The Design*Sponge community is filled with people who love design and, more specifically, design in the home. For each of us, this passion may have formed in a number of different ways—from magazines devoured during trips to the local bookstore, visits to a neighbor or relative’s beautiful home, or maybe the design collections at a favorite museum. Most likely, though, your first forays into home design and making your home more beautiful came by way of decorating your childhood or teenage bedroom. For many of us, this was ground zero for our interest in design—the laboratory in which we experimented, discovered new interests, and really began to get our hands dirty. Although many of our bedrooms were, in retrospect, nothing to write home about—temples to our favorite boy bands, places to hoard personal mementos, and canvases for colors we would never dream of today—they were no less formative or personally special. Today, we’re sharing some of our own memories of our childhood bedrooms and, readers, we want to hear about yours. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly—we don’t care! Like the Beach Boys said, “there’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to, in my room.” This is a safe space. Spill. #NoJudgement. —Max
Grace: One word: GRAPEVINE. I wanted a pale purple room so badly that my mom finally gave in and let me paint it. But the theme didn’t stop there. I also had a grape-themed quilt, grapevine wallpaper border (we had a real problem with those growing up) and a purple lampshade. Let’s just say I’m glad I grew out of this one.
Amy: When I was eight years old my family lived in a small house in Southern California. It wasn’t big enough for all three of us girls to share a room but, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention, right? My Dad took down the closet doors and built a bunk bed inside the closet. Then, he built a top bunk/loft bed that stretched out on the opposite wall. Under that bed was open floor space and a dresser for clothing. The idea was to have the maximum amount of floor space available for playing since we certainly didn’t have room for a playroom. I was on the top bunk, as was my middle sister, and so to give my littlest sister something special of her own, my parents painted a rainbow with clouds and all of our names on the underside of the bunk above her. I wish I had a picture of that room. It was crowded but very special and even more special knowing how much sweat went into creating it.
Max: When my four-person family moved into a new home when I was nine, we made one massive error. The home, despite being larger than the ramshackle urban cottage we had just vacated, only had two bedrooms. My sister, ever the diva, was sure to stake her claim on one of them immediately, leaving me to make do with whatever leftover space I could convert into a makeshift room—a closet-sized “office” on our terrifying first floor, our laundry room (yes, that actually happened and it was LOUD), and an oversized section of hallway on our house’s second floor. I had even considered converting our musty old basement into a bedroom before I decided better of it. I’m not sure if this was out of guilt for leaving me more or less bedroom-less until I went to college, but my parents were pretty much on-board for any and all decorating ideas that I had—and boy did I have ideas! Throughout the history of my room-hopping career, I was known to have installed full-on, wall-to-wall shrines to my favorite obsessions du-jour: Ani Difranco, Harry Potter, The Spice Girls. I fancied myself something of an artiste, and the walls of my various sleeping spaces fell victim to this mentality, oftentimes covered in crayon scrawls, large-scale tempera paint murals, and later, Sharpie-marker graffiti left by me and my friends. Luckily (or horrifyingly), there is photographic evidence of a few of these bedroom incarnations, some of which I have included below. No judging!
Above: This particular “room” was located in a large alcove in the hallway of my home’s second floor. It was essentially missing a fourth wall, so I fashioned a “theater curtain” of sorts from thick paisley fabric for added privacy. Peeking inside, you can see some of my floor pillows (I loved floor pillows!) and my groovy little red TV that I got from Target.
Above: Another angle of the same room. This was my little “office” area underneath my loft bed. Next to my computer, you can see some super fancy-shmancy “candle-scaping” alongside my mini zen garden. I was super into candles and zen gardens at the time.
Above: This was one of my last room incarnations, located in my father’s tiny vacated office on the first floor of our house. I had the wild and, in retrospect, rather unfortunate idea of painting the room GLOSSY bright yellow and allowing my friends to tag it with black Sharpie markers. Let’s just say that the imagery swiftly degraded from pleasant little doodles to decidedly NSFW-territory. This room has since been made-over into something a bit more tasteful.