Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walls and Beds

I wanted to answer some questions and fill you in on as many details as I can about this room we recently finished. 

To see the full tour of this room, click here.

First the walls.  They were bare and brown when we moved in.  Dark dark brown.  You couldn't even see your hand in front of your face when the lights were off.  But I guess they had their perks.  The girls slept in pretty good.

But I don't like dark - so here is what we did to add some dimension and light to the 10 x 12 room.

We went to Home Depot and bought 8, 1/4 inch plywood sheets.  They were about 12 dollars a sheet.  I think we even had some leftover.  So this totaled about 100 bucks.

Then at Home Depot they cut the sheets down.  We had them cut them into 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch strips. 

Then my husband nailed them onto the walls with 2 inch gaps between.  He made it easy by cutting a small chunk of wood that was 2 inches and he slid it in the gaps as he nailed up the next piece.  This made it quick and easy.

Then he added some trim around the windows and 2/3rds of the way up the wall.  You could do it without that extra trim piece but I thought it added a little special something.

We came up with this method to save time and money.  It was pretty quick to put up and about 50 dollars cheaper than what we did in this room with the walls.  I just love the results after a couple of gallons of white paint.

We had spent enough of the wood so we used some inexpensive rope for the molding on top.  This idea came from a room we saw at a themed hotel on our anniversary - it was a pirate ship.  Can't believe I just told you that.

We first sprayed the room with a paint sprayer but it became obvious that in order to get the edges in between the planks good enough, I needed to brush. So I did.  That took awhile.

Now for a few details on the beds.

My husband was kind enough to custom make these beds per my requests.  He thought I was a bit crazy when I said I wanted beds that looked like crates - but he loves them now.

 There is a lift up storage compartment under the mattress, which is so nice for blankets and out of season clothes. 

I couldn't talk him into pictures during the process or even to make up some plans.  So sorry.

He likes to work at his own whims . . . . . . . and I wasn't about to interrupt when I had him on a roll.

But I will tell you about the stain I used. 

The pictures you see above were from a vinegar and steel wool method.  I filled a quart jar with vinegar and 3 bunches of steel wool.  I let that sit for 2 days.

Then I brewed up some green tea.  We did a single coat of the tea on the wood.  The wood doesn't do anything at this point.  But when you wipe on the vinegar mixture it turns an old wood brownish gray.  So pretty.

But I still thought they needed a little something, so I watered down some white paint and white washed the wood, scrubbing it in as good as I could without leaving any streaks.

The white wash made the wood even grayer, which was exactly what I had in mind.  Then we added some wheels and hardware. 

Now a little on the mattresses.

Which the girls had more fun on before they were on the beds.  These mattresses are a unique size, or at least they can be.  I needed this to fit the beds in this room along the wall. 

I got them from Ikea - they have thought of everything.

They are simple covered foam mattresses but they come in separate pieces so you can customize the size.  They go from the length of a twin (73 inches) to smaller (63 inches) or even smaller (53 inches).  We used one insert making the beds 63 inches, perfect for our wall.  The beds fit in snug enough that they can't roll around.  That could be bad.

The foam isn't that thick, but I think it is soft enough for a kid.  I don't think I could sleep on them.

But I don't hear any complaining from the little ones.

I hope this answered some of your questions.  We are really enjoying the new room, despite the early wake up times due to a lighter brighter room.

Can't win them all.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Little Girl Shared Bedroom - Small Space Makeover

I am quite proud of ourselves.

We spit this room out in record timing....... a month and a half.

That is pretty good for us.

 Let's just say, I shamefully became my dear sweet husbands slave driver.


 As always, he delivered just what I dreamed up and did some amazing work in this room.  Let me take you on a tour of this tiny 10 x 12 bedroom turned functional and roomy.


 What used to be avoided, is now a playful bright retreat for the little girls to spend hours in.

 As usual, I forgot before pics, but here are some during.

Pretty 1990 builder basic, with some very dark brown walls.  It felt like a cave.

We had a twin bed in there and a crib, plus a dresser and nightstand (not seen).  That pretty much took up the whole room.  They never played in there.  It was just a dark sleeping room.

You can see my husbands process of putting up the plywood panel's with a 2 inch gap in them.  I have covered more details on the walls in this post here.  We came up with this method mostly from trying to cut cost.  I wanted planked looking walls like our other room here, but we figured we could have a similar look for less by spacing them.  This style of planking was also much quicker to install.

But did you see that light fixture.  My girls thought they were snakes coming out of the ceiling.  Poor kids.

The closet got the doors ripped off and my husband built in some shelving and walls.

You might also note the painted rope used as crown molding.  Cheap and unique.

He also cut me an adorable scallop to frame off the closet.   Now it is a sweet little cozy spot with some fabric scrap bunting.

As always, we did things as thrifty as we could.   

And as homemade as possible.  That is how we roll.

 I think the beds are the real eye catchers.  They came about as I was trying to solve a few problems with the small space.  I knew it would open the room up to put the beds along the far wall, but that meant each bed could only measure 63 inches.  Twins are 73, and cribs are too small for my 4 year old.

In comes my hubby and Ikea to the rescue.

I told my love I wanted beds that looked like crates on wheels.  Then came a hesitant, "Oooookay dear.  Whatever you say."  (I'll give you more details on the beds in the next post).

Then I told Ikea I wanted adjustable mattresses.  And who knew they had already read my mind and had just the thing in exactly the perfect size.

Then I drug my girlfriend 2 1/2 hours away to Ikea so we could go get them.

I was one happy woman.

But of course my genius husband took it one step further.  You can reach under the mattress and lift up for storing blankets and out of season clothes.  It is great.

All in all both of the beds cost 60 dollars for the wood and $140 for the mattress's.  That is a steal.

While I was at Ikea I snagged their 4 dollar sheets and 3 dollar white fleece throws.  I had to hem the sheets from the bottom to fit the bed.

The pillowcases came from my mother's vintage linen's that have been passed down.  Not sure who made them, but somewhere along the lines of grandma or great grandma.

The comforters were made by me.  I cut apart an old twin comforter we've had for years and covered it to make a down comforter.  Then I basically sewed a big pillowcase with ties for the duvet cover.  Both came together for $15, the price of the fabric for the duvet.

We fold them up on fancy days ...

and lay them out on realistic ones.  Either way, I think they look great.

My mom gave me some old plate racks she didn't like in her house any more.  I painted them Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, and used them for book racks.  Thanks mom.

All the girls think the beds are pretty fun.  The 2 year old has taken awhile to adjust to a big girl bed.  She likes to explore at night time.  Yikes.

I'll add here, the rug I found at a thrift store for 8 dollars.  Love it and it washes great right in my washer.

Above their beds are these cute frames I've been working on collecting for years.  They are kind of hard to find.  The above Bessie Pease was the first one I fell in love with at an Antique store.  I'm so excited to have a cute place to display them now.  The frames are old Victorian Flue Covers they used to use to cover the holes from old stove pipes . . . . . . I think.

I hung everything with old rusty square head nails.  They are buggers to get into the wall.  You should see my thumb.

Their baby blessing dresses made from their grandmother are also on display.  It seems a shame to stick those in a box.

We needed a place for friends, and the thrift store again delivered with a $5 cradle (painted, of course) and a $2 box screwed onto the wall. 

On the other side we used a rusty old planter for her friends, and my husband made that stool from scrap wood.

I wanted some alphabet art, so I found these vintage fairy print off's on Etsy and fell in love.  My girl loves fairies.  I simply printed the fairies on some fabric paper you can put right into your printer (Joann's).  Then I cut and sewed them on some soft brown linen with all the raw edges exposed.  The hubs screwed it into 2 pieces of wood.

$5 dollar Alphabet art.

The Raggedy Ann's also came from their grandmother when they were born, and I couldn't pass up the 8 dollar wooden milk jugs from an antique store.  That was a splurge  :)

The horse was a $1.50 from guessed it......a thrift store.  I planned on painting it white but then fell in love with the browns when I put it in the window.

This 3 dollar stool needed some white paint and some grain sack love.  And as weird as this sounds, I think that stool is my favorite thing in the room.

I love it when they plop down on it to draw on their chalkboard.

The chalkboard - love/hate relationship.  We've enjoyed some fun classroom play, but I haven't enjoyed the chalk mess.

In the cozy spot, I made the patchwork pillow, and my mother-in-law/girls grandmother made the beautiful crochet rose pillow.  I love how her mad sewing skills and love touch all parts of this room.

Hang in there - I am almost done.

Behind the curtains are their well hidden clothes, dirty hampers, and a few toys.

 The curtains were made out of a $2 thrift store king size bed sheet.

My husband also made the toy box crates.  And he has plans for those posted previously here.

My girls love having some dress up clothes and hats at their reach.  Little do they know, I was just trying to color coordinate.  They tried to put a snow white dress up there and it got the boot pretty quickly.

I saw a button heart on Etsy here, and just had to make one myself.  I love how it looks on the white wall.

We needed more storage in the room so my husband made these boxes out of scrap wood and a rope handle to slide under their bed.  They hold toys and their socks, panties, slippers, and such.

Finally I will mention the doll house.  Found it at a garage sale for 15 buck a few years back.

I hope it doesn't bother you too much when I mention all the cost and thriftiness of the things we use for our spaces.

I'm just out to prove that you CAN have a beautiful home for cheap.

I'm also determined to use the small spaces we have to their full potential.  This room used to be so crammed, no one went in except to sleep.  Now 3 girls can play in there at the same time and have plenty of options.

It just takes a little creativity and smart organization.

And maybe a little help from a handy man and Ikea.

The little ones are pretty happy with their new space.

I think I will be too as soon as someone learns to stay put in their bed until the sun comes up.
And just for fun, thanks to free phone editing apps, I know the room looks cool when illustrated as well.
Since this post was long enough, Check out this post to read details on the construction of the beds and the walls.

As always, I would love to hear what you think!
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