This 14-year-old has a classic-rock old soul. “His father has introduced him to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who — the two of them love to jam together and shop for old records on the weekends,” interior designer Ginger Curtis says. “We designed this room around his passion for cool music.” At the same time, the room needed to function as a place not only to listen to and play music, but also to do homework, hang out with friends, play games and have sleepovers.
Photos by Sesha Smith of Convey Studios
Bedroom at a Glance
What happens here: Jamming on guitar with Dad, listening to LPs, doing homework, sleepovers, playing video games, hanging out with friends
Location: Argyle, Texas
Size: 230 square feet (21 square meters)
Designer: Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs
“He loves the Union Jack, so we wanted to bring that in and play off the blues and pops of red,” Curtis says. A Union Jack quilt is very “The Kids Are Alright” (an iconic album cover from The Who). She went with a more muted Union Jack red under the bed.
Wall paint: Nimbus, Benjamin Moore; Vintage Washed Union Jack Quilt: Restoration Hardware; ceiling fan: Shades of Light; Union Jack rug: Wayfair
“I thought carefully about all of the little details in this room so that they’d be special,” Curtis says. “He’s also kind of a techie and is into music tech.” The artwork on the left is a custom job — she hired an artist to render sound waves from two of the teen’s favorite Beatles songs. The canvas on the right is a sketch of a guitar. The turntable on the nightstand is vintage.
While music plays a major role in the room, the overall look is sophisticated because it doesn’t swing too theme-y. Curtis chose pieces that can grow up with her client and brought in vintage industrial style via materials such as metal and reclaimed wood, and colors such as muted gray-blues, gunmetal and pops of red. The riveted industrial nightstand is part of a pair of nesting tables.
Pillow: Restoration Hardware
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Curtis has passed her talents for design and furniture building down through the family. Her son Tyler Harris custom made this bed for the room. The platform bed has storage cubbies all the way around the bottom. He made the bed from pine and finished it with a dark walnut stain, giving it a rich, reclaimed look.
Another detail worth noting here are the lined Roman shades. Because the porch looks into this room and others, Curtis used versatile gray window coverings that worked in all of them. “This neutral will work for years to come, even if they redecorate one of the rooms,” she says.
While getting to know her client, the designer dug through shoe boxes and bins of his things. She came across this headphone and microphone and strung it from the headboard.
On the other side, this light adds a pop of red and an industrial look.
The chair folds out into a twin-size bed for sleepovers. It’s also the TV-watching chair — Curtis placed the TV directly across the room from it at the right height for viewing. The chair is a favorite spot in the room for getting comfy.
She built shelves overhead that match the wood used on the bed. Simple metal brackets provide another industrial element that plays off the metal table below. Rather than painting the entire wall in chalkboard paint, she left the bottom of it white for contrast. The chair height determined where the white paint and gray chalkboard paint would meet.
Here are the steps the team took to make sure the chalkboard wall was done right:
- They splurged on quality chalkboard paint. Curtis chose Benjamin Moore’s Gunmetal. “It’s expensive, but it’s worth it,” she says.
- They applied three coats of the chalkboard paint.
- They let it dry for five days.
- They “primed” the wall by completely covering it in chalk and erasing it.
“After you do all of this, the wall works really well, and you can clean it off with a damp cloth,” Curtis says.
However, that may never be necessary. While the chalkboard wall was something Curtis intended her client to switch up on a regular basis, his mom claims he won’t touch it. Ever since Curtis’ design assistant Shantelle Dykstra, who is also a musician, drew the music on it for the photography shoot, the young client has been transfixed. “His mom texted me: ‘He can’t stop staring at that chalkboard wall!’” Curtis says. “He won’t touch it.”
A pay phone was something they had all talked about from the design board phase. “We laughed that he’s probably the only kid his age who knows what a rotary phone is,” Curtis says. The phone’s long cord lets him enjoy it from different spots all over the room.
One area that was not photographed is a homework desk with built-in shelves. It sits directly across from the bed.
Pay phone-style phone: Kohl’s
Even though she doesn’t have as much time to build things as she used to, Curtis made an exception in this case. “These clients became great friends during the design process, and I wanted to do something special for them,” she says. She ordered the vintage microphone artwork from a vendor in San Francisco and built the wood frame for it herself. The stain ties the piece to the bed and the shelves.
“It was such a joy to work with these clients. He is so excited about and grateful for his room,” Curtis says. “His mother just texted me that he is still overwhelmed by it.”
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