Image: Ashley Capp
Peppy polka dots, big stripes and bursts of sunshiny yellow create a kid-friendly space with room to grow.
The classic rhyme says little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” But lifestyle blogger Candace Alongi of didn't subscribe to tradition when decorating a bedroom for her four-year-old son, Massimo. “I wanted an unexpected black and white colour scheme – not standard boy blues,” says Candace. “Yellow is one of my favourite colours so I made it the one pop in the room.” Having already designed a bright gender-neutral nursery for Massimo that easily transitioned to a girl’s space when his baby sister Gemma (now 18 months) was born, Candace knew just how to decorate her son’s first big-boy bedroom.
While her palette ensured freshness, fun and energy, it was equally important that the design have longevity. “I avoided making it too childish – which is tempting with kids’ rooms – because I wanted a space Massimo wouldn’t soon outgrow,” says Candace. “One that could suit him five, even 10, years from now.”
Candace started with his bed. “It’s toddler-size now, but the frame can be extended into a twin so it’ll grow with him,” she explains. To fend off the child-centric look, she chose a sleek nightstand and dresser. “These pieces are definitely not kids’ furniture, but they complement the bed because they have a modern low-profile design,” says Candace. “Plus, they’re black, which will work when Massimo’s a teenager.”
Yet for all its long-term practicality, this is still very much a little one’s room. Whimsical decals and artwork enliven the walls, while toys, trucks and a teepee layer in the fun elements kids crave. “Massimo loves playing in his room,” says Candace. “And at nap time, he takes his favourite books into his teepee and reads them until he falls asleep.” Anyone with a four-year-old boy in the house will agree – that is, indeed, a pretty great design.
Homeowner Candace Alongi painted the bed frame electric yellow to make a bright statement against the otherwise black and white colour scheme. Small triangular decals turn a plain wall into a focal point. “I chose them because I have no experience in hanging wallpaper, and they were super easy to apply,” says Candace. Positioning the bed and area rug against the wall, rather than under the window, allows for open floor space (all the better for playing on) and makes the 150-square-foot room seem bigger.
With the bedroom’s colour scheme in mind, Candace made cheap and cheerful artwork by framing prints she designed and found online. The boldly striped teepee, while a decorative focal point, is absolutely child-friendly. “It’s lightweight,” says Candace, “so [my son] Massimo can drag it around the room and position it in different spots.” She added in a furry throw and toss cushions for coziness.
“I specifically installed the bookshelf low on the wall so Massimo could reach his books,” says Candace. The lacquered nightstand is both stylish and practical – its one large drawer houses more books and small toys.
Stripes, polka dots and other geometric shapes add youthfulness and interest to the minimalist palette.