I’m the youngest of three girls. Here’s what that meant, for me, when I was smaller: (1) I wore Guess jeans six years after they were cool, (2) My baby book lies empty (save for a few strands of blonde locks that I placed in the tiny designated envelope when I was in junior high shortly after lamenting that my mother was too busy to mother me, so I’d need to fill out my own baby book and mother myself – to which I never did, which is a true testament to how boring baby books are, in that you can’t even complete one’s own – but I’m getting away from myself now), and (3) I slept in the nursery until I was 10.
The walls were pale blue and the carpet shaggy red and there was a Winnie the Pooh wallpaper border that was repeated over and over, close to the ceiling, until it stopped short over the closet with just half of Piglet.
I hadn’t given any thought to this room, really and truly, until my mother announced that she’d be redecorating it while I was away at summer camp. And then, I thought of nothing else.
When I watched TV, I surveyed the decor of my favorite character’s rooms, taking mental stock of bedding and artwork and color schemes. When the mail came, I tore catalogs open to discover new patterns and textures, no longer bothering with the previously dogeared toy section. I had a room to decorate, after all. I had a grown-up matter to attend to, and please could you keep it down over there with your paper dolls and Karaoke machine?
In the end, my mother’s ideas trumped my own (she was carrying the cash, after all), and I returned home from camp – not to the bold apple theme I’d wished and hoped for, but to a calming floral hideaway that still exists to this day. She was designing with longevity in mind, and an apple can only take a girl so far. But florals? A gal can ready herself for prom in a room full of florals.
I loved that room. I loved the plush pillows, the low pile carpet, the fresh smell of white paint on all four walls. The half-a-Piglet long gone, with a rose and lavender and baby’s breath border in its place. It was perfect for me, apples or no apples, and I still stand mesmerized when I think of leaving my Winnie the Pooh nursery, attending a week-long summer camp, and returning as a mature, grown-up lady with the garden curtains to match.
And so, I suppose, this memory is what I was conjuring as I declared to Bee, one month ago over eggs, that she would soon receive A Big Girl Room of her own.
And so, I suppose, this memory is what I was conjuring as she declared to me, one month ago over eggs, that she would very much love to receive A Big Girl Room of her own, and that I was “The best mother in the entire planetarium!!!”
Star curtains, it was.
Land of Nod is my go-to source for kids’ decor, for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I am my mother, designing with longevity in mind. An apple can only take a girl so far. But a planetarium? A gal can ready herself for prom in a planetarium.
One of my rules for designing a kids’ space is that I’m always looking for pieces that offer multiple functions, many scenarios. Could this dresser be moved to a nursery that might welcome a little boy? Could this lamp be re-purposed as a reading light in our office? Could these pillows don our living room couch, where they inevitably arrive for a rousing round of fort-making?
Once the multi-functional pieces are decided upon, I like to offer the space plenty of character, plenty of kid-friendly inspiration. Nothing too grown-up; nothing too stuffy. I thought of Bee’s personality, and how she’s sweet but never saccharine, and how she’s a natural born explorer with a curiosity that knows no limits. No, florals wouldn’t do. Not for Bee. She’s not a garden-tender, not right now. She’s a fly-to-the-moon, look-to-the-stars, sail-away-on-an-adventure kinda gal.
And so, it was decided. A planetarium for Bee.
If you’re in the market for your own planetarium(ish) room, here’s what we used!:
“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – E.M. Forster
Tell me, what kind of thought do you give to your kids’ spaces? Do you design with their personalities or interests in mind? With budget and creativity top of mind? With longevity in mind? All of the above? I’m all ears!
p.s. This room was lovingly designed by me, for Bee, in partnership with Land of Nod. Thanks for reading!