Pre-teen tastes present challenges for interior designers

Pre-teen tastes present challenges for interior designers

July 23rd, 2011 by Karen Nazor Hill in Life Entertainment

Mary Jane Tallant Fitzgerald used a raspberry and brown color scheme for a tween's bedroom.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Brooke Andrus is at the age when middle childhood begins morphing into teenagehood.

While the 11-year-old sixth-grader still has a fondness for Disney princesses, she has also developed an interest in teen heartthrobs as evidenced by the celebrity posters she has placed on her bedroom and bathroom walls.

The tween years present a challenge to interior designers.

Mary Jane Tallant Fitzgerald, owner of Tallanted Interiors, and assistant Tara Fuller designed and decorated Brooke's bedroom in her Mountain Shadows home.

Fitzgerald, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, said it was important to get input from Brooke, as well as her mom, Tammy Andrus, about the decorating process.

"Brooke wanted a pink and brown room, so we chose shades called Razzle Dazzle, with raspberry tones, and Mocha, a rich brown," she said.

The raspberry shade lends itself to the youngster's playful side, while the brown offers an element of maturity - the perfect combination for a tween, said Fuller.

The bed is the room's focal point, Fitzgerald said.

Covered with several fabrics, textures and prints, the bed is a vision of luxury and coziness. Monogrammed pillowcases dominate the setting. They're accentuated by smaller pillows, including ones that shimmer and sparkle, for a touch of princess glam.

"The room has a 1940s princess feel to it, and that's good for the princess to movie-star transition," Fitzgerald said.

At the windows, wooden shades are topped with balloon-style draperies to further pull together the color scheme. "The

effect is very feminine," Fuller said.

One of the biggest challenges the designers faced was how to display Brooke's vast collection of Disney figurines and dolls.

"She has many collectibles. We're lucky she had lots of shelves," Fuller said, noting that the Disney characters are prominently displayed in three areas.

The designers also incorporated two trends they say are popular in girls' rooms: hand-painted monograms and chandeliers.

"Lydia Reynolds, a local artist, did the hand painting," Fitzgerald said. "It adds a personal touch. I asked her to pull out colors from the flocked silk drapery to use on the walls, and it turned out perfectly," Fitzgerald said.

Also on trend is a chandelier fashioned from crystal and iron.

"All the girls want crystal chandeliers these days," Fitzgerald said.

Brooke's collection of American Girl dolls is displayed on a small bench with a leopard-print cushion, an exotic touch that "every girl needs," Fitzgerald said.

Among the more personal touches is a photo of Brooke and her mom on the bedside table. The nondescript frame has been dressed up with a large bow and crystal brooch.

And what princess room would be complete without the "mirror, mirror, on the wall," Fitzgerald said. A large, framed oval mirror hangs between the room's two windows.

Brooke has recently begun to hang posters of celebrities on the doors and walls of her room.

"She's at the age where her interests are changing," Fitzgerald said. "And that's the way it's supposed to be. We want Brooke's room to reflect Brooke, and it does."