Guest Post: Ben's Boyish Bedroom

Another day, another guest. Let me introduce Karla of Kerrisdale Design (check out her professional design portfolio here). She is sharing her adorable son Ben's bedroom. Another great example of how a child's room can be playful without being overworked or cartoonish. But I'll let Karla do the talking...

Hi everyone, I'm Karla from Kerrisdale Design. I'm an interior designer and mom of 2 who lives in South Surrey, BC {a suburb of Vancouver}. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be guest posting for Stefanie while she's away on vacation....seriously, pinch me! As a newbie to the design blog world, her blog was one of the first I stumbled across and fell in love with. So you can bet that little old me is pretty excited about getting to make the Brooklyn Limestone my home {albeit virtually} for the day!

A lover of classic architecture, I'd give my right arm to live in an old brownstone or limestone home {lucky lucky Stefanie!}, but they are a non-existent breed out here in the 'burbs. Fantasy homes aside, my husband and I were tickled pink last August when we purchased our first home - a brand spanking new "heritage style" with a wee patch of grass out back for our monkeys to run around on.

Now, while I appreciate some aspects of new houses, it's always a challenge to personalize, decorate, and make them feel like home...which is what we have slowly {oh so painfully slowly at times} been doing over the past months in our new place.

Today I'm going to share with you my son's bedroom {one of the more "complete" rooms in the house, though we all know that few rooms are ever truly "done" if you are design obsessed!}

In designing his room I wanted something handsome, boyish and comfortable. I'm not into cutesy decor for kids, and Ben's never been a babyish kid anyhow. From day one he's been all boy - loves trucks, tools, cars, and bacon! Yup, a manly {little} man who needed a room to suit. The jumping off point for the room were some nautical flags from the Land of Nod...I loved the colours and the preppy feel and knew Ben would think it fun to have them parading around his room. The mood and colours fell into place after that find, and here are the results:

An upholstered headboard {herringbone linen fabric with brass nailheads} sits next to a black painted faux bamboo sidetable {you can read about it's transformation here}. The duvet cover is a taupe linen, sheets are white with a taupe stripe, and touches of red are brought in with the Pottery Barn euro sham and the red cableknit pillow and throw. The rug is an roadmap rug from Ikea, which I'd like to one day replace with a wide stripe rug, but for now Ben has fun driving his cars around on it.

One of Ben's favourite books is Curious George, so when he spied this guy at a store one day, he begged to bring him home!

This antique dresser was awaiting refinishing for my store when I decided that the style and gorgeous grain made it the perfect addition for Ben's room. I love its imperfections and the few chips, I think it adds great character to the space. Stacked above the old faux-bamboo chair are Ben's first {very abstract!} painting and some black and white shots of him as a baby.

Arranged on top of the dresser are a collection of boyish objects ~ wooden cars, a tin soldier {former cookie jar that now houses matchbox cars!}, a vintage trophy, red lacquer box, and iron obelisks. The round mirror is a slight nod to a ships porthole.

In a small space, every inch counts. Kids rarely need to use closets for clothing, so I added an Ikea shelving unit in the bottom of Ben's for toys, books and a "parking lot" for Ben's many vehicles.

The wooden dog's name is "Max" and he does an excellent job keeping lookout for monsters under the bed!

Ahhh, it's so nice to have a room completed! Though I still have a hankering to cover the walls in crisp white painted beadboard {floor to ceiling}, I'll leave that for down the shortage of projects around here still to do!

Thanks for letting me stop by to give you a peek!


  1. Aww!!! This room is so cute! I love how all the colors in the room pop off the white walls!

  2. Wow, perfect combination of kid-friendly and GREAT DESIGN! Great job Karla!

  3. This room is great. I'm in the process of deccorating my three-year-old's room. It's so nice to see what others are doing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Wow! This is so fabulous---love how it turned out! The colors look amazing against the white walls, and the dresser is to die for!

  5. Nice! I really like the mix of antiques with the new upholstered headboard and all the cute toys. Such a cute room.

  6. I LOVE this. Love it. It's so sophisticated but totally kid-friendly. Well done!

  7. Anonymous10:18 AM

    I love the sophisicated look of this room. A great space for a boy to play and explore...I love the guard dog too!

  8. Not too over done~ just perfect! I heart Max (maybe because that's my puppy's name too;).

  9. Very nice! I love the sock monkey! I like that it's not so "kid cute"....I also love white walls, everything seems to stand out better and not clash!
    I too, could beadboard my entire house....MUST RESTRAIN MYSELF!!!lol

    Well done!


  10. I love a boy's room that is still sleek and sophisticated!

  11. gorgeous room and the dresser is amazing. *hearts*

  12. Love the colourful nautical flags and the sock monkey :-) And the antique dresser is fantastic -- love the graining and the shape.

    Max is the cutest monsters-under-the-bed-watcher :-)


  13. It's a room that a boy can be proud of. Well done.

  14. Excellent design Karla. I love the color scheme and the choice of furniture. Where did you get the two obelisk on the dresser in front of the mirror?

    Juliette Samuel

  15. Great bedroom - he must love spending time in there!

  16. I love it! I also don't like babyish rooms, so my two-week old son's nursery is definitely "transitional" so that it will grow with him over time. Your son is too cute! I'm sure he loves his big-boy bedroom. :)

  17. Love, love , love this room! It's gorgeous Karla! xx

  18. That dresser is to kill for!


  19. Wow, this is such a stunning room for a little boy! I love how 'grown up' it is with enough whimsy that it remains perfect for a kid! You did a superb job Karla, it looks gorgeous! And it's true, I would kill for that dresser :)

  20. Monica4:42 AM

    Great job Karla! I Iove love that dresser! Hello from Langley, neighbour. :)

  21. simply adorable karla! great take on a nautical theme without being so literal. I love your work!

  22. Retro-nautical. LOVE it. And any kid who begs to bring a sock monkey home is the coolest kid on the block for sure. :-)

  23. Anonymous8:33 PM

    I just love this space! The white, grey with pops of red make my heart sing.

    Would you mind sharing some of the sources?
    -headboard and linens...
    Many thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Awsome, especially the dog!

  25. Thank you everyone for your sweet comments! For a source guide of products used in the room, you can visit my blog HERE

    All the best,

  26. Anonymous6:20 PM

    What a great boy's room! Love the parking lot in the closet. Even my daughter would like that.

  27. I have to say that it is adorable!


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