Before & After: A Drab Austin Kids Bedroom Gets a Massively Colorful Upgrade with Custom Storage

published Dec 1, 2021
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Before of a room with white-beige walls and plain furnishings

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All great design has to start somewhere, and in the case of this Austin, TX, bedroom for two young brothers, it began with a perfect, multicolored rug. Before the talented designers from Etch Design Group got their hands on the space, the room was perfectly fine, but definitely lacking in personality — with the exception of huge windows that look onto the Austin hills. The family of five, with kids aged 8, 6, and 2, prioritized playfulness in their design choices. Etch Design Group designer Stephanie Lindsey says, “They were so fun to work with and wanted almost every element in their home to have color and character, and feel unique.” 

Choose one pattern and build the rest of the room around it

One of the best parts of the room is how every piece works together in such a cohesive yet striking way. On pattern-mixing, Lindsey says, “We typically choose one pattern that is meant to be the dominant. In this case, the rug is the primary focus with the other patterns complimenting it without overpowering or competing. The other patterns and textures are more organic and subtle.” In sum: select one stand-out pattern or design and let the other touches act as echoes, rather than competing elements.

Focus not just on similar colors, but similar shapes

A blue pendant draws the eye upwards, yet also echoes the curving shapes in the wave-themed wallpaper, which provides a great statement in the room. Lindsey says, “We find that adding character to walls makes each space feel complete. In this case, art wouldn’t have been functional on the bed wall, so wallpaper was the perfect solution.” Rounding out the blue tones is a deep blue loveseat and ottoman, made for the kids to relax in.

Instead of bulky furniture, invest in multifunctional pieces

For bedroom furniture, the family decided on a Pottery Barn lofted bunk bed and outfitted it with bold bedding that fits the blue, green, and orange color scheme. The best part of a bed like this? The extra storage underneath. Lindsey describes, “Even though the room is spacious, we didn’t want it cluttered with bulky furniture that would take away from the design. So we utilized a bunk bed with built in storage that can be used for clothes, toys, or extra bed linens.” 

For even more storage, there’s an attached play area with a custom hutch with tons of drawers. The space is lined with more gorgeous wallpaper, along with floating shelves. “We utilized elements that double as decor, as well as a place to house toys. The shelves were perfect, as they didn’t cover too much of the whimsical wallpaper.” Pro tip: consider floating shelves when you want function without sacrificing the overall look and cleanliness of the lines. The transportation-themed nook has a play rug made for hours of on-the-ground fun. 

The brothers’ room is thoughtfully designed and rich in playful accents — all of which keep them happy and inspired in the hills of Texas.