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7617 South 68th Drive
Phoenix, AZ, 85339
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Top 3 Tips for Designing Kid's Rooms

Sarah Bradburn

After design school, I was really lucky to start out my design career working for an interior design firm in Phoenix, Arizona that specialized in model homes. The sheer volume and lightning fast pace of designing model homes back in the mid-2000's gave me a crash course in designing homes from top to bottom. From selecting flooring and designing tile shower surrounds to selecting furniture, art and accessories to installation, we learned how to do it all.....FAST.

One of the biggest and most satisfying challenges (for me anyway) in those days was designing the kid's rooms. I love to make these spaces fun, inspiring and whimsical without being too "theme-y" or contrived. Now that I have my own interior design business, I still employ that same philosophy of making the room fun for the kid while being a bit more sophisticated and palatable for the adults.

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Often, to make the design process simpler, it's tempting to rely on one central idea or theme based on something your child likes and run with it. Junior loves trains so let's do train wallpaper and train bedding and a pillow shaped like a train and train art and train lamps and train track curtains. Trains! Trains! Trains! Sure, that's great for now because Junior eats, sleeps and breathes trains but what happens in a year when he's outgrown trains and he hates his room?

Luckily there is a way to personalize a room for your child's personality and interests in a classic way while still allowing room for when those interests inevitably change. Here are my tips for designing kid's rooms that you and your child will love.

Tip 1: Keep the Color Scheme Fun & Sophisticated

My client's daughter loves all things pink but her mom wisely asked that we give her the pink she so loved but in a way that wasn't over the top. It's easy for pink to overpower so in this darling bedroom I combined it with shades of minty green and grounded the pastels with navy to keep it from feeling too sweet.

interior design phoenix az

Tip 2: Keep the Major Elements Timeless & Add Whimsy in Creative Ways

My client's daughter was 6 years old at the time we designed her bedroom so while I wanted it to have a timeless quality, I also wanted it to feel fun and whimsical for her now. So I kept the headboard a solid navy, gave her a "big girl" lucite desk and a sophisticated chest for nightstands. These pieces can grow with her through the next several years as her interests and tastes change. I gave her the pink she craved in smaller doses such as the bedding, decorative pillows and the cutest little footstool I think I've ever seen. The beach umbrella drapery unifies our color scheme while adding a dose of playfulness.

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Tip 3: Use Artwork to Reflect Your Child's Personality

Art is so personal and for kid's rooms I love to find fun, colorful art that speaks to my little client's interests and personalities. Etsy is a really great resource for affordable children's art and I use it all the time for my young clients. Recently I designed a room for a sweet little boy who is really into insects. So I created a gallery wall above his dresser (which I had painted a beautiful bright, grassy green) and hung prints of beetles, bugs and fireflies. I gave him all the creepy-crawlies he loves now and the ability for a quick, inexpensive update down the road as his interests change.

interior design phoenix
phoenix interior designer

There you have it! My Top 3 Tips for designing fun, timeless kid's rooms that your child and you will love. I hope these tips help you create inspiring and whimsical spaces for you and your little ones to enjoy for years to come!

xo
Sarah

If you'd like help creating a beautiful, vibrant home that you absolutely love, email me at sarah@sarahelizabethinteriordesign.com I'd love to chat!

5 Tips for Creating a Luxurious Master Bedroom Retreat

Sarah Bradburn

This year I've been working with my clients on quite a few of their master bedrooms. When I ask them to tell me what their ideal bedroom looks and feels like, they tend to use a lot of the same words. Words like "luxury", "retreat" or "hotel-like". So I thought I'd share with you some great tips on how to bring a little luxury into your master bedrooms to help you achieve that "retreat" feeling so many of us want.

1.       Quality Bedding – When it comes to creating a luxurious “retreat like” feeling in your master bedroom, nothing says “Luxury” like super soft sheets and sumptuous bedding. I have these 100% organic cotton sheets (love them!) and can attest that they’ve only gotten softer and more cozy with every wash. Quality bedding can be a little bit of an investment upfront but well-made sheets will last long after the cheaper options have worn thin.

Now the ultimate in luxury has got to be completely custom bedding (duvets, blankets, pillows, etc..) and as a designer, it's really satisfying to be able to create something truly one-of-a-kind for my clients but I know that's not feasible for every client. So even if custom isn’t an option, there are really great retail sources for beautiful, well-made bedding at an affordable price. For client projects I’ve used blankets and duvets from stores like Restoration Hardware, William Sonoma and Serena & Lily and they’ve all worked out great.

Photo via William Sonoma Home

Photo via William Sonoma Home

2.       Soft Floor Coverings – Now that you’ve created an oasis of serious comfort with luxurious bedding, imagine getting out of bed only to put your foot down on a cold, hard floor or scratchy carpet. Definitely not luxurious. Add a plush area rug under your bed so that first step of the day is a cushy one. Even if your bedroom has wall-to-wall carpet, it is completely acceptable to add an area rug on top.  Not only does this add an addition level of comfort, area rugs are great opportunities for bringing color and pattern to any room. I love to use rugs made with silk or viscose in master bedrooms because it adds an extra soft feel underfoot.

3.       Address the Windows – Even if you have plantation shutters or woven natural shades for light control, adding drapery is still a necessity in my mind. In addition to properly dressing the windows, drapery adds an extra layer of color, pattern and texture to the room. I always say to new clients that skipping drapery is like putting on a full face of makeup and forgetting to add mascara. Without it, your face and your rooms will always feel unfinished.

4.       Ambient Light – Can lights are great (especially if they’re on a dimmer) but for creating relaxing ambiance, lamps are essential. They’re great to read by, the light cast by lamps is softer and less harsh than standard ceiling cans and decoratively they add a sculptural quality to your nightstands. I also recommend putting all of your ceiling lights, fixtures and lamps on dimmers so that you can have better control over the level of lighting.

5.       Seating Areas – If space allows, I love to create an inviting seating area in all the master bedrooms I design. They’re a great place to relax and read a book, watch tv, have your morning coffee or nightcap or curl up for a nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A beautifully designed seating area will also help your master bedroom have more of a hotel suite feel, giving you a bit of luxury each day. Here's a sneak peek of a seating area I'm currently working on for one of my design clients.

There you have it! My Top 5 Tips for Creating a Luxurious Master Bedroom Retreat. I hope these tips have you brainstorming ways that you can bring a little luxury to your master bedroom. Come back later this week for a "How To" on making your bed look picture perfect.

xo,
Sarah

Want to learn more about our design process and find out about working with us to design your home? Head on over to our Contact page and fill out our quick questionnaire. We'd love to hear from you!

 

Designer VIP Day

Sarah Bradburn

Since launching this new website, you may have noticed that my services have been streamlined from what I had offered on my previous “Menu of Services”. The vast majority of people who come to me for help are in need of and wanting that traditional designer/client arrangement where I present a full room or full home design plan then purchase and install everything for them.

However, some clients, usually design obsessed people like me, have a very clear vision of what they want their finished home to be and really just need a day with me to help refine, clarify and create an action plan for them to execute.  So in addition to traditional “Full Service Design” I’ve recently added a service called “Designer VIP Day”. 

Designer VIP Day gives you 5 hours of very-focused one-on-one time with me. What makes this day SO productive is all of the prep work that happens before I ever ring your doorbell. After you book your day, you’ll receive a questionnaire so that I can gather as much information about your project along with your Top 5 goals for what you want to accomplish in our day together.

You’ll also create a specific Pinterest board for this project, pinning all the things you love (color, style, fabrics, details, etc..). You’ll email me a few photos of the room(s) we’ll focus on so that I can start thinking about how to best help you achieve your vision.

I gather as much information from you as possible so that when your Designer VIP Day comes, you get a TON of laser-focused information that is going to help you transform your space immediately. You’ll be amazed at how much we accomplish together in just 5 hours. Theoretically, because of all this prep work that takes place even before your Designer VIP Day, we could fully design and begin to furnish an entire room during the appointment.

So what does a typical Designer VIP Day look like?

I arrive at 10am, you and I walk the rooms together (we usually keep it to 1 or 2 rooms at the most), talk about your vision, what the challenges are and go over your Pinterest board. We might talk about ways to optimize your floorplan by changing the furniture layout, art placement, bringing in more lighting, adding more color, adding window treatments, styling your shelves & tabletops, you name it. I usually bring a notepad of graph paper so I can sketch out furniture layouts and ideas to help you visualize what I'm proposing.

Then we’ll go have a nice lunch together where we’ll continue to chat about my recommendations for your space.  From there we’ll usually spend the rest of our time together shopping at retail stores or online. I’ve had clients use this appointment to select finishes for kitchens and bathrooms in new construction or remodel projects. 

One client used her VIP Day to select new bedding , order custom drapery , a rug, lamps and decorative accessories to finish off her master bedroom. She loved being able to finally cross this room off her list! I make sure VIP Days are fast-paced and really productive because I want you to get tangible results! If you sign up for this service you’ll need to be ready to make some decisions and confidently pull the trigger to get the absolute most out of it. It’s definitely a bit of work but it’s a lot of fun too!

Designer VIP Day is such a great option if you want one day of really intense design expertise but it’s also a great way for you to evaluate whether we’re a good fit for working together with my full service design. If you decide to move forward in a full service capacity, your Designer VIP Day investment is credited towards the design fee for full service design.

If you’d like to schedule your own Designer VIP Day or to learn more about my design services, contact me for more information!

xo,
Sarah