Designing living spaces for children can be a tricky prospect: too cutesy and the design can feel outdated almost immediately, but too mature and the space can be off-putting and out of touch. To help solve this design dilemma, we turned to Massachusetts-based interior designer Kristina Crestin, who showed us a bedroom and lounge room for two young teen girls that she recently created with design assistant Mikaela Capobianco. The aim was to create a design that could successfully age with the space's inhabitants.109
Q: To start off, what was the inspiration for the design?
A: The client wanted the space to have a New York City feel to it. Because her two daughters are young teenagers, we wanted to give them a bedroom and lounge that they could grow into, but that still acknowledged their young spirits. New York City as a design concept offered an array of inspiring imagery. I designed around the idea of a young 20-something girl’s first apartment in New York City's Soho neighborhood. To achieve this look, we mixed sophisticated furniture with touches of girly whimsy.
Q: How do you ensure that they will be able to grow into the space?
A: The key is the sophisticated furniture, which is the investment pieces that will still be suitable in 10 years. We used a Knoll sofa in the bedroom, which is a classic piece, and one that they can keep forever. We paired these items with inexpensive girlish accessories, like the heart patterned sheets, to make it feel age appropriate.
Q: What is your favorite design element in the space?
A: It's the eclectic gallery art wall in the bedroom. It is made up of relatively inexpensive art from artists off of Minted, Etsy, HomeGoods, etc, yet is so impactful in the room.
Q: What is your favorite piece of furniture in the space?
My favorite item is the little gold geometric side table from Crate and Barrel. It is not a “major” piece of furniture, but I feel that it encompasses the entire vibe of the room. It’s chic with a playful side.
Q: What was the biggest challenge with the design?
A: The biggest challenge was room layout. Because of the existing windows and our need for two beds as well as adequate clothing storage for two girls, we had to thoughtfully lay out the room so that it looked purposeful. We relied on our furniture plan and elevations to check furniture sizes of everything before ordering anything wrong that would crowd the room.
Q: To keep the room evolving with the girls, what you would swap out or add in the next year or so to keep it feeling fresh and age appropriate?
A: I think bedding and accessories are the easiest way to update the room and make it feel more sophisticated as they age. A few years later if they want to refresh the rooms, changing the drapes would bring a new color into the palette and have a significant impact on the look and feel.