Monthly Archives: June 2014

Making Room for Baby: A Room for a Little Lady

A couple of post’s ago I laid out the “game plan” for the transformations that would need to happen at the Griffin home to make room for our fourth child (now due in a little over a month). We have made a lot of progress since then and so I wanted to give an update.

Today’s update will be on what was formally “The Guestroom” to what has now been transformed into “A Room For A Little Lady” (the room Eliann has moved into).

THE CHALLENGE

  • Create the perfect space for a little lady from scratch.
  • Strike the right balance- the room can’t scream ‘baby’ girl… but we’re in no hurry to get her into a ‘teen’ looking space either… Eliann is only 7.5 years old.
  • Account for the fact that she is school aged so her needs are a little different then just a place to sleep and play.

This room took a complete overhaul. We literally got rid of everything that used to be in the guestroom and started from scratch. It was difficult because it required a lot of vision and of course that we stayed within budget (in spite of needing to furnish the whole space… unlike in the boys room).

BEFORE

Let’s take one more look at what the room was like before…

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MAKING PROGRESS

(You can scroll to the bottom if you want the quick before and after shots… if not continue to read the step by step of how we transformed the room).

1. SELL THE GUESTROOM FURNITURE. We sold all the furniture you see above to a couple we know who wanted to furnish their own guestroom. Thanks Eaves’! Check.

2. BUY A TWIN BED. This could have eaten up our entire budget… so we searched Craigslist for months to find just the right bed to save money. I knew I wanted a day bed for Eliann to keep the room feeling open and welcoming. I also knew the bed would take up a big foot print in the room so I wanted the bed (and eventual bedding) to make a statement in the room meaning it had to have a little character to it. Thankfully we found one I loved and for a great deal! We assembled the bed and moved it all around the room until it found a home where I originally pictured it going under the window.

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3. BEFORE YOU BUY MORE… TRY USING WHAT YOU’VE GOT. This is a hard one folks… because in theory I would love to just be able to buy all new pieces for the room that coordinate perfectly and look just a like a page from a Pottery Barn catalog. But in the real world we don’t have that kind of money. So the next thing we did was try out some of our existing furniture in the house to see if it could work in Eliann’s new room. We knew we needed a dresser, bookcase, table/chairs… so we identified pieces in our home we could move around and got to work trying them out in the room.

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We finally settled on a configuration that looked like this.

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The only problem was the little table and chair set was too big for the space, the lamp needed to stay in the nursery and the nightstand to the right couldn’t live in this room permanently because it was Brian’s nightstand (I just moved it into the space to give us a visual).

Still… all in all we found an open shelved display with drawers (from the nursery room), a small corner bookshelf for the left side of the bed (from the nursery room) and a dresser (from inside my closet) that we already owned that we could live with moving into the space. Three key pieces of furniture we didn’t have to spend money on!

Can you tell my kids were getting excited about this new room?!

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4. BUY MORE OF WHAT YOU NEED.

For sure at this point we needed:

Nightstand/Bookcase- something for the right side of the bed.

I took a little shopping trip to Home Goods just to see if they had anything I could use (because I had a leftover birthday gift card to use there). I wanted something with shelving because I already felt like we had enough drawers in the room.

I ended up choosing a Three Tiered Outdoor Garden Shelf because I just loved the more whimsical feel it would bring to the room. A lot of the other furniture already felt box-y so I loved this piece for the room and took to filling it as soon as I set it up!

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Twin Bedding- would be key to bringing in the color scheme for the room.

When we first started talking about Eliann moving into her own room, I started a pin board on Pinterest called Home: Girls Bedroom. I had Eliann help me decide on a color scheme for the room. This was a very important conversation because a year prior Eliann would have insisted on a rainbow themed room because rainbow (as in all the colors) was her favorite color. 

Thank God that her taste matured ever so slightly since then and now she really likes a color I would call turquoise or aqua (although she does still like rainbow). I showed her several color combination with turquoise and she really liked coral/peach/pink tones with the turquoise (as did I!). So we settled on pinning this image as the basis of what the overall color scheme for the room.
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It just so happened that the weekend after we decided on the color scheme I went away for a ladies weekend that brought me to a lovely little store called Hobby Lobby. Let’s just say I had died and gone to heaven. I couldn’t pass up all the cute decor in the store so I picked up some pieces that I loved for Eliann’s room. Then I tried to match some bedding to it… if I couldn’t have Pottery Barn furniture I would compromise with a cute Pottery Barn Duvet!

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Unfortunately when the bedding arrived… it wasn’t really doing anything for the room. The statement I had hoped the bedding would make wasn’t a very bold one. Both of the Pottery Barn Duvet Covers were too muted for the room. I needed more pop! And for the price of anything Pottery Barn I better feel like I am getting what I want.

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So the hunt was back on for bedding. I was so disappointing in my Pottery Barn finds (having waited two weeks for them to arrive in the mail) that I didn’t want to order anything online. I wanted the bedding in front of me to tell if the colors would work. I happened to stop by Target (like I do everyday) and I decided to look down the kids bedding aisle. I saw a print that was almost too bold for my taste, but had the right colors in it. You know what (I thought to myself)… lets try it! If I don’t like it I can bring it back and honestly this costs 1/4 of what I was willing to pay for Pottery Barn so if we get over it in a year or two I don’t have to feel bad about replacing it.

Well I am happy to report that it worked! It was bold enough for the room.

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This is a picture of Eliann walking in to see this new bedding… I asked her is she liked it and she jumped up and down and said “YES, YES, YES!”

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Window Treatments- since the bed is under the window we needed a way to block the light and add privacy.

With the bedding in place I could now add color in the room to coordinate. Because the print on the bed was so bold I searched high and low for the perfect soft coral color to accent the bed. I found the perfect color “Coral Almond” online at JCPenny.com and went into my local JCPenny to take a look at the color in person. It looked just as good in person but the material was very sheer. I purchase two panels anyway and enlisted the help of a good friend, Joy Ring, to help sew blackout panels to the back of the sheer curtains and make a matching bed skirt out of excess material.

Joy was such a good sport… she whipped out the curtains and bed skirt in a jiffy all the while balancing a pigeon on her head and giving Brian pirate lessons.

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The result… new window treatments and bed skirt for the room!

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5. MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL- SCHOOL WORK & TOYS

Other than wanting the room to be super cute, we also needed it to be functional. If you’ll remember one of our challenges was to account for the fact that Eliann was school aged. This meant the room would have to be functional for a little girl who might want to study in her room.

We had originally tried to bring in a round kids table/chairs from our garage so she could have a place to sit and do homework, but it was too big. Thankfully with the boys room complete we knew we had the little table/chair and bulletin board combination that used to be in that room up for grabs… so we tried it in this space and it worked! More pieces we didn’t have to buy.

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The drawers on the open shelved display to the left of the little table were all empty so I decided to use them for school supplies and school storage.

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Another functional component that was missing in the room was toy storage. Eliann still plays with all kinds of toys but right now we didn’t really have any space in the room dedicated to that. Under the bed was now hidden with the bed skirt but we didn’t want that to be the only place for toys to get thrown.

We decided to use half her closet for the job… which there was still plenty of room in because she only took up half a closet when she shared with David. We added a small cubby system for her toys and a shelf for other personal belongings (she might not want her little brothers accidentally getting a hold of).

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6. PULL IT ALL TOGETHER WITH THE RIGHT ACCESSORIES (IF THE BUDGET ALLOWS).

At this point in the transformation the room was absolutely livable (as in someone could move into the room and be just fine in it). In fact Eliann had already been sleeping in the room for a couple of weeks… but thankfully I had enough money in the budget (because we chose to first consider items we already owned to fill the space) and I was able to add some finishing touches that pulled the room together.

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There you have it folks… a complete room overhaul fit for a little lady!

Here are the official before and after pictures:

BEFORE

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AFTER

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What do you think? Did we tackle our challenges with the space?  Would a little girl you know want this to be her room?

Hope you didn’t miss the update on A Room for Boys!

Making Room for Baby: A Room for Boys

In my last post I laid out the “game plan” for the transformations that would need to happen at the Griffin home to make room for our fourth child (now due in a little over a month). We have made a lot of progress since then and so I wanted to give an update.

Today’s update will be on what was formally “The Kids Room” (the girl/boy room Eliann and David used to share) to what has now been transformed into “The Boys Room” (the room David and Pierce now share).

THE CHALLENGE

  • Create a space that felt new for the boys and not like “the left overs of where their big sister” had been.
  • Make the room “more masculine and give each of boy a personality within the space.”

I suppose the real challenge was that our budget for this room wasn’t very large. Most of the money we set aside for these room transformations was getting eaten up by Eliann’s new room simply because we had to furnish her room from scratch. So I had to be more creative with this space in order to make the transformation a success.

BEFORE

Let’s take one more look at what the room was like before…

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MAKING PROGRESS

I knew right away that I wanted there to be more toy storage for the boys to help them stay as organized as possible. I pulled the large bookcase and small table/chairs out of the room because I wanted to make room for another 8 Cube-Organizer to help catch all the toys the boys would combine.

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Removing these pieces also opened up the floor plan which I loved because I wanted the boys to be able to imagine and create freely in a space just for them… not to mention I assumed boys would rough house more than a boy/girl would so I didn’t want them breaking anything or running into furniture as they played.

AFTER

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KEYS TO THE TRANSFORMATION IN THIS ROOM

  • Removing Furniture- large bookcase and small table and chairs are gone.
  • Adding Storage- new 8-Cube Organizer and 3 Shelf Bookcase were added.
  • New Area Rug- the rug actually isn’t new to us, it’s just new to the room. We had this rug leftover from the playroom in our previous home and it was just hanging out in our garage (we bought it on Craigslist so I am not sure where it’s from originally). I wanted a bigger rug in the room to define a play space for the boys near the new storage. This rug was perfect because it also brought in some more masculine color to the space while complimenting the existing color of the room and the curtains that we weren’t planning on replacing.
  • Color Scheme- we got rid of all the pink cubical fabric drawers and accents in the room and replaced it with cubical fabric drawers that complimented the new rug- brown, mocha and green.
  • Bulletin Board- we had an extra bulletin board in the garage that we decided to swap in here because we thought the natural wood (vs. metal frame the old bulletin board had) would compliment the new color scheme nicely. With the endless amounts of preschool art work that comes home it makes perfect sense to still keep a place the boys can display their work.
  • New Artwork- these pieces were key! Artwork is an easy solution to help make the room “more masculine and give each of boy a personality within the space.” If you know me, you know I struggle with liking “characters” on just about anything. That being said, both my boys love superhero stuff (even though they have only been exposed to them through books). That being said, I didn’t want a giant Spiderman poster on their wall or their bedspread. I was so happy when I saw these Super Hero Wall Prints featured on Jane.com from Amy’s Simple Designs Etsy Shop. They were beyond cute and what I felt a little boy pretending to be a super hero would look like… so I bought them! I also added an Alphabet Art piece because Pierce LOVES (and that is an understatement) letters. ??????????????????????????????? IMG_1535
  • New Bed Sheets- another easy way to let the boys showcase their personality was to allow them to pick some new bed sheets (from the predetermined one’s Mommy would allow for the space of course). We lucked out because Pierce was sold on the Dinosaur Printed Bed Sheets that belonged to David (which of course made the sheet still new to Pierce). David on the other hand chose a fun new Pirate Printed Bed Sheet. Both prints work perfectly in the space because overall they are neural and white with colorful accents that compliment the other colors in the room. You might not even notice the different prints walking into the rooms but the boys love that each of their beds are themed with Pirates and Dinosaurs that they got to choose. ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????
  • Small Impact Pieces- their are a couple other pieces that are new to the room that seem small but are big in the eyes of my boys because they helped choose them to make their room feel their own: new piggy banks (Bumblebee and Robot), a car tower for racing little cars (they both love cars… especially Pierce), a wire basket “like in Eliann’s new room” that they wanted to “fill with toys to play with like Eliann got to fill with stuffed animals.”
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There you have it! A new space just for my boys that didn’t break the bank. With furniture rearrangement, a couple new functional pieces in the room and some colorful adjustments to accent my boys personalities, we now have a super fun little boys room.

REPORT

I am happy to report that they have been sleeping together for about a month now and they love it! We are working out the kinks before baby comes which is great… what kinks you ask? Well you know… rules for the room (like staying in your own bed to sleep come bed time), training them how to clean up the room together (working together and David being able to communicate clearly to Pierce what needs to be done so they both don’t end up frustrated with each other), staying in their room on weekend mornings until a parent let’s them out (Eliann and David had learned this but now that Eliann is in another room they wake up and try to find her or wander… so we are having to relearn this)… stuff like that.

I love my boys and I love that they can now enjoy a room that was lovingly put together just for them!