A very challenging but funny client

I’m all about expressing yourself with interiors. And what better place to instill this belief than with your kid? At least so I thought…

I decided Luke, now 9, should to be the design director for his bedroom makeover.  I’ve been encouraging him to think about what he wants his room to look like, and what makes him happy (within reason…of course).  So asked him a few weeks ago what he had in mind.  I quickly regretted this decision after hearing his answer—


I looked at images on the internet like the one above…..and decided I’d better wait a couple of months…surely he will get over the flame theme.

So last week I asked him again.  He said he no longer wanted flames. (Phew!)  He was extremely excited to be in charge of the design of his room. He put a pair of shorts on his head and said “This is the hat I wear when I design!!

I started showing him images of beautiful boys rooms trying to inspire him.

We looked at a lot of nice rooms.

Luke says “UGLY, BORING, NO” about every room I show him.

He was 100% sure the room should be completely BLUE, everywhere. By now I had run out of inspiration images and ideas.

Tired I  googled BLUE ROOMS and this came up:


HUH?  A screaming blue bar??

I tried to talk him out of that bold blue hue. It’s just too strong for my taste.  Could we tone it down a notch? He said “Mom-why do you ask me what I want, and then tell me I’m wrong? It’s my bedroom-not yours.”

He’s right. I offered him to be the design director. I need to stick to my promise!!

So we are now working on a design plan that promises to be wild to say the least.  Tuesday we’re painting his room one of these bold blues.

Two versions of kobalt blue.

It will definitely stand out from the rest of the house. But I found some images that made me feel a  LOT better about the color.

We’ve now settled on a blue, white and black design scheme. But no other colors are allowed!

Aerin Lauder’s dining room. OK feeling much better.

Mixed with white….I like it.

I had a couple of beds in the basement. One boyish Gustavian blue bed I thought would be perfect. I also had a very French Julia Grey bed with white and gold, that I definitely did NOT think was appropriate.

But Luke saw it and said…

“PERFECT. This is exactly what I want – it’s like a bed for a king.”

His excitement was so contagious, I had to let him have it.

To make it work we’re painting the bed bright bright white and adding NAVY fabric on the head board and foot board to make it more boyish and contemporary.

I said he could be the design director. Who am I to say he’s wrong?  Perhaps it will be a genius mix…. I’ve made a rendering of the room and he says it’s exactly the way he wants it.

But this will be a true design test. I will definitely post updates on the blog.

Is this crazy – or would you go along??

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19 thoughts on “A very challenging but funny client

  1. Brilliant!!! Definitely go along with it…his creativity is at play here and so far his ideas are very cool in my eyes…I mean, who wouldn't want to live under the ocean, Right?

  2. I'd go along. I plan on doing the same thing next year when we buy a new house. I'm not redecorating the current room, but I'll give my older two (five and three yrs old) input into the room when we move. Luckily my baby daughter is too young to give me direction.

  3. Jill,
    I feel your pain…been there, done that…3 times with each kid! However, eventually you will get to do it your way and will be sad that the little boy, wearing the crazy hat is not there to direct because they went and grew up-without permission! Dive in and ride all the super fun waves!!!

    1. Rebecca you're making me cry!! You're so right. It goes so fast. It' so much fun to hear his ideas. I can't wait to see how it turns out and to see the big smile on his face when it's done!

  4. Shorts on the head, I think that is making a new fashion statement 🙂 love it.

    Letting go of this control as a designer is a very hard thing to do, but it is one you must embrace (an you are doing a fine job) :). The satisfaction you get when you see your lil' man that excited about the freedom, and allowing him to be mature enough to make such BIG decisions like decorating his room….priceless.

    If you have not had the time to listen/watch Randy Pausch "Last Lecture" please try to. He says in there, let the kids do as they want with their rooms. Again, VERY hard, and honestly I only go in the 14 year old's room when absolutely necessary LOL… But, knowing it is the one space they have, let them be creative.

    Quote from Randy Pausch:
    "If you’re going to have childhood dreams you should have great parents who let you pursue them and express your creativity" "Painting a room is to spread out children’s imagination”


    1. That's awesome Laura. I'm definitely going to listen to him. So glad it seems I'm doing the right thing. Luke was smiling ear to ear going to bed last night after reading everyone's comments on the blog – and you're right it's priceless!

  5. Love love love it!! My son decided his room theme after he found this amazing quilt which served as inspiration for the rest of the room, and it all turned out great. Luke has inherited your design genes. Please send updated photos of the Julia Gray bed so I can show them to her showroom here at the WDC!

  6. Funny post. I let my daughter design her room when she was 9 as well and we got HOT pink walls with bright green and pale pink accents. My husband said it was like walking inside of someone's intestines. She is now 13 and hates it. She now wants pale blue with silver and crystal accents. I am waiting as long as I can to make sure she doesn't change her mind for a while. Since when do we get to redecorate every 4 years anyway?

  7. Wow! Kids are so funny when they express themselves in such exuberant ways. Its wonderful that the design is coming together in such lovely way. My, now 13 year old, daughter has asked for so many vile color combinations over the years. Now that we are moving she has asked for chocolate brown wals to go with the ivory silk coronet and bedlinens. She would like red as her accent color. I say whatever and thank my lucky stars her tastes are a little more grown up.

  8. One year, my daughter had outgrown her original design plan, and decided it was time to repaint her room (she was in high school.) At the time she was working in a hardware store, and in her down time studied the paint chips. She came home from work and showed me 4 different colors and asked my opinion. I said it was her room, so any of the four choices was fine with me. Her reply was, "No, I want to use all four colors… a different one on each wall!" It was actually a really cool look (we adjusted the colors slightly so they were more cohesive) and everyone who saw it thought it was very original.

  9. This is definitely a piece of an art. About this post, what I like about it was the big bed like a the bed of a royalty. I like the dominant color of the wall too. The details are organized and the mix of white and blue give it a refreshing feeling. Isn't it a good thing to have? Thanks a lot for sharing these photos.

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