When she was 3,5 years old, Febe suddenly decided to tear a part of her wallpaper apart, next to her bed. She did it a couple of times, and even drew on it with a pen… She said it was because she didn’t like her room anymore, we think it was just the age. But, we knew we needed to redo the room at some point. The missing wallpaper was covered with a Frozen poster in the mean time, but she couldn’t have her baby animal theme forever – right?
We decided to wait untill she was a bit older, to be on the safe side for further destructions, and this summer we finally set things in motion. I wanted a stylish and cozy room, cottage style, but fun enough for a little girl to play in. That’s easier said than done though 😉 Let me take you through the whole process and finally show you the end result.
- Decide what you want to keep and what needs to go
This was the first important step in the process. I wanted new curtains. I decided to keep the bar, and the rings to hang them up, since they looked “cottage” enough.
The chair on the right moved to another room. I had used it to breastfeed when she was little, and it just stayed in her room as reading chair for her. But, I wanted to transform the rack on the wall into a bench to read on – so she would have her reading spot. I saw a tutorial on Pinterest – more about that later 😉
The gigantic desk needed to go. It took up almost 1/4 of her room, and it was handy to change her diaper when she was little, but now it was useless. And too big, even for later on.
- Pick a colour scheme
A step I would really recommend before you start looking for paint or wallpaper. There are enormous options out there, and if you don’t have a sort of sence of direction, you’ll get lost.
We found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest about rooms we like and the Studio Poppy blog has some excellent colour schemes for kids rooms. We decided to go with this one, though the room shown was to “soft” coloured for us. We wanted to spike it up a bit more. We loved the pinks and greys and decided to make the red as shown in the birds our accent colour.
- First comes the hard work…
The next step is the hardest: the prep work. The room was covered in wallpaper, that needed to come off. That means stripping it down. Making the paper that sticks wet and stripping that down as well. Filling up the holes in the wall with plaster. Painting the door and window (primer + two final layers). Painting the ceiling (two layers). A lot of work – more than you would think, even for a small room.
Then two days of hanging the wallpaper. Because you always run into some things that don’t go as planned. In our case, the room turned out not to be that even: the ceiling is higher to the right than to the left for instance. Just a couple of centimeters off, but it makes a huge difference when hanging paper on the wall.Some pieces of advice: do this step thoroughly. Take quality paint and quality wallpaper. Don’t try to save up on your budget here or you will regret it. We once tried to save on paint in our hallway and ended having to put 6 layers to the ceiling instead of two. I know what to choose now 😉
- And then you shop for decorations and you create a personal touch
Once the outer linings of the room are done, you can go shop for decorations. A couple of things that make this room extra comfy:
We decided to frame some of her heroes. The picture shows a young cocker spaniel pup and his mum. It’s not actually our dog, but she thinks it is 😉 On the right you see some of her biggest cartoon heroes. It’s the item she loves most in her new room, along with her minnie mouse light (she chose it herself). Framing pictures instead of using posters makes the room look more neat in an instance!
Notice the little bird on top of the picture frame? We have a couple cute friends making her room more playfull.
The stickers (bird, mushrooms, butterflies) are from Aldi – we bought them a while ago for absolutely no money (I think they were €3 or something like that). On her shelves are different mini-heroes. Most of them are toys from birthday cakes or Kinder Surprise eggs – also: they cost little to nothing! The crochet garland is homemade and pretty trendy. You often see them in kids rooms nowadays and well, I couldn’t resist that one, could I?
The wooden board with text on is something I accidently came accross earlier this week. It translates like this:
‘Clothes off, pj’s on. We’ll give you a big kiss before bedtime. Dream nice all night long. Sleep tight. Mum and dad are keeping watch.’ Ofcourse, in Dutch it rhymes 😉
The red accent colour comes back in a couple of places: the curtains, and the pillow of the bookbench (tutorial link below).
Her bedside mat (not an expensive carpet, but just a wooly bathroom carpet we found at our local hardware store) and her minnie-mouse light are also red. And the little coaster underneath the plant (home crochet as well) is too. It also comes back in her “treasure” playboxes. They come from Ikea as well and are a great storage for toys. We added a white cubic seat as well, which doubles as both step to watch through the room and storage room for her crayons, stamps and colouring books. Also from Ikea (as are her bed and bedside cupboard).
Last – but not least – her bookbench. The minute I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, I knew I had to make one of my own.
She had sort of the same thing hanging from her wall, though the tutorial is an Ikea hack, and this is not an Ikea shelf. Which means basically one thing: I searched for baskets for weeks, but couldn’t find anything that fitted.
I tried crocheting baskets around rope, but didn’t find them nice enough. In the end, I just decided to paint the interior white as well, and add some varnish so the books woudln’t damage the paint. I used colourless varnish that is used on wooden floors. We thought about making white curtains and attach them with velcro to the bench (upper side: velcro, the bottom would hang loose), but for now, we are keeping it this way. She likes to see all her books and it makes the room more playfull we think.
It was a lot of work, but we are really proud that we did it all by ourself. She loves her room and has been up there a lot this week, playing, reading, colouring. The bookbench is what makes me most proud, because I did it all alone. It’s not that hard, but still… 😉