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A grow-with-them room for boys

Children's rooms don't have to be childish

By MARY CAROL GARRITY Tribune News Service Published: April 14, 2017 4:00 AM
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I predict that when Tammy and Tyler's boys are 27, they will still want to live at home with their folks, just so they don't have to leave their amazing bedroom behind. This welcoming retreat is designed to delight its current inhabitants -- 11-year-old Carter and 8-year-old Sawyer -- now and for years to come. When I saw this bedroom suite for the first time, I wanted to move in too!

When this family's home sold quickly a few years ago, they needed someplace to move into fast.

They had looked at their now-home previously but shied away from it because it needed more work than they were willing to do. But with the new, compressed deadline, they gave it a second visit. Once the kids saw the quirky upstairs bedroom, with its nooks, crannies and secret room accessible through a revolving door masquerading as a bookcase, they lobbied hard to buy this diamond-in-the-rough. Tammy relented, and got to work turning the space into boy heaven. (Now, the secret room is outfitted with a TV and comfy chairs, the perfect clubhouse for the boys and their friends.)

When Tammy purchases furniture, she gets quality pieces she will love for a lifetime, then moves it from room to room as her family's needs change. The settee in the sitting area of the boys' suite was one she had in another room in their previous house. She gave it new life by recovered it in ticking fabric, which fits perfectly with the tartan plaids throughout the room. You wouldn't think a piece this formal would be at home in a space occupied by two active boys, but it's a perfect pick.

Tammy loves furniture and accents that tell a story, so she decorated the boys' room with vintage toys. Airplanes hang from the ceiling, a game board serves as artwork and the shelves are dotted with antique sports equipment like boxing gloves and a bowling pin. I'm a huge fan of the textile mix she selected for the window treatments, furniture, pillows and bedding, menswear fabrics that coordinate but are not matchy.

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Even the twin beds have a history. When Tammy spotted an ornate screen at an antique store, she knew she had struck gold. Separated into two sections, the screens were transformed into truly unique matching headboards. I really like how she dressed the beds in masculine and timeless bedding that the boys won't outgrow.

You may have noticed the hooked rugs throughout the boys' room. Tammy's mother-in-law, who is also a friend of mine, hand hooks rugs, a skill she taught Tammy. Not many moms would trust their young boys with treasures like these, but Tammy doesn't worry. She does not want her home to feel like a museum. This gift of love just adds to the warmth and comfort of this decidedly delightful room.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.


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