Design Duet


Homes: By Phyllis Van Doren Photography by Martin Mann

How twins gained their own rooms with personality plus



There’s a time to leave the nursery behind and think bigger.


Room to grow, play and study is on the mind of any parent when it comes to their offspring’s bedroom. It was double the decisions when time came to transition twin girls, Molly and Annie, from their shared bedroom and cribs in their Sorrento Hills home into separate bedrooms with their own personality. For one thing, each girl had her very own ideas about color.


The original nursery had a French door to an open air but covered balcony as the only ventilation. The room usually was too hot in the summer. Keeping the space the same and adding bunk beds was not an option. It was time for a major change, and interior designer Carol Spong led the way. 


Another bedroom, next door to the nursery, was a mirror image in terms of space, so two rooms of similar size existed. Spong brought in an architect because structural changes were to be made when the front wall opening onto the balcony was removed and the balcony closed in.


“The girls were so much fun to work with and you can see how different their color preferences are,” says Spong. “It was a great project with extraordinary results.” 



Design program:


Increase ventilation for maximum comfort.


Increase available light.


Give the girls individual space for their toys and books plus more space to play together.


Design with two different personalities in mind.


Design each closet for their clothes now with options to reconfigure as the girls grow.



Solutions for the finished design:


Closed in the balcony and added windows to the front and sides of the balcony.


Extended the common wall between the two bedrooms to the front of the balcony.


Pierced the exterior walls on both sides of the house and added clerestory windows (so no sacrifice of wall space) to solve ventilation problem.


Opened the common wall between the rooms so that when the pocket doors were open there was play space between the rooms.


Built window seats and shelving under the windows in the closed-off former balcony giving ample space for books and toys.


Fitted closets with low-hanging bars so the girls could reach hanging clothes.


Installed built-in drawers and shoe cubbies.


Changed sliding closet doors to swinging doors so girls have full access to space in each closet. 

Categories: Home Design