Back in April I wrote about my latest undertaking, the “Big Boy” bedroom that we were creating to help my son give up the nursery to his new little sister. We were also giving up our spare bedroom, which had come in handy for extra guests and served as my crafting and sewing space. More on where I work later, right now I want to share where we are with the space now that the Little Guy has blissfully taken to his new room. First let’s recap where we started with some lovely photos….or, we can just use the usual CSI style crummy ones that I manage to take.
(This was the space to the left as you walked through the door.)
(And, this was the right side of the room, taken from along the side of the bed.)
(A close-up of a couple design challenges in the space.)
The first thing we had to overcome in this room was the heavy floral border and matching “tray” ceiling effect the previous owners had placed up above with more wallpaper and lavender paint. I actually had a pretty easy time of removing the borders and the lavender went down with one coat of primer. Yeah! The next challenge was that all the trim and both doors had been painted with oil-based cream paint making the finish rock hard and super shiny. Just to be sure primer and paint would stick, I wiped the surfaces down with a deglosser and then used a coat of oil-based primer to help seal off the shellac-like paint job. That seems to have done the trick because after applying two coats of the glossy latex, bright white top coat, the finish has remained nice and smooth. I had a fear that after all my hard work the layers would start to peel or run- so far, so good!
Going into this project I knew only a couple of things: I wanted the base of the room to be gray so I would not have to change it again in a couple of years and I hoped to come up with a fun wall design that could stand the test of time as well. Also the Little Guy loves the color orange and insisted on using it whenever asked about his decorating ideas. Mom-inclusion Fail! I really should have known better than to ask him because this meant finding the fine line between nice room with cute accents and bright construction barrels along the side of a gravel strewn highway.
Once all the trim was painted out I used leftover wall color from our dining room to knock out what had been lavender overload. As I wrote above I wanted the walls to be gray, but came across a nearly full gallon of bluish-gray paint in the garage and figured I would just use it instead. The whole time I was painting the color on the walls I kept thinking, “where is this paint from?”. It wasn’t until I completely finished that I realized it was the color I mixed on my own and had matched to Valspar in Eggshell at Lowe’s for above the chair rail. It was also at this point that the paint was drying enough for me to see that it was definitely more blue than I had intended for this room. No worries, free paint is free paint and obviously we like the color. Due to the dark shade I did end up having to buy another gallon in order to add a second coat and get nice coverage all around. I then purchased a can of bright white Valspar paint in Eggshell finish and mixed it with the darker shade already used on the plain walls to create a lighter gray for the horizontal stripes. My original plan called for adding horizontal stripes to the main wall where we thought the bed should go.
Later, I decided to add the same horizontal stripes to the opposite wall too. I figured that way if we changed up the furniture arrangement it would not look as weird if the bed landed on another wall. In the end we have two plain and two striped walls and we are all pretty happy with the look.
The second item to tackle on the bedroom “To-do” list was to figure out how to house his clothes, toys and books, seating for family reading and possibly a nightstand. A headboard and/or full bed were not necessary because we planned to push it against the wall and possibly into the corner. Plus, the twin we were using already had a basic frame and I was able to create a simple bed skirt from a new, but thrifted curtain panel to help hide the wheels and under bed storage. After a few short weeks of Sal. Army stalking I came across this shelving unit that appeared to be just the right width and height for the space between the windows.
Many weeks later, just as I was about to give up on finding a deal, I made one last trip to the Sal. Army and scored this dresser and nightstand set to complete the storage item checklist.
Both are pretty sturdy and I expect that they will serve their purpose well against the destructive forces of an almost 3 year-old little boy.
With the storage issues under control we were then able to focus our energy on the decorating and bringing the seating into the space. After many an online search had failed to reveal a decently priced upholstered and overstuffed rocker, we decided a better bet for our growing family would be an extra large bean bag chair to plop next to the bookcase. I did manage to find a 4-footer online from Comfort Research at a cost of $118.00, making this the most expensive item in the whole room. Honestly, we probably would have paid double for this kind of comfort, though. It’s super fun to drop into when cuddling up at the end of the day for story time.
Although for a while I had a problem with my big belly preventing me from easily getting back out of the thing without help when the story had ended. ;o)
The last neutral decorative aspect of the room was the curtains. Again, I wanted to stick with gray to make things easy in the future, however I did not want them to be totally boring. At the same time I found the brand new curtain panel used for the bed skirt at the Goodwill, I also found a second pair of curtains in a light gray heavy cotton. Since I prefer stationary panels with blinds these were perfect for cutting in half, and trimming out to make a set for each of the single windows.
I chose a border fabric that reminded me of a blown out tweed pattern, with a retro sort of vibe. Plus, in a way it matched up with the tweed-like fabric of the other curtain panel used for the bed skirt. Matchy without being too matchy-matchy, know what I mean?
Since we wanted this room to grow with my son all traces of the color he loves, orange, are found in easy to change accents. I painted a thrifted frame orange to hold a cute alligator print by Funnel Cloud Studio that we picked out at the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing craft show a couple of months ago.
Since then we discovered several other inexpensive accents in orange by Room Essentials from Target; storage bins, picture frames and a clock.
To add some fun shapes, color and extra lighting we hung a bunch of paper lanterns from Hobby Lobby and Party City and plan to cover the existing overhead light with a clear plastic IKEA knockoff from Target. More on that soon (I hope!).
I even got crafty and made him an alphabet print with the “I”, “O” and “U” in orange to spell out “I heart u”.
Of course we kept his vintage globes and topography map (over the head of the bed) and added a light up globe for his nightstand. These all worked nicely since they have lots of muted oranges to add to the overall design scheme.
At this time, the room is as complete as I can make it without starting another big project. I do have some half finished artwork for the wall above his bed and some pillows for the bean bag chair sitting in sewing limbo. The only items we planned to put in here, but could not find space for are his tiny table and chairs. They are still in a state of disarray and sitting in the dormer window of the playroom. We thought they might work well in the walk-in closet, but I think he prefers to use his desk while I am working away at mine. So, for now this set will stay put and get a face lift as soon as possible.
Whew! This has been a long one and I don’t even feel like I covered all aspects of what went on in this space. In fear of killing everyone with boredom I will move on and do a quick “Before and After” post later of several elements. Please tell me what rooms you guys have been working on over the last couple of months. I’m always looking for inspiration.
PS- Here is a cost breakdown:
Dresser – Thrifted from Sal. Army $59.99
Nightstand- Thrifted from Sal. Army $14.99
Beanbag Chair- From Comfort Research $118.00
Bookshelf- Thrifted from Sal. Army $59.99
Bed- Already owned Free
Paint (Walls and Furniture)–
Some already owned/Some Purchased $60.00
Bedding- Sheets Walmart & Target $30.00/two twin sets
Bedding- Down comforter-Target $29.99
Curtains- Thrifted/Joann’s Cotton for Trim $29.97 with coupons
Bedskirt- Thrifted/Already owned fabric $5.99
Frames- 4” X 6” – RE Target $5.99 for 4
Clock- RE Target $6.99
Shelf Storage Bins – RE Target $15.98 – ($7.99/each)
Orange Paper Lanterns- Hobby Lobby $7.99/for 3
White Paper Lanterns- Party City $9.99/for 5
Initial Frames – Hobby Lobby $23.99/for 3 with coupon
White Frame w/Matt- Target $16.99
Light Kit for Paper Lantern – Target $19.99