Archives for August 2007

The Superhero Exception

The Superhero Exception

For those of you with younger boys, you may have run across this dilemma. Your son wants a superhero room. You don’t love the idea. I have referred to these theme rooms a few times, and in my opinion, they generally end up tacky. Especially theme rooms that revolve around a cartoon.

Unfortunately, oftentimes this is the case for the superhero lovers too. And that is because most of the superhero room decorations ARE tacky. The comforters & sheets are poor quality (which is why I don’t even recommend limiting a theme to sheets, they are usually dreadfully scratchy and poor fitting) and the theme just doesn’t lend itself to a tasteful room. Most of the time. I have suggested vintage prints of superheroes as a compromise and that I think works well. Pottery Barn has some, or you could frame comic books if you found pictures you liked.

I am all for kids being kids, but I just think we can let them be kids AND have some class and taste too. Give them some artistic appreciation, but done in a way that would appeal to a kid and not nauseate an adult. They don’t have to have a Monet or Renoir inspired room to learn taste.

I of course have no problem with superhero rooms in anyone else’s home, you can do what you are comfortable with, I just feel like kids will learn their sense of taste from us and we should do our best to keep things from getting too focused on a cartoon theme they may not like next week. For their sake, as well as ours. That is just me. A simple mural or a few accessories are no big deal, I am just talking about the all out Sponge Bob room, those just are hard to pull off in a classy way! Even for decorators. Again, it is all up to you, I don’t fault you if you decide to go that route.

So today I found a super hero inspired room that I think does a great job of appealing to boys AND being tasteful, and in the interest of boys who love superheros, I will share what I found. It is no secret, it is in the Pottery Barn kids catalog, just like the Superhero prints that I shared in a previous post called “About A Boy”. I think, as they usually do, Pottery Barn found a good way to incorporate superheroes in a tasteful way. Making it a room inspired by superheroes, but not consumed by them in a tacky way. That is the key, making your room inspired by something, not overwhelmed by a theme.

Using classic original artwork style superheroes, they have designed a room with a cityscape border (available from Pottery Barn), decent looking sheets and then balanced it all out with classic quilted bedding and accessories. Notice the brick wall, that keeps the room from becoming overwhelmed by cityscape decals! It suggests a theme without getting carried away. Most of us don’t have brick walls, but if we did, that is very cool. If you are artistic and have lots of time on your hands, you could paint a brick wall!

I am pleased to have a photo to show you there IS a way to do the superhero thing if you must — just learn from Pottery Barn. It is probably more “theme” than you really need, but still a fun room. A superhero inspired room can be tasteful, and I think Pottery Barn has the right idea!

Exciting Plans

Exciting Plans

I know I promised you all way back when that I would reveal my exciting plans soon. And I’ve decided that today will be the day.

The news actually fits in to our series, because the point of using your senses to create a home is to make your home an emotionally warm and satisfying place to be. And this exciting news will definitely contribute to that sense in my own home!

When we first moved into our house four years ago, our daughters were 12 and 15. Our son was just 3. On the third floor of our house is a large bonus sort of room (attic style peaked ceilings) that leads into two other connected but smaller spaces and then a bathroom. The 1970s style (yes, always unfortunate in a 1930s house) bathroom is very strangely sloped downhill, built that way evidently by a drunken contractor! But that is another story! Anyways, it is quite a large space altogether with all those rooms flowing from one to another.

We decided upon moving in to dedicate the entire upper floor to the girls, one of them having a bedroom up there and the other large area being a hangout place for TV, computer and video games when friends came over. It has been wonderful for them to have a place to escape and be with friends.

Our bedroom is on the main floor, in the same hallway with my other daughter and son. The room is charming, but small. It is the hub of the house so we can keep an eye on everyone. But it leaves me and my husband crammed into small closets, my office being upstairs and no real sense of having a retreat from the busy household. My personal things are scattered throughout the house wherever I can fit them in. I have started to feel a bit disorganized and not peaceful at all.

Well, upon reflecting in my series here on using all of your senses to create your home, it has occurred to me that the time has come for me to move. Not move to another house, but take over the entire third floor as a master suite. Hip Hip Horray!

I have willingly given up master suites in smaller houses in order for children to have more room to play. And I did it again here in the big house. But after 19 years of being a mom, I am ready for a real master suite! I can truly see the value in it for me and in turn that will positively affect the kids. Even though they lose a hangout spot, the house is big enough that they can hang elsewhere! And my college age daughter has agreed to switch rooms with me so we are all set.

I am going to have a big room with plenty of space! It has lots of fun angles to the ceiling, like in the photo above. The medium sized room that connects will be my oh-so-charming office (at least I hope it will turn out that way!), room for shelving, storage and all the stuff I need to have on hand.

The remaining area, which is somewhat open to the office area, is going to be a walk in boutique style closet! It has wonderful painted wood walls, so I am going to add sparkle with chandeliers and mirrors, and open shelving for sweaters & shoes, rods for clothes….I will be in closet heaven! Eventually we will fix up the bathroom to be more level and charming. For now, it all works fine.

Keep in mind, I have no budget for any of these things. Everything I do will be using what I already have or can find at a thrift store or other inexpensive solution.

I think I will add a fireplace surround and fill it with candles. I will have to start keeping my eyes peeled for an inexpensive surround I could use. My ceilings are peaked, but not wood. Maybe some trim work here and there would look cool. And I might even put a loveseat in the room! I’ve never had the room for extra furniture before, but it sure looks charming so I might try it! I don’t have a four poster bed, but with the slope of the ceiling I could hang some bed curtains, for drama!Exciting Plans

Exciting Plans

My boutique closet might look like this, with clothing racks and without the bed. And maybe a dark wood table in the middle to give it some weight. My house needs a contrast between dark and light or it looks too fluffy for such a solid house:

Exciting PlansExciting Plans
I do not yet have a photo of my dream office/workspace. When I find some options I will let you know. Point me in the right direction if you have seen any awesome ideas! I did see Kim at Daisy Cottage’s office, very cute–check it out if you haven’t been by. I think it was in yesterday’s post. I just need to figure out what what work for my house. So, there you have it!

My big news! I can’t wait to get started!

photos: cottage living design assistant

This post has had formatting problems, so forgive me if anything looks askew!