Create the bedroom of your childhood dreams for your tiny dancer and inspire her to hours of imaginative play. A ballet-themed bedroom is soft and vintage in a nursery, fairy tale girlie in a young child's room and serious business in a tween or teen dancer's private space where a barre and mirror let her perfect an arabesque and dream of tiaras and tutus.
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Paint the walls a soft pink that can be the merest hint of a blush. The pastel colour is flattering, makes a good backdrop for a ballet theme and lends itself to redecorating if Twinkletoes suddenly develops a craving for soccer. In a nursery, hand stencil and paint a border of pointe shoes or pirouetting ballerinas along the chair rail height on the wall or just below the ceiling. In a big girl's room, copy a famous dance logo on the wall over her bed -- a Capezio image or an American Ballet Theatre logo, for example. Enlarge the image on a copier, trace it on the wall and paint. Use a blank wall for a mural of a scene from Swan Lake or Giselle; paint it yourself from a photo or hire a mural painter. Hang silk or synthetic "stage curtains" on either side of the mural, and set a small section of wood flooring in front of the mural for a stage.
A crib or a bed should be romantic without being too cloying. Consider a bed skirt of multiple layers of pastel tulle: white, pink, lavender, blue and rose. Hunt for ballet-themed crib bumpers, sheets or comforters. Toss a few pillows appliquéd with pointe shoes or tucked and gathered in fancy silk and net on the bed. Hang a dance shoe mobile or gossamer fairy mobile over the crib. If a short dancer needs a step stool to climb into bed, paint it pastel or white, and outline first and fifth positions on the steps.
Balloon shades of pale striped silk will turn a ballet bedroom into a stage set for your sleeping beauty. Use different coloured stripes on each window for a livelier look: yellow and pale pink on one, lavender and cream on another, shimmering icy mint and soft rose on a third. Wide stripes are best with this treatment. Use ornate cleats to secure the cords for the shades. An alternative to elaborate shades is a valance of draped tulle or silk over plain coloured shades and sheers.
Bigger girls will be the envy of the rest of the corps de ballet with their own mirror, dance floor and barre. Dedicate one wall to the "studio" and cover it floor-to-ceiling in mirror panels. Attach a real wood barre to wall studs in the wall; use professional help if you aren't confident you can safely install the mirror panels and barre. Place another, single panel of mirror on the opposite wall so she can check on her overall placement as she warms up. Lay a section of wood practice flooring over the room's carpet in front of the mirror and barre, and you have an instant studio. A less pricey route is hanging several inexpensive door mirrors on one wall and creating a barre from a large dowel, also fastened to the wall studs so it won't pull out. A pier glass and a freestanding portable barre will work if you don't want to install mirrors and hardware in the room.
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