July 25, 2024

The things we’re interested in early on as children often influence our style and career paths as adults. While we’re always eager to see what an interior designer’s home looks like today, we wanted to go back in time and look deeper. So we nosily asked designers what their childhood bedroom looked like and how it shaped their lives. Many were lucky enough to have a room they could call their own and the freedom to decorate it themselves or, at least, give their input. Others moved around a lot, enabling them to adopt new looks or hone their ability to make a blank space a home—all while experiencing various types of houses and architectural styles in the process.

It’s no surprise several designers are certified wallpaper girls who embraced the Grandmillenial aesthetic long before House Beautiful coined the term in 2019. Some latched onto a floral explosion reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s, while others zeroed in on prints inspired by their favorite animal or colors. Ahead, hear directly from the experts as they gush over the childhood bedrooms that played a special role in their upbringing—some of them were even kind enough to share photos.

tess twiehaus’s childhood bedroom

Nora Henderson

Tess Twiehaus’s childhood bedroom was, as she puts it, “a psychedelic flower bomb.”

My childhood bedroom can be best described as a psychedelic flower bomb. I was, apparently, super into the ’60s/’70s mod look and took it to the most extreme level possible—to no one’s surprise. There were flower-shaped shag rugs pinned on one wall, green-and-purple beads on another, string lamps, and floral curtains that matched the bedding. The biggest impact it had on me was teaching me that interior design should evoke joy. It shaped the playful approach I take, and I’m sure it has a little something to do with my love of color and pattern.”

zebra bedding with pink pillow

​​“My childhood sanctuary was nestled within the humble walls of a quaint ranch-style abode—not really fancy or ‘designer-inspired,’ just expressive and well loved. That was more than I could have asked for! The main furniture included a twin bed, a nightstand, a tall chest, and a dresser that all matched perfectly. They were made of light pine with hand-painted floral designs. Depending on the year, my bed had different girly comforter sets, ranging from a pink-and-purple paisley pattern to a black-and-white zebra print with hot pink accents. The room had original hardwood floors that creaked a lot, especially during my teenage years when I’d try to move around quietly. Above my dresser, there were wooden shelves that my mom picked up from a flea market we often visited. These shelves were filled with a variety of things I collected: awards, sports trophies, dolls, and lots of little knick-knacks. I’ve always loved miniature items. The walls, painted beige, were covered with posters of my favorite R&B singers. Overall, my room was simple but filled with personal touches that reflected my interests and achievements at the time.

a doll with a couple of trophies

Growing up in a modest bedroom with personalized touches, like girly coordinated bedding sets and a collection of cherished items, profoundly influenced my adult life and career in interior design. The importance of personalization, attention to detail, and the beauty in mixing eclectic elements became foundational to my design philosophy. Early experiences of transforming a simple space into one that reflected my identity taught me the transformative power of interior design. Shopping at flea markets fostered creativity and resourcefulness, shaping my approach to incorporate unique found pieces that add character and history. This upbringing not only shaped my bold yet coherent style, mixing diverse elements harmoniously, but also inspired my career choice—driving me to create spaces that enhance well-being and reflect the personal stories of my clients.”

I know having my own room that reflected my personality growing up empowered me.

—Hillary Cohen

honey collins' bedroom

Courtesy of Honey Collins

Honey Collins poses in her childhood bedroom, which had a geometric-stenciled, painted floor.

“My mother was a designer, and form always trumped function. My bedroom had blue wallpaper and balloon shades in a blue-and-green fabric.

The best part of the room was the geometric-stenciled, painted floor. It was perhaps not the most kid-friendly bedroom but was incredibly chic! I was dragged into many design showrooms as a child and never thought I would be a designer like my mother, but I did succumb to the career and I am so glad I did. And I do love a painted floor!”

Gabriela Eisenhart, founder of Silo Studios

“I wallpapered my childhood bedroom with music posters of all my favorite artists and took quite the maximalist approach with overstyling every single corner. I remember frequently waking up at 3 a.m. and ‘redesigning my bedroom.’ Whether it was rearranging the furniture or transforming a dresser to exude ’70s chic, I was energized by reinventing the space. I experimented with various styles to discover what suited me best. Over time, I’ve streamlined and simplified my design approach, opting for actual wallpaper over wall-to-wall posters.”

Hillary Cohen, principal designer and founder of HCO Interiors


“My bedroom growing up is the reason I became a designer. For me, it was the first time I was given some freedom to make my own decisions. I distinctly remember loving the independence. I spent years rearranging my furniture based on late-night whims, purchasing new bedding and accessories, and trying to create specific feelings in the room. No matter what challenges I had growing up, the room was an escape where I could be anything I could create. I used to cover the walls with magazine clippings of images that inspired me. It was my own personal Pinterest before that was a thing!

When I got a little older, I was allowed to select the Formica [laminate] color (this was the early ’90s) of my bed, and it was a thrilling experience for me. I’m sure I drove my parents crazy because I spent hours at the store going through every sample. I truly believe that good design can change your everyday experience. I know having my own room that reflected my personality growing up empowered me. This is what drives my work today: getting the chance to create a beautiful space for people that can add some inspiration and empowerment to their everyday lives.”

a bed with a lamp on it

Courtesy of Sarah Tract

Sarah Tract’s childhood bedroom featured green-and-white toile wallpaper and lavender accents.

“My childhood bedroom had green-and-white toile wallpaper with lavender accents. As a child, my favorite color pairing was lavender and green. From a very early age, I knew I wanted to do something in interior design. I would basically rearrange the furniture in my bedroom every month and have my friends come over to help me move the bed from one wall to another. I was obsessed with scheming and space planning.”

I was apparently into ‘grandma chic’ before it became a thing.
—Aimee Meisgeier


“I knew at an early age that design was my jam. I always moved furniture around and tried as best as I could to make my room look and feel like ‘me.’ Money was not something that was easily expendable in our family growing up, so I made things work with what we already had. It wasn’t until I was off to undergrad and moving into the dorms that I took my design skills to the next level, still with a lack of funds. I was really into sunflowers. So I hand-painted a yard sale side table with a giant sunflower. I had my mom stitch a sunflower fabric remnant to my comforter, and I completed the look with accent colors I pulled from my painting—including a dark green rug that reminded me of a grassy meadow field. [It was] not my finest work but definitely my first attempt at making my space feel like a space I wanted to be in.

The experience of creating a space that I enjoyed living in taught me how important it is to love how you live in your space. A small reminder: It’s not really considered a ‘frivolous’ purchase to spend some money on what brings you joy or tranquility every day. It could be art, a throw pillow, a beautiful armchair, or even a vase with flowers. Just take the time and allocate some means and some effort into creating a happy habitat for yourself.”

aimee meisgeier in her childhood bedroom

Courtesy of Aimee Meisgeier

Aimee Meisgeier in her childhood bedroom on the day it was finished and ready for her to move in.

“I have been interested in interior design ever since I was little. I remember when my parents were redoing a childhood bedroom of mine. They included me in the process and valued my opinions. My dream bedroom at age eight consisted of yellow wallpaper with white flowers on it, ruffled white valances on the windows, a white curved headboard bed with yellow floral bedding, and a ruffled bed skirt. I was apparently into ‘grandma chic’ before it became a thing. I still love incorporating a good pattern play in my current design projects. Even at that early age, I had a clear vision of a design direction. I remember being so proud of the final results. That sense of pride continues today with the completion of my projects and seeing my initial design concepts come to fruition.”

a white piece of paper

“My childhood bedroom had lavender carpet. The walls were teal with white and lavender sponge paint. I wanted that technique of painting so badly! I also had white furniture. I loved designing my room, and I was always rearranging it as a child. I remember moving my bed around and reconfiguring the layout. When I got to college, I loved decorating my dorm room and apartment. I knew I wanted to continue my passion in my career!”

Lauren Meichtry, founder and principal designer of Elsie Home

“I can remember my childhood bedroom so vividly! I was born in the ’80s, so there was most definitely wallpaper, including a wallpaper border trim. Can we bring back the border trim? I was a big fan of bunnies, so naturally I had rabbit wallpaper with a rabbit border. I had a brass trundle bed with curved detail, and my mom managed to find bedding that matched the wallpaper as well. We went all in on the design!

bunny wallpaper

My mom ingrained in me from an earlier age that any space can feel like home with a few important decorative touches. I have always utilized wallpaper, paint, drapery, and rugs as the starting point for creating coziness in any space—whether that be my college dorm room, my first apartment, or even my first home. We moved a lot when I was young, and that desire to create a ‘home’ was really important, and my skill set in doing so became second nature. So it’s no surprise that I have a career in interior design, and now have the opportunity to create ‘home’ for my clients.”

a person sitting in a chairjenn feldman sitting at the desk in her bedroom

Courtesy of Jenn Feldman

Jenn Feldman sitting at the desk in her bedroom, a pink floral teenage dream.

“As luck would have it, I was just at home and found a box of high school photos. Finding a photo of my childhood bedroom was an instant snap back to nostalgia of all that is good and simple: a phone that plugged into the wall! My answering machine! Wall-to-wall carpet! Balloon shades! And, clearly, the cat is out of the bag: I had not discovered the art of hair color yet, but we all have to start somewhere. It was a pink teenage dream. My canopy bed was my mom’s childhood bed and [was] handed down to me. We had a fabric that matched the wallpaper and pink wall-to-wall carpet. Not pictured is the record player that had Cyndi Lauper on repeat. Oh, how I loved that room—my Midwest very best!

the canopy bed in feldman’s room

Jenn Feldman Design

The canopy bed in Feldman’s room was once her mother’s childhood bed.

I remember my mom and I going to a woman’s home together and picking out the fabrics for my canopy, drapery, and wallpaper and how special it felt to do it and how much it felt like ‘me.’ Now almost 35 years later, my parents are still in my childhood home, and it’s still ‘my’ bedroom! Although the pink carpet and floral paper are long gone, it still holds the same canopy that I sleep in when we come home for visits (now with my wedding dress boxed up under the bed!) and has all the same feelings of love and safety. There is no doubt that these details, big and small, shaped my deep love for space and place and all that I do professionally today.”

david lee roth


“We moved often while I was growing up, and we lived in a variety of homes across the country. Experiencing so many different types of homes in different places definitely set me up to tackle a wide variety of projects in my career as an interior designer. In each different room, I often adopted a new look that corresponded with the style of the times. At one point in the 1980s, Bill Blass designed bedding for Springmaid that is popular on resale sites, like eBay, to this day. My parents bought a set for their king-size bed that I quickly snagged for my own bedroom, even though I had a double bed. I paired the green-and-white bedding with foil stars that I made myself and hung from my bedroom ceiling and completed the look with a poster of David Lee Roth climbing out of a pool.”

“I had a beautiful blue-and-green floral and striped wallpaper covering the entire room. I also had an antique stained wood headboard and footboard. Both of these selections have definitely influenced my design aesthetic today. My go-to colors are blue and green because of their calming and soothing nature. I often choose blues and greens for my client’s bedrooms because of this and because this palate reminds me of my childhood. My new design atelier and antique showroom highlights this same color palette, with green being my branding color and the most gorgeous green-and-blue Cowtan & Tout wallpaper covering the walls of my conference room. I have also used a green Cowtan & Tout grasscloth behind the cash wrap.

a chair with a cushion

My grandmother loved to go antique shopping and found my childhood bed as well as several other side tables in my bedroom. Her love and passion for the ‘hunt’ certainly rubbed off on me as I have been an antique dealer for over 30 years now. What an amazing gift she gave me as it is not only my hobby but also at the core of my designs!”

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