Today’s letter comes from Stacy who writes:
I am a mother of a daughter who has just turned 11. I am an avid reader of your blog and love the design of the bedroom you and your daughter did at your house. I have scoured the web for months looking for other tasteful teen bedrooms for tween/teen girls. I am sure you are aware of how tacky girl decor can get...zebra print with Pepto-Bismol pink walls...I really don't like PB Teen either...unless you live at the beach. I love my daughter's room now. The walls are just a "breath" of pink with toile roman shades. My daughter is tired of her "baby" room. Could you please do a post on this? I know if anyone can relate to what daughters want vs. what mothers want you can. I know I have to let Audrey (my daughter) have a say so....but the inspirational photos out there are heinous!
I’m not sure how long you have read the blog, but believe me, over the years Elisabeth and I have been through many phases of her “decorating” and not all of it is pretty. When she was a young teenager, she discovered West Elm and wanted her room decorated with all of it. I let her pick it all out herself, including the purple ceiling and assortment of lilac silk and velvet fabrics. If I recall correctly, I think she even ordered it herself over the internet. My mother thought it looked like a bordello. But, Elisabeth is very strong willed and there’s not much compromising. She wanted a Bordello, and that’s what she got.
The West Elm lilac Bordello room lasted a few years.
Before graduation, I was thrilled when she wanted a new décor and told me to just do whatever I wanted – she trusted me. Boy, things had changed! I bought the Anthropologie headboard that I had always loved, a Wisteria chaise, white linens, a cheap chandelier, a French desk, an Aidan Gray lamp, Tara Shaw mirror and sconces. I bought a few antiques, like the dress form, the table, and a small mirror. Today, PBTeen sells a similar headboard that is MUCH cheaper!
The angel santos from Olivine is my favorite thing in her room. The curtains are a blue and white check. The chair came from Eloquence and the Fortuny and velvet pillows came from BViz. The bedding came from Olivine.
I need to retake this picture – at the time she had piles of junk under her desk! The sconces were old – but I had new amethysts crystals added to them. Elisabeth loves her room – and I thought that maybe some of my style had rubbed off on her, but I was wrong!
Her dorm room at college which she decorated all herself – she picked out the brown and white bedding from Serena and Lily, the Pepto-Bismol (as you call it) pink furniture from Target, and the brown sofa. I did pick out the rug and the desk chair. When we decorated her first apartment the next year, she let me have a big input in it:
For her first apartment, Elisabeth let me help her – we bought the sofa, chaise, chair and ottoman from Ikea that comes with the white slipcovers. The mirror came from Wisteria? Or was it Ballards? I can’t remember which! The brown linen pillows came from Restoration Hardware. This apartment was a collaboration between the two of us – she spent all summer studying online furniture stores, but in the end, she bought what I suggested. Over the past year, she has added things like a French chair she got at Home Source, an area rug, and brighter navy and white pillows.
So, Stacy – you can see from my own experience, daughters (and sons, I suppose) go through stages of letting you design their private space and stages of not wanting your help at all! While Elisabeth’s first teen bedroom was her own choices, she gave me back the control when she was older. Her first dorm room was all Elisabeth, but then, she gave me back some control with her first apartment. Since your daughter is still not quite a teenager, she may be willing to let you decorate her room, with a just a little input from her.
It sounds like you are wanting something more sophisticated for her – not Pottery Barn with its loud colors and beachy-themes. It also sounds like you have seen everything there is to see on the internet and Pinterest, so I’m not going to show you much from the Web. Instead, I am going to show you some teen rooms and guest rooms that I have collected over the years that I personally like. If you like any of the bedrooms, I would suggest you print out the ones you do like, and ask your daughter to choose her favorite from that small selection. This way, you are in control of what she can pick – but she will still feel like she is making the decision. Sneaky, I know, but by not showing her Pepto-Bismol pink, she won’t ask for it!!!
I found this teenager’s bedroom on the blog Classic Casual Home. It’s sophisticated, but still youthful, with lots of color – but not too bright.
And her sister’s room – is done in different colors. I like the textiles that are at the end of the beds in both rooms.
Classic Casual Home does E Designs for clients. This tween bedroom is quiet, but sophisticated. I love the colors used in the room and the velvet mixed with cottons.
A bigger view – with a cute chandelier hanging in the corner.
I designed this bedroom for a teenager – we used an inexpensive patterned carpet and nightstands from Tar-get’! We ordered the headboard from Pottery Barn, but covered it in our own fabric. The chair was hers, recovered and a velvet covered French bench from Shabby Chic goes at the base of the bed. The fabric was inexpensive allowed us to use a lot of it. We mixed in some velvet for a touch of luxury. The sconces add some charm, as does a crystal chandelier – out of view.
The mirrored furniture from Z Gallerie is a great buy and perfect for teenaged girls.
Finally, I made a HUGE bulletin board for the wall between two doors. At the time, I thought she would never get it filled up – but she did, and more. She is leaving for college this year. The biggest problem with tweens room is the “junk.” Baskets help keep it to a minimum, and a bulletin board like this is a huge asset. I always try to add one when doing a teen’s bedroom.
Some of my all time favorite teenage rooms are by Pamela Piece. This classic bedroom could go from teen to adult guest room. It’s just gorgeous. Lilac walls and peach blinds. The duvet that flows to the floor is a great touch. The chandelier is gorgeous too! Using a duvet like this mixed with a taffeta dust ruffle in a different, soft color could be all you would need – no canopy would be necessary.
Another room by Pierce is a favorite. Think about using silk taffeta curtains – just like this! There is nothing more feminine. Simple white linens and a slipcovered bed. The room is simple, but gorgeous and the curtains are to die for.
More Pierce – I know – I just love her taste! Stripes on the walls either painted or wallpapered are something to consider. As is velvet. Velvet and silk are two fabrics I would use in a girls room. They are just so feminine!
Last Pierce bedroom – love the tufted velvet headboard – it’s so pretty. And notice the full dust ruffle Pierce does – ask for a “triple” ruffle for extra fullness. Think of putting down seagrass for sophistication, and layer a rug over it for texture.
This cute bedroom is divided into a playroom and sleeping area. Love the lilac stripped blinds and chair.
Think about using an antique or reproduction day bed.
This bedroom designed by Jane Moore is a mix of new and old. Love the scalloped bedspread.
On the other side of the room, a Swedish sofa. You could always find a new reproduction of this look. But I love how this Swedish sofa is so much more attractive than what is expected.
Sally Wheat used a velvet tufted ottoman as a focal point – and mixed in an antique mirror to give this teen bedroom a touch of sophistication.
Jane Wood used linens in peach and linen to create a serene bedroom. Cute iron beds are so feminine. I love the mini ruffled trim.
Gingham or check fabrics is so cute in a girl’s bedroom. Think about using an antique end table – something that could grow with your daughter until you use the room as a guest room. Ginger Barber.
Michelle Stewart designed this tween’s room using scallops and checks and toile. So pretty in lilacs.
The above bedroom always reminded me of this bedroom, which is still one of the prettiest ever. Checks and toile in a soft lilac with taffeta curtains. Love the touch of green on the stools. Nothing is prettier.
A room like this could go from teen to guest room. Think cornices to dress down the curtains. Plain fabrics keep it ageless.
In this teen room, greens and blues and browns are mixed in a playful combination.
Indulge Décor designs these wonderfully shaped headboards. Here a mix of pink and white – notice the wall is half painted – a great idea! Mirrored furniture is used with an antique trumeau.
Think of a graphic wallpaper mixed with a mirrored and tufted headboard. Once your daughter leaves for college, you could replace the paper with something more sedate. Design and bed from The Amy Howard Collection.
Don’t discount Shabby Chic. They make the most wonderfully feminine bedding.
If the main line is too expensive, Target sells Rachel’s discounted line, like this.
And I love the tutu paintings Shabby Chic sells – a painting your daughter could take home to her own daughter’s nursery one day.
Angie Gren used one of the tutu paintings in her daughter’s bedroom.
Don’t totally discount PBTeen, I love this bed they sell. It is a timeless and ageless piece at a great price.
And certainly, I would not forget about Restoration Hardware Baby and Children’s line. It’s gorgeous. All of it.
This slipped bed reminds me of the one in Pam Pierce’s room with the taffeta curtains.
You could show your daughter any of RH’s rooms to let her choose from. They are all wonderful!
Good luck Stacy, I hope I’ve given you some ideas to show your daughter. Send us a picture when you’ve finished with her new room!
If you are a long-time reader, you may remember when three years ago I showcased a house furnished by Houston interior designer Tami Owen of The Owen Group. The house was dubbed “The Octagon House” HERE because many of the rooms were actually octagons. The house was a stunner and for months people emailed me asking for sources. It’s funny how fitting the name of the house was – because the octomom’s babies were born just a few weeks prior to the opening of the showhouse! Over the years, Tami has done more showhouses and continued designing for clients. She is extremely talented and very hard working and it shows in all the details she puts into her houses.
Today, I am thrilled to have gorgeous, professionally taken photographs from Tami’s latest endeavor. This house brings together the team Robert Dame of Robert Dame Designs and Brian Thompson, of Thompson Custom Homes. Tami was involved in the project from the very beginning. The house was built using elements with patina to give it a timeless feel. The exterior was based on the traditional Southern Acadian House, from Louisiana. The house has sold, so after the showcase, the furniture that wasn’t bought was moved out. But before that happened, Tami hired a photographer to capture the beauty of the architecture and furnishings. Enjoy!
You call tell the house is special just be the stone driveway. A row of French doors open onto the long porch, reached by brick stairs and iron railings. There is a mixture of stucco and wood on the exterior. Notice the charming brick fence with a little gate on the far left that leads to a courtyard. There is a another courtyard and gate on the right side.
And looking straight on at the house – notice the row of tiles that highlight the roof’s lines. And on the right, notice the darling little windows with their own tiny shutters that flank the door in the courtyard.
Here, at sunset, you can see the gate to the courtyard that leads to the kitchen. Notice the tiny window with its French inspired shutter – so cute! The little window is where one of the powder rooms is located. And notice the lantern above the door. Inside, the row of small windows open to the computer room.
Inside the brick courtyard, tiny steps lead up to the door. Before the half wall is a fountain:
Close up of the tiny fountain.
The front door is the center door on the long porch. Further on, is the courtyard on the left side house that leads to the family room and billiards room.
Upon entering the front door, a parquet basket weave pattern floor leads down the center aisle. To the left is the study and to the right is the dining room. Straight ahead is the living room that opens up to the backyard. All art work in the house is by Michelle Y. Williams Gallery. Rugs are from Creative Flooring. Most lighting fixtures are from Brown. The flooring is 150 year old reclaimed flooring from Custom Flooring in Houston. The wall color is Sherwin Williams Ermine and the doors and windows are Sherwin Williams Anonymous.
The study’s shelves were accessorized by Tami – I love the way she chooses and displays her accessories.
All the curtains were designed by Tami and made by Custom Creations HERE. Custom Creations also provided almost all the furniture found in the house. These curtains – with trim down the leading edge, match the ones found in the dining room across the hall.
Close up of her shelves. Love it!
The dining room faces the front porch. The table was made by Custom Flooring out of the same flooring found throughout the house. The rug has just a hint of blue to match the antique cabinet from Joyce Horn Antiques.
Looking the other way – the room connects to the butler’s pantry. Love the two lanterns.
Close up of the Joyce Horn chest and mirror. Walls downstairs are Venetian Plaster.
I borrowed this picture from Love Where You Live so you could see the curtains with the beautiful tassel trim. I love the French doors with the bottom panels made of bead board.
The butler’s pantry leads from the dining room into the kitchen.
The front door leads straight back to the living room, which overlooks the back yard. One side of the living room has a large stone fireplace where four club chairs surround a mirrored table.
The beamed living room is divided into two areas, one around the two sofas and the other around the fireplace. Past the fireplace is the kitchen. The same French doors found in the front of the house are found here too, looking onto the back yard and swimming pool.
And looking the other direction – past the living room is the family room and billiards room and bar. The flooring in that area is brick, which you can see here in this picture. Notice the gorgeous wood plank floors found in the living room. There are 150 years old reclaimed.
The architecture of the house is so pretty – it really shines in the back half of the house where the rooms are in an enfilade, opening off each other without the use of hallways. You can see from one end of the house to the other: from the family room on the left side, past the stair hall, past the living room, breakfast room and through to the kitchen on the far right of the house. Outside, a long covered porch connects all these rooms together. With Tami choosing only two paint colors – the rooms all blend together – creating a cohesive design. The choice of the muted area rugs is another element that creates the serene look Tami was after. And of course, the lack of bold patterns also helps to create the quiet interiors, which allows the architecture to take center stage. My favorite part of the house is it is casually elegant. No rooms scream “off limits” – it is all welcoming and invites you to lounge in the living room as much as the family room.
On the other side of the living room fireplace is a small fireplace in the breakfast room and kitchen area. The lighting in the kitchen and breakfast room is from AREA (713) 668-1668.
The kitchen over looks the covered patio outside with its fireplace and outdoor kitchen.
The island top was custom made using the same wood as the flooring. Bar stools by Custom Creations.
The marble is so beautiful – love the slabs used for the backsplash.
And facing the front right courtyard is the computer room with its herringbone pattern brick floor.
And, off the courtyard door on the right side by the kitchen is this powder room with its old marble vessel on a custom iron base.
Walking over to the other side of the house – on the left, past the living room, is the stair hall – with the bar that stands across from it. Past the stairs and the bar is the family room and billiards room. You can see the living room here.
Across from the bar is the stairhall with its wood treads and brick floor.
And underneath the stairs, off a door that leads to the back yard is this powder room, with its marble sink on a concrete counter. This counter and the bar’s counter and various other concrete work was created by Gunnells Concrete.
Across from the stairs is the wet bar that faces the front porch. Again, with concrete counters by Gunnells.
The wet bar with the wine refrigerator and flatscreen tv.
Past the stairs and the bar is the billiards room with a game table that overlooks the front left courtyard. The plank wood ceiling is painted the same color as the French doors found throughout.
Cute slipped chairs surround a game table that overlooks the front courtyard.
And, past the bar and stairhall is the family room with its ginormous flatscreen! Wow! That has to be the biggest TV I’ve ever seen. Ben would NEVER leave this room if we had a TV like this. Fabric covered doors hide the speakers and woofers.
The serene family room over looks the backyard and the side of the house. I love the slightly darker trim on the chairs’ hem. I love the wall hanging lanterns.
All the bedrooms are upstairs. Cute bench. I think these long benches are a great idea for a hallway. The laundry room is to the right of the prints.
This bedroom has wall to wall seagrass (as do all the bedrooms besides the master.) Cute tufted chair. Love the headboard and skirted tables.
Closeup of the skirted tables – oval pleats with x detailing. Great headboard by Custom Creations!
This bedroom overlooks the front of the house – its windows are front and center.
Closeup of the trendy burlap styled headboards and Swedish chest.
This bedroom was finished in golds and creams. Darling lantern and tiny windows.
One of the bathrooms – love the wall hanging faucet. Notice the doors – these are found throughout.
Another bathroom with white marble and wood vanity.
Upstairs vignette leading to the bedrooms. Love the way Tami accessorizes. Such pretty rugs too!
The master bedroom is found through double doors. The high, vaulted ceiling has a chandelier and a fireplace. This room overlooks the back yard.
The headboard is white tufted, flanked by light painted chests.
All bedding in the house came from Kuhl Linscomb.
Close up of the wood framed tufted headboard with its tiny nailheads. So cute!
The woman’s master bath with its marble tub and crystal chandelier.
Cute fabric covered vanity.
The man’s bath is more masculine with darker woods.
Night time view of the back yard
Here, the living room is in the middle of the house. To the left is the kitchen and to the right is the stair case and family room. Above in the center is the master bedroom.
View of the swimming pool with its fountains.
Off the kitchen is the sitting area around the fireplace. The outdoor kitchen is right under the windows.
The outdoor kitchen sits right outside the kitchen window. Slate floors.
And the fireplace – with its flatscreen above it! The architecture of the porch is so pretty with its vaulted ceiling and slate and brick floors.
Whew. I’m exhausted just writing this! I can’t imagine how HARD Tami Owen worked on this house with the builder Thompson Custom Homes and the designer Robert Dame. This project was HUGE. It must have taken over at least a year to get it all together – and then to install it. It’s a shame it was only open for a few weeks!! The house sold so as soon as the show was over, it all had to be taken down. Can’t imagine the effort it all took. Tami is incredible. Her eye for detail and just her zest for her job is amazing. To contact Tami Owen, go HERE. And to read more about this house go to the blog Love Where You Live – Susan interviewed Tami and she has more details and pictures HERE.
A HUGE thank you to Tami Owens for letting me use her photographs of this amazing house.