Free Spirit

Designer Samantha S. Pappas gives the younger of two sisters a room to match her personality

“This is one of two bedrooms I recently completed for some sisters in my neighborhood. I wanted to make sure the rooms were both fun and beautiful, but that they also showed the personality of each girl. This girl is ten and has that more playful, free-spirit vibe. I think that comes through in this design—the mix of color and patterns and the paper on the ceiling—where you can tell the other little girl is the older sister, a little more proper, the one who’s ready to babysit.

“I know this family personally. I live on the corner lot in a neighborhood and kids seem to flock to our house, so when their mom asked me to design their bedrooms it almost immediately came to these designs. I was going for an organic feel in this room. I used a natural-fiber jute rug and paired it with the wicker light. The furnishings—the bed, desk, dresser, and nightstand— were pieces the family had from Oeuf New York, which is a brand I love.

“It’s a very small room, and she’s considering putting the bed up higher, bunk-style, to be able to move the desk under it and get a little bit more free space. So I purposely put the bed in that location and put the shelves up high on the wall so she can transition to that if she wants.

“As far as inspiration, the wallpaper on the ceiling was the big starting point. I pulled out the blues from the paper with little accents, like the bookends and the table lamp on the nightstand, and then I pulled a contrasting color that complements it with the golden orange tones. I didn’t want the space to feel matchy-matchy. The idea of mixing patterns throughout was big. The quilt, for example, which is from Anthropologie, incorporates every color from the space, so it was a perfect choice.

“It’s so fun working with kids. They’re going to tell you right away if they like something or not. There’s no beating around the bush, which I appreciate. These girls, in particular, were really into it, wanting their rooms to be really cool, and it was so fun to see their pure joy and excitement come through.”

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