Would You Spend $200,000 on Your Child’s Bedroom?
So last week the Wall Street Journal filled me in on Dahlia Mahmood, an interior designer who created a lovely princess-themed bedroom for a Virginia client’s 2-year-old daughter a while back. The centerpiece of the $200,000 extravaganza is a bed shaped like a castle, complete with a walk-across parapet and turrets in which the toddler can store her dolls. It has its own elfin door, sized too small for adults but perfect for the girl, at least at the time it was built. (I assume there’s some other way for, say, the help to get in and change the linens.) The walls of the bathroom are painted by hand and adorned with Swarovski crystals. The … oh, hell, why don’t I just show you a photo? Here.
Ms. Mahmood’s work was just one exhibit in an article devoted to such grand excesses. Lindsay Dickhout, chief executive of the mobile spray-tanning company Million Dollar Tan, is building her girls, Stella, 4, and Presley, 2, a $70,000 princess playroom. It’s not going to be finished until next month, but it’s going to include a faux-gem-covered stage, a treehouse loft, and — oh, the wondrous whimsicality! — a miniature French café. “It’s going to be a pink explosion,” Dickhout told WJS, “with hearts and bows and crowns and tassels.” For now, Stella must make do with her $6,000 custom-made castle bed.
I bet you think you know what I’m going to do now: rant about the gross, crass excess of a 2-year-old’s bedroom that costs $200,000, right? Wrong. If Ms. Mahmood’s client wants to spend money that way, what is it to me? It’s not like the cash is going to starving children in India if it isn’t put into turrets for dolls. Neither will I condemn another mom featured in “Princess Bedrooms That Rule,” interior designer Evelyn Miller, who shelled out close to $100,000 to build a princess bedroom for her daughter, Siobhan (complete with a $15,000 antique armoire), because what do I care if Ms. Miller builds that boudoir or simply lights hundred-dollar bills on fire in her backyard? (Though I might point out that Siobhan was 17 at the time, and has since moved out.)
Nor will I sneer at the baby blue $15,000-plus royal bedroom Gwen Urs and her husband built for their little prince, Luke. (“I’ll be heartbroken when Luke wants it to be a big-boy Dallas Cowboys room,” Ms. Urs told the Journal, which adds, “despite her love for the team.” The Urses live in Millstone Township, New Jersey, yet they’re Cowboys fans. What is it with Jerseyites and America’s Most Despicable Team?
But really, why wouldn’t loving mothers and fathers want to indulge their children’s every whim, even if said children can’t yet articulate what those whims might be? (Looking for inspiration? Check out this children’s furniture seller, who offers collections based on Disney heroines.) What could possibly be the downside of creating such a precious (and expensive) milieu for your beloved offspring?
Besides, if Daddy has a man cave, and Mommy has three gift-wrapping rooms, why shouldn’t Baby sleep in a $65,000 Cinderella coach bed? (Shipping’s free!) I mean — what could possibly go wrong with teaching your kids, via vivid examples that surround them every day, that love means buying them better stuff than any of their friends have? That they’re the most important human beings in the entire universe! That nothing, nothing is too good for them? Really, what could go wrong?
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