Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Girls' Room Redo

It was back to reality for us this morning, after the nice, relaxing long break during which I slept in every day until usually 8:30.  Tim was home with us from the day before Christmas Eve all the way until today.  In the mornings the kids would get him up without me being aware, they would eat breakfast, and I would come out as he was getting ready to go running or to the gym.  I had some leisurely mornings, that's for sure.  I wasn't even staying up late at night either.  I was just catching up on sleep, to the tune of nine or ten hours a night!

When I wasn't being a sloth, I felt so rested and energized.  I ran every other day, at whatever time I felt like it, almost always the same four-mile loop around base.  I did some organizing projects that I'd been putting off forever.  I went through the storage closet, the one that has everything from extra kitchen chairs to kids' art supplies, to books to appliance boxes and basically everything.  While our current house is very spacious, what it lacks is storage.  This one closet, along with a much smaller closet in the hallway, are the only storage we have now.  In our house in NC, we filled up a huge attic with stuff.  But when you have less space to put things, it's amazing how many things you can find that can either be sold, donated or tossed in the trash.  So I did that yet again, finding used up art supplies and weeding out the broken crayons, purging and organizing.  We'll see how long it stays nice and neat this time.  I did the same thing with my side of our walk-in closet.  There's something about this spring-like weather, when the windows are all open and the breeze is coming in, that inspires me to get things like this done.  That AND the 10 hours of sleep.:)  

The real highlight was finally getting around to fixing up the girls' bedroom.  I'd been waiting forever and ever, it felt like, to do that.  But life is busy and Tim wanted to wait until we had a "real plan", which we never did come up with.  I threw together a list of things one night and we -- mostly he -- went on a few shopping trips to get everything we needed.  I don't like shopping but he doesn't mind, so he'd go to a store, text me pictures and I'd say yay or nay.  For example, he wanted to get fabric bins for the toys and I said "baskets!"  It was kind of thrown together with a mix of new and old things, and I am so pleased with how it turned out.

At first I tried to fight the pink and purple, but eventually I gave in.  Why fight it?  This room is all-out girly and proud of it.  They only get to be this little once, and they've got the whole rest of their lives to use sophisticated and grown-up color palettes in their decorating.  Maybe they'll be able to help me with grown-up colors since I am inept.

My biggest priority in their room, maybe even more important than making it pretty, was establishing a place for everything that they could easily find and remember.  I wanted to give them easily accessible storage, and take away any excuse they ever had for not picking up after themselves.  This was always necessary, but even more so after all the new toys they got for Christmas.  It's also a good time, with the start of a new year, to really focus our efforts on teaching them good habits like picking up after themselves.  Toward the end of last year I found myself very sloppily enforcing clean-up, and then getting frustrated when they kept leaving messes every time I turned around.  So this room redo also served to hit a reset button, with everything neat and organized, and me being consistent about making sure that they're putting things where they belong.

This room is like a fresh start.  It makes me really happy.  I have no before pictures, but it was just a blank slate.  Nothing on the walls, nothing on the windows.  The bedding from TJ Maxx provided the only color the room had.  The windows have the base housing standard-issue, ugly, I-didn't-even-know-there-was-a-such-thing-so-cheap-and-flimsy vertical blinds, but they long ago lost their functionality because they come out too easily at the hands of kids who don't know how to be gentle.  When closed they look like a smile that's missing teeth, so we've been forced to keep them open, thereby letting our neighbors see our entire life through these windows.  But again, we didn't want to get curtains until we knew what we were going to do with the rest of the room.  We debated curtain color right up until Tim showed these ones to me at Target, but now I think they're perfect.

I am still not completely done in here.  I'd like an actual area rug to go between the beds and the bookshelf, probably something white and fuzzy but we'll see.  I'd also like a different french bulletin board.  The old pink gingham one that we've had since Delaney's nursery in MA is pretty dingy, and I think they could use a bigger size.  I'm also not overly attached to the bedding, although I love the green ruffly pillows.
It was Tim's idea to move the bookshelf he built into the closet, and then I took out this little cube storage thing that used to sit in the closet and hold shoes, and put books in it.  That big bookshelf Tim built with the really deep shelves is better storage for other things besides books, as you will see.  The shelf is also from Delaney's old nursery, and I finally had a place to display one of their Precious Moments birthday trains from Auntie Gayla. 
The bulletin board is at their level so they can update it with pictures and notes as time goes on.  I rescued most of these pictures from my mom's 2014 Shutterfly calendar which I'd already tossed in the recycling bin.
The hands-down best thing about this room, and it was MY idea, is this closet.  
I really wish I'd taken a before picture, but it all happened so fast once I got Tim come around to my vision.  Picture a couple of gigantic heavy sliding doors that were now dangling from the top of the doorframe because they'd come detached from the floor.  Ugh.  Their school clothes were on the left, their dresses were on the right, the shoes were in the middle, and we had to keep sliding the big dangling doors back and forth, back and forth..  But it never would have occurred to me that those doors needed to go were it not for this blog post by Deme, who is actually a former coworker of Tim's -- small world.  

The first couple of times I told Tim, "I read this blog, and I really think those closet doors need to go," he tried to put me off.  "They don't come out," is what he first told me.  Then it was, "Where will we put them?"  Probably a better question.  But eventually he gave in to my nagging perseverance, and he popped them right out and put them in Timmy's closet.  Timmy doesn't need his closet the way the girls do.  When I saw that closet without those big, unwieldy doors I was like, 'Finally I can get to work!'

Tim found the crushed white sheer panels at Big Lots and they are hung on a pressure-mounted shower curtain rod.  We have warned all three kids repeatedly how easily they can tear it all down, and so far we've had no incidents.  The vinyl quote above is from Target.  (It gave me a chuckle when it finally came to me where I'd heard those words before -- in an Aerosmith song! -- not where I would think to go for inspiration for a  little girls' room.  I'm revealing my age with that one, huh?)  

Inside we have the baskets for their American Girl doll stuff, Lego Friends, and other toys.  The chevron bin on the bottom right is for stuffed animals, and I've told them they get to have as many as will fit in there.  Any more and something has to go.  Top shelf on the right, hidden by the curtain is where we keep games, puzzles and Rainbow Loom.  They have to ask for one of us to get them down because until they can prove themselves consistent at picking up when they're done, they have restricted access to those things.  On the top left are my keepsake boxes of their baby stuff, and birthday train boxes.  The basket at the top middle is where I will toss clothes as they outgrow them, another idea from Deme.

Delaney picked out the "Your are My Sunshine" canvas to the right of the closet at Home Goods.

For over their beds, we had tossed around a few ideas.  One was another vinyl tree decal like they had in NC, but I'm glad we didn't do that because these textured walls make it kind of difficult as Tim found out with the little quote over the closet.  Another thing I thought would be nice was some kind of framed initial over the beds, maybe one of their old wooden letters with a frame around it.  Another thing I'd seen in a search of shared girls' bedrooms were starburst/sunburst mirrors over the beds.  I had a Pinterest board full of these ideas.  Tim found this mirror at Lowe's and actually brought home two of them so we could see which way we liked better.  We decided the mirror was big enough that we only needed the one to go in the middle.  I was really happy with that purchase.  That mirror is a good thing to have in our repertoire.
That wine holder in lieu of nightstand is also from Delaney's old nursery.  At some point a real nightstand would be nice, and a little lamp too, but not a priority right now.

Even their new robes and slippers have a designated spot.
We got everything done in just two days, and all that remained were curtain holdbacks, which we really needed.  These curtains are wide and blackout-lined, and they didn't want to want to stay open and let any light in during the day.  But to my surprise, holdbacks were not easy to find at all.  Tim went out and came back two different times saying he couldn't find them, and I was like, 'What do you mean you can't find some holdbacks, they're the only thing this room needs to be done!'  I looked online and found some I liked on Bed, Bath & Beyond's website, but they were $20 apiece.  Then we went to Walmart to see what they had, and theirs were hideous.  We thought that surely we could make something this simple ourselves, even if only as a temporary measure.  I found some stretchy ribbon (used for making headbands?), cut it into 12-inch lengths and tried to reinforce the edges so they wouldn't unravel.  Tim put hooks in the walls, and there you go.  
Time will tell how long they last but they will do for now.  I found another great idea for DIY tie-backs on Pinterest that maybe I'll try when these are done.  Minus the Command Hook of course.  Tim looks down on Command Hooks being used in decor (he can be kind of a snob about certain things).  I can't find the source for this photo, but looking at that textured wall that's the same color as ours and the curtains identical to ours, I wonder if it's another base housing dweller.

And that's it!  I think that, short of painting, we did a great job transforming this room into something functional, pretty and suitable for a pair of five- and seven-year-old sisters. 


  1. Their room came out so cute! Love the curtains on the closet - looks cute and makes the closet way more functional. And their intersecting names on the wall - did you make that?! Love it!

    1. Thank you! For the names, we used the same wooden letters we already had from their old nurseries. Tim got some new scrapbook paper and we decoupaged over what was already on them, to go with the new color scheme. The shared "n" being a different print was Tim's idea. I'm so glad to finally have a use for all those old wooden letters I've been saving!