Sooo... with the kids getting older now, I thought I'd give them something a little more substantial for Christmas this year. Rather than go the usual toys/clothes route, only to see the new clothes shoved in the back of a drawer in favor of the old favorites- or new toys played with for a few weeks and promptly forgotten (or worse, broken), I wanted to give them something special and lasting; that could be appreciated for the long-term. I gave myself a $500 budget, which I'm very proud to say went only $10 over in the end. I enlisted the help of my dad, which was indispensable, and poor Jeffrey stayed up until 4:00 am varnishing on his hands and knees Saturday night, but WE DID IT! In one weekend, we managed to completely overhaul the room and it turned out even better than I'd imagined.
The dreaded BEFORE pictures... Of course I thought to take these after we'd begun to disassemble the beds and move things out. But you'll definitely sense the impact of the change. Note the sad, white walls and the HORRENDOUS commercial carpet.
Because space is always of the utmost importance in any shared room, and bunk beds are typically used as a space-saving sleep system- I thought long and hard about transitioning them into twin beds. I sketched, measured, met with oppposition, and finally took a leap of faith. Guess what... It was so worth it! The twin beds opened the room vertically, unblocked a window- letting natural light flood in, and made the room feel so fresh and mature. Our initial plan was to make a trek to Ikea, but I'm so glad we didn't! Not buying everything new was a huge asset to the space. It's incredibly cozy, soft, and serene, with a comfy, lived-in quality; like a great little B&B. Evelyn says it makes her feel like her room is its own house inside our home.
They came home on Sunday, walked into a brand new room, and were totally thrilled. So sweet, and excited, and truly grateful.
I have to say- though we did this for the children, the project has really affected the whole family. We actually find ourselves hanging out in their room with them. Not typical for us. This is by far the best Christmas present we ever could have given them. The kids are genuinely enjoying the time they spend in there, taking pride in it (i.e. keeping it CLEAN *gasp*), and while we were out yesterday Evy said "I can't wait to get back home to be in my room" - that in itself is pretty heartwarming. James even blogged about it.
I cut a few corners by:
1. Leaving the trim "as is", both above and below the new paint-job.
2. Purchasing a big California King sized duvet from Ruby Rose, and sewing it into two twin-sized duvets. I fell in love with the classic ticking, and the oh-so-soft-washed-ten-bazillion-times feel of it. :)
3. Cutting a sturdy, old, wooden bunk-bed into two twin beds. THANK YOU, DAD!!!
4. Sewing an amazing pair of 1940's curtains (that I've hung on to for 10 years) into pillow shams.
5. Using hand-me-down inherited antiques, Louis XVI chairs, and gigantic rug from Jeff's grandma.
6. Dresser was a thrift-store find. Handles are painted with Montana 94 paint in "Magenta".
7. Window cut-outs are our old Sam Flores shower curtain, re-purposed.
8. Set of 4 vintage curtains from Ruby Rose.
I splurged on:
1. An awesome faux-fireplace heater, on stone base hearth. This thing is totally mesmerizing and really took the whole project over-the-top in terms of awe-factor with the kids. Also, it heats the room SO well, and has both high and low wattage settings to save energy. I want one in our room!
2. A new ceiling light fixture. The old fluorescent lighting was just awful. Cold, clinical, unflattering, and so depressing. We replaced it with a really pretty bronzed metal track with amber colored glass shades. It casts a warm, glowing light throughout the room and really elevated the project.
3. New throw pillows for each bed.
*Paint is Behr's "French Grey Blue" in eggshell. I'm definitely buying more of it and using it wherever I can. It's incredible. It feels very clean and contemporary, but also like it's been there forever. Calming, soothing, beautiful and somehow both warm and cool at once... a dream color.