Also, what would be an appropriate window treatment? I would be grateful for any advice you can offer.
SOLUTION: A safari theme is much more versatile than you may think! It sounds as if you would like to personalize this space to fit the particular needs of the clientóvery good! Help is on the way!
The first thing I would do is to sit down with the little girl and ask her a series of short questions such as:
1. What are some of your favorite colors?
2. Are there special or additional animals you would like to see in your room?
3. Do you want bright or subdued colors on your walls?
The answers to these simple questions will give you additional insight to how this young client wants her room to feel. Comfort also will be a main concern for her room.
Start your project by choosing an accent wall, usually the wall the bed is located on. If the color the girl chooses is too dark, think about painting only one wall in this color choice. The remaining walls can be toned down in intensity. Remember to repeat colors in the room numerous times. This will pull the room together!
Neutral colors do have an advantage. You can have quite a bit of fun with accent colors when your base is neutral, as you have described in the original fabric. The red color you mentioned for the walls is a great color to start with. Remember, though, teens have minds of their own (I have just redone my two teenage daughters' room). I tried to assist them in their efforts to do the redecorating themselves and the final outcome has been neutrals in sharp contrastóblack and white. It actually came out looking great. Every photograph frame in the room had to be painted black and against the white walls it really worked.
Which brings me to another point: Do not toss picture frames, bulletin boards, etc., because they are the wrong color, paint does wonders! Also, try finding old issues of National Geographic magazine and frame some of the animal photographs.
Try designing and making your own stencil from one of the animal shapes found in the fabric you have chosen. Along the top of the wall or three to four feet from the floor, stencil a border of animals. Continue using this design on solid fabric to create accent pillows for the room, both large and small and in several shapes. You even may want to continue with the stencil design on the fabric you choose for the window treatments. Be sure to use a cotton solid fabric for stenciling, as the fabric paint adheres best to cotton.
A simple swag treatment over a wood pole would add continuity to the safari/outdoor theme. You even may want to try sponge painting the wood pole in the accent colors you have chosen for the room.
As for the floor covering in the room, try locating an animal print area rug. This will add to the character of the room and tie everything together. Natural fiber area rugs also are a great idea and appropriate to the theme.
Have fun! By personalizing this young girl's space, she will enjoy the room even more! Let me know how it turns out. I would love to see a photograph when it is completed.
Editor's note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business.
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.