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Retro Rooms

Retro Rooms

The Paperdoll and Cowboy Rooms, designed by Carmen Raynor of Retro Rooms

Words by Carmen Raynor

The Paperdoll Room

This bedroom was created for a 3-year-old girl. I wanted to create a room for her, which was not overly pink and sugary, and something that could grow with her. Aiming the design above her age means that she feels like “a big girl” and she loves showing off her room to visitors! It also means it will last her for longer and hopefully, by updating accent pieces, it will last her for many years. I grew up playing with paper dolls and have always loved them. When I saw the Paper doll Fabric I fell in love with it and found it for sale on Ebay in the US (it had been discontinued.) I had it made into a duvet cover and matching cushion covers. I then collected pieces to match- cushions, throws & curtains – once I started looking I stumbled across things in just the right shade of blue in all sorts of places. I had the feature wall colour custom mixed to match the blue in the girl’s dress in the fabric. I also found that I had two other minor themes running in the room- pom poms and polka dots. The pom poms are featured on the cushions and hanging in front of the curtains. The polka dots are in the border of the duvet cover and in various cushions. I found old paper dolls in mint condition on ebay and turned them into wall art. I also collected small pictures which were paper doll related and have displayed them on the fireplace mantle, which has been painted silver. An art deco mirror hangs above the fireplace and a string of fairy light roses hang at ceiling level. The floor is covered with sheepskin rugs and a red chandelier hangs from the ceiling.


The main wall colour is Dulux Off White. The blue feature wall is painted in a custom mixed colour from Porters Paints Duchess Satin range and the fireplace is painted in Duchess Satin Oyster. The wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside table and sheepskin rugs are from Ikea and the pictures are vintage and sourced on ebay. The chandelier was purchased from Light Up Willoughby. The chair was found in a second hand store. The fabric used for the duvet cover is by Alexander Henry from the Sage Glen Paper doll Range.


The Cowboy Room

This room belongs to a 5-year-old boy. I was inspired by the cowboy imagery that was so popular when I was growing up in the 70’s- it seemed that every boy dreamed of having a cowboy bedroom. I started with the Cath Kidston Cowboy print duvet cover, and repeated the turquoise and red in the bookshelves and old school lockers, both of which provide a large amount of storage for clothes and toys. The bed was sourced on ebay and powder
coated for a durable finish. The cowboy theme is continued throughout the room with custom artwork, old vintage advertising posters and a cute picture made from 50’s cowboys in a box frame.


The main wall colour is Dulux Plaster and the bookshelves and lockers are painted in Dulux Hot Lips (red) and Jaded (turquoise). The duvet cover is from Cath Kidston. The red floor rug is from Freedom Furniture. The cowboy poster above the bed is and old advertising from the 50’s as is the poster above the fireplace. The painting above the lockers is by artist Bob Daly. The bedside table is from Ikea and the bedside lamp from Little Lighthouse. The toy trunks, lockers and bookcases were all second hand store finds.

Carmen & kids.JPGA little bit about Carmen Raynor

I started my working life in the advertising industry, producing tv commercials for 20 years. When my children were born it became apparent that it was not going to be easy balancing the demands of production with the demands of young children.

Beautiful living spaces have always been a passion of mine, so I did an interior design course and, upon obtaining my diploma of Interior Design last year, I set up Retro Rooms. My years in production mean that I am used to working with tight budgets and even tighter deadlines, and I have an “everything is possible” attitude. I also have two young children, so I completely understand the demands they put on their space.
The idea for Retro Rooms was born when my children were babies and I realised that most of what was available for their bedrooms was generic and uninspiring. I wanted to create rooms for them that reflected their personalities, as well as complimenting the style and décor of my house. I have always loved vintage items, especially from the 50’s and 60’s. I like to ncorporate elements from these eras in my designs, whenever possible.
We are based in Sydney and we offer an online service that, by working from your pictures and measurements, allows us to provide you with concepts, designs, colour swatches, floor plans and shopping lists. We also offer full interior design, concept development and project supervision.


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