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Kid’s room design should be fun and frugal

The blue and white striped walls are the most notable feature of the nautical-themed boy’s room.Eric Roth

The key in designing kids spaces, says interior designer Danielle McClure, is to create a room that the child can grow with. “You don’t want to make a kid’s room over the top,” she says. “Keep in mind that they’ll grow older and their interests will change.”

In her own Swampscott home, McClure worked with her mother and business partner, Catherine Skaletsky, to design the bedrooms of her 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. Master bedrooms and other rooms in the house can be more high end, says McClure, but in a children’s room spending should be more budget conscious. “It’s a good idea to pick less expensive bedding and artwork for kids because you’ll want to change those items as they get older.”


In McClure’s daughter’s room, roman shades with a vibrant peony motif by Osborne & Little were a splurge. “I know we’ll be able to keep those in the room for a long time,” she explains. In her son’s room a custom full-size bed is a focal point. Crafted by North Dartmouth-based Sundance Woodworking, McClure says her son will have it forever.

In the little girl’s room, the bed was a Brimfield Antiques Fair find that McClure had repainted. A Pottery Barn Kids table and chairs is just the right size for dolly tea parties. Artwork in the room is from HomeGoods. A faux fur rug atop painted white wood floors adds softness to the room.

While her daughter preferred a much “pinker” room, they settled on a compromise with walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Atrium Light. “The color has a hint of pink,” says McClure. “But we brought in bolder pinks — like the light from Land of Nod — as accents.”

The navy blue and white striped painted walls are her son’s favorite element in his room, where nautical elements recall the seaside setting of the town. Flags on the wall represent various yacht clubs in neighboring Marblehead. The leather chair, a gift from Skaletsky, provides a comfortable perch for reading books. Different shades of blue give a multi-dimensional feel to the room. The chambray bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids; throw pillows and the rug are from HomeGoods.


“We had a lot of fun decorating the kids rooms,” says McClure. “And it’s great to see how much they love their spaces.”

The walls in the girl’s room are lightly tinted pink to complement the rest of the decor.Eric Roth

Jaci Conry can be reached at jaci@jaciconry.com.