Monday, February 3, 2014

A Big Girl Room

I've been doing some thinking, and reading over the holiday months and the beginning of the new year and I am solidified in my decision to push past the fact that our home is not done enough and be hospitable anyways - and often.

In this decision to have people over regularly despite the state of my decor - which we are already working diligently towards - I have decided to back track on my original thought process on which rooms to try and finish first.

My initial thought was to take care of the spaces that I considered to be public. The living room, dining room (basically the first floor). But in some of the reading I did, something struck me about making sure I didn't leave my family behind while I was pushing for other people. While it is important to me that I take care of those that visit my home I must make it my top priority to take care of those that actually LIVE in my home. Paul and Addison are in that house day in and day out. They sleep there, they eat there, they play there. I need to make the home they live in, the food they eat and the things that entertain them important before I can make other people feel important eating my food and sitting in our living room. As long as the public spaces are comfortable, and there is food to be served, visitors can still visit whether the furniture is hodge podge or not.

So nixing the completion of the first floor rooms, other than the entry which I've practically finished up, I've decided to focus my attention on our bedrooms and our bathrooms first.

Addison's bathroom is practically done. There are minor things that need to be cleaned up, covered up, adjusted, and/or installed. The only real "missing piece" to the guest/kid bathroom is the crown molding. But art is on the wall, cabinets are installed. While I'm still back and forth on hiring out the crown molding job, maybe we can take care of all the other non-glamorous things this summer to really solidify this room as done (and trust me they are the exact definition of non-glamorous).

But the real reason I'm writing this whole thing in the first place is because of Addison's room. 
For her third birthday (YIKES) among a small present (doll of Anna from Frozen), we decided to go ahead and give her a big girl room makeover.

She's been potty trained since the summer of 2013 (thanks Mom!) and has been sleeping in her crib minus the side rail since then so she could get up if she needed to. She sleeps on hotel beds often as well as the guest bed at my in-law's house and doesn't worry about the height and has yet to fall (knocking on wood). So we felt pretty comfortable going ahead and moving her into a big bed - not an in betweener - but the one she would be in for awhile and things (thoughts on decorating) just started rolling downhill with the decision.

We decided if we were going to do this room it would be on a tight budget, because: A) it's a kid's room and I have a hard time justifying hearty expenses and B) we're working on some financial goals and plans and throwing cash at the house, while important to me, is still a few years off. But just the thought of getting her room finished no matter what my budget was started to get me really excited.

So, I started trying to figure out what I wanted to do, scouring the internet and Pinterest for the latest and greatest and came up with the following (most of the credit here has to go to Pinterest and 6th Street Design School):

While I am pretty good at coming up with rooms and spaces entirely in my head, I didn't have the time or the energy this past month. I needed some jumping off points for her room. I figured I'd save my creative energy for the next space (insert a maniacal laugh here). I wanted to use a few pieces we already had (the bookshelf, rocking chair, mirror and rug) to help save on costs. Right after Christmas, I was counting up the cash that was given to us by grandparents and decided that whatever cash money we had gotten for Christmas would be the limiting budget factor. $0 out of pocket expense was going to be worth the creativity to do it on a budget.

So I made a list of the items I wanted and how I was going to keep it in said budget. Things ebbed and flowed over the weeks. I scored big discounts on the bedding and used some leftover gift card money to help get more for my cash. I found a more cost effective manufacturer for the curtain hardware and then I DIYed the heck out of the window treatments. While I still really wanted the lamps up above, I couldn't justify the cost. Even though I loved them. I would never be able to stay in my budget if I had bought them so I ended up going with Plan B: The Lighting Edition, instead. So after four solid weeks of shopping, sewing, gluing, organizing, and painting I was not only under budget, but I got a few extra things to show for it in our bedroom and we were ready to pull off a one day surprise renovation.

I wanted this to actually feel like a present, so slowly moving things into the room wasn't going to cut it. This caused a few problems because items, including my favorite Land of Nod Cloud Pillow, were  on back order. I had to find things I could get by February 1st. I kept all the items that were for her new room tucked into the guest bedroom with the door closed. She saw some items coming and going and asked some questions and I may have had her carry an accent pillow at the store one day for me but she never really talked about any of it after the fact.

On her party day, I enlisted the help of both sets of grandparents. One set took her out and about while the rest of us went through a written list of succeeding items to get the whole thing accomplished in less than 3 hours.

The wall paint stayed the same, the rug stayed in the same place. I'd already painted the dresser and found nightstand (found it in the garage 1 week before we did her room) in a spearmint green to be relocated as well as the lamps, sewn the trim on the curtains, hemmed them, glued ribbon to the shades and put all of the artwork together. It was just going to be a fine dance of cleaning and putting everything in it's new place.

We went from our make-shift toddler room for the last 11 months completely outfitted with temporary paper shades (read: ghetto):

To her newly improved big girl room in a matter of 3 hours:

We love it. She loves it. We're all happy.

The room lacks crown molding - and I'm totally OK with it.

I think our room will be up next. I found the colors I want to use to tie everything together between our bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. Now to start scouting pieces one by one to make it all work.

PS - I mentioned above that I stayed in budget but I also got extra items...which is why my bedroom is probably next on the list. We got new lamps during this process for our bedroom, and I got a desk to use as my nightstand - all within my budget for A's room. Not bad Christa, not bad.  


  1. I really appreciate how this post started out. I've been so caught up in spending money on things to make my "public" spaces perfect for guests to come over, that I've neglected the basics...the things that will make me comfortable 24/7 in my own home. Things like a coffee maker, pantry storage and new blinds in my bedrooms. Thanks for helping me realize that it's OK to refocus my priorities!

    1. Definitely OK! In fact, I highly encourage it. While I spend 15 minutes fretting before parties as to what other people will think, it doesn't compare to the amount of time I spend being bothered or frustrated by things I use or do daily!

      We're about to finish out our master closet for functionality and then it's on to the rest of our room. I'm glad we refocused our funds because one day - we'll get to the other rooms.