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Divine Design Candice Olson



Before, the room was in need of a change as the young girl grew older and graduated from her crib. Left: After, adding grown- up touches to this 3-year- old’s room will allow the design to grow with her as she ages.   SHNS photos courtesy HGTV

Fit for a Princess
Create a more grown-up look by adding personality to a young girl’s bedroom

Sugar and spice and everything nice. Isn’t that what little girls are supposed to be made of? Unfortunately, we all know it’s not that simple.

In the case of my client and her 3-year old daughter, Arley, being a girl (as opposed to a baby) means it’s time for a room update. As a little girl grows up, so should her bedroom. And that’s where I get called in.

Moving from a crib to a bed is a big step for a child, and I’m a firm believer in making the bedroom a place for more than sleeping. It should be a getaway, an imagination playroom and a warm, welcoming spot to play games and dream. Arley has a big personality, and I thought the design of the room should reflect that.

I chose a subtle pink for the wall — not too girly-girly, but still soft and feminine. The walls were base-coated with this color and from the chair rail down were striped with a creamy yellow color.

Once the color scheme had been established, I tackled the window. It was actually a great little spot that wasn’t being used. It was recessed about 3 feet and was the perfect spot to build in a small window seat.

I wanted to create a spot for Arley to curl up and read books or just daydream, so I gave it some importance by building a wooden pediment for the top of the window frame. It was hand-painted with romantic swirls in the same colors that were on the wall.

I swagged two floor-length panels of color-coordinated drapery on either side. My favorite part of this was the pom-pom fringe that ran down the inside seam. The addition of an overstuffed seat cushion and fitted roman blind completed this little girl’s getaway.

Now for the big-girl bed. I brought in an antique iron twin bed and added a trundle bed underneath for inevitable sleepovers. We dressed it with comfortable linens and colorful throw pillows. A bookcase with slide-out baskets hid Arley’s toys and treasures. A toy box against the wall provided more storage, and a small round table for the middle of the room was the perfect spot for afternoon tea parties.

I wanted the lighting to be soft yet functional, so I started with two antique wall sconces on the sidewall. This provided great light on the side of the room that wasn’t flooded with the natural light from the window.

The closet was a mirror image of the window seat, with the painted pediment and swagged curtain. The closet was actually quite large and provided another hideaway for Arley to play in.

The décor in this space will grow up as Arley does. It will easily take her through her childhood until she hits her teens and wants to do away with all my hard work.

In the meantime, put on the teakettle and pull up a chair. We’re ready for a proper little girl’s tea party.

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas, information and show times, visit or

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