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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Makings of a Big Girl Room

Chloe is my daughter. She is two. Her room is one of my favorite rooms in our home. I started collecting things for her "big girl room" when she was 5 months old and still in the nursery. Her bedroom was actually the guest room then. I put her bedroom together when she was about 16 months and I was 7 months pregnant with our son. She was being evicted from the nursery in preparation for John's arrival.

Some things that worked for me:
  • Scrounge: Two of my favorite items in her room are from the garbage! The pictures don't do them justice but her little desk and the chair are from 2 separate people's garbage sitting on their curb on garbage day. With the desk, I was too embarrassed to get it from the garbage pile so my wonderful parents picked it up for me. A few weeks later my sister and I were out somewhere and I spotted the chair on top of a garbage pile. I threw all my inhibitions out and promptly put on my four-way flashers, pulled over and grabbed it up before someone else saw this fabulous find. Thanks to my talented parents, both items were sanded down and refinished and they are so beautiful. An antique white with the tiniest tinge of pink. Simple and feminine! The bulletin board was being thrown out at Scott's work so he brought it home. We have her bedtime routine with pictures posted on there. We have baskets in the bathroom and bedroom - those we got from Nana, who was planning to drop them off at a charity place!

  • Use what you have: I didn't like the guest room furniture but didn't want to buy more when we already had this set. It was my husbands before we got married. But you know, once I added all the pink to the room, the set actually looks very feminine and sweet. (I can assure you it looked neither when it was at my husbands apartment!) Chloe is also in a queen bed because we had just bought it when we got married and then decided to move into a king size for my king size man! (He's 6'8") My husband also had a bookshelf from his childhood. It was terribly ugly but my parents finished it to match the desk and chair and it looks beautiful! Rather than get a bed rail, my maternity pillow along the edge of the bed works perfectly.

  • Ask for Help! I am not really that talented. I couldn't have pulled off this wonderful room on my own. My parents were a huge part of this room. Without their help in finishing the desk, bookshelf and chair, the room wouldn't be the same. My dad also built the little stairs to her bed so she can get up and down. Mom helped get the curtains up just right and my wonderful husband helped arrange (and rearrange!!) the room into the way it is. He also hung the bookshelf, curtain rods and put together the toy organizer. My grandparents gave us a few of the nylon butterflies and my sister found some of the Nemo stickers at the dollar store. Dad also made the little toy chest in the corner. Mom and dad sanded and refinished the baby cradle (thift store find) for her dolls and mom sewed a little crib skirt and bedding for it.
  • Take Advantage of Deals: Dollar Stores are a great way to go. We purchased several nylon butterflies from the dollar store and hung them around the room from the ceiling. Chloe loves them. We got some Nemo removable wall stickers from ebay as well as the dollar store. The wall stickers I found on ebay were a couple bucks. They are removable and satisfy her love of Nemo while not being permanent. They can be removed at any time. This is a great way to add characters or themes to a room without it being permanent. After all, who has the time or the money to change room decor as they grow? We also got a few things off kijiji (similar to craigslist).

  • Know when to splurge: The only thing for Chloe's big girl room that I really bought was the quilt, shams and the curtains. I had them made by Quilted Heirlooms in St Jacobs. Everyone at the Log Cabin was so helpful and it was a delightful experience! While this was a significant investment, it is something that will last her a lifetime! It is a queen size and though it has pink in it, it also has green and cream. Because I have it paired with pink curtains it looks feminine. But by adding green as the main color of the room rather than pink, it could very well work in a master bedroom someday. I think that quilts are beautiful, welcoming and timeless. My husband and I have one on our bed which has been washed a number of times. It is a quality item and only gets better (softer) with age! Though I am a big fan of dollar stores, if it is in the budget, sometimes it is better to splurge.

And there you have it. My thoughts for Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday!


  1. I had to click on your wfmw post! I have a 3 year old daughter, and I need to get rid of all her nursery stuff. I love your story about not wanting to stop for a curb find! Lol! I take stuff from the side of the road whenever I see something I want now, but it took up awhile to build the courage. If more of us shared, it might become easier to do :-)

  2. Well, from childhood we're taught that garbage picking is bad so it's a hard mindset to break sometimes! But you know, I've put things out on my curb that were perfectly fine - knowing that someone else will come and use them! Good luck with your room!

  3. looks very nice I know when my daughter was 3 her room was very special to her as well

  4. Very precious!
    What kind of bed roll is on the side of her bed to prevent her to roll out? I like that WAY better than the bed rails you can buy.

  5. This looks fantastic! My twin girls are still in their cribs, but I hope we can do something as lovely when they are ready for "big girl" rooms!

  6. Oh, thank you so much for all your kind comments. I was soooo excited about her room! I'd almost like it to be my room, except that I think my husband may have some objections ;)

  7. Actually it is a "snoogle" maternity pillow. I received it when I was pregnant. Because of the way the ends stays on the bed even when she is snuggled up against it. It really was a handy thing! I thought of it as I was brainstorming how to keep her from falling out of bed without spending money on a rail!

  8. Oh so cute. I have two "really" big girls that I'm about to redo their rooms. They are high school teens now and we need to purge out some things and bring them into the young adult look.
    I can't wait to do it.....all on a shoestring budget too.
    Great ideas.


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