Eleven months after little Peanut made us a family of four, I’m ready to say her room is done. I think it counts that I’m getting it done by her first birthday, right? Right? :) To be fair to me, we had family staying in her room right up until she was born, so although I did my best to shop ahead for the big stuff (rugs, bed, blackout shades) I really couldn’t get started on her room until after she was born. And then we all know that there isn’t exactly a whole lot of time to work on things like decorating and fluffing and floofing with a toddler and a newborn, am I right? So, although we got some big stuff done right off the bat like painting the walls and sewing curtains with my mom, the rest of the room evolved slowly with a lot of trial and error. But, eleven months later, we have a room that looks like this.
I kind of love it. It’s fun and bright and full of life, but still sophisticated enough for grownups. The bones of the room are neutral, (making it easy to swap rooms in the future should the need arise) but there are lots and lots of fun girly touches to make it appropriate for our little sweet pea. So let’s talk inspiration. I knew that I wanted a gray and white room with splashes of bright color. I was heavily inspired (can one be heavily inspired?) by this nursery from View Along the Way. I loved those patterned curtains and pops of color in an otherwise quiet and calming room. I also loved that chandelier, but unfortunately this room has no overhead lighting, nor does it have tall enough ceilings. Oh well.
Back when this room was a guest room, I painted the wall that the little butterflies are on three times – from white to lavender to a soft gray. (Valspar’s Urban Sunrise) It’s a beautiful gray, but like most grays it can be tricky, the color changes throughout the day and depending on what tones you pair it with. Then we painted the wall that the bright curtains are on in the same gray. And by we, I mean our friend Zachary painted it one sunny day in October when he was on break from college. Thanks Zachary! I took that opportunity to re spackle and sand some gouges on that wall that had been bugging me for a couple of years. While those walls will never be smooth unless skim coated, they’re much better than they were. Also, can we just stop for a minute and admire that beautiful bedroom door? With the tarnished brass doorknob. Glorious.The upstairs doors are one of my favorite things in the house. Okay. Back to the subject du jour. We had initially planned on just doing a floor bed for Keilana once she outgrew the swing, like we did for Javi. Keilana, however, thought that was a terrible and terrifying idea and lobbied hard for a crib to call her own. And we complied. You’re welcome, baby girl. It’s the Hensvik crib in white from IKEA, and so far we love it. It’s solid and beautiful and KK loves it too. I often come in to get her from her naps and find her with both legs through the bars, swinging away without a care in the world.
I tried a million and one things on that wall above the floor bed, and ultimately decided on these little paper butterfly cutouts in colors that show up in the curtains around the room. I may come up with a better idea at some point, but for now it gives that wall a little interest for very little moolah.
So one of my favorite ways to decorate a room is to find an inspiration fabric that I base all my other decisions off of. I knew I wanted a bright, colorful fabric that made this light filled room very cheery for the curtains. One day, when I was great with child, I made the trek to JoAnn fabrics (my least favorite store. truly.) and spent a good long while examining every fabric they had on the rack. Lover is my witness. We both liked this fabric, called Spring is in the Air, or something like that. I purchased five yards of it that day, and my mom helped me sew it into full, happy curtains for this one window. Then, a few weeks later, I went back to that accursed place to buy more for the other two windows, the little desk area, a few throw pillows and the back of the quilt that my mom was making for Keilana. And – there was no more of it. Whomp whomp. So I had bright and happy curtains, on ONE window, and could not for the life of me find a fabric that coordinated for the other stuff in the room. Argh. I’ll get back to that story in a minute.
Hanging in the corner next to the closet is a little birdcage I purchased at the Christmas Tree shops. My thought was to put little lights inside to make this a nightlight, but that turned out to be very distracting for Sweet Pea. So instead I was on the lookout for a fun little bird, and I found this orange beauty and his purple brother at a Goodwill in Schaumberg, IL. As far as I can tell they are Talavera pottery birds from Mexico. My mom brought back a very similar one for my grandma years ago when she took a missions trip there, and I’ve always loved that bird. So I was very excited to find my very own, albeit in Illinois! I found the chunky white curtain rod at a garage sale last summer for five dollars. Not too shabby!
That big white basket was a mislabeled Goodwill find (here in Rochester) that I only paid four dollars for. It’s awesomely huge and holds all of KK’s blankets. That Goodwill trip was one of those awesome thrifting adventures where you find absolute gold for pennies. My favorite kind of trip. The pink and white blanket was crocheted by my aunt for Keilana, and it’s beautiful. All of the blankets that my kids have, with the exception of three flannel blankets that I made when I was pregnant with Javi, have been gifts from someone. So sweet.
Let’s pop over to the other side of the room now. I knew I wanted to do an eclectic little collection of frames and such on this wall from the beginning. Again, trial and error. I think I hung things three or four times, editing and switching and waiting for inspiration until I settled on this. Here’s a closer look.
It’s fun and girly, right? Also, apparently it was four o clock when I took these photos. Good to know. The canvas in the top left was one of the first things I made for this room. One evening, while I was nursing Keilana and rocking her to sleep, she was having a terrible bout of reflux and was fighting me something fierce. This Shakespeare quote came to mind “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” She had such a terrible time with silent reflux, but she is one of the most determined little babies I have ever seen. It took months to really kick the reflux, but once she did, girlfriend has been thriving. :0) So, the canvas. I painted it pink, traced the quote on and filled it in with silver sharpie, and dipped a pencil eraser in different paints to make the dots. Easy peasy.
The little rocking horse was mine as a kid, a craft that my mom and I did together. It used to be green, white and red, but I repainted into an “Appaloosa” when I was about ten. I found it up in a box in the attic when I was purging, and it goes perfectly here. The clock is from Target, just a pretty silver one they had for about six dollars I think.
My friend jen and I went thrifting when we visited her back in February, which is where I found the little butterflies. They were that brassy look that was so popular in the seventies? Sixties? But a little silver spray paint fixed that. And that awesome frame? Also from my epic trip where I found the big white basket and some other gems. You might be thinking that I painted those watercolor roses. And you’re… wrong! This was one of the cool things we found in the house, up in the attic. Apparently it was an art project and Michael got an A+ for his efforts! The painting was quite a bit bigger, but this was my favorite part, so I cut it up and framed this part. The frame is ridiculously heavy, so it’s held up on the wall with four screws thru some of those scrolly bits. Oh, and I’d really like to replace that light with something that works better in the room, but I’m holding out for something that I really love since this one is just fine, and SOO much better than the original monstrosity that we replaced when we made this room a guest room.
When you walk into the room, this is what you see; the closet/builtin dresser/window seat/desk area. That whole long wall is just one huge builtin. I love the function of it, but it does make placement of everything else in the room a little tricky. But – it’s great for storage! Let’s talk about the dresser first. Back in the day, this whole area was honey stained pine. I painted everything white except for the drawers which were black when we first redid the room. I loved the contrast. But the black wasn’t working for a little girl’s room, so I repainted the drawers in the same gray as the walls, with one caveat. Our downstairs bathroom is the same color, but in a very durable kitchen and bath paint. I used that paint on these drawers, knowing they get a lot of wear and tear. I painted these about 10 months ago, and they’re holding up great.
The white painted top needs… something to keep everything from marking it up. I need to do some research on a protective top coat. Or maybe just keep repainting it every year or so. Anyways, the drawers are nice and deep, and hold lots of adorable baby clothes. I lined the drawers with some drawer liner paper that I found at Goodwill. Are you sensing a theme? I love Goodwill. The paper is lightly scented and I love the luxurious feel of lined drawers! :) I need to do my own!
So above the dresser there used to be two panels, one on either side of a large mirror, that were carpeted. Yes carpeted. We removed the carpet and painted the drywall behind it black for the guest room. But I knew I wanted something nicer this time, and so we tried to fill those spots in with wood. Long story short, that didn’t work out, and in the process we broke the mirror that was there. So – plan B, I covered the whole little nook in a white and silver wrapping paper and hung some little mirrors from the Christmas Tree Shops and some teal butterflies I bought at JoAnns (on one of my trips back there looking for more fabric). The paper is just stuck up with scotch tape while I decide whether or not I like it. (I think I do, so I need to ModPodge it on permanently) I have a few more ideas for this little spot above the dresser, and I am watching for a much bigger, much more awesome mirror. I’ll know it when I find it. I painted that little pink basket (it was just an old one I had in the attic, and it holds all the random crap that always ends up in babies’ rooms. :) It’s nice to have a place to put everything.
The little turquoise basket on the left is thrifted, and full of tiny hats and shoes. I’ve always loved baby shoes, but tiny baby girl shoes? Oh.Em.Gee. LOVE. Peanut has had the same sized feet for eleven months now, so she’s barely been able to wear any of her adorable shoes. But, her feet are finally growing, so we’ve been debuting some of her other cuteness. Also? Peanut has serious opinions (at one year minus three days) on WHICH shoes she wants to wear at any given time. I feel unprepared for the ensuing years. :)
This blue vase was also in the guest room, but the pink flowers make it fit in. This little lion rattle is a current favorite of Keilana’s, she goes to sleep with it for almost every nap and bedtime. It’s the perfect size for her little hands, and was a sweet gift from our friends in Spain. From this angle you can see that the builtin lights over the dresser jut out almost as deep as the dresser itself. I have a few ideas to make that whole piece look prettier and more intentional and they *may* involve brackets. :) Don’t tell Lover.
Next up? Changing table and the door to the attic. This used to be a builtin desk (there was also one in Javi’s room) but the desktop was the perfect size for a changing pad, and those shelves were put to use for jewelry, headbands and butt cream. :) The K’s were a happy accident, KK is what we call Keilana on a regular basis, and I had planned to put one K up here and another on the little gallery wall, but then when I saw them together I realized they were perfect. :) They were purple, so I modpodged pink glitter paper onto them. The little animals are her favorite thing to play with and give kisses to during her many diaper changes, and the silver bucket (from Target’s Dollar spot a few years ago) holds headbands. She will often ask to wear one, and then looks at herself in the mirror and claps. Such a little princess.
When the previous owners redid this room, they apparently removed a wall that blocked off this whole little area, along with the door that accessed the attic. They moved the door perpendicular to where it had been, and painted it black. I painted it white a few months ago, and that and the mirror right there next to the window bounce so much light around this room. I love how bright and happy her room is. The only irony is that she still sleeps so much that the shades are usually drawn in here to make it darker! You can also see that I made (in Nester fashion, i.e. with safety pins) a skirt for the desk to hide dirty laundry, outgrown clothes, garbage and, in this picture, the diaper pail. Oh! And you can also see the rugs we used, they are the old version of the Laborg rug from IKEA. We used two for the floor space in here. I need to find a better way of keeping them from slipping all over the floor though!
OK, to the left of the dresser we have the window seat and the closet. When this was a guest room I made a cushion for this seat and the one in our room. But my toddler’s favorite thing to do was always pull those down and throw them on the floor, so I gave that up as a lost cause for the time being. The curtains were reused from the office turned nursery, and the pelmets are made from this tutorial. It’s SO easy, you buy foam board, cut it to size, wrap it in fabric attached whichever way you want, and hang. Half an hour tops for each one. The fabric. Oh the fabric. I told you that when I went back to JoAnn’s I couldnt find more of that fabric. I asked at Customer Service and they told me “It’s out of stock. We have no plans to restock it. And there are no stores within a hundred miles that have any left.” To say I was annoyed would be an understatement. I brought home no less than three other fabric trying to find something to coordinate. Each one of them was truly awful. I was desolate and may or may not have cried tears of frustration. In the end, Lover came to my rescue and found me this Michael Miller Park fabric at fabric.com and saved the day. The colors are all in the same color family, and it even brings in the turquoise and purple that I wanted to incorporate. It goes really well, and because it is on an opposite wall, everything meshes without being matchy matchy. #winning
The closet is full of adorable dresses. And, can I say that, while dressing a girl is significantly more challenging than dressing a boy, the variety and cuteness of a girl’s wardrobe just kills me. Love it. If she wasn’t crawling through the mud and the muck every day this summer, I’d have her in dresses all the time. :-)
I knew all along that I wanted a pretty decent sized canavas on one wall that I would paint for Keilana. One of my deepest desires for her is that she grows up with a strong body image, that she feels and knows she is beautiful, and that she is not swayed by society’s twisted ideals of what a woman should look like. She is beautiful and she is beautiful to me. So I sing it to her at night, and I put it above her bed, in the hopes that she will grow up believing it.
I pulled the colors from the curtains, and copied some of the flowers to tie it all together. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, especially that blue flower. It’s my favorite. This was the painting I talked about back in this post! It took forever but it looks great now, and it goes so well with the rest of the room. And that’s it! The whole room! It’s taken a while but I’m really happy with how it has all come together in the end. We love our baby girl, and hopefully she’ll love her happy little room for years to come. :)