We can't take our eyes off photos the Wall Street Journal published in its recent exploration of the pricey, Disney-inspired "princess bedroom" boom ... nor can we scrape our jaws off the floor at the dollar amounts quoted therein. $35,000 for a wee carriage-shaped bed, you say?
The article, which contains not a speck of snark, talks with designers and parents to suss out exactly how lavish these princess bedrooms (and playrooms ... one family has a 1,500 square foot princess playroom filled with $70,00o worth of gem-encrusted whatnots) have gotten. The article points to Frozen and Prince William's wedding as two forces behind this design trend, which has spread from high-end "specialty furniture companies [dealing] in lavish royal-boudoir accouterments," to mass-market companies like Pottery Barn.
Incredibly, however, the piece points out that people looking to get as fancy as humanly possible are also very interested in spending as much money as humanly possible:
PoshTots, a Chesapeake, Va.-based online retailer of children's furniture, sells expensive items including $35,000 princess carriage beds. A few years ago, the company introduced a $3,900 princess bed in the hope it would find more customers than the company's nearly $10,000 option. But sales of the cheaper product were a dud. "If our customer wants to go princess, they'll go for the $10,000 bed," said Andrea Edmunds, PoshTots' director of marketing.
Another anecdote in the article — which makes a passing reference to "Should we really be teaching our tots to expect royal treatment?" — tells of a family whose investment in their nursery decor went above and beyond, on many levels.
Gwen Urs turned to a nursery specialist in 2012 when she was about to give birth to her second child. Eager to maintain the surprise of the baby's gender, she asked Sherri Blum Schuchart, owner of Jack and Jill Interiors in Gardners, Pa., to design two nurseries: one for a baby princess and one for a little prince. To keep the secret safe, Ms. Urs and her husband sent the baby's gender-identifying ultrasound straight to the designer without ever looking at it themselves.
While the family was out of their Millstone Township, N.J., home, Ms. Blum Schuchart went in and installed the "royal prince nursery." The room, which Ms. Urs estimated cost between $15,000 and $18,000, included a crib with blue satin ribbons, a Rococo-style dresser painted in silvery-gold and elaborate tufted blue curtains. The family saw the room for the first time when they came home from the hospital with their new baby, Luke.
"The boy's room is very regal. I'll be heartbroken when Luke wants it to be a big-boy Dallas Cowboys room," despite her love for the team, Ms. Urs said.
Tucked in the article is one sentence that really says it all:
An inevitable change in a child's tastes can be a concern for many parents and designers.
If there was ever a moment in the zeitgeist to start that high-end design business for parents of angry goth kids who've started to turn on the family that's spoiled them rotten their entire lives ... try eight or 10 years from now. Timing'll be just about perfect.