The Age of Innocence


No one else on the planet could have done the teenage boy’s bedroom in this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase in quite the same way as Ian Stallings. That’s because the designer tapped his childhood experiences to create a room that’s based on memories, movies and old-school technology. 

Technology was on Stallings’ mind when he was touring the home used in this year’s event. “It sort of looks like the house I grew up in, but on steroids,” he says. “I had been looking at scrapbooks from my youth, and I thought about how Pinterest and Instagram were the modern, digital versions of the scrapbook.”  Those thoughts and memories led to this room, designed for a 13-year-old boy who is into technology old and new and classic movies. 

The concept is evident on the walls, with a pattern that’s based on the bars that used to appear on television screens when they needed adjustment. “Mark Johnson is the decorative painter,” says Stallings. “I gave him 13 colors, and he did his magic. Some of the bars have different textures and thicknesses, and he added glitter in one.” 

Classic tech is also referenced in the framed movie posters. All the films (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Goonies and Star Wars) lived on VHS tapes long before NetFlix was a thing. Stallings’ accented the Star Wars poster with his very own R2D2, which lived in his childhood room.

That’s not the only accessory from his boyhood home in Wabash, Indiana. He also has a Victorian-era armoire and an Architectural Digest magazine he owned when he was 13 years old. (Talk about foreshadowing!) 

Stallings softened the room with elegant, but touchable, textiles. The bed is covered with coverlet composed of striped fabrics sewn together for an almost patchwork effect; a traditional rug in neutral tones covers the floor and a Lucite chair sports cushions done in a denim-like fabric. 

The result is a bit like the scrapbooks of Stallings’ youth, which recorded documents of the past and the hopes and dreams of the present and future. As the designer puts it: “It’s about the transition between analog and digital and between being a child and a teenager.”

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