Designing Stella’s Room | A Mood Board


Let’s talk design! That crazy fun bit, that after a year or so, is nearly finished. While it started out all over the place with me feeling pretty overwhelmed, every room has come together like that piece of wrapping paper you cut juuuust right. What a good feeling. All we are waiting on is that velvet bow to tie it all up here in the next few months, and then we’ll have a home again.

I am going to take you on a design tour of our new/old home via mood boards for the next few weeks before the actual tour with real life photos shall commence! Each week I am going to share a room or two that we have completed in our home design-wise, walking you through my thought process for each space and the reasons why everything in said space was selected. I love the behind the scenes process posts, so that is what this is all about. I also love interior design and knowing why designers selected what they did and why they did. I believe each choice and every detail becomes a note in a song that a particular space sings when paid attention to.

Before I get onto Stella’s room, the first in a series of about a dozen we will cover, I will start by saying that I am a very decisive person. For the most part, I have always known what I want and what I do not want, and am able to make decisions rather quickly without waver. I am especially decisive when I have to act under pressure, which is why I am a functioning procrastinator and don’t mind a pinch of time-crunching pressure, as long as it does not involve math. {That last bit is an important one.} But this project, given it’s rather large scale in both in time frame {a year} and actual size {a home}, has given me so much to ponder that I have gone back and forth more times than I am sure our contractor’s {or any reasonable person} would care for.

But looking back I am so glad we had the year to design everything and really make this home ours. We poured our time and attention into every single detail – down to the knobs and pulls and colors and wood and wallpaper and finish material, etc. etc. etc. – so that together, you can see a story unfolding.

Let’s start with Stella’s room! When we first bought our home, we let the kids run around and choose their room. It was one of those storybook moments that surprisingly didn’t end in tears. Most do. Our new home is a six bedroom, with one of those room in the loft turning into Andrew’s home office, and the other across from it becoming my studio and guest bedroom. There is then a primary bedroom with a bathroom ensuite, a larger bedroom, and two medium sized rooms. Like her mama, she chose right away. The front room with built-in’s would be hers, not the largest room, nor the one with a new bathroom off of it, but the one with the most natural light. Stella’s room is by far the sunniest room in a house full of windows. No matter the time of day, light pours in and creates the most warm, comforting feeling. She chose that room because of that feeling, and every time she walks through her door she smiles.

With Stella choosing one of the medium sized rooms, that left the large room in the back {which the boys promptly picked, as they will be sharing} and then we chose for Tilly, who will be getting the room in-between. In keeping with the “you pick” theme, we let the kids, minus the baby for obvious reasons, help design their rooms. We gave Stella full reign over color choices, light fixtures, and antique pieces she wanted to use for her new space. Not gonna lie, I tried to sway her with pattern on pattern and bold color choices. She wasn’t having it. After a few weeks of negotiation, I gave in and let her pick and everything. Here is what she landed on, and it’s gorgeous.

Mind you, I did not give her the computer and say research away, sister! She’s ten. But I did show her dozens upon dozens of reasonable options, and that was fun for the both of us. And of course, this is a mood board and not her actual room, and naturally, she is a child, so yes, there’ll be toys and craft supplies and various ten year old paraphernalia all over the place, but this is the nuts and bolts of a room that will be hers in a home that is ten times older than her ten year old self! I just adore it. And what I love the most is that she beams when she sees it, and cannot wait to set up her desk to make art for her walls and a sweet little corner for her Calico critters. It’s a room suited for a pre-teen, and I kinda want it for myself.


Stella’s Room 

The Vibe | Clean and simple. Simple and clean. And that’s that!

Work Done | Minimal, aka: nothing structural done to the space.

Design Notes | Bold brass, natural ticking stripe, English pine, black spindle furniture, light blue and cream color palette, Shaker organization, Parisian charm.

Top Left | In choosing colors for her space, Stell wanted white, cream, and light blue. This photo shows how we will bring those colors into her space, while giving everything a ruffly, feminine touch on the linens. Linens and textiles are such a great way to being in drama and personality as they can be changed out from season to season. We will incorporate dried flowers somewhere from my shop, and layer soft patterns throughout. I really like how olive green pairs with light blue, so maybe we’ll go that direction for her sheets? Oui, me thinks.

Top Middle | While we are getting some new furniture for our home, we are using almost all of what we had in our old home too. She is going to get our old bed, a gorgeous handmade black spindle bed that is both classic and timeless. We were going to put this in our guest room and have her use the antique full spindle bed she used to have, but since we closed off a doorway that used to connect her room to what will be Matilda’s room she now has more space for a larger bed. She also loves the black and I think it looks striking against her other selections. I now have a bed hoarding problem and will probably need to sell some once we get settled. {Let me know if you are local and interested!}

Top Right | How about a little modern lighting, eh? So these lights were originally going to be in our living room, the circle room to be exact, but after receiving them and taking them over to visualize them in that space, I decided that was not the direction I wanted to go. Stella, however, fell in love with them. She has this one area in her room where a sconce sits between two windows, above where her desk is likely to go, and this fixture is perfect for that space. White it is more on the contemporary side, it works with everything! The round shape and overall vibe of this reflector sconce reminds me of a new take on early Americana candle lighting. You can find this light at Crate & Barrel.

1st Middle Left | You know we love quilts, and this one is the perfect accent to round out this bright and airy space. I recently did a collaboration with Garnet Hill and they gifted us this stunning quilt set. It is a soft blue grey, and is really creamy and soft in person. It’ll be the perfect bedding set for her room, and the colors are going to pop with her black bed frame. I can see this quilt working in any season, and it’s wonderful for any age. If you are looking for newly made but antique-inspired quilts right now, they have a wonderful selection of colors.

1st Middle | Simple and clean. That is what Stella kept telling me over and over while we were curled up on the couch designing her room this past season. I kept saying, this is the time for you to do something big and bright, go violet or sage or mustard, but she insisted her walls be creamy and her trim be even creamier, so that is what we went with. Of course, I love it, but I wanted her to know that she could chose anything to reflect her budding style. When we did the color samples for the kitchen she was along and told me right then and there, “That is what I want in my room, too!” Her walls will be “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore and the existing built-in closet and trim, “Schoolhouse White” by Farrow and Ball. The girl likes white. Can you blame her?

1st Middle Right | Oh, stenciling. Do you remember this little delight our moms used to do to our walls? Old trend or not, I love it. Even though I could not get Stella on board with team wallpaper, she jumped all in for team stenciling. One point mom! We are going to make a stencil or a stamp, she wants a flower design and I am thinking Scandinavian something or other, and will make a pattern around the room. We are doing a fun color in our loft – more on that soon – and she wants to go with that hue. It’ll be a fun accent that if one day we want to paint over will not make more gray hairs on my head sprout. It’s also really folksy and sweet, and with the light in her room, I’m sure it’ll be lovely.

2nd Middle Left | A simple bedside table, something definitely antique and definitely not matchy matchy, is what we will use as next to her black spindle bed. We have several old chippy tables in storage right now, any one of them will do the job. I love mixing old and new furniture, and do not care for rooms where everything looks like it was cut from a catalogue. While this room will have a few new things, like curtains and light fixtures, we are using many old pieces throughout, and bedside tables are perfect for this! I also love it when bedrooms have a little vase with flowers or greenery in it. Nothing fancy, but special neverlethess.

2nd Middle | One absolute request she had about her room is that is has a space to make art. She spends hours drawing and painting and creating things, so an old desk we shall find, which will most likely be an old table that currently lives somewhere in storage. Like the bedside tables above, her desk will not be new, but will be charming. I am also going to have her pick out some antique art from my shop to hang on the walls, and we’ll hang a new light from DeVOL {similar to the one above} next to her reading chair for a bit of cozy nighttime light.

2nd Middle Right | One of my favorite kinds of wood to decorate with is old English pine. In my opinion, it’s best when left untreated so it can age and wear with time. Unlike the glossy orange pine treatment that many unfortunate pieces of beautiful furniture get, I prefer au naturale. This is not the exact piece that will be going in her room, but she wants something in her space to hold all of her books and art supplies. I think this finish compliments the black stain on her bed really well, and also the white painted furniture she’ll have as accents. This piece is from Elsie Green, where we’ve gotten many of our new/old pieces from this past year.

3rd Middle Left | I love this photo and it is what inspired the direction we have gone with the built-in shelving in her room. I will show before photos when we do the actual tour, but this gives you an idea of what one wall in her room will look like. We are taking out the dated silver pulls and putting in wood knobs that will be painted the same color as the shelving and trim. It’s very Shaker inspired, as is much of our home design. The accent of a simple wood rocking chair is the cherry on the cake here. It’s beautiful and useful, all in one.

3rd Middle | More lovely linens! In keeping with her Simple and Clean vibe, Stella chose this pattern from a local shop, JSH, here in Kansas City to add some charm to her room. Because she did not want wallpaper, we are bringing in the pattern and depth elsewhere, and I love this feminine French fleur de lis print. The girl’s bathroom is the most Parisian space in the house, with her bedroom a runner up.

3rd Middle Right | Does this light fixture not remind you a little bit of Paris? I love how it makes a statement but is still really classic. Stella wanted brass accents in her room, and we are bringing those through via the lighting. It adds a bit of shine and sophistication that makes you feel like this room is a little grown up. We found this fixture from Room and Board, along with several other incredible pieces I’ll be sharing later, and I cannot wait to see it in person. I think truly lighting makes or breaks a room.

Bottom Left | Her bed again, balancing out the mood board so you can really get a feel for how her space will look. The bed will be the focal point in the room, the largest piece of furniture taking up the most space, and so it gets a few squares here. I wondered at first if we should paint her bed, maybe cream or white, but seeing it above confirmed that this would not be a good idea. It is exactly as it was meant to be. We got her bed at Schoolhouse Electric, and while they do not make it anymore, you can find a similar style at Crate and Barrel.

Bottom Middle | Onto zee drapes! This was the last and final decision we picked for her mood board and I think they are perfect if I do say do myself. So I was originally pulling for ticking stripe wallpaper in a tan or cream with some sort of bold color for the trim {like dusty rose or muted mustard} but we found common ground in the textiles. I found these natural ticking stripe curtains from The Vermont Country Store and they are exactly what this space needed. A little texture, a little privacy with all her windows, and a lot of drama. She chose them among ten or so other options and she hit the nail right on the head. Bravo, sis. Très chic!

Bottom Right | The last piece of the puzzle is how she wants her desk chair to look, white and French. We are going to take one of our old bentwood chairs and paint it a fresh coat of white paint. It complements both her light fixture and linens, I think. I also love that we will be repurposing something old and giving it new life in our new home.


We did not do any structural work in Stella’s room, but nevertheless, it will be completely transformed! I love that this space will be one that grows with her because it is not too childish nor too stale and boring. It’s a room that I know she’ll love spending time in, especially because she got to choose everything along the way. Next up is Tilly’s room! Did I do wallpaper and a fun color for the trim, you bet I did. But before we get to that space, what do you think about this one!?

xx Amanda



  • Kacie - What a gorgeous room Miss Stell! I hope one day we can come see it in person. Can see you reading away the hours in there. It feels like something Anne Shirley might have picked!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Kacie, she {and I} are ready for you gals to head this way for an overnight!!! xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Looks great! I can’t wait to see it. We just finished our basement and I can attest to every decision being part of the story, even ones that eventually go unnoticed by others. 🙂 (We also got curtains from the Vermont Country Store!)ReplyCancel

    • admin - Melissa, Woo! I absolutely love VCS – they have the best linens. And you are so right, all those little details truly add up and add so much beauty and meaning to the entire space and story. xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Sue - I don’t know any 10 year olds who could pull this off. I can’t wait to see the finished product!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Sue, she definitely knows what she wants, Miss Stella! xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Kate - Thank you for sharing this new chapter, I love your aesthetic (and Stella’s) and am looking forward to following along with your progress on this lovely new home.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Kate, thank you love! I am overjoyed to be at the part where we are beginning to see everything we’ve designed take shape! xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - You have such a beautiful way with words. Thank you for sharing. I’ve so missed your blog posts! Sending love.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Elizabeth, you are so kind, thank you. Sending love right back. xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Bethany Rogers - Love, love, love. So excited to be following along.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Bethany, thank you lovely! xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Designing Tilly’s Room | A Mood Board » Homesong - […] week I showed you Stella’s room and all the clean and simple design choices she and I made for that space, and today we are […]ReplyCancel

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