Friday, June 17, 2011

The Demise of our "Opium Den" and an idea for Inexpensive Wall Decor

It's occurred to me that I really should have taken some "before" pictures so these snapshots of my kids' new bedrooms would look extra impressive...

You see, they were practically empty before. Like quilts and pillows on the floor/storage space empty. So while the transformation is not exactly Elle Decor's pretty freaking impressive!

 The view of Eleanor's new room from the door.
(I think it needs a 4x6 rug - possibly something yellow...)

When we moved into this house, the twins slept in two cribs in the larger room and Oliver had his own crib in the smaller room. Then when he turned two, we put him in a toddler bed. And when the twins turned two 18 months later, we got rid of their cribs too (but only because they were treating them like jungle gyms).

 Her much anticipated bed!
(not sure where we got the was hanging in a closet...probably a grandparent sent it)

And that's when our normal sleeping situation began to derail.

We had plans to move Oliver into a regular twin bed and use his toddler bed and a new one for George and Eleanor. In the meantime, crib mattresses on the floor worked for the twins.

THEN, Chris took Eleanor to a family gathering on the West coast for a weekend and I put George's mattress in Oliver's room for those two nights (since he had never slept in his room alone before). And of course, Oliver loved this fun new arrangement.

 Dresser and book corner.

SO when Eleanor returned, we put the twins' crib mattresses in Oliver's room next to his toddler bed...which meant we had to move his dresser into the other room...

And that's when it really started getting weird.

 A little styling for the dresser using some of my own childhood nicknacks.

They would play at night before falling asleep (so cute!), and after a few two many head bonks on the toddler bed, we moved that out of the room as well. Leaving only the mattresses, a side table and lamp.

 View of the boy's room from the door.
(I know - I don't love the ceiling fans - but they are a must for this house in the summer!)

We planned to move all three to the bigger room with a twin bed plus two toddler beds set up - but (surprise!) we never seemed to get our act together. Until now almost TWO YEARS LATER.

 With real beds! And their father's idea of appropriate wall decor for boys.

During that time, I had to move the side table and lamp out since the twins would climb on the table during nap time (noticing a roughhousing pattern here?) And the mattresses finally had to go once I noticed that they never got slept on anymore and were generally used to make "caves."

So after a few months of spreading quilts on the floor for beds and seeing our six year old and four year olds sleeping in a big puppy pile every night, we decided it was time to stop the madness.

 MY wall featuring some Key West touches! Details below...

So now you know my dirty little secret. For years, my children have been sleeping in a room that I called "The Opium Den."

Obviously another "Dad" pick for room styling.

The pictures above show the very normal bedrooms they have now. Buying three twin mattress sets at once was pretty expensive  though (even from Costco where we found a fabulous deal), making a decor budget non-existent. So I had to stay with the current wall colors and use whatever accessories we already had (with the exception of sheets and some picture frames).

Here are some details and sources if you're interested.

I mentioned in the captions that I used a lot of my own childhood things for Eleanor's room:

An antique doll, some boxes from that collection I recently wrote about and a poster I picked out as a teenager have all been packed away just waiting to be put in Eleanor's room someday...

I also pulled some decor from the twins' old nursery:

I literally switched curtains between the two rooms. So simple. And those adorable garlands were an Etsy find via Middleburg. Looks like they currently have sheep, bunnies and roses - but I've seen far more options in the past - so if you're interested in seeing other garlands, I suggest contacting them.

We found every "girl" book in our house and put them in a basket for her own personal library (as you can see above everything else is in the boys' room - in a big jumble...must fix that).

The paintings over her bed are two Janet Hill pieces and a custom miniature from Studio Lara that I had in my own room (the sacrifices I make for my children...)

And over her dresser are two multimedia "fashion pictures" that my Aunt Jan (Eleanor's godmother) sent her for Christmas. Eleanor calls them her "Barbie pictures."

The dreamy doll print above them is from Du Buh Du Designs (if only I could manage to snag one of her actual dolls...they disappear from her Etsy shop seconds after she lists them!) I picked that up long ago thinking I'd eventually put it in Eleanor's room.

Finally - I had three watercolors of interiors (prints, that is) I received from my mother years ago. She always thought they would be a sweet addition to feminine bedroom decor if trimmed and framed. Never did pull that together for myself...but lucky Eleanor - they're now hers!

One is next to the window and the other two are next to the door.

I did have to pick up frames for the Du Buh Du print and the three interiors, but at least the doll fit neatly into a Target frame with a mat.

The watercolor pints were an odd size and while custom framing would have been nice, I couldn't afford that. Instead, I picked up three plain frames without mats and some art paper for mounting. I took pictures of the process - but I'll get to that later. First some details about the boys' room (not many though as - sports posters?...not that interesting).

Last year we were given a super cute book called Willy the Wimp. A used book to begin with - it fell apart from the constant manhandling and it had to be put aside. But I couldn't bring myself to toss it. Instead, I held onto a few of my favorite illustrations with plans to eventually frame them.

They look pretty good right? Again - this was a very unskilled DIY project. But for a kid's room, who needs fancy? I have some pictures of what I did, and I'll get to that momentarily.

The other pieces of the room that I like are the hooks...

...which can use for jackets in cooler weather and bathing suits in the summer. It was supposed to go in Oliver's nursery years ago, but we never got around to hanging it (another lazy pattern of ours...there are many).

But the wall I like most, hosts one of the Willy the Wimp pictures and two Key West pieces (and the curtains from what was previously Oliver's room):

The poster of the train is a signed Fantasy Fest poster that my parents sent us years ago. That I DID frame and put in Oliver's room. The frame came from Michael's - so it's very much in keeping with our theme of "cheap."

But that little guy above the window? Is actually one of the picket fence fish that we sell in our online shop!

That was also in Oliver's old room over the same set of curtains.

Obviously there is still more that can be done in these rooms... Eleanor's room needs pillow shams and a more useful coverlet (the antique quilt probably shouldn't be used for sleeping...) And as I said we will eventually put in a little rug to cover the worn/stained wall to wall carpet that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Also - I didn't show a picture of her closet. The accordion doors are kind of falling apart. Nothing ever fits in these 70's custom-size closet spaces. I would love to demo all of them and start over! In the meantime, a curtain may be more practical.

The boys room is pretty much done. But they'll need cold weather bedding in a few months. I'll probably be shopping for a shelf soon though, as Chris' mom is sending us his childhood collection of - wait for it - BOBBLE HEADS!

God help me. It just keeps getting better...

I had meant to include details and images of the little frame jobs I did for Eleanor's prints of interiors and the boys' Willy the Wimp pages. But this post is out of control! Far too long. And I'm exhausted. So I'll do a separate DIY post on that soon.

If I don't get to it before tomorrow - have a great weekend and Fathers Day!

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