photography by Maxine Helfman

A Child’s Room Worth Exploring

A local designer walks us through the creation of a fantasy room for kids.

Interior designer and mom Janet Gridley reads Roald Dahl books she checks out from the library and counts a primitive cabin in Minnesota (accessible only by traversing a lake by boat) as one of her favorite places on Earth. Erudite and down to earth, she also has a keen sense of style and impeccable taste.

Inspired by her 8-year-old son—who “possesses an amazingly fertile imagination”—Janet designed a fantasy room for dreaming, scheming, and exploring. She also drew on her years as a stylist and art director for film and print, as well as her current role creating residential and commercial interiors with her signature blend of utility and whimsy.

SHOP THE ROOM paint: Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, benjaminmoore.com wallpaper: Brunschwig & Fils Bibliotheque and Battle of Valmy 1792, to the trade, brunschwigandfils.com Rugs: Calypso green cowhide rug, $2,400, Calypso Home, calypsostbarth.com, and Stark Tibetan rug, price upon request, Stark, starkcarpet.com staghorn fern: $60, Sunshine Miniature Trees, sunshinebonsai.com photography by Maxine Helfman

JANET GRIDLEY WALKS US THROUGH HER INSPIRATION AND FORMULA FOR THE ROOM.

1 STARTING POINT

“A strong point of view makes a space more interesting. Start with an item you really love (for me, it was Brunschwig & Fils’ Battle of Valmy 1792 wallpaper) and build from there.”

2 MIX IT UP
“Mixing patterns can be intimidating, but doing it really adds character to a room. Don’t be afraid; just temper prints with solid blocks of color to give the eye a chance to rest.”
 
3 LIVING ART
“Including an organic, living item in a kid’s room gives your child an opportunity to care for something and watch it change and grow. I’m partial to hamsters and plants. ”

4 TAKE A SEAT
“Kids can quickly outgrow a rocking chair or glider. Consider investing in a lasting chair instead. It will make a great spot for cuddling, reading, and impromptu naps.”

5 HANGING OUT
“We used a wooden pallet, a twin mattress, and tug-of-war rope to create a fun and cozy hanging bed.”

SHOP THE ROOM desk: Nelson Swag desk, $2,450, Design Within Reach, dwr.com Model bOAT: Coast Guard, price upon request, DFW M’Antiques, 214-941-4195 lamp: AJ table lamp, $812, Design Within Reach sheets: Peacock Alley Boutique Collection sheets, $85 each, Peacock Alley, peacockalley.com quilt: New Haven quilt set, $80, Bed, Bath & Beyond. bedbathandbeyond.com plaid blankeT: Washable wool blanket, $199, Room and Board, roomandboard.com Nightstand: Kartell Componibili round tower, price upon request, Scott + Cooner, scott+cooner.com photography by Maxine Helfman

6 GET TO WORK
“A desk topped with a few inspiring objects, like vintage National Geographic magazines and art supplies, is a great way to get imaginations going.”

photography by Maxine Helfman

7 COZY ZONE
“The bed is another perfect spot for mixing pattern and texture. Instead of a matching bed in a box, try a variety of cozy blankets layered in different ways.”

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