“We loved designing this suite for Sloane, our 6-year-old client who is full of personality,” the designers behind North Carolina’s House of Nomad Design tell us with a smile. “She loves arts and is really drawn to all things crafts — and to putting on fashion shows.” With Sloane’s passions in mind, the pair designed a three-room suite: a bedroom with a custom velvet screen for her fashion show reveals, a room designated for crafts, reading, and lounging, and a bathroom with a custom vanity. These rooms are chic and playful, but will also grow up with her as her tastes evolve. The designers tell us more:

Hi ladies! This is such a cute project. We’d love to know more about it! What condition was Sloane’s room in at the start?
Originally, the rooms were filled head to toe with toys and her love of art was shown in some fun paint splatters on the carpet. The room she originally used as her playroom was the larger of two, so we did a swap, making the larger space her bedroom, with the bonus of lake views. When we first saw the spaces, her bedroom was painted lavender with a wallpapered wall and her playroom had a chalk wall. The bathroom was very 90s with the original builder-grade wall mirrors and beige everything. While Sloane worked on minimizing her toys, we got to work on a design plan, starting with new flooring and paint for all three spaces. 

What were some of the main changes you made?
We started by swapping out the carpet for brand new flooring, going with a beautiful washed oak. To keep the space neutral with pops of color, we painted all the walls Winter White by Benjamin Moore. From there, we selected two wallpapers that played well together, the palm by Rebecca Atwood for the bathroom and a multi-colored, textured wallpaper for the accent wall behind Sloane’s bed. This wallpaper is so colorful and looks like someone painted it, which reminded us so much of Sloane and it ties the two rooms together. 

Sloane talked at our initial consultation about loving teals, pinks and wanting a princess bed, so we did a lot of research, finding a shagreen canopy bed that pulled on that princess idea — while also looking towards what she might like in years to come. We loved the white shagreen, which was modern and timeless, but let us add in fun pops of color in her teal overdyed rug from Turkey, fun black and white nightstands with bone inlay and pink cactus silk pillows. A hanging swing in the corner gives her a playful area to plan her next craft and instead of a closet door, we created a fashion show reveal area with a green velvet screen. 

We love layering texture into a space and in Sloane’s room you find bone inlay, shagreen, textured wallpaper — but we were looking for one more natural element. Then we found the rattan table lamps, which really make our heart sing, they are so playful, it’s perfect! 

The basket wall is incredible. Tell us how you created that?
With the design of that room, that wall is the perfect accent wall because it is niched out! Instead of going with wallpaper (what was previously there) we thought let’s do a giant basket wall, covering almost the entire wall — so that it really looks like an art installation. Using 10 baskets instead of the usual 3 to 5, it turned out beautifully and makes such a fun impact on Sloane’s craft space.

While basket walls truly are not hard, there is an art to the order of the steps. Check out our DIY tutorial online (timelapse included!) for step-by-step instructions — but Sloane’s basket wall process began with ordering a variety of shapes and bright colored baskets, then tracing the shapes with brown paper. We taped the shapes up on her wall, moving them around until we were happy with the outcome, making sure to overlap the baskets a bit to create the art-installation feel. Hanging the baskets is the simplest step, just hammer finishing nails straight through the basketweave, then just remove the paper when you’re done. Sloane’s is our favorite basket wall to date, putting such fun into her craft space.

Any advice when it comes to designing for a child or teen whose tastes may evolve?
In order to craft a design that the young client (and the parents) love and a space they won’t quickly outgrow — it really is about keeping the color palette neutral. Then, you add in the client’s specific personality in pops of color and in a trendy piece or two, but in something you can easily switch out. For example, we kept Sloane’s room neutral with white walls and a white shagreen canopy bed and with a wallpaper you could play up in many phases of Sloane’s life. Right now, she is in love with pinks and teals, but the wallpaper also plays on blues and greens if down the road she wants to swap out her pillows and rugs. We chose a bed that frankly we’d love to sleep in as an adult, knowing that it was something she’d enjoy for years to come, but finds fun now, as well.