With Baby #2 on the way, it was finally time to transition our toddler to her “big girl” room. Sad as it was to admit she’s growing up, it seemed like the right time. We did have a bit of a hitch to deal with though. We are planning on moving in about a year, so we didn’t want to invest too much into decorating the room, furniture, etc. My goal was to repurpose as many items we already had in the house, and only purchase what was necessary, all the while making the room fun and exciting for her.
The most important thing to consider was furniture, of course. She needed a bed, a night table, some shelving, and enough place to store her clothes. We took the Queen mattress and box spring from our guest bedroom which we rarely used and I purchased an inexpensive metal bed frame for $50. I did have to purchase 2 bedrails for safety at $30 each at Toys R Us, but they fold down and under the mattress so are invisible when not in use.
For shelving, I took a shelving unit my father had made for me as a child, which I had converted into a “bar” 2 houses ago, and re-painted it white. Only cost for this was a quart of paint. For a night table, I borrowed a white IKEA table from our basement playroom that wasn’t really used. As for clothes storage, the room we moved her into had a small walk-in closet, so by adding cloth shelves($20) and an extra rod that doubled the hanging room ($15), as well as a night table from our guest room with 2 drawers, I was able to store all of her clothes without needing a dresser.
Next comes décor, and this is the fun part. I started, of course, by choosing bedding that would be the inspiration for the room. I didn’t want anything themed that she would grow out of quickly, so I searched for a great patterned set in a colour that was fresh and fun, and I happened to catch it at 30% off, for a total of $175 including a sheet set, duvet cover and 2 shams at Sears! I bought an all-season duvet and 2 very flat pillows at IKEA for $66, plus a bedskirt to cover the frame, and some pillow protectors ($25). I used extra pillows from my guest room for the shams. Everything else in the room was chosen and created to work with the fabulous bedding.
Because I didn’t want to invest in a headboard until we move to the new house, I painted a headboard onto the wall, rather than purchasing a headboard. This way I was able to customize it to match the bedding. To make the wall soft, I simply used the pillow shams that came with the bedding for her to lean up against if she chooses.
For lighting, I purchased an inexpensive $20 lamp with a plain white shade from target, then I prettied it up using some great decorative paper flowers and fabric ribbon from Michaels that I glued onto the shade ($6.00). To prevent the glue from re-melting, I used a CFL bulb which also meant the bulb wouldn’t be as hot, or dangerous for my daughter. I also picked a lamp that turned on by pulling a short chain, rather than the knobs commonly used where you had to reach up into the lamp, or the ones with the switch on the wire. I figured this would be easiest for my toddler to turn on herself.
For the walls, I did a number of things that would tie in with the bedding. First, I repainted the letters that spell her name from her nursery to match the headboard and bedding. I purchased 2 $9 large white frames from IKEA and framed sheets of wrapping paper ($4 at Homesense) in a hounds tooth pattern that matched the colour of the bedding perfectly. These can now be used to tape up some of her artwork to display in her room. I purchased a few faux flowers in coordinating colours at Michael’s ($12). I also purchased 3 small square canvas prints from Target (3 for $45) to add a bit more colour into the space, but still coordinate perfectly with the bedding. For drapes, I kept it simple and purchased off-white drapes from IKEA, as well as a black-out curtain liner ($60). I hemmed both myself using special hemming tape that irons on, saving myself from going to a seamstress (and I certainly don’t sew!). And to fill the shelves, I just transferred all of the things she has collected since she was born and displayed them.
The result was a beautiful, coordinated, and fun room that she loves, and it only cost about $600 including supplies! She hasn’t stepped foot in the nursery since we unveiled her new bedroom, so hopefully she’ll have forgotten about it when the new baby takes over.
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