In all of the years I have designed rooms, designing a tree to cascade over a bed or crib is by far my most requested design. There is something really magical about the illusion of sleeping in the forest of a fairytale or magic garden. Breaking the boundaries of the interior by incorporating the walls and ceiling of a room is very powerful…especially when the child who sleeps under it is 3 feet tall.
This design stands as one of my favorites. On a trip to the San Francisco flower mart to scout the materials, I immediately fell in love with these Manzanita branches. They have a skin that is incredibly dark cranberry color. Their shapes are twisted and strong. They are just beautiful all on their own.
Finding a few thinner softer branches that could be manipulated and curled allowed me more control over the shape and flow of the design. To keep the magical feel, I spray painted them silver and a turquoise blue.
With some strategically placed eyehooks and some wire, I was able to build this fantasy tree branch by branch. Once the shape was made, several bird’s nests and dozens of linen and silk flowers were constructed and hung over the branches on vintage ribbon. (I’ll post a DIY on that in the future.) It was a lot of work. And worth every bit of it.
But the best part is what happens after I leave. In time, ornaments, dried flowers, garlands, dried berries and other personal items are hung in the tree. Bit by bit, month-by-month, year-by-year, it becomes a tool of self-expression and individuality. Filled with trinkets of memories, the magic and fantasy become reality.
It becomes an unplanned, unspoken collaboration between the kid who sleeps under it and me. Maybe that sounds a little sappy and sentimental. But I’m cool with that.