We finally found time this weekend to paint and organize my daughter's room. We should have done it a long time ago--the room needed painting when we moved in--but every time I thought about it, I'd get so carried away with ideas and thoughts and Pottery Barn catalogues that I'd end up too frustrated to even start. I don't know why I thought we needed a major re-do into a magazine quality room, when all my daughter wanted was colors she liked and some space to organize her things. Once I looked through what we actually had, we had all the makings of a wonderful room, and to top it all off, my daughter already LIKED it. The only things she asked for were a desk, a bulletin board and a place to get away from her little brother. We already had the bunk beds (great deal from Pier 1 Kids a few years back) and all the matching linens, curtains, rug and accessories (Ikea a few years back). We just needed to pull it together--without buying anything.
First, we painted the room using the last of the green paint we got on Freecycle back in January. We mixed it with some white paint both to lighten it and to make sure there was enough to do the whole room. We fashioned a desk out of the two night stands she wasn't using with a shelf board across the top, and used a chair from the attic. (we're going to paint it) We found a shelf in the closet that had been in her room in our old house, and hung it over the desk for her treasures. I painted the edges of a bulletin board and covered it with fabric from a pillow case that matched her linens (casualty of a nocturnal nosebleed last year) and hung it under the shelf. We took the lamp from her brother's room (note to self--never leave a 2-year-old in a room with a lamp that you don't want broken--LOL) and put it on her desk. On the opposite wall, we hung the white-framed full length mirror that was in my way in my closet, and repurpose our wicker laundry basket for her stuffed animals. We got two old easter baskets, a pink one and a white one, and put them on the "desk" shelves for storage, along with some boxes she already had that matched her linens. She decided what would go in each box, we labelled them, and she organized her things. I made it clear that nothing without a place to go was coming back into the room, so she chose carefully and left a small pile of "stuff" behind, which will go to charity.
We took the wooden letters that spell her name--we had bought them and let her paint them several years ago, then forgotten about them---and painted them white and hung them over her top bunk. We also hung two flower lamps over her top bunk and a wall-mounted reading lamp over her bottom bunk, both bought at Ikea some time back with good intentions but never used. Last, we took her fluffy pink blanket and wrapped it around the lime-green body pillow that no longer matched, and placed it along the top bunk to give it a sofa-like feel. We made sure not to put the ladder back, so that she can go up there to read and hang out and have one private place where little brother can't bother her. (though I'm sure he'll try :)
I've never seen my daughter so excited. She has never complained about her room and always been grateful when she's gotten something new for it, but she was overjoyed to arrange her shelves, organize her desk and decorate her bulletin board just the way she wanted it. Last night, she voluntarily went to bed 30 minutes early! And today, she had a friend over to play and painstakingly cleaned her room without being asked after her friend left. (no easy task after 2 hours of playing rock star-veterinarian-fashion models!)