Need help with 4-year old girl's room - use damask?
September 6, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I'm in desperate need of some advice for my 4-year old daughter's big girl bedroom. I would like the room to be elegant and princess-like (without the Disney princesses). I really like the look of damask, and have been entertaining the attached wallpapers (she likes pink and purple).

Here's my problem: I have a chair rail (height is about 30 inches on an 8 foot wall) running around the room, which I would like to stay. The room is 12x12, with a window along one wall and the door / 2-door closet on the other wall.

Would the damask above the chair rail all around the room be too much? If so, should I just do it on an accent wall behind the bed? Also, what complementary color(s) should I paint below the chair rail (or above & below if the damask is only on an accent wall)? The repeat on the damask is 10.25 inches.

Do you suggest the pink damask or purple? I hesitate with the pink, because I don't want the room to look like pepto bismal. Purple damask on top with gray paint or gray striped look on the bottom? Maybe another color damask all together?

She will have white furniture and queen-size bed with white / cream bedding and white tufted headboard, if that helps at all.

So confused! Help!
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I would suggest the pink damask wallpaper below the chair rail and white paint above. That way you will avoid the pepto pink effect and you will have a crisp white background to display art or wall decor.
Good luck with your daughter's pretty room!
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 4:57AM
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If you use both colors of the wallpaper - the purple on top, the pink on bottom - I think that would look quite pretty and playful. The purple on my monitor is a much lighter value than the pink, is that true in "real life"? You would just need to be careful to line the print up. Separated by a white or off white chair rail would be stunning!
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 5:39AM
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PH Interiors, LLC
With a white headboard I would use the pink and purple damasks but on the headboard wall only - above & below the chair rail (I agree with Bobbi P - stunning). Headboard wall is always a focal point in the bedroom. Then paint the other walls above and below the chair rail a pale version of that pink and paint the chair rail white. I would use the pink & purple as an inspiration for pillows and drapes - maybe a delicate stripe of pink, purple and white. My reasoning is that in a few years, that wallpaper may not not be to her taste and this approach minimizes the amount of wallpaper that you may want to remove but this design accomodates your color choices.
1 Like   September 6, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Nancy Hehmann
I agree with PH Interiors. Children tire of pink after awhile and little girls love to redecorate. You can add artwork, photography if you leave some of the walls white. I used to find a picture that my children had done in their childlike fashion, mat it and frame it. It makes them sooo proud and encourages artistic endeavors. My son is 35 and he has his teddy bear artwork on his son's bedroom wall. Another thing you can do is have a beautiful portrait of your child taken and placed in the room - perhaps even in Princess like attire. Shutterfy has some vinyl wall stickers where you can upload your child doing something and then put it on the wall. They peel off easily. Disney has a website too with vinyl wall stickers of different Disney themes.
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I would prefer that you paint a damask pattern using a stencil. That is make it so much easier to change. You'll just paint over it. I agree that one wall is sufficient for the stencil or wallpaper. There are many companies that offer wall stencils. I like this one:
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Washington Post, 9/6/2012 has an article today in their "home" section about choosing soft and pastel grays/greens/blues/yellows in children's rooms rather than blues and pinks, given the trend for not knowing the gender of a child in advance of birth, and wanting the room to be ready. However, deep purple was recommended for both boys and girls because it is a fantasy color and is associated with royalty -- think Harry Potter Purple. Perhaps girls (or their parents/designers) are choosing colors other than pink to help their girls perceive themselves as less defined by their gender? But why are blue rooms for boys AND girls acceptable, and not pink rooms for girls AND boys? Apparently girls, my own included, like blue more than boys like pink. We still have a ways to go including showing my son how a color scheme of pastel blue/green/pink can be quite sophisticated and sufficiently modern and male. Cheers for choosing pink! And purple! However, note that your daughter is not making this choice, and as she grows in independence she will likely want to make her own choice, even if she actually does like the one you make for her now. This argues for doing one wall now, and leaving other walls for her choices later. Then it's not an all or none decision, and could result in a unique room that shows tastes/interests that are evolving and maturing.

If I may make another gender specific comment, my experience suggests that girls rooms are always more colorful than boys, perhaps, in part, because their rooms will also include team colors, school colors, etc. Lots of memorabilia that often takes the form of tee-shirts! Although this pattern and color are more sophisticated than pastel pink, and one color alone could work in a child's room that must need to double as a guest room, I share the recommendation of just one "WOW! wall with both purple and pink. And then white/white/white. If you choose one color, I have found that purple is more forgiving than pink when adding other colors. Stencils make a lot of sense, too, even if the pattern shows throw with the next coat of paint.
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Thanks for all of the advice to date. I should probably clarify that I would use either the pink or purple damask, but not both. Perhaps the purple damask on an accent wall above the chair rail behind the headboard as PH Interiors suggested. What does everyone think about painting the other walls some type of silver / grey and doing a grey shadow-stripe below the chair rail?
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 10:54AM
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PH Interiors, LLC
Really - go for both!! Most of it will be behind the bed and the bit you do see will be small wow factor. It is bold tho, so I understand if you don't want to go that far. (Sometime we designers can't resist a nudge outside the box!). As far as the wall color, I love the combination of purple and silver/gray but I think it may be too sophisticated for a 4 year old's room. With the furniture and toys, etc. I would try to keep it simple.
2 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Great suggestions! Maybe beige or sand walls would compliment the damask?
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 11:36AM
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PH Interiors, LLC
Whatever color you decide on for the walls should tie in with the damask - some tone of pink/purple/white. Beige or sand may make the damask look like an afterthought.
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 11:41AM
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What a cute room scheme. Here are some pics of similar applications that may help with your vision. I agree that the gray walls may be too much for a kids room with that paper. What color of curtains are you planning on?
0 Likes   September 6, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I like the purple. I'm in the camp of one or the other with the damask on one wall or on the bottom only.
0 Likes   October 23, 2012 at 2:42PM
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