Take a look at these three spaces, and you’ll immediately see bedrooms awash with color. That’s exactly what lead designer Karen Wolf wants you to see. She designed the girls’ bedrooms around a color, not a theme or favorite character that each girl would quickly outgrow. A color theme can easily be accessorized and adapted to create a more grown-up room as the girls go from elementary school age to middle school and beyond.
Wolf’s own kids — 16-year-old twins — helped her land this gig in Short Hills, New Jersey, for her company, Karen B Wolf Interiors. The clients wanted to hire a designer that understood growing kids’ needs and would be able to interact with the girls, ranging in age from kindergarten to middle school, during the design process. “I met with each girl at the beginning of the project to get a sense of their likes and personalities,” Wolf says. “They all understood they were getting big-girl rooms and were excited to have their own room now, not sharing anymore.”
Let’s take a tour of each room, starting with the youngest’s bedroom, and see how Wolf, along with assistant designer Debbie Bodner, used input from kids and parents to create three color-filled rooms for three lucky little girls.
Peppy Pink Bedroom for the Youngest Daughter
This bright pink room meshes well with the animated 5-year-old that lives here, Wolf says. The vibrant color coats the bottom half of the wall along with the corkboard material, seat cushion sides, bedding and accessories.
Built-in seating and desk: Even though the girl is 5, Wolf wanted to give her a workspace and two cozy places to curl up with a book. Right now, she might use the desktop for coloring, but someday she can tackle algebra and English papers at the spot.
Display space: The two large rectangles of pink on either side of the desk function as corkboards and add more pink to the room. The fabric-wrapped cork allows the girl to hang up her art, souvenirs and photos of family and friends. She also has more display and storage space on the shelf directly above her desk and along the ceiling.
Bed: A large headboard makes the bed the focal point in the room. Wolf chose this specific bed because it was simple and worked well with the pink striped wall.
Colors: Pinks and whites dominate the room and are an easy palette to expand upon in the future, Wolf says. Different bedding or even swapping a few pillows could give the room a whole new vibe.
Art: A custom art piece hangs across from the bed. The parents had custom pieces made for each of the girls’ rooms. “Each kid has mom and dad love in the room,” Wolf says.
For this heart art, the parents coordinated with Wolf to ensure the pink shown here matched almost exactly with the wall paint.
Bench: The designer put plushy seating into each room to give the girls cozy places to sit and enjoy the space from different places in the room. This fluffy bench does just that and brings attention to the custom heart artwork.
Calm Teal Bedroom for the Middle Daughter
She’s a little bit of a budding quadruple threat, pursuing singing, acting, performing and fashion design. The goal was to give her a calm space to create and practice, Wolf says.
Patterns: Wolf, who loves to use patterns in her interior design work, used fewer in this room than in the other two. She wanted the room to be more peaceful, and the solid colors kept the peace. She did work in a few, more subtle patterns though, as seen on the cornice, rug and pillows.
Art: As a nod to her interest in fashion design, one notebook paper sketch hangs above the nightstand on each side of the bed.
Furniture: Instead of drawing attention, the furniture in this room blends in, whether it’s reflecting its surrounding or simply disappearing into the wall. “The pieces just make the space really peaceful,” Wolf says. The mirror nightstand and Lucite console also hold a few pieces of decor that give the room a little bit of an organic, natural feel.
Lovely Lavender Bedroom for the Oldest Daughter
The oldest daughter’s room leans more toward sophisticated and less toward child, which is exactly what this middle schooler wanted. Because she was older, she was able to better communicate her needs and wants, Wolf says.
Workspace: A desk topped the list of needs, and Wolf outfitted it with the necessities of a child of the digital age. “We didn’t add file cabinets,” she says. “Kids these days don’t file things. Instead, we focused on things like access to outlets.” One such outlet sits right in the middle of the bottom section of the bookcase, giving her easy access when she needs to charge her computer or phone.
Display space: This silver rectangle (monogrammed with the girl’s initials) doesn’t only look lovely and glimmer in the light, it’s actually a fabric-covered corkboard. “She’s getting to an age where she will start collecting mementos,” Wolf says, “and we wanted to give her lots of space to do that.”
The shelves next to the desk also provide lots of display space. Wolf and Bodner helped start her collection so the shelves weren’t empty when she moved in.