Tuesday, October 4, 2016


After learning I was pregnant with Zaria (our 5 child), I knew we'd have to do some rearranging in the house to accommodate both the new arrival and the existing occupants.  Without any extra rooms to spare and after much thought and discussion we decided to give the new baby Saleh's old room and turn my hubby's office into the boys' shared bedroom. 

Designing a shared space can be tricky.  How does one create a cohesive look while still incorporating each child's individual personality?

Saleh is 12 and Samori is 3, so like the girls shared bedroom, I knew that the space I designed for the boys would have to not only have to employ some creative storage ideas, it would also have to incorporate both boys interests and personalities. Saleh is a sci-fi fan and avid reader while Samori loves cars, trucks and building blocks.

Like most of the spaces in our home, I wanted the boys room to have a classic yet updated feel so I came came up with this design board which incorporates traditional, eclectic and modern features like dark wood, a bit of leather, vintage furnishings and a few fun colorful elements.

The boys will be in the space for quite some time to come, so I didn't want the design elements in the space to scream "kids room." Saleh will be entering his teen years soon and needs a space that matches his growing age and level of maturity.  The plan was to create a masculine, mature space with pops of color and a few playful design elements.  Here's how the space turned out...

As you can see, I stuck pretty close to the elements of the design plan, adding lots of storage for Saleh's books and a bunk bed to maximize floor space.

Cohesion is Key

Although I used different patterns in the space, selecting the same bedding for both beds helps tie the space together and ensures a more cohesive look. 

Texture + Color

To create a collected and curated feel in the space, I added varying textures via the textile, drapery and area rug. The fuzzy red pillows are Samori's favorite.

The leather sofa was in the room when it served as my hubby's office. I love how its dark handsome tone, slightly weathered look, and menswear-like stitching add to the room's cozy charm.  Now the boys have extra space for when friends sleep over.

Balancing Traditional and Modern Styles

 Don't let the classic design of traditional rugs fool you. They're really quite versatile and can be used in both traditional, contemporary or modern spaces. The rug is one of the first purchases we made for the house way back when and has been in the room since the space served as my husband's office. The more traditional style of the rug provides a great contrast to the bright white table and more playful accents in the space. 

I love designing a room using contrasting design elements. It adds to the collected and carefully curated feel of the space.   

Using the rug in the boys room is also great example of how a traditional style rug can be just as functional in a space designed for children as they are in an adult space.

Storage + Function + Flexibility 

I added the small white table for Samori to work on his puzzles and play with his collection of building blocks and cars.  It's easy to wipe down after a coloring or painting session and light enough to slide out of the way when the inevitable "wrestling matches" occur. 

The dark wood bookcases house Saleh's prized action figures, novels and comic book collection perfectly and within easy reach.  The metal storage bins have been a great help when its time to coral smaller toys.

Mix Pattern for a Well Curated Feel

What makes the boys' bedroom unique to our family's style is that there are traditional elements with touches of tribal pattern and bold color that give the room a well traveled but still age appropriate feel.

Add a Personal Touch - Customize the Design

It's hard to choose my favorite design feature of the space. There are just so many.  However, I suppose if I had to narrow it down I'd say my favorite feature it would be the number of customized pieces featured in the space. From the leather draw pulls we used to create a one of a kind look (I'll be sharing a tutorial on the pulls in a later post), to the painted bunk bed and refinished vintage campaign desk, there are several design elements that personalize the space and make the room unique. I believe that ingenuity and creativity are key factors in achieving inspiring design results.

COOL DESIGN FACT: The draw pulls are made from men's leather belts I cut to size. I love how the pulls add a masculine feel and give the piece a more personalized look to the otherwise modern dresser.

Here's a shot of the happy client showing off his new drawer pulls.  I really enjoyed coming up with a room design for the boys that's functional, stylish and fun. Samori's expression says it all. Another satisfied client!