7 Decorating Tricks to Steal from This Maximalist Father-Daughter Bedroom Makeover

published Jan 11, 2023
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Maximalist tween bedroom

A vivid, pattern on pattern on pattern scheme may not be for everyone, but it’s very on-trend for 2023. And for 9-year-old Riley Kinnane-Petersen, this kind of maximalist decor couldn’t be more on brand. After all, as the creative force behind the bright, bold jewelry and accessory brand Gunner & Lux, statement-making style is pretty much her forte. So when it came to redesigning her bedroom, taking a more is more approach was a given. “Before it was really cute with lots of dolls and kind of cluttered with stuff,” says Kinnane-Petersen. “I wanted a cooler looking room and a place where friends can hang out with all the bright colors.” 

The cheeky decals, bold yellow stripes, and textured pom poms that once decked her walls were traded in for CW Stockwell’s striking Million Flowers tangerine wallpaper, which was her jumping off point for the makeover and instantly set a sophisticated yet still super fun tone for the new design scheme. By dividing the room into functional zones, Kinnane-Petersen, together with her dad, John Petersen, was able to carve out pockets of space for various activities—be it work, play, chill, or study—while embracing a perfectly balanced, maximalist scheme. Here’s how this dad-daughter duo did it. 

Set the scene with a pattern that won’t quit

It’s safe to say that the hand-printed wallpaper, comprised of rich layers of vibrant florals, brings a major dose of star power to the room. “Once I picked out the pattern, I just knew that having a bedspread that matched the florals would look amazing,” says Kinnane-Petersen. “I have seen lots of vintage florals in fashion, and wallpaper is so big right now, so I figured the more the better.” 

To maximize the impact of the print as well as the square footage she had to work with, Kinnane-Petersen pushed her bed into the corner of the room. “I drew my room a bunch of times, placing the furniture in different spots, and I always came back to my bed against the wall,” she adds. Not only did that provide a wealth of added space for other furnishings, but it also kept the floor plan open, creating the illusion of a bigger room.

Make a work zone work harder 

Carving out a spot for homework was a given, but a snoozy desk setup was not part of the equation. With a mint green-blue desk from Target as her anchor piece, Kinnane-Petersen scored a bright red metal chair from Amazon and added on a few DIY details of her own. She spray-painted a vintage lamp in a glossy black and paired it with a lampshade sourced from Etsy. To tie it all together, she hung a whimsical mirror from Fleur Home above the desk, giving it a coat of Behr’s Heart to Heart to make it unique.

Remember that IKEA bookshelves always deliver

When it came to wrangling all of her books, a sturdy storage solution turned into a design moment of its own with IKEA’s timeless KALLAX shelf. Not only did this budget friendly piece fit right in with the updated aesthetic of the room, but it also provided the perfect opportunity to create a few personality-packed shelfies.

The top of the unit is reserved for her most special items and the fragile accessories she wishes to keep out of the reach of her cat, Sawyer. Most of the trinkets on the rest of the piece were found vintage shopping with her dad.

Turn a Light Source Into a Groovy Moment 

Dance parties are a norm at the house as well as in the Gunner & Lux studio, especially when the team needs a break. Kinnane-Petersen’s dads bought her the disco ball when she was younger, and it finally found its permanent home—mounted right above her bed. When break time calls, the family likes to turn the lights down low, put a spotlight on the shiny ball, and dance the night away. 

Pack function in wherever you can  

A love seat and coffee table isn’t something you typically see in a bedroom, much less a tween space, but for Kinnane-Petersen, it was a non-negotiable. “I bought that pink sofa with my own money from Target—I had to have it,” she adds, “It’s a great place to read and relax with my cat.” 

The coffee table was one she already owned. Previously white, the family painted it black for a moody facelift that would offer up a hint of contrast against the saturated shades of the space. Extra pops of color or two, via the crochet throw blanket and pillow, lend the set up a whimsical note.

Divide your sleep space into separate zones

In the opposite corner of the room facing the sofa, Kinnane-Petersen transformed an empty nook into a beautifully curated vignette complete with a rich medley of patterns. For this spot, the tween jewelry designer created a mood board and stuck to it. “When she showed me her idea of the blue checkered room divider I thought it might look very ‘Wizard of Oz,’ but she knew what she was doing,” says her dad, Petersen. 

Bright blues in the wallpaper lent themselves to the custom scalloped screen room divider Kinnane-Petersen created with the help of The Inside.  A vintage velvet armchair came next, offering a classic touch of elegance to the otherwise modern room. “I really wanted this leopard armchair, but it was in California and above our price point,” Kinnane-Petersen says. “So we found this amazing leopard rug instead, and it just all goes so well!” To pull it all together, they brought in a geometric brass side table that adds the perfect amount of shine to the space.

Don’t shy away from color

Kinnane-Petersen’s masterful redesign didn’t stop there. The adjoining bathroom also got a little revamp with color. The inspiration for the space was the designer’s business cards, no less, which translated into an all pink bathroom—ceiling included. A curated gallery wall, filled with a mix of aspirational and cheeky prints, gave the bath an elevated feel.

When it came to the more practical moments, such as the towel holders and lights, Kinnane-Petersen’s love for the old school really shined. A vintage emerald green mirrored candle holder offers a fresh twist on a traditional sconce, all the while perfectly complementing the bright pink walls. A heart-embroidered hand towel from Weezie delivered an extra dose of charm, playing off the wooden face sculpture that’s been a family collectible for what feels like forever. “My dad and I use it at work,” she says. “You can change its face to whatever your mood is so, I thought it would be fun to add it to the wall.”

All in all, bright colors, vibrant prints, and a design details that emulate Kinnane-Petersen’s lively spirit helped transform her room into the ultimate tween hangout. 

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: 7 Decorating Tricks to Steal from This Maximalist Father-Daughter Bedroom Makeover