Here’s how to bring a boy’s bedroom beyond spaceships and dinosaurs

Photos by Anne Underwood

Designing a child’s bedroom might just be one of the ultimate exercises in restraint. Sure, your toddling tots might be all about princess-pink wallpaper or dinosaur-themed bedsheets now, but as time goes on, who knows how their tastes may change (and where oh where will all the inevitable magazine cut-out band posters go)? Local decorator Anne Underwood of Underwood Interiors faced precisely this dilemma when she was hired to turn two brothers’ shared bedroom–complete with wooden bunkbeds and indeterminate amounts of mismatched accessories—into a space that could grow with the boys as they progressed into their preteen years and beyond.

“Whenever I start a project, I always take measurements and create a floor plan and a furniture plan on paper, to see how all the pieces of the puzzle can be put together,” says Underwood. “In a space like this where you have to maximize every inch, it was important for everything to have its purpose—the room actually has more furniture in it now than it did before, but it looks bigger.”

With a color scheme in mind, Underwood also wanted to be sure that the room’s vintage-meets-contemporary vibe suited more than just the two brothers. In time, the room might also serve as a guest bedroom, or evolve to include more personal objects or artworks.

“As far as the overall scheme of the room, we wanted it to be masculine, but not dark, because it’s not a large space,” says Underwood. “You can still use rich colors to lend actual feeling to a room—you can still be cohesive and not rely solely on whites or neutrals.”

To learn more about the transformative design ideas behind the details, click on the icons in the two photos below: