A Colourful and Eclectic Boy’s-Bedroom Makeover
There are few 12-year-old boys who will let their mother go anywhere near their bedroom door, let alone decorate their space. But Noah is an exception. He’s lucky to have one of the coolest mums around: Toronto-based interior designer and brand strategist Sarah Walker. With an incredible sense of style and an amazing ability to balance the old, new, bold, restrained, and playful, she’s pretty much the best thing that could happen to a budding teen boy’s bedroom—to a point. To top it off, Noah is a design enthusiast himself, so the prospect of decorating his space was an exhilarating one. “He loves design and is passionate about details, so he definitely had a voice in the design direction,” Sarah tells us.
The inspiration for his room design came during one of their family trips. “Wherever we go, I'm always in search of great design shops or beautifully designed spaces to fill our mental catalogue of inspiration,” Sarah says. “Noah is my best companion on these little design discovery excursions because he loves the details as much as I do.” When it came time to put his space together, they sought an eclectic and modern vibe “with a generous dose of antiques for a well-curated feel.”
The pair loved a bedroom design by interior designer Tommy Smythe, who use a sophisticated mix of antiques and colourful, bold prints, so that was the jumping-off point. “We knew we’d found one of the keys when we saw the gorgeous indigo blue cross duvet cover and shams from Aura Home. They gave us that modern edge, bold colour, and pattern statement we were looking for,” she says. The designer and her son balanced the Aussie textiles with a traditional rug from Kaarma Rugs, sophisticated antique French art deco side tables, and a quirky cardboard trophy head. It’s “truly all about the art of the mix,” she says.
Some of the most impactful elements of the room are Noah’s built-in closets, which are actually DIYs. Lacking the storage needed, the Walkers used IKEA cabinets to create the two built-ins flanking Noah’s dresser, putting gable ends on the exposed sides and wrapping the whole room in crown moulding. Using MDF, they also created their own custom paneled doors, which were painted to match the room for cohesion. “I think the paneled doors really elevate the level of sophistication and add a modern-classic twist on traditional detailing,” she says. Between them, Sarah spray-painted an old dresser with black paint, and gave it a bit of contrast and a finishing touch with new handles from Anthropologie.
As an easy yet impactful statement, Sarah created a small gallery wall of framed prints that spoke to Noah’s current major interest: architecture. “He might change his mind a dozen times before he goes to university, but right now that’s what he wants to study,” she says. To that end, she’s been collecting architectural drawings as well as vintage postcards of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges. A teen who’s pinning up blueprints in his bedroom? We think Sarah’s work here is done.
Do you like the modern, eclectic style of this space for a boy's room? Tell us in the comments.