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Today I share a very special toddler girl's bedroom reveal – it is for my totally adorable niece Graelin who packs big personality into a littles body.
I’ve been waiting two years to get my hands on this little girl room. That's because when Graelin was born my sister and her husband had just moved to Atlanta, GA and were living in a condo until they could find the right house and neighborhood in Decatur, GA. Graelin is now 2 and a half. So while I didn’t get to create a nursery for her I did pour my heart and soul into her “big girl” bedroom.
Her new room is a great size and has two big windows that let in lots of natural light. The light isn't showing in these before photos due to a set of temporary paper blinds. Also going for it, the room had a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling; a playful pendant light; an old dresser for refinishing; two twin mattresses stacked on the beautiful hardwood floor. And that was about it, the rest would be purchased on their modest $1,000 budget.
A Good Start
My sister, Christina, had been pinning inspiration even before she moved into their new home and already had a pretty good idea of what color scheme and style of room she wanted to create for her daughter's new bedroom. We worked through the YouthfulNest online design process for the initial phase of the project which included a Style Board. The overall look was modern, clean and preppy with lots layering of pattern.
"I loved how simple it was to create my vision on my Pinterest board, share it with YouthfulNest and get to work quickly. We did everything by email and phone. Then room items we ordered online and they shipped directly to my home. I loved the time saving factor!" - Christina B.
Then as we were just about ready to start purchasing product it was decided that adding a second twin bed was best for visits by her cousins and future BFF sleepovers. This required a doubling of everything from bed frame, upholstery fabric, DIY supplies sheets, duvet, decor pillows, etc. Still be able to a minimum refinishing IKEA bed frames. So, then when I spotted some bedding on super sale from Serena & Lily which wasn't quite in line with the preppy style we had determined, I introduced the idea of mixing things up a little. I showed her some looks that brought in additional fresh colors like grapefruit, tangerine and yellow. It turned out the other budget-friendly brands we were shopping like Target had the perfect décor and furniture complements to this look which was shifting from straight-laced and preppy look to a funky fresh vibe.
After an additional version of the style board and overhauling our product selection to work with the discounted bedding we were finally digging this new look and revised Style Board.
This mom who works for Carter’s at their headquarters in Atlanta is in the know of what’s hip and trending for kids. While she trusted my ability to coordinate a look I could tell she was just a little hesitant how all the items would come together. In order to put her at ease I created a special 2D rendering that showed more precisely the elements layered together giving a more accurate perspective of how the room would look.
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How great is DIY? This great!
Drab Dresser Gets All Dressed Up
We knew from the beginning that with a limited budget we would need to shop smart hitting sales and avoiding any shipping costs. We also were excited to take on some fun and personal DIY projects.
First we turned up the style on the gray dresser that they already had in the room. We decided to go dark navy with brassy-gold knobs to bring in the rich color and weigh down the wall opposite the beds.
While this refinishing project tried the homeowners patience a little more than it should have due to some bad paint and the weather down in Hotlanta – the final outcome was stunning.
Reno Cost: $90
Paint, sealer & brushes $50
XOXO DIY Kids Art
There are so many great options for affordable wall art, but when it comes to children's rooms I love to incorporate something super personal like art they made. In this case we needed something colorful and we needed our master painters to lend their talents, so these cousins got to it.
Total Cost: $76
Two Frames $64
Paint & Supplies 8
Gold Metallic Marker $4
We got a little messy, but that meant a long fun tubby!
Don't Forget To Make Your Bed
We knew from the get-go that we wanted to create a custom upholstered bed frame in order to get the exact look we wanted and save a chunk of change. My sis picked up a couple IKEA bed frames and I found this amazing quality cotton canvas from Serena & Lily for over 70% off per yard!!!
Total Cost One Bed: $130
Twin bed frame $70
Paint & Staple Gun Supplies $10
Painting or staining the raw wood legs elevates the overall appearance.
The soft batting makes for a smooth base for forming the fabric over, and it hurts less when you run into a bed corner :)
The pretty stuff. Be sure and hammer in any nails that aren't completely flush so the mattress will fit well.
A vision of loveliness – I know CRUSHING ON THIS!
So sometimes it's those simplest details that are hard to find. In this room it was the hooks to place near the door and next to the dresser. Either what I loved was too expensive for our budget, no longer available, or I couldn't find enough pieces.
I was walking around one of my favorite shopping events in Omaha, Junkstock. My son asked to play with the big yellow Tonka trunks I gave him five minutes and poked around in a vendor's booth. I found a couple dozen of these heavy duty iron woodpeckers. Now I'm not sure of their original use, maybe just cool wall décor? I could envision them with a coat of spray paint and immediately texted Christina to see if she was on board. She was and apparently my niece who loves birds occasionally hears woodpecker she hears outside her bedroom. Perfect!
Total Cost 5 Hooks: $30
Spray Paint $5
5 Bird Hooks $25
One man's junk...my perfect whimsical wall hook!
This look is golden. Wish I would have bought enough to full the entire wall.
"My favorite 2 things in the room are the DIY art project that my daughter and her cousin painted. I bought acrylic paints in colors we used in the room décor, squirted the paints into a large egg carton as a palette and let them have at it. In no time, they created 2 gorgeous paintings that hang over the twin beds. I love having a personal touch of something she made in her room. Now I need for them to paint another one for my bedroom!
I also LOVE the DIY upholstered bed frames. This just makes it look complete and so finished in the total room. I think it pulls things together!" – Christina B.
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A Vision of Loveliness
Because we selected products with such killer pricing and turned out some amazing DIY pieces we were able to pull in some higher-end decor items from brands like Pottery Barn Teen, The Land of Nod and Anthropologie. The finished room proved that mixing high and low brands so you are none the wiser is truly an art and usually the hardest thing for homeowners to envision and accomplish.
"Something that makes me really happy is that my daughter is loving her new space! She transitioned from a crib to the new twin bed, and was so excited to have a "big girl" bed. She loves a book and she gets so excited to be able to pick one off the hanging shelf and plunk down on her bean bag chair to pour over a few before bed time. It's a lot of fun to see the joy she is getting out of something we created for her." – Christina B.
BEFORE & AFTERS
I'll take payments from my Grae-Girl in cousin snuggles and stories any day.
I am a self starter in pursuit of all things smart, savvy and stylish.