Room Redesign: Sisters Shared Bedroom

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…).
girl bedroom
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.

The Requirements
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.
girl bedroom
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.

The Challenges
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.
girls bedroom makeover
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.
girls bedroom before

The Plan
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.
girls bedroom mood board
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.
corner beds
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.
House Beautiful girl room
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.
trundle 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.
tromso bed
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.
anthro pink drapes
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).

frame wall

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.
orange desk
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.

fabric birds

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.

$30 Gender Neutral Nursery Makeover

Truth be told, we’ve been on vacation this last week and being apart from our home projects has had us itching to get back into our groove. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a blast hanging out at the beach, kayaking the ocean, riding bikes, and cruising the harbor, but there’s something about accomplishing projects around the home that you start to miss, even if you are having a good time.

Luckily, while staying with my mother-in-law, we were reminded that we had actually done some room designing in her home a couple of years back. The room was an interesting challenge and took some creativity, but turned out to be a good solution to the task at hand.

Commissioned by Whitney’s mom, we needed to come up with a room that would be appropriate for either a boy or a girl, fit for either a crib or a bed for when grand kids stay the night, and also be functional as a play room during the day. And the real kicker, do it for $30 or less.
Since she already had the curtains and bedspread (purchased a while ago from Ikea), Whitney decided to use those pieces as the main inspiration and more fully develop the theme. We’d play off the light blue and yellow-green colors in the paint, and then use the red and white accents to dress it up.
Over the years, the room had been every color imaginable with the most recent color a sky blue so the first step in the makeover was to repaint the walls from floor to ceiling in a lighter blue color. Looking through the random paint cans in the garage produced we found the original color to which Whitney simply added some white paint to lighten it up.
Once painted, we measured four and a half feet up the ceiling and marked with a pencil where the chair rail would be placed. This is where we spent the $30. I then went to work measuring each piece while Whitney used painter’s tape to mark off 12” vertical sections from the floor to the chair rail mark. She then painted alternating sections with a yellow-green paint which she mixed up from miscellaneous colors from the garage. We’ll share in a future post how Whitney goes about making her own paint colors, even I still don’t quite know her thought process when it comes to that.
The chair rail went in fairly quickly, once the measuring and cutting was done – luckily I’ve learned that the old adage measure twice and cut once can save all sorts of headaches. Out came the trusty painter’s tape to the top and bottom of the rail, and on when a coat of crisp semi-gloss white paint, which was also found in the paint pile.
You probably can’t see it, but I suppose that’s the point – we then took some white paintable caulk to the newly installed rail, making sure to close up any gaps that can naturally occur and once dry, gave it another coat of paint.
Grandma’s also an avid reader both on her own and with the kiddos that we we thought a special corner dedicated to what she enjoys so much would get a lot of good use. Whitney created the “Grandma Coco’s Reading Corner” by re-purposing a cabinet door with a little white paint, some hand painted lettering and checkered ribbon for the edges.
The rest of the room came together as we raided the house for anything red, white, or whimsical. We went through quite a few pieces of furniture before settling on what you see here. Bringing in and out rugs, pillows, nightstands, lamps to find the best things based on the motif and size of the room. The space is quite small, so it’s hard to get a view of it in its entirety, but you get the idea.
While the room isn’t exactly what we’d do with an unlimited budget, it’s a cheerful inexpensive solution to keeping a gender neutral children’s play place while on a weekend at grandma’s.

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