Wallpaper! That kept me from redecorating my step-daughter’s bedroom for more than two years after we moved into this house. My previous experience with the stuff was enough to prevent me from ripping down a fuchsia-colored print that Liesbeth was never fond of. It covered only one wall; one with a slanted ceiling at that, thus not really even a full wall. Silly me! One day I finally decided to just take a peek underneath by peeling back a small piece in a corner. Fifteen minutes later, the wall was bare and the floor was covered with intact rolls of fuchsia. Except the wall wasn’t completely bare. It was covered in paint…fuchsia paint. Ha! It was also covered in several blotches of putty where the previous owners had attempted to repair some blemishes. I couldn’t leave the blotches as they were since they’d show up as uneven imperfections under new coats of paint, so I sanded them down and covered several other holes to smooth out the wall. All in all not a difficult task. That’s how this decorating project finally got rolling!
We then focused on colors and furnishings. She already had a twin bed, two deep purple beanbag seats, a white IKEA desk, her grandmother’s rather old-fashioned armoire and a chromed ceiling lamp. I wondered where to start exactly. She takes drum lessons and likes heavy metal. She’d been through a ”goth” phase and was then into a “grunge” phase. She doesn’t like fuchsia and hot pinks but adores dark purple. Not quite sure about which direction to take, I simply let her make the first big decision by selecting the curtain fabric. Some people choose curtains last to help bring everything in the room together. I thought it best to start with something new that would suit her own taste. She chose something quite unlike what I anticipated! Something very sophisticated and grown-up! That should not have entirely surprised me though, as she’s 18 and just starting studies at a nearby college to be a veterinarian assistant. They grow up fast before you realize it, don’t they!
I then had to scratch my head about how to tie in the purple beanbags with a fabric of darker flower silhouettes on a background of graduating shades from gray to beige. Challenge on! Given her love for animals, we decided to create her “sanctuary” based on the flora and fauna of the local nature preserve. We live near a heather marshland, so the beanbags became the “water” around an old coffee table that I painted purple to match and also applied a vinyl photograph of lily pads to the top.
We painted the walls a neutral greige as a backdrop for the curtains and the vinyl “birch forest” stickers on the opposite wall. (I found all the vinyl appliques on Etsy.) I used the leftover lighter beige shades of the curtain fabric to make a velcroed decorative top for the duvet cover. The duvet cover colors worked well in the room, but the zig-zag striped pattern didn’t, so covering it up with the removable fabric worked out perfectly. I also bought modular IKEA units to complement and provide extra storage.
I added a bit of character to the old wall mirror by creating a sort of diorama of the nearby pond. I cut and glued a piece of wavy patterned glass to fit within the frame, then filled it with blue gravel that I found at a local crafts store. I added a miniature plastic rabbit and set of cattails as well as a couple of small twigs to emulate trees.
I painted a colorful landscape on the face of the old armoire to emulate heather in the foreground, then grasses and hills in the background.
Finally, I also added some paint to the ceiling lamp to cover up the chrome and make it look a bit more natural.
Lies is very happy with the result, and it now provides her a serene place to study or relax!