My parents were always pretty accommodating with my regular bedroom redecorating plans. I still remember being about 13 and having my mom give me full rein of the wallpaper and paint selection at our local paint store. Lavender, green, butterflies, a bulletin board and a multi-coloured dresser…I was thrilled.
When I moved into the basement as an older teenager, my parents helped me paint a hot pink bathroom with black cabinets, a black and aqua sitting room, and the most sumptuous deep purple bedroom with gold accents. Their early encouragement of my love for colour and my mom’s easy confidence in my choices probably had something to do with my ending up with an interior decorating diploma, and my ongoing love of all home decor projects.
When Gemma turned 13 last month, she asked that her gift be a bedroom makeover. I was quick to agree. While I probably wasn’t quite as hands-off in the decision-making as my mom was, I did try to be as hands-off as a control freak can be when letting her daughter plan her dream bedroom right at the end of the main hallway in our house.
I haven’t had a house project in awhile and it was SO fun to plan, shop, and execute this together.
Some of our thought process in the planning stage:
- Gemma knew she wanted light blue walls, navy and yellow accents, and plants.
- She had some shelves we wanted to reuse, but they needed to be repositioned and decorated more intentionally.
- She had a large set of drawers that were full of clothes, sewing supplies, and other odds and sods, but they were so out of proportion for her small room. It took me a couple of months, but I finally convinced her to let them go to her brothers’ room.
- Carl built improved shelving into her closet and I emptied out all my random stuff that had found its dumping ground in there, like extra gift bags and wrapping paper, baby memory boxes, etc. Everything from the drawers fits in the closet now – I wish I had taken before and after pictures of that!
- We had some painted signs she wanted to keep, and we bought a few frames to pull together a gallery wall over her bed. She’s still working on painting a small round canvas to add to the top right of the gallery arrangement.
- She wanted to find a few accessories and pillows to pull in a nice sunny yellow – not the easiest colour to find. We eventually found yellow outdoor pillows at Home Depot!
Here’s where we started, with a dill pickle green she chose a couple years ago, too-big drawers, and shelves that had gradually accumulated all manner of this and that…
I had found the bedframe for $50 a couple months ago and it had already improved the feel of the room, but Gemma literally never made her bed.
Part of the deal was that if I was going to buy decorative pillows, she was going to make her bed every morning. A month in, I think she’s only missed one day.
It’s not a big room, so the queen-sized bed takes up most of the space. Originally I put a small chair in the corner near where the drawers used to be, but then I happened upon a swing chair for $30 and couldn’t resist. It’s a perfect finishing touch and takes up zero floor space, meaning there’s still room for the occasional sleepover guest.
Behind her door we kept an open hook and a special sign made by my mom. Every room needs a convenient place to hang those grab-and-go items you otherwise throw on the floor.
At her birthday party, her friends knew about her redecorating plans and she got spoiled with plants and decor items that came together perfectly to style her shelves. We added the little plant pot with yellow and the “love” sign, and I had a little square blue plant pot just waiting for a home.
We couldn’t resist a fun pineapple basket for some beauty supplies…
Gemma also really wanted a whiteboard and a gallery wall. On our shopping day we came across the perfect magnetic whiteboard with a mini bulletin board and yellow accents!
We also found some smaller navy blue and white frames to add to what we had for a gallery wall. The clips on the white frames are super handy for easy picture change-out, and the life-changing power of Command strips meant the only nails we needed for this wall were behind the big “stay humble and kind” quote that anchors the group.
The side table unit moved to Gemma’s room from our toy room and works as a super functional spot for her clock, notebook, Bible, Kleenex, slippers, etc. The baskets are just dollar store cheapies that fit the slots perfectly and hold things like scrunchies, earrings, chapstick, and notes from friends. The top quickly became a landing spot for other random things, but that’s kind of what side tables are for I guess ;)
All in all, for around $200, it feels like an entirely new room, and a breath of fresh air at the end of my hallway!
Love it! The story of the changes are the best. Something about pillows and bed making…