Friday, May 14, 2010


Creating the perfect room for a child takes creativity, imagination and yes, color! Whether you go for a theme, a dream or channel a remote location, there are so many great ways to make it happen these days. Some great ideas are brought together by Susanna Salk in her newest book, Room For Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play from Rizzoli. The book was feted in the new children's department at Bergdorf Goodman with mini burgers.
I recently talked with Susanna about her process. Choosing from tons of photos, she found creative examples of how kids live and play today. She shared what it was like:

What is your favorite space in the book?

I love the 3 girls who have silver bunk beds, white butterflies hanging from the ceiling and a huge black and white photo of themselves framed like art declaring that this space is uniquely about THEM. That room I'm sure cost nothing to decorate and yet it so completely comfortable and creative. There's another shot in that same space- which we didn't use- where they have swings and hammocks hanging from the ceiling. Divine.

What is the most creative use of space you have seen from all work you went through?

All the many amazing ways bunk beds are shown. Forget about the Brady Bunch days: once you've seen all these incredibly creative choices you'll never look at communal living the same way again!

Did you shoot projects that proved challenging at the time but had a great outcome?

I mostly culled existing images from all the top designers and shelter photogs across the country (and world) THAT was the most challenging: keeping track of who had what and where and then making sure the families were excited about being in the book. I must say that the design world as a while is one of the most generous and supportive network! The rooms we shot were actually my own children's rooms. It was strange propping your own house to look as strong as possible on camera. I wanted my kids' style to shine through but I also had to be objective.

Why this book now?

It was about time! There's never before been a glamorous, imaginative coffee table book celebrating children's spaces. We needed something for first-time parents, designers and the kids themselves to draw inspiration from!

What do you wish was around for kids that was not when you had your twin boys?

The CHOICES: at all different price points, styles and colors. I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to break the rules and color outside the lines.

Vary pattern scale for a playful feel. By sticking to a few bright colors, Jonathan Adler created a fun room with over sized pink and white checks and a playful animal print paper. Used creatively, the check makes the shade, bed skirt and hangings come together.

More often children's rooms are designed in a sophisticated way to take them into their teenage years. The color choices are what keep the young sophisticated details fresh. Here, New York based Amanda Nisbet works with purple and navy, coordinating a tailored and trimmed bed skirt, headboard and roman shade that tie the room together. A classic traditional chandelier, leather slipper chair and bookcase mean the space will transition nicely, looking fresh for years to come.

Jennifer Delonghi incorporated brights through a graphic David Hicks print on the daybed, chartreuse garden seat and valance trim for a more sophisticated take on a nursery.

Pieter Estersonn, an interiors photographer, created a nursery with a stellar view. The digital imagery on the walls is that of his childhood room. He grew up near Udaipur in India at the Maharami of Deogarh's palace. What a view!

Charlotte Moss created a neutral haven with classic elements. A tented daybed of alphabet fabric and a check play off the graphic geometric carpet. A stuffed frog and green toys add a touch of childhood to the space that looks more grown up.

Chicago-based Alessandra Branca, very adept at creating poppy bright kids spaces has created a light- filled playroom with a beach club awning tented ceiling, built-ins for storage galore and curtains that close for easy movie nights.


Style Court said...

Excellent review Marisa!

oomph said...

WOW - Things are sure different from when we were kids! All these room are right down oomph's alley - we love all the color!