When I bought my first house and started taking on design challenges, I got caught up in theming a couple of the rooms. My favourite was a southwest theme where I’d incorporated a painted cactus in the corner, soft geometric wallpaper borders, white-washed furniture, a natural tree branch curtain rod and other elements. That was decades ago and I long since gave up on themed rooms until recently.
For the longest time, I thought theme rooms were only the domain of kids’ spaces…
While this is a great place to do up in a theme, there are other spaces that can be themed without looking cartoony or cliché. A themed bathroom can still be classy as can an adult bedroom or even a living area.
Something else I’ve learned is that a theme room doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”.
Themes can be as simple as a colour or shape you love, or you can go more traditionally themed with a jungle theme, sea-side theme or Paris them. The lines between theme and décor blur pretty easily. What one person may see as accessories and design elements, another may see as a theme. To me, a theme room is one that obviously has a core element driving the majority of the pieces. That could be the “pink circle room”, the “cow spot room” or the “rainbow colours room”, but from the moment you step in, you know what the theme is.
What will clearly tie the room together is paint or wall coverings.
A strongly themed room may have custom painted walls or murals while a lightly themed room may just pick up on the colours of design elements or even leave the walls neutral. It all depends upon the level of impact you’re after, the other pieces you’ll be incorporating and how much work you want to take on.
Don’t forget the difference a few well-placed accessories can make!
Thanks to the wonder of the internet we have so many shopping options for even the most obscure themes! So don’t be shy. If you’ve always wanted to do a white poodle room or a jazz room or a tropical fruit room, start with a few well-chosen pieces that inspire that theme and go as far as you dare!