A Brooklyn Townhouse Kid’s Bedroom Blends Old-World Charm with Godzilla Posters

published Jun 5, 2024
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Yellow painted trim in bedroom with green plaid bedding.
Credit: Erin Little

“Julian’s room was kind of a forgotten castle in the sky,” designer Christina Salway says of her son’s room in their Brooklyn townhouse when they first moved in. The room was previously used as a living area in an in-law suite on the third floor of their home. Salway admits it was home to a slew of dust bunnies but also gorgeous natural light. 

As a designer, Christina had the unique and special opportunity to work with her son to reimagine the space. And Julian was very involved. “I suppose the design inspiration was, ‘What would it look like if an interior designer collaborated with her 11-year-old son and actually found a happy solution,’” Christina jokes. 

Credit: Erin Little

The goal was to breathe new life into the space while also, obviously, making it representative of Julian. His personal touch is evident in every corner of the room. For starters, he selected Farrow & Ball’s “Sudbury Yellow” to go around the trim, the blue paint on the ceiling, and Sanderson’s “Pamir Garden” wallpaper (which is in Julian’s “studio” as he refers to it). Julian also chose all his artwork — just peep at the Godzilla posters. But there are traces of Christina in the room, too. 

“I negotiated for nicer bed linen (if he had his way, he’d have a fleece blanket with a print image of our dog on it…), and I advocated for the blackout drapes to help him sleep,” she shares. “So he was definitely flexible, but also pretty vocal in general.” 

Credit: Erin Little

The room is mostly a DIY project, but one element that Christina’s particularly proud of was stripping “layers and layers of paint” off of the fireplace — even though it was a time-consuming job. Now, the fireplace mantel serves as a perfect display area for Julian’s extensive LEGO collection. 

Credit: Erin Little

“The design process was about balance. I already know my son isn’t going to keep it tidy every day (talk about LEGO sprawl) and just wanted it to feel bright and peaceful, even when the floor was covered with colorful plastic,” Christina says. “But I also wanted it to feel chosen and intentional, so rather than paint the walls an active color, we painted the trim and ceiling so there is still some playfulness and joy, but also some quiet and sunlight.” 

It’s fair to say that Julian and Christina’s design collaboration was a success. It’s a perfect blend of them both, and Julian now spends his time reading, playing with his LEGO collection, and making stop-motion animation movies on the handmade green screen in his studio. 

Credit: Erin Little

“I love the sunlight and how true to him it feels. I think he likes how there’s so much space to play,” Christina explains. “He can LEGO in the main area, he has a little desk and reading chair in the little studio. I think he feels pretty lucky.”

If Julian’s room piqued your interest — you’ll want to see the rest of Christina’s townhouse. See more in the full home tour on Apartment Therapy.