When Kele Bourdeau moved into a house in Burlington's New North End two years ago, she wasn't a fan of the wood paneling covering many of its walls. In the living room, she painted the planks a soft grey and was surprised by how much that lightened up the space.
She took a much bolder approach in the bedroom shared by her sons, Phin, 7, and Zac, 5. Inspired by their love of the 1960's "Batman" TV series, Bourdeau painted a Gotham-style cityscape with bright yellow windows. She covered their paneling with purple and black vertical stripes. Light beams bearing Bat-Signals emanate from two of the skyscrapers. Inside the rays of light, Bourdeau used glow-in-the-dark paint to spell out her sons' names — a fun feature when it's time for lights out.
Bourdeau — who took art classes in college — did the mural freehand. Painting, she says, provides her with a "creative release." She let her first grader and preschooler pitch in, even though it meant a less-than-perfect paint job in some spots.
The caped-crusader motif extends to other parts of the room: Batman-themed blankets and sheets adorn the twin beds, and a retro-looking bat light scored at Big Lots hangs on the wall. A bright purple blanket, knitted by the boys' grandmother, adds a personal touch. And there are plenty of Bat-toys scattered around, including a plastic Batcave, and a Joker alarm clock Phin recently got for his seventh birthday.
But not everything adheres to the theme. There's a cat poster on the wall, and Superman stickers are strategically placed inside each Bat-Signal.
Bourdeau's philosophy: "When it's your room, you can do what you want."
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