Seven months ago, we had decided that when Alice turned two, we would give her a "big girl room" as her present. Milo would be joining our family and we wanted to give Alice plenty of transition time to adjust to her new surroundings, not to mention celebrating her growing up and not her getting kicked out.
One of the big projects we wanted to address in this room was the windows - they were old and leaked a lot of air - something we wanted to take care of before we moved Alice in. About mid-May, two weeks before the hailstorm, I came across a contractor, and he came out to measure the windows and give us a quote. We had finally saved enough to replace them...and then the storm hit.
The windows in this room and the adjoining "Narnia closet" were broken out and would now be covered by insurance. Isn't God awesome like that? :) I already had the workers lined up and the order placed, so it moved through much faster than our neighboring counterparts, and most importantly would still happen before Alice's birthday.
before: busted windows/purple-gray paint/dark trim/manilla outlet plates
new windows in
For some reason, this was the only room in the house with dark trim and old windows, so the trim had to get a coat (or 3) of paint as well.
I hired these girls to paint the ceiling. If you noticed in the first picture, we had painted the room grey - well, what we thought was grey. It turned out to be more purple than anything else, so that had to go. But before I re-painted the room in Benjamin Moore's Light Pewter, I had the brilliant notion to paint the edges of the ceiling because the former owners at one point had painted the room peach which was showing.
The problem: painting that little strip of ceiling white revealed just how dingy the rest of the ceiling was.
So, very last minute, I hired some teens from our church who do odd jobs to raise money for mission trips. (There was no way I was going to stand on a ladder all day and paint a severely textured ceiling.) It took them all day and an extra run to Omaha to get more ceiling paint, but they did it! And just in time - we're talking the day before Alice's big birthday party.
I stayed up until 11 p.m. that night doing finishing touches and cleaning up, but it was worth it! It's amazing what a difference a bright ceiling can make in a room.
I had gone to Joann's Fabrics to look for curtain fabric that my sister would turn into window coverings, but after searching high and low for an hour and a half (while my amazing husband entertained Alice) I couldn't settle on anything. It was costly and "the one" was not making itself evident. So I sighed, chalked it up to a loss, and moved on. (I hate having nothing to show for time spent.)
So we continued on with our afternoon adventure to Omaha and fell in love with this curtain panel from Target (tan/coral). They were $24 per panel, and since they were so wide, we only needed two! Roughly half the price of what it would have cost if we had bought material and made them ourselves. My seamstress of a sister hemmed the bottoms up 6 inches, cut them down the middle and re-hemmed them to turn them into four. With $3 cafe rods (also from Target) it was a fairly affordable transformation.
Hanging the curtains higher made the room look so much taller and really finished the room off. I love the way the coral/poppy color picks up in her artwork and books, not to mention it's nice to close them for naps and nighttime. Practical and pretty.
The artwork I had purchased from artists in the Netherlands and London and matted and framed them myself. (See this post)
The bed frame we bought from an old man down the street at a garage sale last summer and the chair I re-did here. The dressers were my mom and aunt's and then mine and my sister's when we were little, and now we moved them from the nursery to her big girl room. And the books - where do I start? We kind of have a thing for reading here, so I collect a great many from the kid's clearance section at Half-Price bookstore.
Alice loves the freedom of being able to get in and out of her bed by herself and my favorite part is getting to lay with her and tell each other stories and cuddle. It's magic :D
You're so big, Alice! I hope you like your new room!