Rooms for the Ages - 405 Magazine

Rooms for the Ages

Decorating kids’ personal spaces is an opportunity for mutual enjoyment; as these local examples of an infant, a young girl and a tween boy show, a little thought allows parents to influence their offspring’s tastes without dictating them, and lets children as they age begin exploring their own design preferences.

The News Of A Baby’s Impending Arrival Is One Of The Most Exciting Times In A Couple’s Life.

There’s a symbolism that goes beyond the literal birth, and permeates the whole of a family, infusing it with new hopes and dreams about the future. Decorating a nursery is a unique enterprise; parents are preparing a place for their child, but also extending their home’s atmosphere, and allowing it to be changed and formed around an as-yet-unknown individual, whose tastes and preferences will hopefully mirror some of their own,
but will also be distinct and singular.


The artwork that started the Fowlers’ nursery decoration
hangs prominently over the crib.
( pictured above )


When Natalie and Jonathan Fowler found out they were expecting, Natalie knew she wasn’t going to go the traditional route. After finding out that they were having a girl, the Fowlers began putting together their daughter Winnie’s room, organized around an unusual focal point.

“The thing that really kicked off the theme of the nursery was my husband finding the piece that’s over the crib, by Oklahoma City artist Matt Goad.” Natalie says.


A cozy place to rock baby to sleep: gray glider from Tulips,
ottoman and arc lamp from Target.


“He found that at a gallery showing, and then I found the wallpaper and then kind of worked everything around that. I knew I wanted something whimsical, and kind of modern. Something she could transition into when she’s a little older – not something that would just be appropriate when she’s two.”

Avid record collectors (they own over 2,000 between them), Natalie and Jonathan received the record player in Winnie’s room from friends (who also own Guestroom Records in Norman).


The purple afghan was knitted by Natalie’s grandmother;
“Cuddle Monster” from Tulsa-based Etsy shop, cuddlemonstre.


The 45s were favors from a baby shower, and in addition to being a fun decorative touch, they represent the hope that all parents have; that some of their passions will become shared ones.

“Hopefully she’ll love music just like we do.”


Girls Room

Encouraging independence while incorporating a child’s individuality into the family collective is a life-long endeavor, and the decorating of a bedroom can be a wonderful example of negotiating the challenge of having offspring with preferences that might diverge from yours.


The wooden desk (and all other wooden furniture)
was Lindsay’s as a child (lovingly preserved by her mother for 30 years); Raggedy Andy was a childhood toy of Andy’s. The brightly
hued carpet squares are a compromise; primary colors
(Lindsay’s preference) interspersed with Daltrey’s signature vivid pink.


An organizing principle of Andy and Lindsay Gibson’s home décor is fitting sentimental pieces in with their eclectic style, and while six-year-old daughter Daltrey’s room definitely displays that focus, it also serves as a showcase for a color she adores … pink.

A central feature of Daltrey’s room is a purpose-built piece that provides an extended window seat with a ladder for access. Placed above coordinated Ikea shelving, the area is padded with pink (of course) and is a perfect nook for reading or playing. True to family form, the walls are filled with meaningful mementos; the Wilco poster is from a concert attended while Daltrey was still in utero, during the week the baby book said her ears were forming. “We like to think of it as her first concert,” says Lindsay. The Tour de France print was picked up when the Gibsons attended a day of the Tour, during a memorable family vacation this past summer.



A room with a view (from the window seat) …
dollhouse from Plan Toys, available through Kidzone Furniture.


A trip to Spain yielded the painting above Daltrey’s bed (which is of Parc Güell, in Barcelona), and the chest at the foot of the bed (covered with cheery Jonathan Adler for JC Penney bedding) belonged to Andy as a child. The teddy bear’s jaunty hat and Doors t-shirt make for stylish cultural touchstones (Dad is a Doors fan), but also serve as a bittersweet reminder that babies grow up. “She finally outgrew it this summer,” Lindsay says, of the tiny tee. “But I can’t bear to part with it or put it away.”

Daltrey’s favorite color, pink,
features prominently in the room’s bedding.


Boys Room

Tween years can be tricky, with regard to both parenting and decorating; not yet teens, ten-to-twelve-year-olds also aren’t babies anymore and have a special set of evolving needs all their own.


The twin daybed was built by Ryan;
the bedding is from Restoration Hardware.


When Brittany and Ryan Stover’s son London expressed an interest in having his room redecorated, after seeing his mom’s success with a re-do of his sister’s room, Brittany suggested a particularly meaningful theme; the city that gave him his name.

“It’s the city where his dad and I decided we loved each other,” Brittany says. “London never really liked football (the room’s décor motif during his younger years), but he loves geography, and he loves that he’s named after a city.”


The wooden desk belonged to Brittany’s grandfather, and she says, “It’s special to me to try and keep family stuff, and make it useful.” London’s first pair of hiking boots make a sentimental wall hanging.


Brittany’s idea proved timely, with trendy British items readily available from a number of sources, and her willingness to respect her son’s preferences has paid dividends in what some moms of boys would consider a miraculous fashion.

“He’s been good at keeping it clean and he’s taken a lot of pride in it.” Brittany says. “I think he really appreciated it.”