Going green to update a young girl’s bedroom
Life is all about change – be it revolutionary, or as gradual as the seasons or the passage of time – it happens. I love the changing of the seasons, especially the springtime! It’s a time of renewal, growth and beauty. It also causes many of us to take a look at our homes and decide what is going to stay and what we desperately need to change.
Earlier this spring I received a call from Elizabeth, a dear friend and client. She was looking for some decorating advice on how to freshen up her daughter’s bedroom in a way that would make both mother and daughter Olivia happy. Something in the pit of my stomach told me that this wasn’t going to be easy! Fortunately, I had some suggestions that helped bring the two sides together – at least temporarily.
I started by bringing Olivia in on the decisionmaking process and it was easy to see who the real client was. Although Olivia is only ten years old, she already has a very unique sense of style and fashion. She was quick to indicate that she was looking for a “dramatic change.” Her mom on the other hand was hoping for a subtler, “calming change.”
Next, we discussed Olivia’s favourite colours, as well as what pieces were going to stay and which ones were on the way out. When I asked her to pick one thing she loves the most about her room, she chose her duvet cover. This was no surprise, since it
Painting with green tones can be a little tricky. I often find certain shades of green can be too yellowish. Finding the right complement for a green tone can also be a little daunting.
— ANDREW DOWNWARD
was as colourful as Olivia’s personality. Her favourite piece, a true reflection of her, became the focal point for the colour choices that followed.
Painting with green tones can be a little tricky. I often find certain shades of green can be too yellowish. Finding the right complement for a green tone can also be a little daunting. However, there are some tried and true combinations worth looking at such as red with green or, my favourite, soft pinks with green, which brings back memories of the 1960s.
In the end we decided to pull the greens and a purple tone from Olivia’s duvet cover and I am glad we did. I started by painting the ceiling a subtle purple. Then I took the softest green and made it the predominant wall colour. Now that would have ended it in most cases, but not for this girl! Olivia was okay with me taking down her boyband posters, but she was adamant about wanting a more dramatic effect. So, with a little artistic perseverance and a sharp knife, I made up a stencil that I placed in the middle of her wall and ran across. I also made sure to pick up another shade of complimentary green from her duvet.
The end result was a work of art that gave both clients what they were looking for: dramatic effect with a calming influence of a green palette. In the end, both girls were happy. Now what more could I ask for?