Inspiration for decorating a girl's room

My latest project is decorating a little girl's room. She is eight years old, which presents terrific opportunities for decor because she still lives for her dolls, yet also has more sophisticated needs like curling up with a book someplace away from her younger brother.

Let me tell you, I've had so much fun shopping the past few weeks. It's not like I have a blowout budget. I have an average Joe budget, but I like to take my time making some judicious picks from Craigslist, the sale room at Anthropologie, the Pottery Barn outlet near my home, discount shops, etc. before I hit the more expensive retailers. I have found that I'm even more careful with purchases when I'm spending somebody else's money, but that only makes the hunt more rewarding.

I've also been exercising some restraint with the eclectic look that I so love. As it turns out, the little girl's parents are more traditional modern and not at all enamored of the weathered items that so attract me. But, as the photos I've picked here show, there are still ways to inject some fun and whimsy into the decor through inventive use of pattern, color, and artwork, among other things.

One thing you will notice about the photos of girls' room that I've chosen as inspiration for this project is that they all feature different variations of pink and blue, which are the colors my "clients" chose. Looking at these rooms, I couldn't be more thrilled with the endless options for combining the two colors in a fresh and youthful way.

I adore the patterned carpet in the room above designed by Amanda Nisbet for her daughter. I had saved this image on my computer when I first came across it, then happened upon the March 2008 issue of House Beautiful, which contained the original article, and found a fabulous quote from the designer that I wanted to share with you:

"... Even though I don't live an elegant lifestyle, I like to feel like I do," Amanda Nisbet told the magazine about her approach to designing her own New York apartment. I think that statement would speak to a lot of people who strive for a look similar to the designer's successful mix of elegance with comfort, which is the ambiance we're aiming for in this project.

I've already found a feminine yet modern desk on Craiglist and was thinking of putting some utilitarian items around it like a bookcase and bulletin board, but I rather like the idea of placing a beautiful, showy mirror above the desk. It's unexpected and makes a grand statement.

Pottery Barn Kids

Or I could chuck that idea and instead use three mirrors, like the ones shown above, which I bought on sale from Pottery Barn Kids last year. These three mirrors look beautiful against this patterned wallpaper, but could look just as nice properly arranged against a solid color wall. Just not above the bed, since we Californians tend to fret about things potentially falling on our heads if an earthquake hits while we're sleeping.
Speaking of pattern, I can't help but admire the fuschia-colored wallpaper in the room above. A gutsy move, wouldn't you say, to use such bold wallpaper? But gutsy moves often create showstopping rooms. Notice also the molding on the lower half of the wall. That architectural detail, along with the liberal use of white, helps balance the room against the busy pattern.

For those who aren't ready to make such bold moves, pattern in smaller doses is a surefire way to add some style, as the mirror above does.

I highly doubt we'll choose a monochromatic look like the one above, but I do like the simplicity of the decor.

Cookie magazine

Ah, there we go. The photo above (one of the few I saved from the now defunct Cookie magazine) shows the kind of eclecticism I usually favor. For my project, perhaps I could hang some angel wings above the girl's bed for a whimsical touch?



Tina said...

Ooh!!! As a mum of three girls of very different ages, I just adored this post Minnie:) Picture #9 is nearly identical to our Olivia's bedroom in our last home!! I LOVE picture #7, that would be my favourite:) I cannot wait to see what you do, you clever lady! I do hope you will show us, I just know that it will be beautiful. What a lucky little girl! ~ Tina xx

brismod said...

You've chosen some great images as inspiration, Minnie. I like the idea of mixing pink with blue for a girl's room. It can look so fresh. xx

vanessa @ silly eagle books said...

Love those angel wings! You could definitely make them. I just finished my daughter's room--it was such a fun project:

Torrie said...

I love this post and seeing your initial 'inspiration/though' process when attempting a large project such as this one. I am going to touch up (not entirely redecorate, but many small 'touch ups' and additions) Hailey's room in the next few months (as our now-tight budget expands a little bit). Your post is so helpful (and again, of equal importance- your commentary) in allowing my inspiration process to take place (instead of feeling overwhelmed and having no idea where to begin). Thank you.

I left you a response on my blog too!

Minnie said...

This is definitely a fun project and I can't wait to see how it turns out. As always, thank you for your nice comments.

Vanessa, I loved your style of decorating and how you incorporate book-inspired accessories/art into the decor.

Joanne @ said...

Beautiful ideas Minnie. Totally with you on the fuschia wallpaper - its bold but beautiful and I think that the 2 pictures soften it slightly. I would definitely go with the 3 mirror option - they're absolutely gorgeous, different and funky.

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