Since we moved into our beach house… hmmm, more than a couple of years ago now… my daughter’s room has remained very much unfinished. To start with, it looked like this:
So inspiring, right? Brown carpets, white walls, plain white roller blinds, and the hand-me-down blue and red bedding from her big brothers. Oh boy. (Literally.)
Oh, and let’s not forget the security screens. I loathe and detest security screens. They are so frickin’ ugly. Total sidetrack here, but my burning question to the world is, why are they such a “thing” in Australia, but I never see them in U.S. homes? American readers, can you tell me how you get away without them?? Is it a security problem to not have “jail bars” on your windows?
I’ve been trying to convince my husband for years to leave off the security screens when we build a house, but it’s become a standard feature of every new build over here, to the extent that buyers expect, nay demand them. I just don’t get it. You pay a whole lot extra for this level of ugliness. True story. Plus, I don’t really get the whole point. Let’s be real… anyone could still smash a side panel and get in the house that way. As far as I can tell, the only deterrent here is that it’s harder to smash a window than slice through a fly-screen, so therefore if you have security screens, you don’t have to close all your windows when you go out.
Me, I would rather close my windows and not live behind bars. It’s not like we live in a high crime area. No doubt I’m way too complacent, but we feel very safe here in our little town. So am I the only one who despises security screens? Tell me your thoughts in the comments…
Anyhow. Back on topic. The point is, my daughter’s room began its life ugly. Very plain and very ugly.
We’ve made some (minimal) progress since the picture above. Allegra grew out of her little toddler bed, so we bought a cute “big girl” bed and a pink rug to cover up some of that hideous carpet. And there we stopped.
My sticking point: the very big, very blank white wall above Allegra’s bed.
I knew I wanted to do some sort of wall treatment there, but I didn’t know what. I’ve mulled over so many ideas over the past year and just couldn’t come up with anything that got me excited.
Paint alone would not make enough of an impact without some sort of panelling or board and batten treatment on the lower half to provide a bit of visual interest. The wall is just so tall and so bare – it’s hard to capture the scale of it on camera as the room is too small to step back far enough.
The complicating factor with any changes like those, is that the home we’re in is a rental. It’s owned by my husband’s company… so we have plenty of leeway when it comes to decorating. But this home was always meant to be a temporary stopping place. (That temporary move has turned into nearly three years. How did that happen?)
The whole not-knowing how long we’re going to even be here, has held me back for a good long while. With a baby and four kids to look after, I don’t have the energy for big changes right now. I also can’t justify spending a lot of money on structural features that we’ll leave behind when we move (and that might not suit the next owner anyway).
My lightbulb moment came recently when I stumbled across some really cute removable wallpaper. I adore wallpaper (I used it in my Master bedroom makeover and also my son’s nursery – both in this house.) But I was a bit nervous about wallpapering a third room in a home that is not technically ours. Of course – removable wallpaper is the perfect solution!
Suddenly my ideas started coming together fast. It’s amazing how one element that you’re really excited about can work like magic to pull a whole room together. Here’s what I came up with:
- Black raindrops removable wallpaper from BC Magic Wallpaper
- Wall prints: digital downloads from The Motivated Type that were previously used in other rooms of our house. I’ve had them squirreled away for my daughter’s room for a while.
- Upholstered bed from Hip Kids
- Kantha quilt from Eco Chic (I’m trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on this – I adore Kantha quilts and I’m very drawn to that dusty blue shade, although I feel like the top one in white is a better match for the room. Thoughts?)
- Moroccan Dhurrie rug in pink – I bought mine from Temple and Webster, but as sale selections vary, you can also find it here at Overstock
- Pink Audrey quilt from Pottery Barn Kids
- Lattice drum stool from The Reject Shop (we already own this)
- Kallax cube unit – found here at IKEA with these Branas baskets – Allegra’s room doubles as our toy storage/ playroom, so this is already in place. It just needs some styling help and a labelling system for the toys.
Basically, I already have nearly everything I need to pull this room together. We already have the bed, rug, quilt, and storage unit in the room, as well as a drum stool and some wall prints stashed away.
Now I just need to pull the trigger on the wallpaper to tie everything together, and a statement throw quilt for the end of the bed. I love the texture, colour and hand stitching of Indian Kantha quilts, so I’m seriously tempted by one of these, although they’re on the expensive side.
I also plan to purchase some sheer white curtains and edge them with black pom-pom trim for a bit of fun factor. (ANYTHING to cover up those ugly security screens, lol!)
Oh, and I didn’t just want generic mass-produced prints on the walls – I like to mix cheap prints with original art wherever possible, because I just love real art and think it adds so much beauty to a space. An amazing local artist I know has produced this gorgeous hand-cut lino-print of birds and flowers that I fell in love with and that will add something really unique and lovely to the walls. She’s doing another print run soon – so I have that ordered. I couldn’t show it on the mood board because it’s not something I can pull up a picture of online – but it is so very sweet and lovely.
And lastly, this ugly toy-storage behemoth needs some serious styling love (not to mention – LABELS on those baskets so the kids know where to put their toys away!)
Oh, and it’s a very, very small room, so the excess “stuff” that no longer gets used, has to go!
That means ditching the toy kitchen that no one plays with anymore, as well as the spindly bedside table, which I’m going to replace with a little drum stool we already have floating around elsewhere.
(This shot seriously looks like something from “Hoarders”. I’m embarrassed even to share it. Those cushions in the corner have been there for over a month. Don’t even ask. They’re going!)
So here’s my to-do list:
- Order and install wallpaper
- Choose and order the Kantha quilt (which one? Help!)
- Frame the original art piece
- Purchase sheer curtains and edge with pom-pom trim
- Install curtains
- Hang gallery wall
- Create labels for the toy baskets
- Style the cube unit shelves
- Remove unused items (toy kitchen, bedside table) and replace with the drum stool
I’m finally feeling super inspired and motivated with this room – so as I plug away at it over the next few weeks, I’ll keep you updated with my progress! I can’t wait to see it all come together.