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Redesigning a bedroom shared by young boys

In a Cambridge condo, a space designed by a mom for her two sons.

Sarah Winchester
Sarah Winchester

Lawyer-turned-blogger and mom Robin Anderson became interested in design after her family moved into a 1,700-square-foot Cambridge condo. She started with a fresh coat of paint in the living room, then kept going. When she and her husband decided to move their 3-year-old son out of the nursery into a bedroom with his 7-year-old brother (and their guinea pig, Phineas) in September, Anderson redecorated from scratch, doing everything herself with help from the boys. “They love painting, and they love sharing a room. Plus, they don’t fight there. It’s their special time together.”

1 The beds, in mid-century modern style, are layered with a mix of prints. “I used as many patterns as possible without being obnoxious,” Anderson says.


2 The Swiss flag is a nod to her husband’s birthplace.

3 When the room suffered water damage, Anderson repainted walls pale blue using Farrow & Ball’s Parma Gray.

4 A photo of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps represents the family’s love of skiing; the autographed surfer photo was a gift to her older son from her dad.

5 A deceptively luxe-looking faux snakeskin frame displays a print signed by Dr. Seuss that Anderson hopes her 3-year-old will pass on to his own kids. She says, “It was my first and only legitimate art purchase.”

6 The floating shelves’ white metal brackets “looked awful, so I spray-painted them navy. I’ll spray-paint anything,” says Anderson. “It’s my MO.”

7 Anderson and her older son painted the lower half of the wall with chalkboard paint. The capping trim was a struggle: “It was the first time I used a level.”

8 Authentic Swiss Army blankets are another tip of the hat to her husband’s heritage.

9 Anderson bought the dresser from friends for $50, lacquered the scratched top in navy, and swapped the knobs.


10 The surfboard belonged to a well-known surfer. Anderson’s dad got it in a raffle and had it signed for his first grandson.

11 The teepee, strung with Christmas owl lights, is a cozy reading nook for father and sons.

12 Standard white curtain panels weren’t long enough, so Anderson asked her dry cleaner to sew a navy panel to the bottom.