Did you hear the one about the princess and the playroom?
It may seem like something out of a fairytale, but posh parents who are prepared to do anything for their little girls are splashing out to recreate something out of their wildest dreams.
It doesn’t matter that the children are barely out of diapers, obsessed by all-things Frozen and perhaps even the Royal Wedding, youngsters simply love the opportunity to play princess – every day.
The price tag alone seems more akin to that of a royal palace. One princess-themed playroom created by Dahlia Mahmood of Dahlia Design costs a cool $70,000.
Designed and constructed for Stella who is four and Presley who is two, the room comes with a faux gem-encrusted performance stage, a treehouse loft, and a mini-French cafe, all lined with a $20,000 carpet.
The girls will sleep in bedrooms fit for royalty including a $6,000 custom-made castle bed.
‘It’s going to be a pink explosion, with hearts and bows and crowns and tassels,’ says their mother, Lindsay Dickhout who is the CEO of a tanning product company.
‘They have their whole lives to think practically and be efficient in the real world. This is about being creative,’ said Ms. Dickhout to the Wall Street Journal at her Newport Beach, California home. ‘I’m not at all worried about them becoming princesses.’
With the launch of Disney’s hotly-anticipated Cinderella remake just six weeks away and the company’s Frozen still continuing to generate massive profits thanks to the story of two princess sisters more than a year after its release, there has never been a better time to live like queen – or at least aspire to live like one.
Cinderella is predicted to be one of the year’s most successful movies and like Frozen it’s believed that its merchandise could be equally as successful, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars for Disney in the process.
Such royal tastes have also boosted demand for increasingly elaborate fantasy rooms.
Designer Dahlia Mahmood says that costs is simply not a barrier for many of her clients.
‘If Walt Disney could create something that is so unique and is appreciated by both adults and children from around the world, then I can do it too.
The reaction of most of our children clients when they see their rooms for the first time is absolutely priceless. Watching their excitement brings tears to my eyes because they are so happy and grateful.’
Ms Mahmood specializes in decorating kids’ ultimate bedrooms and deals with specialty furniture companies that area able to create virtually any accouterments to fit their clients tastes with everything from $3,000 Cinderella lamps to $35,000 carriage-shaped beds.
Ms Mahmood says she created a $200,000 princess-fairy themed room for a two-year-old girl in Virginia five years ago which included a castle-shaped bed complete with turrets for her toys.
Even the bathroom walls were coated with Swarovski crystals.
Just two years later, when the girl was 4, Ms Mahmood was invited back for a redesign. After all, the little girl had begun to grow up and her tastes had matured.
‘Every aspect of our design is carefully chosen for its details and timeless qualities. We will not settle for less and we do not expect our clients to be satisfied unless we are,’ she says.
Of course, getting the princess look doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
A number of companies produce princess-like items at a fraction of the price.
Pottery Barn Kids introduced tufted headboards and tulle canopies two years ago and unicorn bedding last year. This year they introduced sparky chandeliers.
Restoration Hardware has created a princess-like 19th-century Rococo bed from France which costs $1,300.
Disney has a room-desinging arm called Rooms To Go which offers a Disney Princess collection with bedroom sets costing between $500 and $2,000.
When it comes to indulging in that princess fantasy, some parents will stop at nothing to ensure their daughters wishes are fulfilled, and with tales as old as time, it doesn’t look as though it is a trend that will disappear any time soon.