As you can see, I’ve had a few big projects going on around here! Not only have I been hard at work on the site redesign, but I’ve had a bit of a redesign project going on at home as well. JD and LittleMissSunshine had gone off for a week at Camp Grandma, so we decided to surprise LittleMissSunshine with a room makeover. Her old room had not really been redecorated since she was a baby, so it was a little outdated for an eight year old girl. It was really messy, cluttered and hard to keep clean. Even when clean it didn’t feel “tidy.” She didn’t have a proper workspace to do her homework in, and her toys were hard to find because they were all jumbled up together in three large bins under her bed. Nothing that she loved was truly visible or available to her. She helped us pick out the paint colors and her new bed a few months back, but had no idea just how much of a change we were going to give her.
We have a family tradition here in the KnowitAll household: before any painting or flooring project, the family signs the walls/floors. We not only sign our names, but we write down prayers for our family in that room and in this house. Prayers for our safety, prayers for our future, prayers for what we want our lives to be. We believe that God honors that in a big, big way. Even though you can’t see them under the paint or flooring, we know that no matter what happens from now on, those prayers and blessings will forever live on in our rooms.
So before she headed off to Camp Grandma, we had her sign the wall with her prayers. They were so sweet, I just had to share them!
“To be a good K, and to be a smart K, and to be a good friend.”
Isn’t that the sweetest thing? Her father and I came along behind her after she left and added our own prayers for her and her life. There’s something really sweet to doing that, almost like a formal blessing. If you’ve never done this before, I encourage you to do it the next time you paint. It seems really small, but it is very powerful.
Okay, so on for the remodel. Her room is fairly small, about 9′ x 10′, with one slightly angled wall, so space is always at a premium in her room. Budget is also a big consideration for us. For that reason we decided to invest in a loft bed. I spent a few months searching online and one day found the perfect loft bed on Craigslist. It not only gave her room under the bed, but it came with a plethora of storage and organization: the bed has six drawers in it, a set of bookshelves and a built in desk. One of my favorite features is that the desk can be rotated to face in or out, depending on our needs. Right now we’ve got it facing in, under the bed.
We painted two walls a very bright raspberry pink, with the other two walls a pale lime green to kind of balance out the strong pink color. When I first opened the can it took me a few moments to get my breath–we’re talking seriously bright Barbie pink here. (If you know me, you know I”m really not the Barbie pink type.) Here’s a glimpse of the paint in the can:
You see why my heart stopped for a minute, right? That’s seriously PINK. Like, the pinkest girly pink. Know something else about bright pink? It takes FOUR COATS to get a smooth finish. Four freaking coats. It took one gallon of paint PER wall. That’s with really good paint. With really good prep, over already painted walls. So moms of girls, let me warn you–don’t do it, unless you’re ready for that! Thankfully, it faded into a nice raspberry as it dried. (Or at least, that’s what I tell myself at night.)
Once we finished painting, we began to move furniture around. Out went the outdated twin bed, In came the big-girl loft bed. Out went all of the toys in the large containers, In came the cute pink toy bins with pretty bows. Out went the tiny cluttered art table and in came the big girl desk and display shelves.
We spent about four weeks really prepping her room for the transition. For two weeks we had her go through her toys to figure out which ones she would keep. She did it herself! I’m very proud of her. Each day we handed her one of her large rolling toy bins and a new small fabric bin. Whatever she wanted to keep from the large bin had to fit into the small bin. It was really interesting to see that when she handed us back the fabric bin, it was always less than half full. We had a lesson for us here. Instead of asking her which toys she wants to get rid of (What kid wants to get rid of toys?) we gave her finite limit–it all has to fit into this one bin. Then we made it about keeping toys, not getting rid of them. That small language shift totally changed our experience in decluttering with the kids! In fact, she took three large underbed bins and turned them into two small fabric bins on her shelves. That’s it! She was a real rock star!
So while she was off at Camp Grandma, we painted, we decluttered some more, we cleaned, and we totally reorganized her room. The guinea pig cage was moved from one side to the other, and her dressing table (Lovingly hand-painted by Grandma for her birthday) was put into a place of prominence for our budding beauty. We turned her old bookshelves into display shelves, to show off her “priceless” collections and pictures. I added a mirror tray to her dressing table, because let’s face it–what big girl doesn’t love a mirror tray for all of her glam products?
Then I turned to the bed. While it was a very practical bed, it needed a little livening up to make it as functional as it possibly could be for LittleMissSunshine’s creative personality. So I added chalkboard contact paper on one end–she now has a chalkboard in her room! Even better, it is fully removable should she outgrow that feature. Last, I added corkboard to the inside panel of the bed, giving her a space to display fun photos, buttons and other things she collects. (Tutorials of how I did both of these projects will be up in the next week.)
Her curtains are ones her grandmother and I made for her when she was a toddler, and funny enough, they still match the room. Made of a pale pink silk with a lime green silk edging, they fit perfectly into her new glam room. The bins under the bed were funny too–I bought them four or five years ago at a local clearance sale, sure I’d find a use for them. I’d actually forgotten they were there, and discovered them about six weeks ago. They match the room perfectly!
And because ya’ll know I’m a frugal, I’ll share my final expense total: including paint, the bed and new decor, we spent a total of $425 on the room re-do.
I’m really proud of how it turned out. Take a look:
And what did LittleMissSunshine think when she returned home?
I think she liked it. In fact, I got an invitation that very night for my very first sleepover in her new room. That’s my girl.