Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Boys' Rooms

I thought in many ways it would be more difficult to do a roundup of little boys' rooms that I love as opposed to little girls' (see HERE for last week's installment), but once I got going, I found a ton of wonderfully inspiring spaces that tow the line perfectly between a mother's desire to decorate and a boy's desire to be, well, a boy. As with the girls' rooms, trends did tend to emerge. Firstly, bunkbeds and twin beds appear to be very popular in boys' rooms -- is this because little boys share rooms with their brothers more often than little girls do? Or is it just because there's an inherently pleasing symmetry in two beds? Another trend I noticed is that little boys rooms tend to be more theme-y than little girls (unless you consider "princess room" a theme, in which case, you got me): from jungles to ships to circuses, boys rooms seem to veer more towards a specific motif.

That said though, I do love this decidedly un-themey room by Amanda Nisbett. The touches of bright orange-red are wonderfully crisp against the white, while the oak furniture lends a warmth to the space that it might otherwise lack. And those monogrammed pillow cases? Yes please!

Navy and white stripes are a particular weakness of mine, especially when paired with orange. The Jonathan Adler giraffe lamp is also a personal favorite (and on my wish list for the nursery!). The seagrass rug brings a great organic texture to the otherwise modern space.

A nautical theme is a popular choice for boys rooms -- and I love the colorful, graphic punch that traditional nautical flags can lend a space grounded in navy and white. Note here how the attic roof resembles an overturned ship, further enhancing the theme. The sunny yellow paint pops against the white trim and beadboard as well as the crisply painted white floors.

There are quite a few examples of red, white and blue boys' rooms floating around the Internet -- and little wonder as the palette is preppy and timeless. Here, Palmer Weiss's iteration brings a further crispness to the palette by repeating a subtle square motif throughout the space.

There's a wonderfully natural, undecorated look to this bedroom -- this looks as though boys might actually live here. I love the playful illustrations hung across the back wall, sandwiching in a British flag.

And unlike in my quest for girls' rooms, I found a number of boys' nurseries that I found inspiring:

I love this picture in part because I think it's such an adorable moment between a mother and her children -- but I also love the decor. The grasscloth wallpaper and pale blue bedding are classic coastal choices, punched up by the playful addition of that ark print (which is gorgeous) and the colorful throw pillows. All in all, a great balance between kid-friendly and designer-friendly.

This nursery bedding is from Serena & Lily, and a strong contender to go in my own nursery. But what I really want to know is: wherever did Kristen get that adorable elephant box pillow? I want. I also love the wainscoting, an elegant touch to a playful space.

The circus pattern on the walls reminds me of the Serena & Lily bedding that Kristen used, writ large. I love how seamlessly the valence continues the stripe tent.

Jungle themes are popular in boys' rooms, but I think they can easily be overdone. Sally keeps it simple with khaki walls and classic, masculine furniture.

Jenna Lyons via Domino

Proof positive that black can work beautifully in a bedroom, especially when paired with lots of white and yellow. 

Marianne Strong, designer and blogger behind Haven and Home, did her own riff on Jenna's black, yellow and white nursery. I love how the pops of red bring in a more playful element and how elegant the art over the crib is.

This nursery just makes me smile (and crave some oranges!) -- and it's the perfect example of how white walls can be the perfect backdrop for some seriously big color statements. Note too how just a few big, bold statements (like the wall decals and curtains) can make a huge impact and avoid the cluttering effect of lots of smaller moments. This is especially key in most children's bedrooms as (a) they're often small and (b) they'll quickly be cluttered by toys, books, etc.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah's design show (Sarah's House) on HGTV is one of the few my husband can tolerate watching -- and there's good reason for that: Sarah is really, really good. I particularly loved the nursery she designed in the mid century back split she renovated back in season 2. It's quiet and peaceful and in many ways very traditional, but the mix of fabrics is so clever and sophisticated, that I really think it elevates the room to truly special. I also love the whimsical alphabet she propped up along the plate rail (which is a great opportunity to display pictures, objects, etc. well out of the reach of tiny tots).

The feature wall is inspired by the alphabet DwellStudio bedding (a favorite print of mine that is, alas, not currently in production) and it is, to quote Fergie, "F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S". I'm not sure I have the patience (or the steady hand) to pull this off myself, but I love it. The Thomas Paul rug is a wonderfully adult option that coordinates without matching.

P.S. - Don't forget that there's still time to enter to win a copy of Mary McDonald's new design book!