"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sweet Dreams: Small Bedroom, Big Style

2012 Pasadena Showcase House of Design. 
Interior designer Maya Williams took on the challenge of creating a dreamy, pre-teen girl's bedroom for the 2012 Pasadena Showcase House, and as I already discussed in a previous post her goal was to achieve maximum style with minimal space.
The uninspired, 10x13 room, originally designed in 1920's as servant's quarters required Williams to accentuate the positive: a great view & pretty windows.

 The results? A jewel box of color, sparkle and sophisticated style. 

Many of the creative ideas Williams incorporated into the room may inspire changes to a small space of your own.

One of my favorite touches: The ceiling mural dotted with crystals! The stencil is simple, and the designer didn't go overboard with the bling -just enough to catch the light from a pretty chandelier and add interest.

To center the twin bed in front of the window without it looking awkward, Williams created draperies to frame it and hide the uneven spaces. It's a trick that also makes the bed a sophisticated, very dressed-up focal point -and one any girly-girl would love.

Above the headboard, the designer hung lengths of butterflies from the ceiling to create a simple -and inexpensive- touch of whimsy and creativity. It would look equally darling in a nursery -just make sure baby can't reach them!

Mixing pillow cases with colorful details (that all stay in the same color family) results in pretty, layered, totally functional- decor. I have found several embroidered pillow cases at vintage flea markets and they offer an affordable way to add color and a unique, handmade touch. Sweet!

Feeling ambitious? Consider embroidering your own cases -instant heirlooms!

Mirrors played a big part in making the pre-teen's room appear bigger and reflecting light: A mirrored sconce; a completely mirrored desk; and of course two gorgeous wall mirrors mosaic-ed with -you guessed it -more mirrors.

The effect is sparkly -sure to appeal to a pre-teen girl -and sophisticated at the same time. 
There is room to grow up.  

"I wanted to show that no matter the size of a room it can still function amazingly and appeal to the heart and senses as room that would make a pre-teen girl feel good, happy, confident and strong," says Williams. 

I also loved the use of texture throughout, as well as thoughtful details that worked double duty. Charming hooks on the back of the closet door held hats and purses. 

The designer admits, "The greatest joy and gratification for me, was to see everyone who walked in the room [during the Showcase House] to get an instant smile on their face. I think the colors, brightness, the soft sophistication of the room achieved that." 

 The opening photo of the entire room is by Everett Fenton Gidley. All other photos courtesy of This American Home, by Bonnie McCarthy.


  1. I love, love, love this! Makes me want to go back in time and redecorate my old room!

  2. I'm so jealous you got to go in as press for this event! I've been attending for about 15 years now and just love this annual trip up to Pasadena to view houses I can only ever dream of owning -- and decorating! Your photos are lovely and really bring the house to life. :)

  3. Thanks, Teresa! I did have a great time shooting the house! There were two big camera crews from HGTV there shooting footage for their own shows...my lens looked sort of small in comparison...


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