A Room for Children, Interview with Author Susanna Salk

Designing a child’s room is no small task. On one hand, it is simply a space, but you are also setting the stage for who you want your child to be and how you will inspire them. After all, it’s truly your dreams and desires that go into your child’s room design. Once they start developing their own personal tastes, their influence may change the space a little – or even a lot. Design disputes and compromises aren’t uncommon in the teen years! The bottom line is that a child’s space is a place that they will someday consider part of their identity and, as parents, we want to help that unique personality shine through.

For advice and insight on creating the perfect children’s space we turned to design dynamo and author Susanna Salk. A contributing editor to 1STDIBS.COM and iVillage.com and a frequent Today Show guest, we champion her book Room for Children filled with over 200 captivating photographs of children’s spaces. It truly inspires the imagination of parents and decorators alike.

Susanna Salk, Author of Room for Children & Be Your Own Decorator

© Room for Children by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2010.

1. What is the most important advice that you would give an expectant mother when planning a nursery?
This room is not forever! Although it often will feel like it, this room is going to evolve into many different incarnations as your child grows – hard as it is to imagine.

2. Do you think that it’s important for the nursery to be cohesive with the other interiors in a home?
Not necessarily. It should feel like a haven from the rest of the house where parent and child can rest, revive and get to know each other apart from the hustle and bustle right outside the door.

3. What is a common mistake parents make when planning a nursery or child’s room?
They overinvest in pieces and then need to buy new ones as a child grows into his/her next stage. It’s like a rocket ship with each part dropping into space and the child grows/surges forward. Don’t waste your money on an extravagant changing table, when a beautiful grownup bureau with a pad on top will do.

4. What trends are you noticing in children’s rooms right now?

Fabulous Art: It’s the best investment you can give your child from the get-go! Also, thankfully, we’re finally steering clear of themed rooms.

5. Your new book, Be Your Own Decorator, debuts next month. Please tell us what we can look forward to!
You will see my favorite rooms from the world’s top designers and tastemakers categorized and showcased in ways I hope will inspire and empower readers, no matter their style or budget.

“This is not a ‘how to’ design book but a ‘why not?’ book,” says Salk. “Designing our homes is one of the few creative ventures where we can – and should – pluck ideas from the pros without fear. The idea here is that it’s about echoing a spirit rather than a swatch. I wanted to gather a compilation of many different kinds of rooms, from traditional to whimsical, in hopes of showing readers that the best spaces are the ones that resonate with personality, not perfection.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Susanna!

Salk’s engaging new book is hitting the shelves in March of 2012.

© Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2012.