Kalista and Alessandra are young sisters who have shared lots of things over the years, including their bedroom. Now, the girls are getting older and want more independence, so it's time to make the break. Kalista, the older sister, is moving next door into the former guest room, and Alessandra is staying put.
Like many sisters, these two girls are very close -- but they are competitive, too. So even though Kalista's room is in fact a smaller space, I wanted to be sure that it didn't seem that way when all was said and done. I had to come up with a plan that suited both girls, with custom-made designs tailored to each sister's personality. To make things even more challenging, they couldn't be two more different personalities. Kalista is into gaming and sports, while Alessandra is the princess of the house. All of this added up to one very challenging double reno.
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I needed inspiration, and I found it in a very fun, intricate polka-dot-medallion fabric pattern that was conveniently available in green and blue for Kalista, as well as dreamy pinks and orange for Alessandra. That fabric inspired the color palette in each bedroom, from area rugs to paint and from bedding to drapery material.
Starting with Kalista's room, my plan called for fresh and energetic greens, watery blues and soft yellows. A new bed with a full custom, tufted blue headboard is flanked by custom mirrored panels and sconce lighting, with the addition of white origami crane wall stickers. Across from the bed is a desk area with seating for two, and the room's small closet was expanded and reorganized much more efficiently with new customized closet systems. The walls are painted a lime sherbet color, with recessed lights providing overall illumination.
One of this room's most striking features is the blue chandelier suspended over the bed. It's surrounded by a gorgeous circular ceiling medallion that is outlined in a soft cream color and filled in with a soft blue that matches the headboard and bookcase backs. Bedding and drapery fabrics also pick up on the green-and-blue theme, and key accents throughout the room pack a punch of color -- like the deeper velvet green chair under the window, or the vibrant blue-and-green floral area rug.
Now, for Alessandra's room. Our pink, purple and orange polka-dot-medallion fabric inspired the design of a curvy orange headboard and a plush floral area rug that is heavy on both shades of pink and purple. Custom drapes and valances (the same fabric used in Kalista's room, but in different colors) dress both of the windows in this large bedroom, and a study area is flanked by white shelving and storage units. The walls are painted a soft pinkish-purple hue. The headboard wall is papered in a dimensional off-white pearl-bead-patterned covering.
The spacious closet also got the royal treatment with the installation of a new organizing unit. Fun and carefree artwork is displayed throughout Alessandra's room to give it a lighthearted, girlish feeling. And once again, a fun hot-pink chandelier placed within a ceiling medallion adds a punch of drama and color over the bed.
These two sisters have been inseparable, and I couldn't help but realize that this project was doing just that -- separating them! So to create a common space, we added two comfy purple swivel chairs and a small round table in Alessandra's bigger room. This created a "ladies' lounge" where the two of them can come together and catch up -- or fight, as sisters sometimes also do.
This two-in-one project called for some creative thinking. These bedrooms had to wow the girls today, but they also had to grow with them tomorrow.
Here's a great tip: When you're designing a child's room, stop to consider his or her personality. In this case, these sisters were very different, so although we used some common patterns and fabrics in each room, we customized with color and accent pieces to come up with two very distinct designs.
Kalista and Alessandra love their new bedrooms.
• Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All."