I occasionally get requests for help on decorating ideas – which is great since I have this horrible habit of making rooms over in my head, and this gives me license to vocalize my thoughts. Coming up with decorating ideas via internet is even better since I’ve got both Olioboard and Pinterest at my fingertips to flush out my ideas in mere seconds (okay, takes a bit longer than that…).
My sister approached me with a design dilemma in her daughters’ bedroom. See, they recently had a cute (and very chubby) baby boy who is getting ready to move into a room all his own. That means her two girls will need to start sharing a space they will both love.
She’s made a good start with the traditional pinks that little girls enjoy, but with mix-matched furniture, and the need to accommodate a big sister, this room is ready for a change.
Designing a room rarely comes without some sort of budget or special request from the homeowner, and my sister is no different. She’s put up a budget of $500 to get this space ready, which means we’ll recommend using some of what she’s already purchased to make this room come together.
Sheena wants it to be a fun and bright space, but preferring not to paint the walls or existing trim and doors. And she’s mentioned more than once that she isn’t too keen on using a bunk bed in a girls bedroom so we’ll have to look at other options for a sleeping space, without busting our budget.
Up for change, Sheena wants new window treatments, furniture, bedding, lighting and accessories.
At a total room space of 139” x 139”, we have a square room that’s dominated by a 3 foot x 3 foot low-to-the floor window on the west side with a large closet and entry door taking the majority of the space on the north side.
This limits the area for the beds (which take up the most space) to either the east or the south walls, which might get tricky depending on the beds we end up choosing and the layout for the rest of the room.
Since the girls like their pink, we’ll be keeping some pink accents, but we’ll also be introducing tangerine, brown, and a soft green to round out the scheme. Our mood board will help focus our colors and patterns to give an idea that will help direct her in decorating.
Because the bed will take up most of the space in this room, it’ll be our starting point. I’ve played around with ideas for putting the beds in a corner – similar to Ana White’s 2010 plans straddling the east and south walls with storage underneath, but the space required for the corner at the top of the bed puts it too close to the opening door on the north side.
And with the room small enough, two side by side beds, while cute, would take up too much of the space, and might as well be one bed.
Given that those options won’t work comfortably in the room, I turned to a trundle bed – you know, the kind with a mattress that can be slid under the main bed.
This option takes less space leaving lots of room for the girls to play. To keep on budget, I recommend looking at something similar to Ikea’s Tromso pull-out bed and putting it beneath a higher bed frame. A long skirt on the main bed will easily hide the slide out bed when it’s tucked away.
The fabric selection will be inspired by those seen in the mood board ranging from whimsical birds in pinks and orange to polka dots, stripes, and chevron. Redoing some of the existing furniture in bright oranges and pinks will help bring color into the room without having to paint the walls.
Larger floor-to-ceiling drapes (similar to these from Anthropologie) will also bring in some much needed texture and color to the room, and the ruffles are very girly – so they are sure to be a hit. Of course, to keep within budget these might have to be created at home instead of purchased. Good thing I know Sheena owns a sewing machine…
It’s important for me to keep this room tailored to my nieces’ personalities and interests. Both of them are budding artists so the frame collage you see on the mood board will be used to house their latest works of art, which can be rotated easily by clips we’ll be attaching to the wall inside the empty frame similar to these fantastic ones by Less Than Perfect Life (in our colors of course).
I’d like to replace the existing dresser with a desk (the dresser will be moving to the closet) where they can draw and paint to their hearts content. I love the finish on this desk and I think it would be a fun pop of color to brighten up that corner.
Above the desk I’ve recommended hanging two or three bird cages from the ceiling corner to add height, interest, and more of that whimsy. I’ve seen a few tutorials on Pinterest for creating scrap fabric birds, and I’ve decided they will be finding a home in the floating cages. I think they will be very happy there.
Accessories will ultimately be determined by what can be found at thrift stores, garage sales, or her own house, with a few splurges here and there. It’s going to take some creativity and a bit of elbow grease, but I’m confident she can make this the room of the girl’s dreams…all within budget.