One of the rooms we talked about was her son's, in which Gwen took his obsession with The Hulk superhero and turned it into something that she could love, too. After all, as parents, we can spend a lot of time in those rooms and it's nice to look around and be able to love what you see. Especially while your child is having a tantrum. (Not that we speak from personal experience or anything).
The Hulk turned out to be the inspiration for the happy shade of green on the bottom two/thirds of the room. And there are two prints of The Hulk framed on large white mats. But then, Gwen uses the rest of the room as a canvas for all of the other things that are meaningful to both her son and her whole family. That means other pieces of art that you wouldn't typically find in a kids' room, an Oriental carpet, and a few vintage and thrift store finds. In particular, an art print of Napoleon that reminds Gwen of her college studies, which then leads into stories of the French Revolution that she can spin into tales for her son.
What we love about this kind of decorating is that there are a lot of objects that a child can spend some laze-around-time staring at, while also daydreaming about life. Those objects will then be incorporated into some of his or her childhood memories. If the only things they are staring at are specifically meant just for children, such as posters of licensed cartoon characters, they will get tired of them and you'll happily get rid of them after a little while. But if they have some other things in their rooms, too, such as an oil painting or a chair that used to be your grandmother's, he or she might want to reclaim them for their teenage bedroom or even their first apartment. These objects then become the building blocks of their own style, bringing with them their childhood daydreams.
We'd love to hear how you've incorporated your children's interests into their decor. And please include photos if you'd like! Or, maybe you're feeling stuck and don't know how to reconcile Sponge Bob with your preference for mid-century modern. We'd love to try to brainstorm some ideas with you! Just leave a comment and we'll chime in.
And be sure to catch the podcast, Style Matters, on iTunes or listen here, where you can also see more photos of Gwen's beautiful home!
Zandra & Karen June