Rhinestone Cowgirl

Before Danielle Marino

By Amy Mangan * Photos By John Jernigan

Lauren Robertson loves horses, hamsters, and anything that glitters. For Danielle Marino, a decorator at Koontz Company, that was enough of a description to channel her creative vision of a fun and whimsical sitting room for 10-year-old Lauren. And the result is pure pre-teen right down to the purple faux wood floors.

“Lauren had silver tassles hanging from her door with a sign that read ‘You may only enter if you have something shiny’ so I used that as my inspiration for fun,” says Danielle who painstakingly painted each wood panel by hand with three different variations of lavender paint.

Danielle kept the walls their existing color of a light blue which coordinates well with the pastel purple flooring. The room’s focal point is the cushioned sitting nook with a design nod to Lauren’s passion for horses. Muslin curtains with daisies drape over the cute cubby giving a farm burlap appearance while framing a poster of horses on the nook wall.

Since this is a room used for studying, Danielle added a white provincial desk and cane chair. She also re-arranged Lauren’s bookshelves to create a cozy reading corner, adding throw pillows on the floor for comfortable sitting. Danielle found bright colored baskets to place on the shelves for colorful storage. Danielle added games along with books to make sure Lauren took time to play as well as study. A bulletin board above the desk holds horse riding award ribbons and photos.

Danielle also framed horseshoes by hanging them on the wall and placing cypress frames around them. Personalizing a room always adds warmth and should be a reflection of the homeowner and not the decorator says Danielle. Another adjoining corner is dedicated to space for practicing music for Lauren who is an accomplished violinist.

Lauren’s mother, Janet Robertson, says the sitting room looks just like her daughter.

“This room is very much Lauren – it is horses and colorful and I just love it ” says Janet, “Danielle spent a lot of time trying to make sure this was a room that looked like Lauren and she make it precious.”

Tips from the Decorator

1. Involve children in designing their room. Give them a craft project to work on so they feel like they’re included.
2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money because children’s styles change so pick decor that can change with their style.
3. Keep the room whimsical and fun. Remember that this is a kid’s room, not an adult room.

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