Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reagan's room part II

Back again for the rest of Reagan's room, the details and fun stuff!  When I was planning Reagan's room it was important that she had an area where she could enjoy reading.  I was a total bookworm as a kid and hope to instill a love of reading in my kids by encouraging them as much as possible.  So the book nook was born!  Take a look:

The book nook is basically a soft, cushy area we made from an Ikea mattress.  The cool thing is, the mattress we bought came in 4 sections because it is for an expandable bed.  We used one of the sections as a backrest at the front part of the bed (Reagan loves using the top of that area to sit her little stuffed animals).  When we were on our big city trip to Ikea we picked up those fun pillows for the nook, at $5 and $6 bucks a pop they were an affordable way to add some comfort and color to the space.  After we had the mattress in place we realized that we had a 16 inch opening at the foot of the bed.  The wheels in my little brain got to turning and I wondered if we could fit a bookshelf in that space, sort of like a built-in.  Since I'm not handy and neither is my hubby (and there was snow still flying outside meaning it would have to be built in the living room) I decided to see if I could find one that would fit in that space.  Low and behold, a $15 one from Lowes had the dimensions that would work in the space.  It was white and plain but for $15 it was a go, especially since you can't see much of it. Here it is in the nook:

I decided to make it a bit cuter with some Ikea fabric I bought., Since I don't sew my inquisitive husband wondered what I was going to use the 2 yards of fabric for, I assured him I hadn't a clue but would figure it out.  And I did!  Before we attached the cardboard like backing to the shelf I ironed the fabric, sprayed adhesive on the back and carefully adhered it to the backing.  Then we nailed it to the bookshelf as you normally would.  I think the fabric really made it super cute and Reagan loves it!

The other favorite feature of the book nook is a cute flower wall lamp we got at you guessed it...Ikea! Seriously, I could move in that place and would work there in a heartbeat if we had one within 250 miles. Here it is in all it's glowing glory:
To say it's a hit would be an understatement!  It has a super easy switch so the kids can easily turn it on and off and the bulb is securely covered there are no worries about the kids getting burned. The book nook is under the top bunk and can be a bit dark the so light serves as a good reading light too.  We snatched it up for $9.99, a steal! It really sets a nice vibe in the nook, I may have to sneak in there with Pioneer Woman's new book (that I'm hoping my hubby got me for my upcoming bday) when the kiddos are at school.
Another super fun and thrifty aspect of Reagan's room are these fun flags:

I got the idea from the birthday garland I did for Quinn's rock star birthday, paper is the one thing I can sew.  For this fun project I called up my mama and borrowed her sewing machine, went to Wal-Mart and bought a $5 pack of scrapbook paper then cut it into triangles and sewed the together to create this cheap and cute decoration.  I thought it went well with the similar flags on Reagan's canopy and would add a nice visual element to draw your eye upward and make the room seem bigger. Remember, Reagan said that a princess room has to have a canopy, her daddy and I agreed and bought her this cute one in the "as is" section at Ikea for $8.99, it was open but didn't have anything wrong with it.  I love it when that happens! Here it is in her room, rocking out with the flags it inspired:

Did you notice the second rail on the end of the bed with the cute little buckets?  We got those for chalk storage since I knew I was going to go the chalkboard paint route.  Keeping my theme of turning paper into decor, I decided to cut out the letters of Reag's name in cutesy paper, I then used clothespins and twine to create a simple but large decoration for over the dresser:

It has been getting rave reviews and cost a whole $1.12 so if one gets blown down when we open the windows to let in a spring breeze I won't be stressing. I'll just grab a piece of scrapbook paper and make a new one.  That is one reason I used so many different paper patterns, I am not limited to making it match! 

Want to see my favorite thing in her room?  I love it so much I want my own:
That awesome, fun and quirky rug really sets my heart aflutter! I spotted it on Ikea's

So that brings us to the end of Reagan's room for you number nerds here is the total dinero that we dropped for this room:
$225 from this post
$16 for pillows
$15 for the bookshelf from Lowes
$6 for fabric for the bookshelf
$9.99 for the wall flower (I couldn't resist)
$8.99 for the canopy
$6.12 for the flags and name
$39.99 for the rug
All the other decor in the room was free! We reused it from our other daughter's previous princess room.  I just refreshed it a bit by painting the frames with paint we already had.
=$326.98 total

Pretty good, but remember, we sold her old furniture for $325 which brings the grand total down to $1.98!  So we re-did this room top to bottom for less than a gallon of milk! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reagan's fun and functional "princess" room: the breakdown

Our 4 y.o., Reagan, has big imagination and even bigger ideas, but somehow they get lost in translation.  She is truly one of the most interesting kids I know and would like to spend an hour in her mind. She and I spent a lot of time discussing what she wanted for her room....we don't want to re-do it again for several years so it was important that it be something she enjoys now and will continue to enjoy for years to come.  That reason alone is exactly why we don't have any characters or character bedding...a fade that passes too quickly.

Reagan said she wanted a princess room, which as we discovered meant a canopy over her bed like her sister currently had in her princess room....easy enough!  A trip to Lowes and she quickly (or not so quickly) selected pink and green as her bedroom colors, her only other request was a bunk bed.  The foundation was set.  I decided that chair rail would be a nice (and inexpensive) way to add a little character to her room and be a nice transition between the pink and green.

The hubs and I had a trip to Pittsburgh planned, it was a  perfect opportunity for me to hit up Ikea and scour craigslist for some second hand deals. Since the deals are always more plentiful in a city.   The Steel City treated us well and we found a ton of stuff and had a really great kid free weekend.  Sidenote: there are so many local beers in Pittsburgh my hubby almost decided to stay.  before we went on our trip we had to take care of getting rid of Reagan's current furniture.  I listed it on craigslist (even though results can be limited for us in such a small area) and a local facebook yardsale site our area has, a few days later a nice family came to pick it up, so before we knew it this cute Ikea set our youngest had slept in since 18 months was gone:

Don't worry, we kept the dog,  We sold her furniture for $325 so that was a good start for funding the new room.  Which really helped keep the entire project costs low.

I started checking out bunk beds, we thought that this cool bunk bed from Ikea was perfect for Reagan. It is reversible so it can be either high or low but even when the bed is on top it isn't too high.  Still with me?  A picture may help:The $199 price at Ikea is reasonable but I was thrilled to find one on craigslist for a hundred bucks...and they were willing to hold it for us for a few days.  We negotiated and brought it home for $80! Sweeeeeeet!  But I had big plans for the bed, I grabbed a quart of chalkboard paint and went to town painting those ugly blue panels:

Now the kids have a cool outlet for their creative visions. We call the area underneath the bed the book nook...more on it later!

After securing the bed the only other major piece of furniture we needed for her room was a desk.  I hit up craigslist again and we found a cute and 4.5 year old friendly desk and chair for $30!  Those nice folks had ties to WV so they were willing to hold it for us, again Pittsburgh rocked with it's nice people! My sweet talking hubby sure did get them down to $20! Yay! Here it is in Reagan's room:

I loved that it wasn't huge and had a little shelf.  I have big plans to sand and refinish it this summer, not sure if I am going to paint or stain it. Ideas?  Reagan LOVES it and feels very important when she does her "homework" at it!

Her dresser has been around for a while: we snatched it from our older daughter's room since we were going in a different direction there, before that my hubby used it in college and when we first got married,  before that it was at my in laws house. Many years ago it served as my hubby's dresser when he was still chillin' in his under roo's.  He thinks it may have belonged to their neighbor before that... so yeah, it's held up well.  Did I mention that I have painted it 4 times in the last 9 years!  It's now white:

The big door on the right has a rack to hang clothes but we prefer to use it for game storage and find the area underneath perfect to slide in weird items (i.e. Hungry Hippos and huge drawing pads) that don't seem to fit good elsewhere. The paint job isn't great but Reagan is a bit rough so it will suit her well.

We decided to keep the 9 cubby shelf that Reagan has had since she was a wee lad of 18 months.  We love that she can easily access it and that the fabric bins can store small items.  We seriously need to do away with the red cubbies and get some green ones though...yikes:

See that big frog hanging beside the desk?   Like you could miss it! We picked it up at Ikea for $9.99 (on sale!!).  I thought is was super cute and fit our "princess" room, plus it serves as great storage for small toys like matchbox cars, My Little Ponies and Zhu Zhu Pets.  Reagan can easily get her toys in and out and see what is in each compartment.  Reagan isn't great at picking up her toys so we are trying to giver her good, easy storage options.

 Doesn't that frog make ya smile? Reagan loves him and his storage capacity!  Want to see another fun yet clever storage option we fit in her room?  Sure you do!

How cute are those?  Can you guess where we got them? Yep, Ikea.  The rod was a whopping $1.99 and each container was on sale for $0.59.  So for less than $4.50 we have cute and kid friendly storage for pencils and crayons.  Those cute containers easily snap off the rod so she can take it to the floor or her desk, which she loves.  I love that they are durable and wipe down/ wash out easliy!

Curious about our paint colors:  they are both Olympic no VOC paint from Lowes (side note, I wasn't impressed with the paint, it's coverage was terrible!), the green is asperagus and the pink is cotton candy...what a combo!

That's all for today, but come back tomorrow to see some more including the book nook and the cute flags that people have bee asking about!

For those of you tallying the budget here is a rundown so far:
2 gallons of paint, $15 each (I had a 20% off and there was a rebate bringing it down from $23)
Bed, $80 on craigslist
Matressess for upper and lower bunk: $35 each at Ikea, we lucked out and found them in the "as is" section because they were discontinued! But they are still on the website so not sure what's up with that?
Chair rail, $5.17 each (we used 5) at Lowes but all of ours had busted up ends (you cut those off anyway) so I got them for 50% off and then used a 20% coupon = $10.34 for all 5!
Desk, $20 from craigslist, we owned it already and we my mom already had the antique white paint so it was a total freebie!
Rod and containers, $4.50
Frog and toy storage, $9.99

Monday, March 21, 2011

One month MIA

Yep, I've been MIA again.  The thing is when you have two munchkins a "I'll do it tomorrow" can get put off for a month. Add in the fact that we had the flu (nasty, nasty stuff!) and a stomach bug.  Over the last two weeks I have been super busy re-doing both of my girls rooms. What made me think it was a good idea to do them at the same time is still undetermined.  But I guess the plus side is that our house was only a wreck for 2 weeks instead of 2 weeks on 2 different occasions and since they were both getting new rooms the jealously was at an all time low!

Our oldest who is 7 (going on 17) decided that she wanted a Paris themed room:  pink and black with lots of Eiffel tower charm.  Our youngest decided that she was all about a Princess room.  Since the older had a Princess room my brilliant husband thought we should just switch them and only redo one room.  But after a few conversations with the 4 year old it turns out that "princess" to her means a canopy above her bed.

So I got the wheels turning and started coming up with ideas. Obviously I wanted to stick with a pretty small budget, originally we had said less than $500 for both.  I'm happy to report that it will be less than $250 for both!

 I'll have more details on...well, the details of each room soon.  But here is a sneak peek of the "princess" room:

The fun rug was really what got everything started for this room!  The low bunk bed and book nook underneath are perfect, she loves them!

We re-painted a dresser we already had to save some $$$!

And now get your passport ready for Paris:

We still have a couple projects to do in her room!

That dresser that I re-painted was a $20 craigslist find....woohoo!
Stay tuned for more!