DIY– A “Big Boy” Bedroom–Getting Started

April 16, 2012 09:02 by ehouston

If you are just popping in for the first time around here I will let you in on a little secret, we are expecting baby number two in July and I am just about killing myself to transition my 2.5 year old out of the nursery before that time comes.  I had already planned to update our guest bathroom during the first quarter of this year, along with our kitchen.  Unfortunately the looming due date made for a tough reno and pushed back any work on the kitchen until probably some time next year.  Wah-wuh…  In the meantime I am still working at full throttle, well as full as my big belly and lack of decent energy will allow, to get the “big boy” room together and the nursery girlied up a bit!

This post is really to let you know where we began in the process and of course to drum up any sympathy possible for my tired, aching bones.  ;o)  Being older and pregnant really kicks your butt!  So, without further ado here is the room we started with…


This lavender and cream boudoir boasts a lavish (and I’m sure early ‘90’s Waverly) floral border worked into a faux “tray” style ceiling detail.  Meaning the lavender was also painted along the edge of the ceiling and another portion of the floral border was laid along the edge of that painted line and around the ceiling.  Ooooh, lovely!  Actually, in all fairness I’m sure this was a nice look at the time and I am also sure the original owners spent some cash to have this treatment done to create this effect.  Let’s just say, it’s really not for us…especially the little boy who is about to move into the space.


Not only did this room serve as extra sleeping space for our guests, but the wall opposite the king sized bed housed my sewing and craft nook. 


You can also see the edge of the door to the little walk-in closet, known as the fabric stockyard, in the shot above.  I will fully admit this room was decorated with whatever I had on hand that I felt could make it work for the time being. In decorating the space I felt more than a little trapped by the color scheme and floral details.

Heck, even the curtain rods had gingko leaves on the ends, which are nice, but still not the look I was going for in the space.


The headboard consisted of a large piece of foam, originally purchased to create cushions for another nixed project, covered in a vintage dotted coverlet.  The large patterned barkcloth pillows, bed skirt and curtains were all vintage finds that seem to always get pulled out whenever I had a room that needs something to pull it together on zero budget.  I used extra pillows covered in vintage hand-embroidered pillow cases and another vintage coverlet to finish off an admittedly very out of character feminine look.  The side table, another vintage find, was topped with miscellaneous craft/sewing room décor from previous houses, a clock radio and some family photos.


On the other side I stored my dress form, covered in vintage clothes.


Over time, some of my creations ended up being pinned up on the walls, not only to keep them from being damaged while awaiting a buyer from my Etsy Shop, but also for my enjoyment until they left for a new home.  This room would be perfectly straightened up, as evidenced by these photos, for all of about 20 minutes before a new idea would hit and I would have piles of fabric and supplies chaotically strewn across every inch of useable bed, desk and floor space.  I enjoyed using this room, as did several guests, but it was time for a change that the Little Guy was anxiously awaiting.


Over the course of the last few months I had tested the border to see how “stuck” it really was and just like the guest bathroom wallpaper, it came down easily and within minutes.  The Mister had talked me into moving one of the twin beds that had made up the “king” sized bed for this room, into the playroom for more comfy seating and to attempt to get me off the “I want a sectional” nagging bandwagon.  I will admit it’s better than the numb buns you get from sitting on the futon, but it only delayed the sectional talk for about a day.  Sorry dear! 

In the meantime, I had made up the other twin into a day bed we could enjoy until the real work started in the “big boy” room.  As you can see above, more toys had also been moved from the playroom into this space to help keep the Little Guy occupied on the occasions when I had to do some sewing for business.  Nothing like a mini tool bench to keep a kid happy for, oh, ten minutes.  Am I right?

As of today, the room has been cleared of everything, accept this bed and the floor has been covered in protective plastic.  The band of lavender along the ceiling got a first coat of primer and tomorrow I hope to tackle priming the most dreaded piece of this room to paint – oil-based painted trim!!!!!  UGH in SEVEN LANGUAGES!!!!  I am being lazy and praying that a good oil-based primer will solve my problems, but this could be the breaking point for the timeline of this mini-makeover.  I will keep you all posted on the success of that combo as I go along.

As for the plan of attack, here goes:

-Take the lavender to light gray, with a white ceiling and white trim. 

-Add horizontal stripes in a gray just a couple of shades darker than the other walls to the main bed wall. 

-Add already purchased simple bedding in gray and newly created bed skirt in a tweedy fabric. 

-Spruce up the windows with some thrifted, but new, curtains that I plan to customize with a patterned fabric border. 

-I hope to customize the Little Guy’s IKEA desk and chair set to be placed on one wall.

-Add a magnetic chalk board above the desk area.

-Add an already purchased large, family-sized beanbag chair.

-Clean up and paint an already purchased thrifted shelving unit.

-Find a small dresser for the space- clean up and paint as necessary.

-Add artwork and pillows in fun colors (primarily orange, the Little Guy’s fav!) against all the gray.

-Working on a possible A, B, C’s letter wall.

-Add brightly colored paper lantern lighting over the bed, if possible.

-Find something to use as a nightstand.

-Change out current light fixture in the center of the room for anything that isn’t brass!

-DIY a larger rug for the desk area from some thrifted rugs.

I’m sure I will think of more things to do as I go along.  For some reason that’s how it seems to go with any project I do for my kid.  I just want to do more, add more, get everything I think is cute or that he might like.  It’s a sickness really and I’m sure it doesn’t get any better as you add to the flock.

Stick around and I will add photos as things progress.  Please wish me luck in getting all this done, too, before we end up with one more family member to love!

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY : Beginning Of A Guest Bath Makeover

February 28, 2012 08:11 by ehouston

With my million-things-to-do list increasing daily and a large portion of those items hitting deadline at the end of the first quarter I am slightly freaking out with the coming of March 1st this week. Thank God for that extra day in February with leap year, right? Phewwww… Anyway, I am itching to jump into several room re-dos, but promised myself I would at least remove the wallpaper from our guest bath and kitchen before moving on to any upstairs areas. Mainly because, aside from a much needed paint job in the family and guest rooms, the downstairs is in slightly less need than the extra bedroom upstairs. Although banishing the lavender wall color in there before I transition the Little Guy over into his “Big Boy” room, is a non-negotiable. So, I will be getting to that room ASAP. With my last attempt to remove wallpaper and paint being so disastrous, I decided to ease into the process and start with the smaller of the two rooms; the guest room bath. Now is your chance to really have some fun at my expense…literally! Here is where Waverly met the early 1990’s in the worst way possible and you get to laugh at it, with me hopefully more than at me.

In the immortal words of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, “Let me show you what I’m werkin’ with”.


This first shot is just to give you a basic feel for the shape of the space and to show the wall color of the adjoining guest bedroom. Although the walls in the bedroom desperately need to be touched up the color is a nice pale blue, sort of a hint at a Tiffany’s gift box, and more like the look and feel of the rest of our home. I believe it was the previous owner’s attempt at diverting your attention from the ghastly ‘90’s throwback wallpaper that still lingers in certain nooks and crannies.


For funsies I think we should get right up and personal with that lovely wallpaper. It’s difficult to tell in a photo, especially with the bad lighting in this room, but the walls are striped in deep maroon, hunter green and gold. The stripes have a sort of swirled under pattern that I believe is there to mimic moire’ fabric. MMmmmm…. Then of course, there are the over the top golden swags, embellished with flowers and holding heavily fringed thickly draped fabric. So, bee-uti-fullllll….NOT! What kills me is that this is the only room in our entire house that does not receive any natural light and it has some of the darkest wallpaper imaginable. That = crazy!



Now I will bring you a bit closer to the fabulous vanity. It is actually quite nice as far as the size goes. Deep double sinks with a good amount of space around the edges and in between. For a change it is nice to live in a place where you can set the curling iron down to wash your hands and not risk death by electrical shock. There are three decent sized drawers in between the sinks and below each, a double door cabinet for plenty of storage. While the faucets boast a chrome finish the cabinet hardware is white porcelain, which contrasts nicely with the creamy beige chipping paint and tarnish-blackened hinges.


But I would say nothing tops the cabinets like cultured marble in yet another shade of creamy beige, flecked with deep maroon.


Oh, but wait! There are these super shiny brass sconces perched high above each sink. Not only are they, well, brassy, they give off very little light. Especially for FOUR lights!


At the end of the double vanity we come to the toilet. Pretty standard issue. The only thing goofy with this is that it appears to be in a shade of white, rather than cream or beige like the vanity top. ???


Above the toilet I placed a display shelf shortly after moving in. The little glass shelf was crammed into our powder room, appeared to serve zero purpose and had a bright brass look to the metal support bar. A quick spray of hammered nickel and it worked to camouflage the holes left from the really posh cream colored plastic towel bar that had been hung at an oddly high point behind the toilet.


Oh yeah, here is another look at the circus stripes and around to the shower/bath combo side of the room.


Both the downstairs guest room bath and the upstairs hallway bath have sliding shower doors. At least these fixtures are in chrome, although my preference would be to remove them and just put up a bar and nice curtain. At the bottom of the picture above you can see another lovely color combo of cream colored tile against a white porcelain tub. Again ??????


But no expense was spared in adding accents to this bath/shower combo! No, a lively diamond pattern in pale pink was added to jazz things up. Because, you know, pale pink goes with deep maroon, hunter green and gold. Oh yes, and about six different shades of cream. Right?


Swinging around, the tour ends with a look at the nicely sized linen closet that hides behind the bathroom door, plus you can see yet another shade of creamy beige in the floor tiles. Oh yeah, and if you look closely above you can also see more gold knobs and hinges mixed with a chrome door hook.


Aside from being decorated by a legally blind person in love with the romance of Waverly wall paper and early 1990’s color combinations, our guest bath is the BOMB! I know you are all green with jealousy! (or, maybe that’s the vomit in the back of your throat?)

I cannot wait to get these stripes out of here. My only problem now is deciding how to tackle this project. I could go in so many directions.

Here are some of my Concerns:

-No Natural Light

-Sconces and ceiling fan light give off nothing more than a candle flame

-Extra large, overpowering mirror

-Gold mixed with chrome and white porcelain

-Cream and white fixtures (vanity top, toilet, tub and tile surround)

-No budget for new tile

-No budget for new vanity

Here are some of my Ideas:

-Paint the vanity cabinet a fun bright color (light, beachy green maybe?)


-Gel stain the vanity to make it look like dark wood

-Remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a light color (pale taupe to help neutralize the vanity top?)

-Frame the large mirror (it does help to reflect what little light is in there)

-Replace or paint the sconces and switch out the shades for something more stylish

-Paint all woodwork, and doors bright white

-Remove glass shelf behind toilet and replace with artwork or a more substantial shelf unit

-Add art work or large mirror to the end wall of the room

-Change cabinet hardware, door knobs and hinges

If I had a bigger budget, or one day…..

-Would love to chip out the row of pink tiles in tub surround and replace with something more modern in a neutral color combo

-Would love to switch out the cream colored powder room toilet with the white one in here

-Would love to remove the sliding tub door and replace with an extra high bar and long custom curtain

-Would love to remove the large mirror and replace with smaller, individual oval mirrors

-Would love to get all new lighting

-Would love to remove vanity completely and replace with a higher cabinet (this one hits below my mid-thigh) and a Carrera marble top

Now that I have put it out there, I guess I better get busy, right? What DIY projects have you guys been working on lately? Any suggestions for our space? Remember we are on a super tight budget and will have to make due with mostly paintable changes right now. However, all suggestions are welcomed!

Kitsch Krafts

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