Work with your child’s personality for a unique bedroom reno

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Decorating the bedroom of a newborn, child or teenager is the perfect opportunity to explore imaginative ideas. Huong Nguyen, an award-winning designer and founder of the Spotted Frog Designs, says if you are thinking of renovating your child’s bedroom, while there are some design elements that should be based on their age, if possible, the decor should reflect your child’s unique personality. A good example is a teenager’s bedroom. At this age, he or she is at a stage in life when they are developing their own opinions, exploring their personalities, and experimenting with different themes to suit their constantly changing taste.

“If a child is at the age that they can have a say, let them integrate their vision,” says Nguyen. “I always ask children what their favourite colour and their favourite thing to do is. From there, I can create unexpected, cool, playful bedrooms for them.”

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A teenage girl’s dream bedroom

This 16-year-old knew exactly what she wanted: gold, chic, glam and more glam. The ‘wow’ factor is clearly evident in the seafoam mint ceiling. “We captured her playful personality with that contrasting ceiling,” explains Nguyen. “For her sophisticated side, we gave her chevron-patterned wallpaper, an iridescent goldy cream-coloured custom bedspread, and draperies with ribbons of gold, cream and white, which tempers the shocking mint ceiling.”

The glam factor comes in strong with the sunburst gold mirror above the modern, classic dresser and in the mirrored bed-side dressers. The old-world elegance works in this room because of the juxtaposition of mint, soft white, cream and gold.

“With this colour palette, this teenager’s bedroom can easily transition into a guest bedroom down the road when the teen moves out,” says Nguyen. “By adding mint-coloured sheets, it ties in wonderfully with the mint ceiling.”

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A neutral bedroom for a two-year old boy:

The inspiration behind the transitional toddler’s bedroom came from the parents’ wish to keep his room neutral. The black dresser’s sputnik lamp adds whimsy, while the toys and baseball cap let you know this is a little boy’s room. Nguyen says if you are going monochromatic, then go with a high-contrast black and white theme.

To capture the boy’s fun, playful character, the client went for a cozy alphabet rug, alphabet wallpaper and for a pop of interest, Nguyen chose an ultra-modern black sputnik ceiling light fixture and coordinating accessories. The ladder-style bookshelf was built by the little boy’s dad, specifically for him.

“This look gives the room a longer shelf life. It can easily transition for another seven years,” says Nguyen.

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Rules, what rules?

Some people like to follow the “rules” of colour or design, but Nguyen says: “When it comes to decorating a nursery, child or teen’s room, the best rule is to break the rules … this is the place to be creative and push the design boundaries.”

A gentle, classically pink nursery:

In this case, the client was looking for a sophisticated soft pink palette for her infant daughter’s bedroom that fused beautifully with elements of the boho-inspired design the client loved so much. Using a combination of timeless, classic soft pink, Nguyen paired scaled water colour blooms on custom-designed wallpaper with a beaded chandelier. The end result was a nursery with welcoming warm vibes. “Rounding out the bedroom, we went with a circular area rug with an arabesque pattern,” explains Nguyen, adding the nursery was featured on HGTV’s website and won multiple Best Nursery in Vancouver awards on the website Houzz. “If you want to pair a neutral with a soft unexpected pink, I suggest “greige”, which is a blend of beige and grey.”

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Michelle Hopkins
Michelle Hopkins is a freelance writer based in Vancouver. Since 2004, she has been contributing to several notable magazines, including New Home + Condo Guide, Reno+Decor, Vancouver LIVING Magazine, VITA Magazine, Business Traveler Magazine. Besides writing about travel, food, business, and inspiring people, Michelle loves writing about everything to do with real estate and interior design.