Candice Tells All: Interior decorator Candice Olson takes a basement that was used as a dumping ground for old furnishings and turns it into a teenager's rad bedroom.
Thirteen-year-old Calvin is not ready to fly the coop yet, but he’s certainly outgrown his childhood bedroom. There’s just not enough space for his electric guitar, his racing skis and his homework — let alone his clothes.
With three kids and only three bedrooms on the main floor, parents John and Lucinda know it’s time for Calvin to go where no one in the family has gone before: the basement.
The lower level of this bungalow had a lot of space, but it was a total disaster. The basement had become the final resting place for discarded toys and old furniture, and even the drop ceiling was tired and falling down — literally.
To make this the perfect place for a teenage boy to jam, sleep, hang out and study, we had to clear out the clutter. We ripped down the old drop acoustical-ceiling tiles and installed sound insulation, recessed lighting and a new acoustical-ceiling system that resembles painted wood planks, really brightening Calvin’s basement domain.
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I wanted this room to have an awesome focal point, something that shouted young, fun and energetic. I found what I was looking for in Jason, a professional graffiti artist who came to the house and did his thing on the wall directly opposite from the doorway. To say that he turned the name “Calvin” into original art is an understatement. Using bright, bold color, Jason delivered just the “wow factor” I had in mind.
When I was planning this project, I knew I had to focus on longevity. In all likelihood, this room will have to suit Calvin from age 13 to 18, and even beyond. I had to make it functional yet fun, and trendy without being outdated by the time he turns 15. So, I kept it fairly simple. We created a spacious desk-and-storage area opposite Calvin’s new queen-size bed, which we topped off with a tall color-blocked headboard and bedding that picked up the red, black, gray and white of the graffiti wall.
There is a lot of storage space in this room, with drawers under the bed as well as in the solid-walnut cabinet that we positioned under the room’s only window. We kept the music alive, with a guitar-themed bulletin board and a special wall-mounted hook just for his guitar. The old closet doors got a new lease on life when we applied custom-tinted blackboard paint and turned them into Calvin’s very own message board.
Tall shelving units on either side of the bed provide tons of space to display all the mementos of Calvin’s teenage years. In a nod to his penchant for giant-slalom ski racing, we created a coat rack from a pair of old skis. The hooks make tidying up a little easier, and will hopefully spare the new carpet from becoming a minefield of teen debris.
Design really is about the details, and we put a lot of thought into creating a room that will grow with Calvin. Not only is it his one-of-a-kind retreat, it’s also a functional space that makes the most of this bungalow and the square footage it has to offer.
Of course, a bedroom this awesome totally destroys the theory of being sent to your room as a punishment. But not to worry: John and Lucinda cheerfully told Calvin that, in those cases, he is welcome to their room while they retreat to the basement.
Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All.” For more ideas, information and show times visit http://www.hgtv.com/candice-tells-all/show/index.html.