Just over a month ago, my sister was plunged into chaos when her devilish toddler proclaimed himself ready to move from his crib to a bed (by throwing himself out of the crib during a nap, naturally). My sister and her family live in a gorgeous home in a trendy part of the city but while it exudes charm and character, it’s quite short on space. The tiny tumbler was currently living in a teensy room off the living room that made for a cute nursery but in no way would hold a bed and other toddler-sized furniture. As any mom knows though, once the crib plunge has occurred, you’ve got to move fast before this becomes a regular escape routine!
My sister and her husband were nowhere near ready to move, so they brainstormed a bit and came up with the idea of moving their daughter to the small guestroom in their finished basement, their son upstairs into her old bedroom, and as a bonus, they would then turn the nursery into a home office. Easy peasy right? Wrong. What 8 year old little girl wants to sleep in the basement? Hello – anyone knows spiders live in the basement. Geez mom.
The next two weeks were full of “what-ifs” (what if we moved to the basement? But what if the baby needs us during the night?). After playing out numerous potential scenarios in their mind, they came back to where they started – the older of the two children needed to move into the basement. When talking to their daughter about the move, they used a makeover as a key selling point, and offered to do a trial-run before committing.
After a successful sleepover in the basement, Kinley was on board and the fun could begin! While my sister and I had tons of ideas for her new space, she had a few very particular requirements of her own. Most importantly, she wanted the room to be pink, but not like, girly pink, ya know? I immediately got sketching and came up with a mood board, which you can see here. Aside from the small size, another challenge in this room was the inability to make major changes. My sister and her family rent this home so we had to keep that in mind when designing the space. We also wanted to ensure that the room was designed strategically, such that it could grow with Kinley and seamlessly transition into her tween and teen years with only minor updates.
We decided to go with a pink, black and gold color scheme, with the backdrop of the existing light gray walls. Kinley decided to use her own money to pick out some throw pillows & accessories, which paired with her requested “punk princess” theme, gave us a starting point to build on for the rest of the room.
The first step was dealing with the unattractive electrical panel on the wall to the side of our planned location for the bed. As there is only one window in the room, we opted to put matching curtains over both the window and the electrical panel, giving the illusion of two, larger windows. As wallpaper was not an option for the room, we used removable lightning bolt wall decals to give the gray walls a bit of an “edge”!
A new bed from Structube perfectly fit the space, and we paired Kinley’s pillows with a pink spread, black and white polka dot duvet, and black and white striped bedskirt.
We reused the dresser and nightstand from Kinley’s old room, providing ample space for her growing collection of jewellery and hair accessories!
At the end of the bed, we installed two Ikea ledges for book storage. I cannot say enough about these ledges for displaying kids books! Not only do the books look great from a design perspective, but by showcasing them with their colorful covers facing out, they will be more likely to catch Kinley’s attention and prompt her to pick one up to read (it’s true – studies have shown an uptake in reading for children who have their books on display versus spine out on traditional shelves)!
On the wall beside her bed, we created the beginning of a gallery wall, using a combination of gold, black and white frames and prints, leaving enough space for Kinley to add to it (or change out some framed photos) as she gets older.
A pink area rug and a perfectly plush seat finished off the space!
While Kinley had picked out many of the accessories for her room, and had seen the mood board I created a few months ago, we kept her out while we pulled it all together. Her father was able to occupy her with dance class and dinner for the first little while, but the excited little girl eventually parked herself outside the closed bedroom door, anxiously asking when she could come in. When we finally opened the door, she was all smiles!
Head over to Shutterfly to check out this bedroom design, along with some other inspiring girls bedrooms! And see our shopping list below.