Monday, May 20, 2013

Ella's New Room!

Last week while Ella was away visiting my parents, we finally did her room.  In our whole painting-one-room-a-month scheme, the kids' rooms are kind of low on the priority list.  However, with Ella out of the way for a whole week it seemed like the perfect time to do something special for her.  This move has been harder on her than we had anticipated, and we knew this would make her feel really special.

Her room before may not have looked bad in pictures, but the walls were an industrial flat beige with a huge number of holes.  We decorated with a leftover rug and pictures for the interim.

I love these embroidery hoop numbers, but they are a little young for a six-year-old.  Anyone local want them?  They're yours!

About the only thing we had done to update the room was let her pick her own closet door knobs, and she picked the blingiest knobs Hobby Lobby had to offer.  If you've seen Hobby Lobby's knob selection, you know that's saying something.

It's hard to see in the picture, but they're glittery disco balls.

This is the fifth time Ella has had a new room.  Seems like a lot of new rooms for a six-year-old, doesn't it?  The first room, her nursery, is one of my favorite rooms we've ever done.  There were so many friends who helped us to make that space special and beautiful and I still think of those wonderful people every time I think of that room.

When Jack was born, he took over the nursery {it was gender neutral} and she moved into her first big-girl room.

Only six months later, we moved to Wisconsin and Ella moved into her third room.  We didn't do much in terms of decorating, which is good because when we found we were expecting Nate, we decided to have Ella and Jack share a room and redid it {room number four}, building built-ins and getting bunkbeds.

I would have showed pictures of each of those rooms, but I can't get Blogger to upload them.  I actually currently can't upload anything prior to this move.  Bad Blogger!  Sorry about that.

Anyway, back to the present, since apparently that is where I am supposed to stay.  It is likely that Ella will never share a room again, and she only has brothers, so I wanted her room to be unapologetically girly!  I had many thoughts running through my head.  Doing girl rooms is so fun! First, I wanted to do plank walls.  Something like this:
It was going to be awesome.  A little cottagy, a soft, sophisticated yet rustic little girl's room.  Handsome Hero was willing to tackle the job and I was really excited.
That is, I was really excited until I started thinking about those knobs.  Those blingy knobs.  Those glittery, over-the-top knobs that did not go with my plank walls at all.  I started to realize that the plank walls were my dream and she would not appreciate them in any way, so why were we going to all that trouble?  It was a hard dream to release, and I may still be gazing longingly at pictures of rooms with plank walls, but she is not a baby anymore and has definite likes and dislikes and this room would only be special if I listened to those.
Case in point:  Ella originally wanted to paint her walls red or bold yellow.  Um, no.  It's a basement room, and needs a light color.  She was cool with that, and we alternated between pale pinks and yellows each time we went to Home Depot {we always go by the paint department and the kids each choose a paint swatch, which for some reason entertains them the whole rest of the trip}.  One day, I found a gallon of oops paint in the back.  You know oops paint, right?  The paint that has already been mixed that they sell really cheaply at the back of the paint section?  It's a potential treasure trove.  The oops paint that I found was a really high quality paint in a lavender color.  It was beautiful.  It was perfect.  It was seven dollars.
I bought it, keeping in mind this fabric I had in my stash that I've been waiting for the opportunity to use.  It's VERY expensive fabric {like, $100/yard} that I found in an end-of-roll bin for two dollars years ago.  It was a great match to the paint, and the room started taking form.  I showed the color to Ella and asked her what she thought of this pretty shade and she said slowly, "Well, if you painted my room that color it would make me very sad."
Dream number two shattered.
This was distressing.  And not fair.  How could she stomp on my dreams for my her room like that?  What a rude thing to do!
I went around in circles for a bit, regrouped, and came up with this.

I'm actually pretty proud of the space, and she loves it.  Want to see her reaction?
So here are the details.  The walls are a pale pink {I can't remember the name but it came from the white section of paint colors}.  The furniture is the same, but I added the yellow table {and painted the top shiny silver}.  I would have loved to put an awesome statement lamp on it, but she loves this princess lamp that some neighbors gave her a few years ago.  I would love if it "accidentally" broke, but hey, it's not my room.  I may still be working on realizing that.

Last weekend I found this hand-crocheted afghan at a yard sale.  It was in perfect condition {if a bit stinky} and after a few washes it is one of my favorite parts of her room.

The curtains were some leftovers that I made for our last house, so they were free.  The branch is from our backyard {I sprayed it gold.  Can you tell?  Neither can I}, and I already had most of the little creatures on the branches that I'd saved from various other projects.  The pom-poms cost about a dollar apiece to make {except the silver - that was about three dollars} and took about ten minutes each following this easy tutorial.
Handsome Hero changed out the puny 1986 light fixture for a ceiling fan.  So much better.  I would have loved a little, shiny, crystal chandelier, but ceiling fans are infinitely more practical, and there are enough other cute girly pieces in the room to make up for not having a chandelier.  Plus, it has a remote control.  Awesome.

Ella needed a place to display her artwork and cards, and I came up with the idea of hanging her papers from a clothesline {it went with the plank walls}.  With the new motif, the clothesline morphed into this little display.

She has a contained place to store her pictures, but once the clips are full, she needs to edit.  I hope it will be a fun way for her to learn to do something that does not come naturally.

Our only real splurge in the room was the area rug.  It was from Homegoods for $150.  It may seem silly to spend real money on a rug for a kid's room, but:
1.  The carpeting is ugly.
2.  The rug is soft and she plays on her floor all the time.
3.  It's an indoor/outdoor rug, so we can hose it down if we need to.
4.  I love the rug in or out of her room.  I already have three places in mind to put it if it doesn't work out in her room.  It will not be a waste of $150.
5.  The same rug at other stores was close to $300.

I know that in pictures it looks a bit small, but in person I really like the size because it separates the space into zones.  Originally, I had wanted two small rugs for either side of the bed, which I would put where the dresser is now.  But when I started moving furniture, I realized that with the placement of doors and windows, most pieces were in the best place for them.  The only big changes ended up being the direction of the bed and the play kitchen moving to the opposite wall.

Originally, we challenged ourselves to do this room for under $250.  How did we do?

Fan: $70
Afghan: $10
Pompoms: $5
Curtain rods: $15
Area rug: $150
Pink bins: $20
Spray paint: $5
Clothesline billboard wall: $10
Paint: $60
Oh, and those knobs.  Those perfectly fitting blingy knobs:  $5
Total:  $350

Um, yikes!  We would have been fine except for the purchase of the rug, and we would make the same decision again for the reasons listed above.  I guess it's a bit of comfort that plank walls would have cost significantly more, and we had been planning on putting in crown moulding, and may in the future, but decided that the carpet was more important for now.  So really, we saved a lot {picture me winking with a Cheshire cat smile}!  In fact, I think we should go out and celebrate our savings with a little shopping spree!  What do you think?


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