A few weeks after I posted Madeleine's room redesign a couple of years ago, one of my favorite websites -- Apartment Therapy -- did a little write-up about the before and after. I recently read the comments on that article, and y'all, people are still talking about whether my 14-year-old daughter is mad that I surprise-redid her room. That is funny to me, since she a) collapsed into tears at the sight of her new room in the manner of a reality-show contestant, and b) is about to be a junior in high school. (!!!)

I will tell you how Madeleine feels now: she is at this moment only interested in whether we are going to put a new and exciting stereo in the car we are giving her for her 16th birthday. (She is getting my 11-year-old Honda along with her license, lest y'all think we are dumb enough to buy a newly-licensed driver a car.)

(That also means I am getting a new car after 11 years. Who is excited? ME.)

Anyway. I thought I would give you a glimpse into how she's used the room.

This is kind of it, along with sleeping in the bed, which looks basically the same. The room is a mess, of course, given the teenagerliness of it, but the room remains fairly tidy under the circumstances. I moved an old love seat into the room shortly after we re-did it. Mad didn't have anywhere to lounge, and this piece of furniture, with its original rust velvet fabric -- which my mother bought around 1975 from Ethan Allen -- fit the bill. She received the easel as a gift and uses it daily. I bought cheap 5' x 7' canvas drop-cloths from Fred's to protect the floor. Her various paintings and posters and whatever adorn the walls, and her various jeans and soccer clothes and water bottles and Cheetos and schoolbooks adorn the floor.

She never does homework at that desk, although she does do her makeup there every morning. After several mishaps, I made a rule that homework is not to be done in one's room, ever, since it is a perfect place for one to privately lock oneself up and update one's Tumblr.

I will say this for the room -- none of the rugs I bought ever show anything but pristine tidiness. Let's hear it for jute! And Walmart rugs! And while there is all manner of teenagerly junk everywhere, it never looks dirty. Of course, we do have a housekeeper who comes every week to change the sheets and vacuum, so talk to me after a few weeks without that luxury.

And if you walk in the room after school, you'll see this guy on one of those rugs, begging, begging for attention. Until she kicks him out and locks the door.

That was really just an excuse to show you a picture of my dog.

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AuthorAB Chao
Categorieschao camp