My First Bedrooms and Making It Personal

>> 4.03.2014

I took over my big sister's room when she went off to college. Murals were a thing in the 80's and before the room became mine it had a forest wall mural with a little squirrel. It was actually a photo blown up to the size of an entire wall, so you kinda felt like you were taking a stroll in a wooded park, but not. I was young, but I remembered loving that mural. I had a pretty white poster bed and a handmade yellow gingham bedspread (which I still have.) But sometime around 7 or 8 I decided that I wanted something more mature and girly, so I chose rainbows, probably because of Rainbow Bright. What eight year old in 1984 didn't love Rainbow Bright?

My mom mail ordered a rainbow mural, which rivaled the forest mural in shock value, and made me a rainbow bedspread and curtains. And then, because my mom is a collector herself, she bought practically every rainbow item in existence for my room to fuel my obsession. 

I loved that room, and I loved accessorizing it. I would change things up all the time, and there were probably a thousand thumbtack holes in the walls to prove it. I would always beg my mom to rearrange the furniture, and as I got older I would just do it myself. It was far from magazine worthy, but it was mine and it was ME.

Looking at these pictures instantly takes me back. I remember hiding the stuffed dog under my sheets  and then giggling in the closet when my dad would come upstairs to tuck me in and throw back the covers to find me not there. I remember playing with my cabbage patch kids and taking pictures of them at their pretend gymnastics meets. I remember drawing at the desk my dad refinished for me. And I remember laying on my bed and reading Babysitter's Club books for hours and hours.

Sometime around age 12 I wanted a change, and somehow thought that a french provincial theme was the way to go, complete with a french phone, fancy perfume bottles and a washing basin. (???) This was around the same time that I insisted that everyone call me AMANDA instead of Mandie, so that all makes sense now. It was definitely a period where I wanted to be more "grown up" and be taken more seriously. Looking back, it looks like I wanted to be treated like a grandma, but at the time, I was in love with that style.

I appreciate my mom letting me express myself and not squelch my creativity, even when it came to decorating my room. She probably didn't understand my insatiable desire to create and change things up all the time, but she let me, and I'm grateful.

Our rooms are personal. They don't have to be perfect, but they have to mean something. Let your kids take some ownership of the decor in their rooms. And take pictures of their childhood rooms. Because they will love looking back at where they slept and played, and the sights, sounds, and smells will rush back to them as if they were still there, giggling in the closet, waiting for their dad to come. 


Mindy Blanch,  4/3/14, 3:48 PM  

LOved reading your memories!

Suzy 4/9/14, 10:03 AM  

I loved that forest mural. I still love being out in nature and what I'm drawn to when I travel.

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