Room to Grow | Page 3 of 3

Room to Grow

Three teenagers get the bedroom makeovers of their dreams

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Art and Soul

The stuffed animals and the Disney Channel posters on the wall were looking childish, and the lack of closet space resulted in clothes constantly covering the floor. “My bedroom definitely didn’t fit my teen personality,” says Caitlin Young, a 15-year-old sophomore at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac. It was time for a change.

So last year, Caitlin’s mother, Karen, hired Laura Warshauer of The Extraordinary Paintbrush in Darnestown to redo the room. Caitlin had a color scheme in mind: “orange,” she says. “Very orange with a tribal theme—bamboo and shades of brown.”

Warshauer says Caitlin is typical of teen clients. “They all think they want what they want at the moment, but in reality, they change their minds very quickly,” she says. “It’s hard for them to think long-term. They don’t realize they’re going to be locked into the design.”

Caitlin surfed the Internet for pictures of rooms she liked and sent them to Warshauer. “Once her emails started coming,” Warshauer says, “I realized we were heading in a different direction than we originally thought.”

Caitlin, it turns out, loves geometrics and contemporary rooms.

Warshauer suggested a sophisticated but practical palette of black, white and silver accented by lime green—a look that can be changed simply by switching the accent color. Caitlin, who attends Churchill’s Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, wasn’t sure initially about the silver squares Warshauer wanted to paint on one accent wall. But once the wall was completed, she loved it.

“I actually base a lot of my artwork on my room now,” Caitlin says. “It’s an inspiration, and also makes me feel more grown-up. I feel like I can excel in this room.”

The only item Caitlin insisted on keeping for her new room was the fish that she and her artist grandmother made out of egg cartons. The fish actually inspired the lime green accents in the room and now hangs in its own display cubby. “It’s never leaving here,” Caitlin says.  

A closet in the bedroom next door was reconfigured, essentially doubling the size of Caitlin’s closet, which helps her keep the room neat.

“I really love this room,” she says. “I don’t want to mess it up.”

Gabriele McCormick is a frequent contributor to Bethesda Magazine. To comment on this story, email

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