Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweet Dreams are made of these....


In the spring of 1987, when I was in first grade, my parents moved from inner Houston to its suburbs. Once we settled in, one of the first rooms my mother decorated (with the help of a designer from Ethan Allen, if I recall correctly) was my bedroom. At the tender age of 7, I was allowed to select the basic design elements for my bedroom -- and I remember feeling so very grown-up throughout the process. My color palette? Pink and white, of course! Pink splashed across wallpaper, balloon draperies, bedding and, of course, my very own crown canopy (or coronet), which transformed my antiqued white iron bed into a gloriously feminine, over-the-top confection of pink and white flowers, balloons and stripes (for contrast, natch). While the bedroom didn't exactly see me through childhood, it did last me nearly a decade when, at the age of 16, I finally managed to convince my mom to let me redecorate the room to make it a tad more adult.

Alas, I can't manage to come up with a good photograph of my childhood room, but this collection of perfectly girlie, perfectly pink rooms illustrates the timelessness (and the whimsy) of princess bedrooms for little girls. And, while I can't say that I'd want this look for my own bedroom, there's a part of me that still loves the over-the-top femininity of coronets and lots and lots of pink.



I love the shape of the canopy on this one -- and how it hangs so crisply from the ceiling. Adding molding around the canopy is a great, inexpensive way to add structure to the canopy (loose, flowing canopies have a more casual, island feel). Using a single, bold pattern on walls and upholstery is a classic choice for a bedroom. Sure, it's a very "decorated" look, but it's a guaranteed way to make a statement. Note too how Katie used the print as a contrast welt on the side chair. Brilliant.

Coral and sage green, especially when grounded by hits of black, is a decidedly more grown-up color palette. The mix of florals and traditional monograms with the more exotic ikat and suzani prints ups the sophistication further.

It can be difficult to find a daybed that looks and acts more like a true sofa, but this one's cozy cozy arms really makes this guest bedroom look more like a lounge comfy lounge (which is ideal for the vast majority of us who have only infrequent overnight guests). My favorite touch is the brass nailhead trim, which overlays a slate blue ribbon that coordinates with the wallpaper and primary fabric.

There's a lot here that I love: a classic toile print, an upholstered headboard with a contrast welt, an oversized monogram, blue and white porcelain, and a scalloped pelmet box window treatment. In fact, now that I think about it, it's darn near perfect.

This is precisely the room I would have asked for at the age of 8 if I'd had the budget (and vocabulary) to employ Ruthie Sommers. China Seas' Lyford print on the chair and pillow is a great choice that won't date and will work equally well in a guest room when your little one flies the nest.

There's a lot about this room that's incredibly traditional: the toile, the draperies, the antique daybed, the rug. And yet the orange upholstered chairs and loveseat, despite their shapes, are incredibly modern. It's this dichotomy that makes the room interesting.

In many ways, this rooms feels much more traditional than what I'm seeing from Adler. Maybe it's the gingham print or the antique armoire (albeit painted a vivid yellow). Nevertheless, the lime green lining on the interior of the canopy feels exactly like something the purveyor of Happy Chic would come up with. Yellow and lime green, while still joyful and child-like, ensure that the pink is way more hip than sweet.


This is a great mid century modern twist on a classic canopy. To create a similar, stream-lined look, keep the shape of the canopy rectangular (no fancy scalloping needed) and the print geometric and colorful. Note too how the wall behind the daybed is not swathed in fabric this time and the lining of the fabric coordinates rather than contrasts with the primary print.


Not all little girl's rooms have to be pink. In fact, I'd bet just as many girls list purple as their favorite color as those who call pink their signature. I love how Tobi added the black trim and zebra fabric to ground the space and ensure that it will be just as possible when the Little Princess turns 16 as when she turns 6.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Hamptons' home via Habitually Chic

This room confirms my suspicions that being the daughter of an A-list movie star and a mega-rock star comes with some serious perks. Apple Martin is one seriously lucky little girl to have such a chic bed at the tender age of 6. I particularly appreciate that the pink is very saturated and the contrasting white and yellow zig zags. The monogrammed pillows, in hot pink and a more streamlined font, remind me of something you'd like up at Jonathan Adler. While I think the white walls and white floors is a wee bit sterile, I do like the high contrast between the bed and the rest of the space. If this were a room in my house though, I'd warm the floors up with a flokati or sea grass rug (maybe change it out for the seasons?) to add some warmth and texture.

So what about you? Did you have a canopy or coronet in your childhood room? Do you have one now -- or do you think this look is for kids only?

23 comments:

beachhouse etc. said...

hey girl i grew up in NC,,,and i totally remember the etan allen days and i had a canopy bed love canopies..hope to hear from u soon suzanne

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

i didn't, but i wanted one so bad!!

my fave is #2.

Janell@Isabella&Max said...

My room was never really decorated, sometimes I even shared it with one of my brothers. Something tells me a canopy or coronet would not have been to their liking. BUT, I would have adored a room with either! Great inspiring images, love the chair in the second Ruthie Sommers room.

Quotidian Grace said...

Your wallpaper was pink hot-air ballons on a white background with flowers. I'll have to see if I can find a photo somewhere.

When you re-decorated you chose a cream-on-cream oriental design and a much more modern bed and dresser. Your love of oriental design was showing at that age!

Kathysue said...

Averill, this is a wonderfully written post. The images are just full of eye candy and your descripiton of each image is also very eye opening. You write like a well written magazine article. No canopy as a little girl but my rooms were always pink and white. I still have a love for pink, just a touch here and there, I tend to like a watermelon pink. I think the twin beds in coral with the Ikat pillows in black was my favorite. Thank you for a beautifully written post,Kathysue

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Very pretty collection, Averill. I especially love the Adler room.
I may have had a "canopy envy" moment or two as a girl but never did have one... even when I was able to make my own design decisions. I guess it just wasn't "me". Apparently, it wasn't my daughter either because when I tried to give her a frothy girlie room when she was about eight, she wouldn't have it. She chose bright colors and big graphic patterns, bold and loud, just like her!

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Averill, awesome post....so many of these images are in my inspiration files....and some that weren't now are! No canopy here. We had a designer growing up....so I couldn't go too crazy but I remember my main request was a pink and white wide-striped laura ashley wallpaper. I had a coordinating one in my bathroom and a custom pink bedspread that had some sort of quilting that had sotof abstract hearts. More pink (and green and purple) on the curtains which had upholstered rods with sortof flower-like rosettes on them. I'd probably gag now...but at the time I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!

Tammy@InStitches said...

You have posted some great girly pics ! LOVE

Marija said...

I am consistently impressed by the quality of your images! Your childhood bedroom sounds like the designer version of the room my mom created for me! She eventually let me change it because, I think, even she realized that there is a right way and a wrong way to do pink. Yours and your images are clearly right!!

Poindexter said...

thanks for the daily inspiration. always look forward to clicking in.

Don't know if you have an opinion about this, but thought I'd ask.

I've had a suzani hanging in my house for quite a while and have recently removed it, it's folded on a bed at the moment. But now I'm considering possibly using it to cover a bench or a couple of stools.

Is this just something I shouldn't do? I purchased the textile at Surroundings on Sunset, so I suspect it is handmade, not machine made. I paid about $300 for it well over 10 years ago. It is not the most gorgeous embroidery, rather primitive, actually.

The delimma! What is your opinion on this subject?

SogniSorrisi said...

Love these rooms! I did have a canopy at one point when I was a kid (I traded it in for a bunk bed, much to the chagrin of my parents).

I think canopies work at any age as long as the fabric is age appropriate.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I didn't have either, and my parents were so insistent on white walls that I couldn't convince them to let me paint the room pink until I was in college! I went through a lengthy purple phase, so that Tobi Fairley room would have been right up my alley in high school. All of those rooms are so dreamy!

Sarah Klassen said...

Your room sounds so pretty, Averill! I can just imagine it...

My childhood bedroom was very girly and luxe. My Grandma owned a very beautiful store at the time, and so my bedroom was filled to the brim with gorgeous items...oddly enough, I have gone so simply now! But, I still look back upon my room ( elegant four-poster bed) and appreciate it.

Wonderful post! Hope you're having a great week so far...

xo

Bromeliad said...

Definately not just for kids, especially a cool selection like this. Plus, they can cut your heating bill (fewer drafty nights.)

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

I never had any sort of canopy or coronet when I was a little girl, but I'm hoping to do something with them when my girls bunk up together one day!

Pemberley said...

I've never been brave enough to try a coronet, but I love the look. When I redo our bedroom this fall I may give it a try. Nice post and pictures.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

My best friend growing up had my childhood fantasy bedroom-twin canopy beds, built-in shelving, a bay window with window seat...These rooms bring back memories of long afternoons spent in that room.

Kathysue said...

Hi Averill, I just read your question on my last blog post Brocade. I have never purchased anything from them so I have no idea if the quality is good or not but I do love their designs and colors. They just opened up their New York store, It looks amazing in the pictures. Thanks for the visit, Kathysue

walrus studio said...

I never had one, but I love the royal yet exotic feeling some of them have.

Christy said...

I haven't been able to get this post out of my head! I've read it a couple of times and just ADORE the images. I think the first one is my fave. I did have a typical four poster canopy bed growing up. With a PINK canopy, of course! Loved it. Matt and I also had a sheer drapery around our four poster when we first lived together...love canopies! The only thing holding me back from doing one of the kind anchored to the ceiling is the fact that I love to rearrange furniture. With a bed affixed to the ceiling, I'd be kind of stuck! But I admire them greatly and just loved this post. Eye candy galore!

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

i'm loving all the canopies and coronets you found! i never had one — do you think it's too late? i think i've seen a few examples of pretty canopies in grown up bedrooms ;)

Hello Lover... said...

Beautiful!

Cara said...

These are all beautiful! You have a wonderful little blog here...xx

cara
http://www.lilacandgrey.com

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