In The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, four young children are evacuated to the English countryside during World War II. The Pevensie family find themselves, somewhat unexpectedly, living in the sprawling mansion of an eccentric professor. While exploring the house one day, the youngest child, Lucy, accidentally discovers that the large wardrobe in one of the rooms is actually a door to another world called Narnia. Many grand adventures ensue, and the Narnia Chronicles have become a beloved story for generations of readers.
Back in 2017, I created a Narnia-themed bedroom at The Storyteller's Cottage, and had a fantastic time recreating a cozy, vintage space that looked as though it had been lived in by generations of children. This room became a multi-purpose space, functioning as an escape room game called The Legend of the Fairy Queen, a place for magical-themed summer camp activities, and even a space for Fairytales in the Forest, a story time/tea party club. Let me show you how I did it!
BEFORE: This bedroom was just a simple square, with windows on two sides.
BEFORE: Looking in the other direction, the opposite wall featured a door to the hallway at the left, a strange cutout in the wall, and a door to a walk-in closet on the right.
I found an antique armoire on Craigslist that fit perfectly over the door to the closet. We took the back off the armoire, attached it to the doorframe, and this became our portal to Narnia. Check my previous posts for all the details about how we modified that armoire, and how I transformed the closet behind it into a Fairy Forest!
As you can see, we added a tiny door to the strange cubby to turn it into a cabinet, along with a fantastic dragon's head handle to signify that something magical happens in this space.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is set in the 1940s, so I knew the Pevensie's bedroom needed to have a vintage feel to it. I really wanted this space to make visitors feel like they had just walked into their grandparent's old farmhouse, and were settling in for a summer of old-fashioned fun in the room where their parents and aunts and uncles had all stayed when they were children.
I covered the walls with a charming pale yellow wallpaper featuring an ivy print, and found these velvety sage green drapes to soften up the hard lines in the room. Both the drapes and the pair of corner bookshelves came from Craigslist.
The main feature in this bedroom is the vintage set of twin beds, also found on Craigslist for just $40 for the pair!
I experimented with the placement of these beds, so you'll see them in a few different orientations in the following photos.
I also tried a few different bedspreads, and eventually settled on this pair of madras plaid comforters made to look like a quilt, after I realized that the real handmade quilts I started with wouldn't hold up under heavy usage.
I found these two comforters on Craigslist for just $20 for the pair.
The old nightstand between the beds was just $10, and I installed a special escape room prop that looked like a chess board, but when the pieces were placed in the right configuration, it would unlock a magnet that allowed the drawer to open.
In the corner, I set up a vintage child's desk ($40) that reminded me of my mother's childhood desk, which lived in our house when I was growing up.
I collected a variety of old children's to scatter around the room, including wooden alphabet blocks, tin soldiers, a Slinky, and glass jars full of marbles.
Decorating the room to look like many children had lived their over the years was such fun!
I added a pink princess phone, some vintage pennants from various travel locations, an old calendar featuring National Parks artwork, a fabric bulletin board with some of my mother's track and field ribbons from the 1950's, plus some old books and souvenirs.
The miniature license plates came from a local junk shop, and apparently had been cereal box prizes back in the 1950's. I used them as part of a puzzle to solve in the escape room!
More banners covered the walls, and I added an old globe, some old trophies, a cool tin robot in its box, and lots of old books.
Across the room I set up an old coffee table that matched the nightstand, and on it placed a beautiful dollhouse that my father-in-law had built. Not only did this dollhouse really sell the idea that this is a children's room, but I also used it to hide clues for the escape room game.
I set luggage racks at the foot of each bed, and found vintage suitcases for each one. Now the room really feels like children have come to visit their grandparents, and I locked clues inside the suitcases as well. A green braided rug completes the effect.
If you'd like to read more about the details of the game, The Legend of the Fairy Queen, you can find them on this post.
What's behind the wardrobe door?
CLICK HERE to find out!