Updating a nursery to a shared kid room
When I found out we were expecting again, I knew the baby would eventually share a room with our three-year-old Caroline since our guest room is often occupied by my in-laws (who kindly provide weekly child care–thanks Palmers!).
With a shared room on the horizon for Caroline, I wanted to make the changes to her room special and exciting. The most exciting change for me was the feature wall we completed with Sharpies for $15, which you can read about here.
However, more importantly, the most exciting change for Caroline was her big girl bed. We found it on Craigslist (and bought the mattress new, on sale), and she was pumped to have a real big kid bed. It was also nice for Patrick and I because reading books sitting in a normal sized bed is way better than leaning over a toddler bed.
I positioned the bed and the crib against the same wall so they are the first things you see when entering. I feared there would be little floor space left for playing, but I was surprised how large the room still felt.
We added a fluffy white rug (which Caroline rolled around on repeatedly when we brought it home) to ground the play space between the bed and crib. We chose the white rug after dabbling with the thought of a colorful one. Daly encouraged the plain one to emphasize the graphic pattern Sharpie wall. I agreed. Do you think we made the right decision?
Now let's take a little tour!
Finding inexpensive window treatments for kid space
My biggest challenge for updating the room was the window treatments. Before we had plastic blinds that no longer worked properly, curtains that weren't wide enough and simple tension rods acting as curtain rods. While I liked the tension rods, Patrick wasn't a fan. After we began hunting for simple wooden curtain rods, I remembered why I chose the tension rods in the first place. They were simple and inexpensive–apparently qualities hard to obtain in curtain rods in Tulsa, OK.
Has anyone else ever ran into this problem before? Seriously, there are no inexpensive ($15-30ish) simple wooden curtain rods to be found in this town. We used some from IKEA in our room, but we couldn't order them online and we weren't driving to Dallas for curtain rods. All of the ones I found online were more than I wanted to spend. We finally decided on light wooden dowels from the hardware store and medium-toned wooden brackets by Martha Stewart. I think we paid less than $20 for both the rod and brackets per window.
I was unsure if the wood mixing would work for the window treatments, but it sure as heck did. I'd done enough mixing in other places in the room, that it worked out nicely (e.g., medium toned big bed, light toned crib, medium toned picture frames, light toned changing table). Curtain rod rant over. Next up, we needed more curtains.
I had planned on creating some indigo shibori dyed curtains at the House Sparrow workshop I took in April, but the universe chose otherwise (now I will make something else beautiful with that indigo fabric!). I was at an estate sale with my friend Ruby (of Laurel & Marie) when we spotted this red striped twin sheet in a closet for $2. We both agreed it went perfectly with the kids' room and the feature wall, so I bought it. That night as Caroline was getting ready for bed, I brought in the sheet to show her. She responded, "That's not for my bed, it's for my curtains."
And what do you know– she was right. While it was definitely a sheet (with a twin tag), there was already a hem sewn for a curtain rod. All I had to do was cut it in half and hem the edge (well, my mom did) and it was the absolute perfect solution to the curtain situation. I like to think I would have thought of this on my own, but I'm not so sure I would have. All credit goes to the three year old.
Lastly, to update the windows, we got rid of the broken blinds and installed bamboo shades which not only function much better, but also bring together the whole wood mixing situation nicely. I love their natural, airy vibe.
Modern, Colorful, and Set for a Happy Life
Daly said it well, when she said kid rooms are often about creating an environment suited for optimal parenting. I feel happy in this space, and I love thinking about Caroline and Jack waking up in a space their momma put thought, love and hope into. We are always saying folks should live life on a beautiful background, and that includes wee babes as well. What if we were all surrounded by beauty? How might that change the world?