Designing for a Teenager – Part Three :The New Traditional French Bedroom
She Wanted A New Traditional French Bedroom.
If you’ve read Part One and Part Two of this blog series, you may have an idea of what my teen girl’s room looks like. If not, I’ll tell you that her room was designed for her to grown into. I’m not talking about decorating accessories. I’m talking about it’s furniture and wall color, all from the minute the home became a thought. The architecture was important, and if you read both Part One and Two, you know that I have involved her from the start. She had a say in her bed – the prime focus of the room. She always wanted a high bed and despite other people’s thoughts and opinions that it was too grand for a tween, we still purchased it.
My daughter has a beautiful queen-sized mahogany rice-carved four poster bed with a broken pediment headboard. For those of you that don’t know what a broken pediment is, it’s not actually broken. It’s the shape of the top of the headboard. A broken pediment looks like this:
It was considered a Traditional bed which we planned to dress up to fit in our Traditional French Bedroom design. This is her dream bed, the one she has always wanted since she was seven. We purchased it when we started building our new house and she has absolutely fallen in love with the thought of taking care of it. I love this bed – the way it looks, the carved detail. The only issue is…it’s dark. Very dark. It’s so dark that if you put anything dark on it, it will overpower the room. Literally. It will draw your focus to it and darken the rest of the room entirely. So, when I first started this room design with her, I knew it had to be light and fresh. To my dismay, my daughter did not want anything too light. She admitted to me, “I’m a teenager – I’m still in my dark mode.” but I knew that this would eventually change and I decided that I had to accommodate her and go with something she considered dark but I considered light.
Now, keep in mind that I know teenagers don’t exactly express themselves clearly. She says blue and I think which blue? She says dark and I say how dark? If anyone says princess, I say Disney, pretty pink or Hollywood glam princess? Do you see where I’m going with this?
Ask and clarify. I did. Usually a person’s style is not what they think it is. We designers have our way of pin-pointing it. So in all fairness, when my daughter was interviewed regarding her likes and dislikes, she was telling me what worked and what didn’t. It was my job to put it all together to make it her personal and fabulous space.
After browsing through fabrics, I found a lovely linen- look I thought she would love. However, in order to be sure, I had to bring it home because if you know lighting, it’s not the same everywhere you go.
This New Traditional French Bed Had Its Own Standards
It’s a four poster with tall posts and because of it’s design, we had to go with custom bedding. Why? Because some beds are just too large for store-bought or ready-made bedding. I don’t mean the pillows. I mean the comforter, duvet, blankets and dust ruffles. Yes, this happens with grand-scale beds and it can easily be overlooked if you don’t know what to look for. We certainly can’t just go buy any bed either now, can we? We have to consider the following factors before making the purchase: What are it’s dimensions? Will we have to order custom bedding? Can we buy the rightsize bed sheets and if so, how difficult will they be to find? It’s a lot to consider, along with two of the most important points: Will the posts be too high? and will the bed actually fit the room comfortably and not rob us of valuable access to closets and doorways?
I know it may seem that this subject was taken overboard but it’s a valid concern for myself and any other knowledgeable Interior Designer. My daughter was no different from any other client – except that this project was a gift to her because she was my child. 😉
Her bed had to be gorgeous and she needed to love it. To her, these were her main concerns but for reference purposes regarding my concerns about bedding, take a look at the bed. Take a look at the doorknob. They are 36 inches about the finished floor. Now, how high do you think this bed is?
Can you see where the concerns are? Why we can’t simply buy a bed just because we like it? The top of the posts are 94 inches high. That’s only 2 inches below a standard 8 foot ceiling. If it weren’t for the fact that her bedroom ceiling is 11 feet high, this could prove itself a problem because we run the risk of a light fixture being in the way. Thankfully, it wasn’t because she always wanted one of these beds and again, we chose it around her room’s architecture and design.
Choosing the bed wasn’t hard. Dressing it was.
Locating the right size bedding is sometimes a feat. You have to know that bedding is made to a certain standard and has yet to be made for the deeper mattresses and higher bed frames. I refer to the comforters and bed skirts. Duvets are supposed to cover the top two inches of the box spring but since we had wood rails, we wanted it to be tucked inside – between the boxspring and rail. Why? It had to be this way because my daughter loved the wood rails and didn’t want to cover them up. Truth be told, neither did I. It added a look I had learned to appreciate over the years: Clean, linear, and one less thing to not worry about being sucked up into the vacuum. It was still her decision but I won’t say I wasn’t thrilled to hear she preferred no bed-skirt! As mothers to our children, we don’t often want to force them to go with what we prefer. We want them to make their own decisions so I had stepped back and allowed her to tell me what she wanted. She instantly decided that we would forgo the bed-skirt and move straight into designing her duvet and draperies which were next on our list. This is where it all gets fun and the room really starts to come together!
Stay Tuned for our next Post in this series: Part Four – Draperies!
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