to think that gray will camouflage scuffs and bumps on the wall which are inevitable. At least it’ll camouflage them a little bit.  Plus, using a neutral color like this makes it easy peasy to change up the room for the next phase–a few years down the road, hopefully.

For those of you who think this room is a little color-crazy, remember it’s for a child, and remember how color-crazy the movie itself is. In fact, Nicole at Making it Lovely shared an interesting article on techniclolor and the Wizard of Oz last week (after I’d begun working on this room, mind you).

Shopping List:

  • Yellow rug here.
  • Marimekko poppy shower curtain here.
  • Wizard of Oz prints here.
  • Lions, tigers, & bears print here.
  • Bedding here.
  • Lions, tigers & bears pillows here.
  • Paint: Sherwin Williams Spatial White here.

Please comment to let me know what you think! Got any ideas? Got any requests for fun kids rooms?

*I know I’m not the only one who hates the term “mood board.” What does mood have anything to do with it? I prefer inspiration because if one can’t buy the exact pieces listed, elements of the board can “inspire” you to look for similar pieces.