Design Diary: Boys’ Bedroom Makeover by Robin M. Anderson

On Sunday Boston Globe Magazine published a boys’ bedroom makeover I wrote called “Let’s Hear It For the Boys.”  The column features the home and work of local lifestyle blogger Robin M. Anderson, with photos by local Boston photographer Sarah Winchester of Sarah Winchester Studios, who also deserves a big thank you for pitching me this fun project.

Robin M. Anderson (she used to blog under Diary of a Yummy Mummy) lives in three bedroom condo in a converted school in Cambridge with her husband, two sons, and a guinea pig. became interested in design. When they first moved in, she hadn’t yet become interested in design, picking finishes she came to hate, and mundane furnishings, like the living room’s brown microfiber sofa. Eventually she picked up a paint brush, and since then, there’s been no stopping her.

Last September, they decided to move their 3-year-old son out of the nursery into a bedroom with his 7-year-old brother, so Anderson took the opportunity to execute a full-on boys’ bedroom makeover. She started from scratch, doing everything herself with help from the boys. The room is adorable and everything in it is affordable. Anderson says, “It’s their room, so I really wanted them to feel comfortable.” That says, she has a strict no sticker policy. “They’re allowed to put them on the back of the door, but nowhere else!”

Let’s tour Robin M. Anderson’s boys’ bedroom makeover:

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Step number one for the boys’ bedroom makeover was to paint. Anderson describes the walls’ original color as “ light Kermit green.” When they had a flood and had to repair and repaint anyway, she chose Farrow & Ball Parma Gray. The boys helped with the first coat.

She says, “Paint is my first thing because it doesn’t cost much, as long as you’re willing to put the time into it. The original paint in the condo was not well done. I realized I was repainting a color I don’t even like. Paint is amazing. Our bathroom has been like nine different colors. And the kids get into it.”

The teepee, a birthday gift when her youngest turned one, was originally set up in the nursery. Now it’s a cozy place for the boys to read. Anderson’s father won the surfboard that’s propped up in the corner in a raffle. It belonged to a well-known surfer, and he had it signed before gifting it to his first grandson.

There are five large, tall windows that needed draperies. Ten custom curtain  panels would have been really pricey, so Anderson purchased 10 white curtain panels and a few navy ones, and asked her dry cleaner to sew a strip of navy panel to the bottom of the white ones to create cost-effective, extra long colorblock draperies. “All my friends are doing this now too,” she says.

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Anderson strung the teepee with owl lights from ModCloth that once adorned the family’s Christmas tree. The dinosaurs in residence are usually found in the bathtub.

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It was important to Robin that the boys’ bedroom makeover reflect the family’s heritage and interests. A Swiss flag, framed at the Central Square Blick in Cambridge, her go-to spot for affordable framing, hangs to honor her husband’s birthplace. “He’d love to move back someday,” Anderson says.  Authentic Swiss army blankets are another nod to his heritage. She says,”You get the blankets when you join the army, which is obligatory there.”

Over the other bed, school pennant is clustered with a photo of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, a call out to the family’s love of skiing, and an autographed surfer photo that was a gift to her son from her dad. On the other wall, a deceptively luxe-looking red faux snakeskin frame (also done at Blick) displays a print signed by Dr. Seuss that Anderson found on a trip to New Orleans. She hopes her son will pass on to his own kids. She says, “It was my first and only legitimate art purchase.”

The shelves, which are actually floating shelves, needed brackets to accommodate the slightly curved wall here. Anderson says, “The white metal brackets looked awful, so I spray painted them navy. I’ll spray paint anything; it’s my M.O.”  She and her son painted the lower half of the wall with chalkboard paint. She struggled with the trim that caps it, going back and forth to Home Depot for supplies and assistance. She says, “It was the first time I used a level.”

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The mid-century modern style Ellipse beds from Land of Nod are layered with a mix of prints. Anderson loves pattern on her clothing and in her decor. She says, “I used as many patterns as possible without being obnoxious.” The star sheets are from Pottery Barn Kids and the whales from One King’s Lane. The pillowcase in the back, with monsters on skateboards, came from Target; her son is a big skateboarder.

Anderson was able to incorporate inexpensive second hand finds into the boys’ bedroom makeover. She bought the dresser from friends for $50, lacquered the scratched top in navy, and swapped the knobs.

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All the boys’ toys are in their room, with the exception of some Legos. Big canvas storage bins on the other side (not pictured) hold the Nerf guns and stuff. She had a closet company build out closet with shelves to accommodate all the toys. As soon as they outgrow clothing or tire of toys, Anderson ships off the stuff to her sister.

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Her older son made this baseball in an acrylic box at school, when somebody from the Red Sox visited the classroom. She says, “They dirtied the balls, signed them, and put in a box. It’s his prized possession.” Soldier bookends hold up current reading material.

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Robin Anderson and Phineas the family guinea pig at her feet.

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 Boston Globe Magazine    Sunday, February 15, 2015 

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Montage: 21 Interiors With Statement Seascapes

I normally don’t go for seascapes. Especially a seascape with a sailboat, or worse, a lighthouse. That’s not to say I’m not ever attracted to seascapes. I even own a few, though they’re older purchases. One of our statement seascapes in particular holds major real estate in my living room—an Anne Packard oil painting. Packard is a prominent Provincetown artist, and while the work is hardly avant garde, it’s sedate, skilled, and looks great over the fireplace. Very grown up.

Lately I’ve been drawn to interiors that showcase statement seascapes that are photographs. Huge ocean vistas hung over a sofa, bed, or dining table that serve as the centerpiece of the room. Perhaps because the weather has been especially dismal in Boston this winter. I certainly like to keep my swimming pool photos in plain sight of my desk. But also, I’ve noticed that I’ve been appreciating the ocean more and more as I get older.

Or maybe it’s just that waves and beach art are a tad bit trendy. While a seascape (even a statement seascape at times) seems somewhat mundane in terms of subject matter, huge splashes of brilliant cerulean blue and tone-on-tone turquoise is rather appealing. It certainly meshes with my decor. I wonder if I could photograph the ocean in such a way that it could qualify as art. I think I’ll walk across the street and try it.

Until I post my own, here are 21 interiors with statement seascapes.

ocean-art-chairish-bedroom

Home of Jeanne Chan of Shop Sweet Things  •  via Houzz

ocean-art-NYC&G-Tori-Golub

Tori Golub  •  NYC&G  •  Photo by Rick Lew

ocean-art-allen-saunders-sargent-architectural-photography

ocean-art-moody-wood-table
unidentified

ocean-art-thom-filicia-grey-sofa

Thom Filicia

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Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

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William Hefner

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Halyards Restaurant, St. Simons Island, GA
Photo by Sarah Winchester Studios

ocean-art-timothywhealon

Timothy Whealan Interiors

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Interior designer Steven Gambrel‘s Sag Harbor home
Seascape by Marine Hugonnier
Photo by Simon Upton  •  Elle Decor

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The Fat Radish  •  Nicole Franzen

ocean art sfgirly by bay

Clements Design

ocean-art-blue-sofa-smitten-studio

Smitten Studio

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Beach Art by Judith Gigliotti in the home of interior designer Jana Bek
Photo by Erik Melvin  •  Glitter Guide

ocean-art-dining

Mega Bulb pendant by Sofie Refer for &tradition

ocean-art-meg-shackleton-at

Home of jewelry designer Meg Shackleton  •  Apartment Therapy

ocean-art-steven-gambrel-print-by-photographer-marine-hugonnier

Steven Gambrel  •  Seascape by Marine Hugonnier

ocean-art-leather-chair

Zanotta Lama Chair by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba

ocean-art-over-bench-photo-Kara Rosenlund

Photo by Kara Rosenlund

ocean-art-ticking

Photo by Manolo Yllera

ocean-art-in-b&w

unidentified

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ARTmonday: 21 Popsicle & Ice Cream Artworks

Somehow I managed the impossible over the holidays: I didn’t eat sugar for almost a month. I love chocolate. I love ice cream. I love chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels (thanks Matouk for the holiday gift!), Oreos (on special occasions only, like when a publicist sends out a package so I can sample a new flavor #redvelvetoreo),  chocolate cupcakes (preferably with vanilla buttercream frosting), Dancing Deer chocolate brownies snagged off the assembly line, M&Ms (especially in popcorn), Hershey bars smeared in peanut butter (breakfast of champions), and in desperation, when I’ve purposefully neglected to buy anything chocolate, lest I eat it, semi-sweet chocolate chips from the baking shelf in the pantry.

Don’t be alarmed. It’s not like there’s chocolate encrusted between my computer keys and dripping down my J.Crew tees (not usually). I don’t partake every hour, or even every day. But I’d love to. So, it was a REALLY BIG DEAL when I cut out sugar for weeks. My mother-in-law had told me she lost 25 pounds from eliminating sugary sweets from her diet. That was enough motivation for me.

Did I lose any weight, you wonder? Yes. One pound. One measly f*&%$ing pound. And no, I wasn’t making up for the loss of dessert by gorging on carbs or even adding extra calories. So the weekend of my son’s 13th birthday party (32 boys and girls dancing in our living room), I decided to go ahead and eat a Georgetown cupcake. And another. There were many left over. So that weekend, I polished off multiple frosting tops. And you know what? I lost another pound.

So I am continuing to exercise and I am continuing to eat chocolate. In moderation of course.

All that as a really long, mostly irrelevant introduction to today’s ARTmonday post—21 Popsicle & Ice Cream Artworks. Because if you can’t have all the ice cream you want in the world, you may as well at least look at it. And also because hands holding out ice cream cones have been trending on Instagram for, like, ever.

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Irresistible Flavors    Bruce Burt    Saatchi Art

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Ice Cream  •  A+Y Paper Goods    Society6

ice-cream-drips-nau-clothing-field-office

Nau Clothing/Field Office

ice-cream-cone-andy-warhol

Ice Cream Cone    Andy Warhol    Artsy

Ice-cream-photo-cone-rainbow-sprinkles-long-beach-ny

Long Beach, New York  •  Bldg 25 (Free People blog)

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Paper Ice Cream    Mr. Printables

ice-cream-art-popsicles-heritage-and-joy-minted

Summer of Popsicles    Heritage and Joy    Minted

ice-cream-print-gelato-etsy

Mi Piace Gelato    Anek    Etsy

ice-cream-art-etsy-popsicle-sprinkled

Popsicle Poster    HelloTinge  •  Etsy

ice-cream-art-jj-galloway-ugallery

Chocolate Eclair Ice Cream    JJ Galloway    UGallery

ice-cream-photo-lauren-wells

Ice Cream In Vermont •  Instagram/laurenswells

ice-cream-art-soshiro-matsubara

Floating Ice Cream (Purple  Soshiro Matsubara  •  Artsy

ice-cream-cones-with-flowers

 Take Out Flowers in Waffle Cones
Jiseon Park and Eunho Kim  •  SDesign Unit

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unidentified

ice-cream-with-cereal-papernstitchblog

Brittni Mehlhoff    Paper & Stitch

ice-cream-with-licorice-papernstitchblog

Brittni Mehlhoff    Paper & Stitch

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Ice Cream    Celine Descamps    Society6

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Sprinkle Me This!    Instagram/karyzmmah

ice-cream-art-popsicle-peter-anton-artsy

Lemon Lime Ice Bar  •  Peter Anton  •  Artsy

ice-cream-art-popsicles-kelly-ventura-minted

Popsicles    Kelly Ventura  •  Minted  

ice-cream-photo-ombre-popsicle

unidentified

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Sunday Bouquet: Dandelion in Gradient Vase

Gradient Vase By Berlin Artist Rimma Tchilingarian At Holly's House

Gradient vase comprised of two handmade parts of porcelain.
Created by Berlin based artist Rimma Tchilingarian.
£180, Holly’s House

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Very Vignette: A Corner of Kate Moss’s Home

Kate Moss's Home In Vogue UKPhoto by Michael Trow

 

Kate Moss’s home
Kate Moss’s bathroom, complete with lacy curtains and copper candle.
Photo of Kate Moss and her daughter by Mario Testino.

It’s so much more romantic, and well, English, than I would have imagined.
I might have expected Kate Moss’s house to be more fashiony and edgy, I think.

But it’s lovely, and of course Kate Moss can pull anything off.

December 2014 Vogue UK 

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