I like to think that every moment presents us with a chance to learn something – “a teachable moment” to use a catchy, trendy phrase.
So, when dear friend and client, Jennifer McNally asked B&A Interiors, LLC to redo her daughter, Lilly’s bedroom, Sammi and I took the project on with one stipulation. Although this was to be considered a birthday present from Jennifer and Sean, we wanted Lilly to be involved in the decision making process. Jennifer was in!
In particular, I wanted her to understand the use of color, textures and patterns to create a pleasing atmosphere for her. As side benefits she ended up learning about budget and patience (which she exemplified as she waited and w.a.i.t.e.d for the job to be finished). Decorating 101 for Lilly!
Here’s what Lilly learned (at least that was the intention):
Color your world
The project started with a simple question I posed for Lilly.
What are your favorite colors?
In grown-up words, I was asking her what colors spoke to her as I think this is first and foremost the question to know the answer to in any new decorating project. As I said in my post Color Your World, it is vital to your essence to be true to yourself in how you decorate your space. Your choice of colors must match who you are in order for your soul to be blissful. Even a young girl like Lilly needs to feel the color and know it matches who she is. Learning this so young in life is a tremendous step in the right direction of becoming authentically you. Furthermore, learning to express who you are in any capacity is a lesson in assertiveness. Letting Lilly be a part of the decision making process taught her to speak her mind.
Once Lilly expressed to us what her favorite colors were, Jennifer, Sammi and I hit the design showrooms in search of fabrics. Obviously, we wanted to make sure that Lilly was guided in directions where color, texture and pattern were combined to create a beautiful look for her room. So, we put together three different sets of choices and then let Lilly make the final decision. It was a win-win for all of us. Lilly got to choose the color palette, we gently guided her with fabric selections and then she took ownership in the final decision making.
The colors of nature
Another lesson for Lilly to learn was my firm belief that every space should infuse the two basic colors of nature. In my post, Two Colors Every Homespace Needs, I explain the importance of this. The two basic colors of nature (green and blue) when used in interior spaces instantaneously connect you with nature. And, all of us can benefit from this.
Incorporating these two colors into Lilly’s design was super easy. We needed to work with a piece of furniture in Lilly’s room that was very special to her that just happened to be a beautiful shade of soft green. This piece of furniture was a sweet vanity table from her Aunt Liz. We wanted to make this piece a real focal point of the room in honor of her aunt so, we worked with the vanity’s color by accenting it with a skirted chair using blue for the cushion’s seat. Lilly can now sit at the vanity primping and preening while remembering Aunt Liz. It just doesn’t get any better that this!
(You can read more about my love of incorporating family treasures in your home in my post, Creating Beauty In Your Homespace With Family Treasures.)
Even the fabrics we chose for all the custom work had nature’s gifts of color in them along with the bold colors Lilly wanted. Now that the project is complete, the colors of nature flourish throughout the room.
Make sure your space is peripherally pleasing to the eye
Just as I wrote in a recent post, The Peripheral View Of Your Home, I explained to both Lilly and Jennifer that it was important for the entire space to embrace you in a pleasing way. So, in the design plan I made sure that regardless of where Lilly was standing in her room, out of the corner of her eye (using her peripheral vision) the colors carried throughout the room. To highlight these colors, I changed the original soft pink of the walls to a neutral off-white from Benjamin Moore called “Monterey White” as this color is a wonderful backdrop when you are using bold fabrics. This color (or lack thereof) allowed the bold color scheme to carry throughout the room seamlessly without adding extra busyness.
The main fabrics infused both green and blue along with the colors Lilly wanted to use in her bedroom. Window Treatments, Bedding , Lilly’s Custom Memo Board and the Vanity Chair all incorporated these colors. These colors were even continued into her bathroom where the wall color, a soft green (this was the original color and we left it this way) was perfect to showcase the bold use of color in the shower curtain and the funky artwork on the walls.
Living in perfect harmony
Lilly’s birthday present of a new look for her bedroom turned out to be so much more than just a present. I believe that by allowing Lilly to be a part of the decision making for the color choices, she was able to give voice to her essence that she is just beginning to understand and be comfortable with. This allows Lilly to feel that her personal space reflects who she is and what she is about even at this young age. She is already learning the joy of living in harmony with herself through how she lives in her space. Thus, she stands to be better prepared to live in harmony with her family, friends, classmates and anyone she interacts with. I firmly believe it.
Everything begins in the home
Lilly is fortunate to know the importance of home and appreciates what her home gives her – a place of safety and an atmosphere to thrive in. Her “new do” in her most personal space, her bedroom gives her ownership in how she expresses herself. I chuckle over how much she loves it. Jennifer has texted me that Lilly loves showing everyone that comes over to her house, regardless of who it is, her bedroom make over. She even explains the intricacies of the fabric patterns and how her pillows have two usable sides!
Everything really does begin in the home. What happens in the home from what we smell, what we eat, what we hear, what we see, what we feel and what we are surrounded with carries over into adulthood and forms us in ways that are incredibly complex. Starting life in a positive atmosphere full of beauty can make all the difference.
I am deeply grateful to have been part of creating such a wonderful space for Lilly to blossom in. Plus, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to teach Lilly and not just present Lilly with a finished project. Several years ago, I decided I could better serve my clients by teaching them “how to fish” instead of “feeding them the fish”. It might make for less clients overtime but, I think it is important to empower people to embrace their space themselves once they learn some basics. For me, Lilly was no exception.
I know Lilly loves her new space and will always remember this first lesson in decorating – what I call “Decorating 101”. Next on the list for this class of instruction is my dear step-granddaughter, Addison. Watch out Addison!
Decorate your life not just with color but also with love, Lilly…
Always express your true self through your space! To see a full album of Lilly’s decorating project check it out on my Facebook Fanpage, livinginperfectharmony. By the way, can you guess what colors that Lilly loves?