In The News
Once upon a time, there was a sweet little darling called Princess Chloe who had a room filled with beautiful color painted by her talented mother, Queen Amie.
Regal crowns, a chandelier dripping with crystal jewels, gilded accents, posh upholstery, and a mix of painted polka dots, stripes, checks, and diamonds—all fit for the newest addition to a royal family—invite sweet slumber and imaginative play for 18-month-old Chloe Freling.
After years of bringing her visions to life for countless clients, including in other children’s rooms, decorative painter Amie Freling felt that the room for her soon-to-be-born daughter, Chloe, had to be her pièce de résistance. “Knowing that I was going to have a girl, there was no way I was going to be able to paint a gender-neutral room!” Amie says with a laugh.
A trip to Paris provided the inspiration for the feminine, French styling of the room. Scouring the famous Paris flea markets, Amie was captivated by the use of color, vintage furnishings, gilded accents, and lush fabrics and trims. “My goal was to tie my whimsical side with the elegance I found in Paris,” she says.
On the walls, broad tone-on-tone vertical stripes infuse the room with subtle pink pattern, while a recessed alcove highlights the crib with a contrasting gold harlequin pattern. Behind the crib, a flowing canopy gathers into a wooden crown constructed by Amie’s father, Jon Freling.
Amie adorned the crown with bright yellow and white stripes, metallic gold points, and a fanciful ‘C’ monogram. When Chloe eventually graduates to a big bed, Amie plans to replace the crown and canopy with a painted headboard that is certain to carry on the royal legacy. To unify the room, the crown motif continues at the top of the window with a wooden valance.
The furnishings, a mix of new unfinished and vintage thrift-shop finds, are the true gems of the room. Amie used a friendly display of lively color and a careful balance of well-planned barber-pole style stripes with large harlequin patterns, pastel egg shapes, and oversize flower-shape drawer pulls to transform a vintage nightstand and an old buffet turned dresser.
“Chloe spends a lot of time in her room,” Amie says. “Although she’s too little to really tell me so, it’s obvious that the color and patterns captivate her, and she loves to touch the big flower drawer pulls on her dresser.”
The whimsical mix of patterns and colors continues on the shelves, a custom-painted clock, and a new unfinished desk, which was given a majestic makeover with creative embellishments. Recalling the beautiful ornamentation found on many period French antiques, Amie brainstormed ways to give the desk free-spirited, yet fashionable, flair. The aisles at her local crafts store provided all the materials necessary.
She painted round wooden beads with gold metallic paint and glued, then nailed the pieces to the underside of the desk. (Amie stresses the importance of gluing and nailing small pieces on for safety with small children.) On the edges of the desk surface, she attached a length of gold tassel trim with brass upholstery tacks. The pastel egg shapes painted on the desktop were repeated on the sides of the ottoman, and the ottoman’s fanciful striped and polka-dot legs were balanced with pompon and fringe trims tacked below the scat.
Amie painted periwinkle blue polka dots on the back wall of the built-in shelves, and small yellow and blue triangles on a purchased shelf mounted above the desk. The triangles echo the points of the canopy crown and window valance. The clock repeats many of the same motifs and is embellished with alternating sizes of gold-painted wooden beads.
“I’m definitely inspired by patterns and designs, and I love to mix unexpected colors,” Amie says. “My advice is to just let go when you paint—especially when it comes to color. Don’t be afraid to be bold. You can always paint over it if you don’t like it.”