From the April/May 2023 Issue  

Adventure Awaits

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Fine Life Photography  |  Designer Callie Bruen  |  Location New Vernon, NJ

Kid Zones-Savvy designers share stylish spaces for sleep and play that spur the imagination and strike a balance between fun, comfort and practicality.

For more of our Kid Zones showcase, see Fit for a Prince, Color Their World and Room for Two.

Equal parts fantasy and fun

Designer Callie Bruen took inspiration from her own two boys when designing this playful kids’ bedroom for the preeminent Mansion in May Designer Showhouse at Tyvan Hill in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“I wanted to pack a punch in this small room,” designer Callie Bruen says. She chose timeless plaid patterns in slightly different scales and tones for a layered look that doesn’t conflict. “Don’t be afraid to mix patterns!”

“The irony of designing this room during Covid was not lost on me,” says Bruen, owner of Callie Bruen Interiors in New Vernon. She imagined a bedroom filled with adventure where two young brothers could pretend to scale Mount Everest via a climbing rock wall, impersonate pirates in a custom-built treehouse or drift off to sleep in soothing hanging beds — activities that would keep them happy and busy in the comfort and safety of their own special bedroom.

Open shelving with organized storage bins neatly holds toys, books and collectibles.

To keep the space from appearing “too babyish,” Bruen used colors and prints with staying power: a mix of classic plaid patterns in charcoal gray complemented by sunny accents of yellow and white.

A custom-built treehouse is a hide-a-way kids are sure to love. Even the pooch gets his/her own private enclave.