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Redesign Your Kid's Room With Help from NJ Pros

New Jersey designers show us how to reinvent our kids’ spaces


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The Designer: Tracey Butler, R. Home Interior Design Store, Livingston

The Challenge: Brighten up dull gray furniture in a 10-year-old boy’s room.

Tracey’s Solution: Use gray as an accent color to help tie existing furniture into a crisp and fresh design scheme. Navy blue makes this Jersey Shore bedroom masculine while orange adds a pop of color and cheer.

Pro Tip: Painting bold, horizontal stripes on the walls is an inexpensive way to add pizzazz to a room. Play with different sized stripes to add visual interest.

The Designer: Tracey Butler, R. Home Interior Design Store, Livingston

The Challenge: Make a tiny Long Beach Island bedroom feel bigger. Bring in bright colors without overwhelming the space.

Tracey’s Solution: Instead of using a bold orange or pink on the walls, try a more neutral, watered-down color. Bring in bright hues with accessories and artwork. The result is a fun room a 14-year-old girl won’t outgrow anytime soon.

Pro tip: Make a big impact with lighting by hanging multiple paper lanterns—they look amazing hung in groups.

The Designer: Kingsley Knauss, KBK Interior Design, Westfield

The Challenge: Design a couple of big kid rooms for three-year-old twin toddlers who shared a tiny Manhattan bedroom before moving to Westfield. Create distinct spaces for the siblings that’ll ease their separation anxiety and get them excited for the crib-to-bed switch. 

Kingsley’s Solution: In the boy’s room, create a unique space by framing vintage sports equipment and finding bedding to coordinate the look. The result is a clean, tailored room. Neutral colors on the headboard and window treatments create a timeless look he can grow into. In the girl’s room, use a canopy and drapery to create a cozy, secure and intimate “fort-like” space perfect for both bedtime and playtime. Make it extra special by adding her initials to the canopy. Paint a vintage mirror to match the wood trim.  A hot pink stripe adds an easy, low-cost personal touch.

The Designers: Sarah Dooley and Stephanie GallerLeedy InteriorsTinton Falls

The Challenge: Create a unique space that your kid will love, even through her teens. Design a room that reflects her personality and will be a go-to study spot and hangout through high school.

Sarah and Stephanie’s Solution: Give your tween a voice in the design to make sure she’s happy. This room was revamped for an 11-year-old Middletown girl who loves blue. Use art, bedding and a chandelier to add equal parts glam and fun. Mix in new pieces of furniture, like a desk that can also serve as a vanity, or a hot pink ottoman. Paint stripes on the ceiling to add something unexpected to the space.

Pro Tip: Buy a desk that doubles as a vanity to save space. It was key for this tween girl who has to share a bathroom with her two brothers.

The Designer: Carrie McCall, CKM Home Design, Summit

The Challenge: Create a versatile space for a Summit teenager who’s outgrown her room and wants a spot to chill with friends. Bring in a design that’s stylish and glamorous and reflects a 15-year-old’s love of fashion and purple. 

Carrie’s Solution: The teen’s new bedroom was moved to the family’s third floor attic space which was big enough to be a multi-functional yet integrated area. Accentuate an angled or low ceiling by using graphic wallpaper to create an eye-catching accent wall. Throw an area rug on top of wall-to-wall carpet to define a lounge area. Paint a bookcase a soft purple to define a study space. Use navy and white graphic wallpaper behind the bed to create a distinct sleeping area. Bring in a consistent accent color throughout to connect distinct spaces and create a common design.

Pro Tip: Choose three colors to use as your palette. Two should be neutral.Remember neutral doesn’t automatically mean beige or gray. Navy and black are also neutral colors that add more impact.

Designer: Debi Pinelli, A&J Interiors, LLC, Long Valley, NJ 

The challenge: Make room for sports gear, sneakers and trophies in a small room. Design a space that reflects a 15- year-old Long Valley boy’s love of baseball, football and basketball. 

The solution: Build unconventional storage spaces. In this room, a custom-made platform bed’s large drawer serves as storage for sports equipment. A wood cornice above the Roman shade houses a collection of trophies. A custom-designed shelf on the platform bed showcases a sneaker collection. A baseball drawing made by the boy’s dad is framed and matted and signed prints, card collections and a Fat Head round out the décor. 

Pro tip: Create storage spaces to keep your kid’s stuff in order. Whether it’s baseball cards, ball collections, autographed pieces or even sneakers, make the storage attractive and accessible so a kid will actually put his things away. 

* All Photos Courtesy of the Designers

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