Kid’s Room Contest grand prize winner: Krista Salmon

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Corinne Marlowe was the creator of a handmade chandelier in the home of Kid’s Room Contest winner and Ashburn resident Krista Salmon. It was Lindsey Hamlin of Alabama who created the piece with 4,400 beads she hand-painted. The article also misspelled Marlowe’s first name. This version has been corrected.

October 12, 2011

After Krista Salmon’s 2-year-old daughter Anna Louise, known as Lou, outgrew her crib, the whole family got a little less sleep.

Lou alternated nights in her Loudoun County home between Salmon and her husband’s room, her sister Elizabeth’s room and her own room, which had the least comfortable sleeping arrangement of them all: Two stacked mattresses.

The mattresses were a placeholder until Salmon, a sales manager at a technology company, could paint her childhood trundle bed and give it to Lou, now 3. The bed, along with new sconces, a handmade chandelier and shelves with crown molding, are part of Lou’s redecorated bedroom, a project that made Salmon the winner of the first Washington Post Kid’s Room Contest. Lou’s room also was the winning choice of readers who voted in our online poll.

During a six-week period in August and September, The Post invited readers to submit photos of their children’s smartly designed bedrooms. After combing through hundreds of photos, contest judges selected the top five rooms and asked readers to vote online for their favorite. With 507 votes, Lou’s room was selected No. 1 and earned Salmon the Readers’ Choice Award: a $50 American Express gift card. Because Salmon’s design was also the judges’ favorite, she won the grand prize of a $100 American Express gift card, too. View Lou’s room and the other submissions at washingtonpost.com/kidsroomcontest.

After Salmon finished the 21 / 2-month project, the toddler stopped her bed-hopping. “Lou slept in her room every night since,” says the 34-year-old Ashburn mom.

The design started with custom curtains. She bought the fabric on eBay for $40 and used its red, blue and green palette to decorate the rest of the space. The walls are painted Bird’s Egg blue by Benjamin Moore. The bed, which took two days to paint, and ceiling stripes, painted by local artist Corinne Marlowe, are in Duron’s Melon Shine.

Salmon added green to the color scheme with a comforter, coverlet, bedding and pillows from HomeGoods for $80.

She said it cost $1,344 to redesign the room. “I always try to get a bargain,” Salmon says.

After falling in love with a chandelier designed by Marjorie Skouras that was a few thousand dollars out of her price range, Salmon found a crafter online who would recreate it for $330. Lindsey Hamlin made the light fixture from a wired fruit basket and hand-painted 4,400 beads to cover it.

“I was working with her for probably two months before we got it home and got it hung,” Salmon said. “But I think it was so worth it. To me, it makes the room.”

Salmon created a mirror for Lou’s room with an oval frame encasing a sketch of butterflies on sale at HomeGoods. Salmon primed and painted the frame, and then replaced the sketch with glass.

Salmon bought two Ikea bookshelves for the bedroom and had crown molding placed along the edges to make it look built-in. The shelves, which have three drawers each, come in handy for keeping stuffed animals, bathing suits and dance clothes organized.

“I finally feel like everything has a place,” she said.

Salmon chronicled her work on Kiki’s List, her design blog, which includes a tutorial for re-creating Lou’s space. The bedroom for her daughter, Elizabeth, as well as the dining room, and a few other areas of the house are on her long to-do list of home-improvement projects. Will she ever branch out and design other people’s spaces? Maybe. Lou’s response to her new room has given Salmon something to think about.

“It’s so rewarding to make someone so happy,” she said.

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