Room of the Day: Siblings’ Bedroom With Built-Ins and Play Space
By mixing built-ins with soft, colorful textiles, the new bedroom achieves Santostefano’s design vision while creating a space the kids can’t get enough of.
Who lives here: A brother, 12, and sister, 8
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 147 square feet (13.7 square meters); 10½ by 14 feet, not including closet with bunk beds
Built: 1958; renovated in 2015
Designer: Suzanna Santostefano Design
Santostefano designed the bunk beds her carpenter built in an existing closet. To maximize space in the design, she included a trundle bed for sleepovers, deep drawers on either side of the trundle and built-in shelves behind each bunk. “I wanted every inch of the bed to be used,” she says.
Building the bunks to fit a trundle bed from Ikea, rather than designing the piece entirely custom, saved money on this bedroom splurge.
Sheets: Target; Mexican blankets: Amazon; wall, trim and ceiling paint: Super White, Sherwin-Williams
The designer finds accessories like these on vintage sites and in antiques shops, as well as at the Original Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas. She scores others on their travels. “Some of the pillows were picked up on a trip my husband and I took to Morocco when we were in college,” she says.
These cabinets also came from Ikea. Santostefano had her carpenter build them in with trim and connect them with a custom window seat. “I think what elevates them and makes them not feel too Ikea is spending a little extra to have them built in,” Santostefano says.
An area rug adds color and texture to the space. It also softens the wood floor for playtime. “I love for a space to feel hospitable, warm, inviting, comfortable and livable,” Santostefano says. In the bedrooms and other areas where you want something soft underfoot, Santostefano says she prefers hand-knotted wool or Moroccan shag rugs. Turkish kilim rugs provide rich color and have stood up well to wear in her home with their flat weave.
Pax wardrobe cabinets: Ikea; light fixture: made by Santostefano; coffee table: West Elm; rug: eBay
Although the kids have shared a bedroom for less than a year, Santostefano says it already has changed how they use their room. “Before the kids shared a room, they never played in their own rooms,” she says. “But since they’ve moved into their shared space, they are always playing in there.” They play games on the low table, and read in their beds and on the window seat. “It’s so satisfying to have them actually use their space. And their toys aren’t scattered about the house … for the most part.”