I’ve been thinking about decorating my house a lot lately. I know I like to grouse about lifestyle blogs and how perfect everyone’s house looks, yadda yadda. But I’m not immune to the aesthetic pleasures of a beautiful home. I love beautiful, bright, clean spaces. As a teenager, I pored over Beautiful Homes & Gardens and even went through a phase where I used graph paper to design my own houses with wrought iron staircases and screened porches. I obsess over Offbeat Home and read every update at Young House Love, even if their style doesn’t mesh with mine 100%.
So, every once in awhile, I do make an effort to make my home a pretty place. It’s not designer-level intensity; it doesn’t have all those little touches that really make a place shine (I am bad at finishing stuff, after all); but this is my lazy mom/woman/decorator experience. Because, really: I think decorating is one area where even a modicum of effort can have a huge payoff. Even if it doesn’t transform your life, paint makes a huge difference. Even if you don’t have the perfect window treatments, upgrading from vinyl blinds makes your house feel less like a rental. Because I do believe little things matter, I think there’s room in the blogodesignsphere for some lazy decorating ideas, poorly photographed, with no buying information whatsoever. With that, here is how I redecorated my girls’ bedroom with little fanfare or fanciness, for under $1000.
The room is a strange T shape, or like… a fat robot with one big arm and one stumpy arm. It was painted in this awful color scheme, with matchstick blinds and frog valances. For the first six months we lived here, the room was a “playroom” that was rarely used.
I wanted a bedroom for the girls to share and grow in, that would be appealing to them but not hyper-feminine. I wanted it to work for little kids and older children as well.
The first thing I did was peel off the horrible border and paint the room a light green. I bought a light blue for the ceiling, but ran out of steam! Due to its odd shape, the room can only accomodate a twin bed, so we got bunk beds for the girls (way cheaper than I expected them to be — I’d considered a trundle but bunks were half the cost!). I bought a pretty set of bedspreads from JC Penney: they’re a patchwork floral design with lots of colors (“polish pink” for the girls, but also green, blue, purple: very flexible). I confess I splurged on some pillows because I always wanted a bolster pillow as a child! I remember reading The Rich Fool, this old school religious kid’s book, at my grandma’s house.
The guy dies on a luxurious bed with a bolster pillow and I was always like that is one cool pillow! (Nevermind the religious lesson, I learned about pillows.)
For the rest of the room, I purged our toys and arranged a small area for playing “house,” a reading corner, and a dress-up nook.
The chairs are Pottery Barn. I bought the foam forms on eBay for $40 ea. and my parents gave us the slipcovers for Christmas (we didn’t get them monogrammed because 1: I figured the girls would fight over them and 2: we want to eventually get rid of them). I have a 5×7 rug in that space now, too. The basket was a Goodwill find. The rice paper lamp is $20 from Target.com — if you have a Red debit or credit card, shipping is free, and it’s a great lamp with a gentle glow.
I love this nook so much! I truly believe that growing up in a room this architecturally interesting will make my children better people. To make the curtain, I bought a super long piece of sheer fabric for $8 at a resale home store in town. I used two tension rods to drape it. We bought a mirror for the wall opposite the hooks, but Brian broke it during installation and we’ve never gone back for another one.
COOLEST KID EVAR. Look at Robin rocking her horsie pjs, a dress-up blazer, and her new chair. AND a badass ballerina skirt.
We gave the girls decals for Christmas and they got to put them wherever they wanted: I thought this was a great way to give them some ownership over the decor without anything permanent. More than half the decals have been peeled off or ripped or messed up since then, but I figure that’s part of the fun.
A few notes:
- I planned to do so much more with organizers and rugs but ran out of time/energy/money and you know what? It’s fine without.
- Except for the chairs and bunk bed, we reused furniture from the rest of the house.
- I used the backs of the doors for chalkboards and some peel-n-stick cork tiles. The cork tiles fell off immediately (do not get the cheapy squares). The chalkboards are a big hit, but look kind of crappy. It would probably be worth buying chalkboard paint so it looks nicer.
- I definitely learned to not get overinvested in my vision for a space that’s intended for my kids. They move/shift/ignore stuff that I had these fantasies about, and that’s fine. It’s their room, and I spent and did as much as was necessary and no more. Otherwise, I’d be yelling at them all the time about not appropriately using the dress-up nook, which is silliness.
- The biggest/best change was the paint. It totally transformed the room. Paint is good.
- Not pictured: awesome Andy Warhol-style Carebears art that I found at a resale shop for $5.
Yet to do in the room? Hang some curtains by the bed, hang pictures of family/friends, and redo the cork boards so we can display their art.
There you go: Lazy Decorating.
P.S.: Y’all will be glad to know that Jen DID in fact go back and get that table she wrote about yesterday.