Project Margaux


No, I haven’t changed the spelling of my name. The Margaux of the title is a legit “aux” version and she’s one of my clients…and she’s 8. We first met just before the Holidays to discuss the redecoration of her room, which is in a cool West End Toronto loft. The project is kicking into high gear now so I thought I would take a minute to show you my plan, because I gotta say, I’m pretty psyched about it! 

Here’s the design brief:

Take a room that is starved for natural light and challenged by the copious stuff of childhood and make it a vibrant, cozy, organized play space, homework zone and restful sleeping chamber for a charming, inquisitive, outgoing and downright cool 8-year-old. Do all the this for a reasonable/mid budget. And, go.


To my mind, rooms that lack natural light demand one of three treatments:

1. Go to the dark side and make it moody.

2. Add pattern on all walls to liven things up.

3. Go for colour.

After meeting Margaux I knew colour what the answer. And if you’ve ever met an 8yo girl I bet you can guess her favourite colour. 


THINK PINK! I did just that and promptly broke all the decorating rules by starting with paint chips. You see, the code of conduct for decorators states that paint comes in every colour and if you can’t find the colour you want, you can have it custom mixed, so it should come last — AFTER all the other elements are determined. Sure, fine, whatever. Who cares, I wanted to see as many pinks as possible to get the creative juices flowing. It worked.

As I was collecting billions of paint chips I saw this inspiration room image from the Dulux paint company and thought — yes, that colour blocking treatment, except we need more vibrant colour. Not mauve and rose but PINK & ORANGE!

Next, I needed to get my eyeballs on the very best possible pink & orange rooms, so I consulted the master, David Hicks. His book David Hicks on decoration with fabrics delivered the goods.

Thank you, sir. Here's a light-starved room that is alive with colour and punctuated with absolute black. That will do just fine as a jumping off point even though it's not a bedroom. No matter. Also, there will be stripes and geometric prints. Thanks again, sir.

We are going with Behr Pimento for the bottom portion of the room and Ralph Lauren Paint Jackie Pink for the top portion. BAM!

Jackie Pink. I won’t deny the name played a role in the selection of this colour and I may have been thinking of this Jackie above. How could I not be swayed? There I go bulldozing through another big no-no in the decorator’s handbook. One is never supposed to choose a colour by its name. 

The Bed

The bed is the most important piece, duh. It will be a custom creation. I’m not going to lie. It is inspired by this RH Teen piece. There will be tête-à-tête configuration. There will be tufting. There will be grey velvet. But there will not be those tragic legs. Margaux’s bed will have elegantly tapered legs in a walnut stain and a few other tweaks to improve on this example.

The Bedding 

If you didn’t think it was coincidence enough that I am decorating the room of someone named Margaux, well, in I walk to West Elm shopping for bedding and what do I find? This pink and orange geometric pattern bedding designed by Margo Selby shown above. It was fate. I snapped it up and will be mixing it with the stripes and dots from Sarah Richardson's bedding collection in the Pomegranate colour group.

The rest of the scheme will fall into place with some accents in fabric from Tonic Living . And there will be Lee Jofa Hunt Slonem Bunnies (aka Hutch Print) - not telling how I’m using them yet though. There will also be a bed canopy and magical mini LED lights (!!)

The Furniture

A vintage tulip swivel, a desk with gentle curves, a knitted pouf and a pair of way-too-fun Fatboy beanbag chairs in hottest pink will add to the furniture mix. 

The Lighting

Margaux LOVES this floral capiz pendant. I love that she’s 8 and can love a pendant light. The other little cutie will be on the desk. Both from West Elm.

Still on the must-decide list are yet more lighting, a chest of drawers, artwork and accessories, smaller storage solutions.

Stay tuned…