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Kids' Rooms, Better Homes & Gardens

Winter 2005
Ribbit! Ribbit! Roar! From Lions to lily pads, animal friends abound in two boys' rooms. When Kelly Rowley tucks her sons Cale, 3, and Gabe, 4, into bed each night, all sorts of playful creatures-from painted dragonflies to appliqued elephants-join them. To create the boys' rooms, Kelly enlisted the help of interior designer and friend Cathy Kramer, who based the room styles on each child's disposition. In any room, it's important to pick up the personality of the person for whom youre designing, Kramer says. For me that's what makes designing so much fun.

With personality to spare, Cale and Gabe gave Kramer a lot to work with. Gabe is all boy-rough and tumble and very outdoorsy, and he loves frogs, Kramer says. I could envision him bringing frogs home in his pockets, so a pond theme was right up his alley. Cale is boyish, too, but in a softer, quieter way; cuddly jungle animals suit his nursery quite well.

Because both boys have a mild form of albinism, making it difficult for them to differentiate soft colors, Kramer teamed blues and greens with white, red, and navy. Contrasting colors are easier for Cale and Gabe to distinguish, she says. Because Kelly hopes to have the boys room together one day, Kramer used common colors- a variety of blues and greens- in both rooms, so Kelly can interchange accessories when the time comes to turn Cale's room into a guest room or home office.

Paint plays a big role in the brothers' two lively spaces. In Cale's room, Kelly did the painting herself, taking cues from the bedding, rug, and other elements to create a ring of roaming animals below a canopy of leafy branches. Along the lower half of the walls, she painted a simple plaid pattern in white and light green. In Gabe's room, whimsical painted wood treatments with cloud cutouts dress the windows.

The frame structure on the large window is called a lambrequin, Kramer says. We chose this treatment because it offers dimension as well as a paintable, seamless surface with the walls. And unlike artwork, scenes painted directly onto walls can't be knocked off.


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