Thursday, December 26, 2013

Natalie's new room

Natalie's been in her new room for nearly three weeks, but I wasn't able to put the finishing touches on it until this morning, thanks to a Christmas Eve package delivery. She's loving it, I'm loving it, so I thought it was time to share it.


I had perhaps more fun creating this room than I did creating the nursery two years ago, simply because this time I knew I was creating a room exclusively for a little girl, rather than creating a room that could easily work for a girl or a boy. Perhaps what made this experience even more fun was knowing the little person I was designing the room for. I tried to incorporate as many of her interests into this room as possible, and I got her involved and excited in the decorating process along the way.

Bedding -- the inspiration
My vision for the room began over the summer, as many visions do, with a trip to Target, where I happened upon the Xhilaration twin quilt ($50) that ultimately became the room's inspiration piece. Even though Natalie's continuing in her crib (for as long as she'd like, which could be a while) I thought it would be wise to base this room that she'll grow into around fun bedding, so I threw in a pillow sham ($20) and slowly pieced together other items. She scored a new Mini Dot Crib Fitted Sheet in bright pink ($16 after coupon) from Pottery Barn Kids, too. Fortunately, she loves to say "polka-dot," and there are yellow polka-dots in her quilt, so there's some coordination going on, too.

Curtains
My next task after tackling the bedding was to get some seriously heavy-duty curtains. Natalie's new room has two windows whereas the nursery has only one. I considered DIYing the no-sew curtains I had made for the nursery, but knowing I'd have to make twice as many curtains and knowing that the room lets in a lot more light than the nursery, I decided this time I'd be better off hiring a professional and getting real curtains made with built-in black-out liner.

It took me a while to find a well-reviewed local seamstress willing to make curtains, but I finally happened upon Young's Cleaners. I'd recommend their seamstress services. I had to do a little back and forth because of language barriers, but by working with the owner's daughter I was able to get exactly what I was hoping for. I decided to be perhaps a little unconventional with the overall curtain design and went with three panels (instead of two or four) and chose one patterned fabric for the two outside panels and one solid fuchsia material for the middle panel.


These curtains were definitely an investment, but I am happy to spend the most on curtains for a room for a child. If there's one thing we value in our house, it's sleep.

Curtain fabric -- $75 for 8 yards (16 feet of patterned fabric, 8 feet of solid fabric), Jo-Ann Fabrics
Black-out liner fabric -- $36 for 8 yards, Jo-Ann Fabrics
Seamstress labor -- $210 for three curtain panels, Young's Cleaners
Curtain rod, 48"-88", black satin finish -- $32, Bed Bath and Beyond
Curtain rings -- $18 for three packs of 7 rings each, Bed Bath and Beyond

Furniture
Because we moved Natalie's crib out of the nursery and into the new room, we temporarily dodged the bullet of needing to buy another bed. We are still waiting to see if we'll need a second crib for the nursery. I'd predict yes at this point, but for now baby boy (when he arrives) will kick it in the Pack N Play and then we'll reevaluate.

The only furniture, then, we needed to consider for Natalie's new room was a bookcase and a dresser. For her bookcase, we chose the eight-box Expedit from IKEA in white ($70).

For her dresser, we decided to tackle the one real DIY project of this new room and we refinished an old dresser a friend handed down to us when we moved into our house seven years ago. This refinishing project was not a monumental task, as the dresser was in good shape aside from some water stains on the top; I just wish we hadn't waited until the coldest weather of the year kicked in during late November to take on this project inside our freezing garage. We followed the same procedure we did when Matt refinished the dresser for the nursery. Matt sanded the dresser, and then I painted it a shade called Watermelon Smoothie ($15.75 for a quart) manufactured by Glidden, but color-matched using Behr paint thanks to the recommendation from a Home Depot employee and professional painter who told me he'd always choose Behr over Glidden.


As another splurge and mini-project, I decided to line the eight dresser drawers in fancy handmade paper from Paper Source ($46 for eight sheets). I chose gold dragonflies on fuchsia, gold dragonflies on sea green, bean orange, and bean white on green. I used Modge Podge to get the paper to adhere to the drawers' interiors. It's a time-consuming task, but I love how Natalie opens her drawers and says, "Mom made art!"

Art
Actually, Natalie likes to talk about the art all around her room. Specifically, I framed two pieces of art Natalie already had, and I purchased three new pieces of art: Reading Rainbow, 17"x 20", Society 6 ($24); Muppet Alphabet, 17"x 20", Society 6 ($25); Home is Wherever I Am With You, Etsy seller RawArtLetterpress ($20). I was super pleased with the service I received from both sellers. In the case of RawArtLetterpress, my order shipped immediately and it arrived with a few added free goodies that I plan to make into greeting cards. I was a little dismayed when I checked over the two prints I received from Society6 and discovered a couple green dots in the middle of each poster. I contacted the company, and they sent me new versions of each print, no questions asked, that very day. They even responded to my email within 15 minutes. I framed all the art in cheap-ish white frames from Michaels ($54 for four frames after various discounts).

You might notice in the picture above two pink fabric bins with an owl pattern that house some of Natalie's toys and stuffed animals. I picked those up at Home Goods in early November ($13 each).

I also decided to go with another decal, just as I'd done with the nursery. I went with Dali Decals again and opted for the Peaceful Leaning Birch Tree with Blossoms in white with pink flowers ($89 after coupon code). While not absolutely necessary, this decal rests over Natalie's crib and helps fill what had been a giant empty wall in the room. Plus, I love hearing Natalie talk about how the leaves from her tree will fall on the grass (she was pretty jazzed to talk about leaves this year).

Extras
Moving Natalie into her new room meant sacrificing some storage space. Because her new room shares a wall with the hallway bathroom, this room is actually slightly bigger than the nursery, but its closet is significantly smaller than the nursery closet. So, baby brother will be housing some extra gear in his closet. Even still, Natalie's closet has room to expand, as many of the items that are in there are either clothes she'll grow into or toys she doesn't even know she owns yet that she'll be slowly gifted during her brother's first few months of life.

Moving Natalie into this room meant breaking out her P'Kolino Little Reader Chair that I received for her at my baby shower. She didn't have space for it in the nursery, but she loves it and her stool with her name on it in her new room. She especially cracks me up when she reclines in the chair with her arms on both armrests and both of her feet propped up on the stool. She looks like a queen. It's absurd.

Overall, I didn't make a tremendous time investment in this space (we got away with not painting the walls and sticking with the original Behr Sagey we painted the room seven years ago, so that definitely helped). Still, it took me much longer to piece together this room as compared to the nursery simply because of the comparatively limited time I have at this point in my life. I am thrilled, though, that Natalie loves the room so much, and I'll share soon how we got her to transition to the new room.

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