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Jonah and Esther use their cozy room for reading or playing hide-and-seek, their mother said. Sometimes they leave the doors open at night so that they can talk to each other and share secrets. "Even our older son [Zeb, age 12] likes to go in there and read."
Hannan, the Frantzich's architect, said he always tries to involve children in the design process. "It gives them more ownership." He has designed a room with high windows to reveal a child's favorite constellation and another with a skylight to frame a child's view of an antique weather vane that symbolized a favorite story.
The teen factor
While young children have preferences when it comes to their rooms, preteens and teens have iron-clad mandates.
"Teens are different," said Abigail Jacobs, public relations manager for PB Kids and PB Teen, the recently launched Pottery Barn lines for younger consumers. "They want their rooms to look like them. They don't want their parents' leftover furniture."
That's why PB Teen's Web and catalog business is marketed directly to teens, unlike PB Kids, a retail business marketed to their parents, Jacobs said. "Older kids are more sophisticated -- they know exactly what they want," agreed A Room of My Own's Carlstedt. "Their parents may see something and say, 'This is cute.' " But teens don't want cute. "Girls in particular want something very adult."
His own teen daughter chose an "Austin Powers '60s look" in lime green and purple for her room, he said, although she didn't get to choose her furniture. "She got the hand-me-down set."
Kim Palmer is at firstname.lastname@example.org