This year, my contribution to the Decorator Showcase is a bedroom titled The Age of Innocence. I created a design draped in nostalgia with a 13 year-old boy in mind. The room is somewhat biographical, but not completely. I also had a specific client in mind that happens to have the ideal family, including a young boy who is about to enter his middle school years. Another family friend of roughly the same age while at my Holiday party last year quoted “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“. I remember thinking how cool it was that a movie from my childhood was “old” now. The movie posters from the late 1980’s adorning the walls, a large wardrobe befitting a fairytale, games, books, magazines, and all of the other fun things in the room were used to illustrate the transition between the playfulness of childhood and the coolness of becoming a teenager. How did we feel at this age? What was important to us? What design would I have been attracted to at 13? I hope this room brings one back to their childhood; a time full of wonder and innocence.
“When touring the Decorator Showcase house this year, I couldn’t help but find myself reminiscing of visiting my grandparents and flipping through their old scrapbooks. In this moment of Pintrest, Instagram, Facebook, etc., I thought to myself “who’s going to look at my scrapbooks!?” and what was the space I wanted to live in when I was 13!? ”
The feeling of childhood nostalgia in this room is further characterized by the bedroom walls, which were inspired by the birth of the digital age. The walls are painted in stripes, alternating in color and thickness, mimicking the static marks left on the television screen by old VHS tracking. The walls serving as a tribute to a now outdated medium is the first thing to catch the viewer’s eye, enveloping them in the nostalgic theme of the Age of Innocence. The title is also a reference to the age of this picturesque home and the classic book by Edith Wharton with the same title.
The wardrobe, a family heirloom, was in my room when I was 13 years old. The piece itself is both classic and majestic, making one feel as though they were approaching a relic from a fairytale. When choosing a wardrobe for this room I thought it was a “wardrobe befitting Narnia”, inspired by the literature series I loved in my youth. It also helps fill the volume of the room and justifies the nearly twelve foot ceiling height.
The posters along the walls are also reminiscent of youth and of the birth of the digital age. When we watched these movies at home they were analog, not digital. Posters for the movies “The Goonies” and “Ferris Buller’s Day Off” represent stories focused on adventure, coming of age, and friendship, perfect for the room of a young teenage boy. A poster for the very first Star Wars movie, and a poster for Tron were the last two images used to tie in the theme of nostalgia as society was entering the digital age.
The bed itself, upholstered in Zak+Fox fabric is another focal point of the room. The deep brown of the fabric adorned with a small repetitive pattern catches the eyes while still remaining in harmony with the rest of the bold patterns in the room. The duvet cover is also from Zak+Fox. The colors are youthful and bright while the repetitive blocked line fabric of the duvet is also reminiscent of the digital age.
The walls of the walk-in closet are adorned in Philip Jefferies wallpaper, found at De Sousa Hughes. The rich blue walls lined with gold studs give the room a more classic and mature feel while still referencing an early video game we might have played on Atari. The clean, straight lines on the wallpaper are followed by the straight-line work displayed on the classic vintage dresser sourced from Epoca Antiques. The dresser itself is topped with a variety of old board games, while a small R2D2 figurine, a beloved character from Star Wars, stands guard on the dresser next to these timeless family games. Underneath the most famous robot in the 80’s sits the first book of Zahid Sardar’s, which I had the pleasure of reading in my early youth.
Small touches in the room such as Uno cards which are splayed out on the side table, and a magic 8 ball awaiting one’s questions are just a few of the little features that tie the nostalgic Age of Innocence theme together.