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Creating a treehouse-inspired bedroom for a toddler

Transforming the study of Cambridge home into a 2-year-old’s room took some imagination.

Danielle Sykes

When the owners of this Cambridge home learned they were expecting their second child, they planned to give the baby their 2-year-old daughter’s room and move the toddler into the study. The ample, light-filled study has a dormered roof and an expansive band of windows, says interior designer Steven Santosuosso, who runs Somerville-based Squarehouse Studios with Mary Flo Ouellette. Those features helped inspire the designers to devise a treehouse theme that resonates well with the room’s soaring ceiling; natural finishes evoke a sunny forest clearing. While the space is perfectly suited for a wee one, the room is designed to “grow with her,” says Santosuosso. “A lot of kids’ rooms get stuck in time. This one can be transformed easily as she gets older by swapping out a few elements.”

1. The bright-green upholstery on the Serena & Lily couch, where the family often gathers for story time, echoes some of the hues of the leaves in the mural (see No. 4).

Danielle Sykes

2. Built-in drawers and shelves by the windows offer storage for clothes, toys, and books while eliminating the need for space-eating furniture.

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3. Smith & Noble blackout Roman shades ensure that no light filters into the room during nap time.

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4. A mural by Tim Murley depicting a forest with verdant trees and animals sets the tone for the room. “We tried to get into the mind-set of what it’s like as a kid being alone in your room. We didn’t want to do anything that was spooky,” says Santosuosso. “Everyone loves a treehouse.” The mural wraps around the room and extends all the way up to the ceiling. “The ceiling is very high, and we were conscious of the fact that, to a small child, the vastness could be a little scary. That’s why we came up with the treehouse theme ,” he adds.

5. The organic look of the Nuevo Living chandelier felt perfect for the space, says Santosuosso. “It reminded me of delicate sand dollars strung together.”

6. A Restoration Hardware Baby & Child tent is an ideal place for a little one to curl up with a book.

7. The painted wrought-iron Restoration Hardware Baby & Child crib has rustic appeal; the green throw is from HomeGoods.

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8. A table fashioned out of a tree trunk was custom made by Lisa Warren, whom Santosuosso discovered through her Etsy shop, Project 823.

9. The white and light gray rug from Dover Rug has a natural, neutral appeal. “We didn’t want anything that was too high-contrast,” says Santosuosso.