I did three complete designs, including desk, storage, lighting, and seating, but each had a dramatic "moment" as its starting point, in lieu of all those soft and patterned items that are oh-so-bad for allergies.
1. Wallpaper the ceiling
The milky way draws the eye up; pops of red paired with architectural elements put the emphasis on shape over pattern.
2. Paint stripes
The room was already green. Why not add broad white stripes to the walls? Keep additional furnishings streamlines and add whimsy with a marquee arrow and numbered bins.
3. How about a mural?
I've done it before (and before, and before) and I'll do it again: wallpaper one wall in an interesting and personally significant image, like the map of your hometown or a blow-up of your kids drawings. To play nice with the vintage street map, I included a french-flea-market inspired hamper for rolling lego storage, a vintage printers tray to display treasured objects, and a locker-desk and wheel-lamp. Nothing says whimsy like one thing used as another.
Sadly, none of these rooms are to be, as the family is likely moving. But it was fun to get creative without relying on some of the usual tricks of the trade to make a space sing.