Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Make Room for Baby

Last Autumn I found out that I was having a baby. Yeaahhhh!!! That meant my family was growing from a party of four to a Party of Five (and yes I went there). The problem was - where was I going to put the little bugger? My oldest daughters were 6 and 4 at the time and there was no way that either one of them was going to share a room with a newborn. Although I have a 4 bedroom house with a bonus room over the garage, my parents and in-laws visit a lot so I needed to keep a guest bedroom at the ready and set up a baby nursery for my son Miles.

So that meant that my girls were going to have to share a room. When I asked Nadia my 4 year old if she wanted to share a room with her older sister Simone, she excitedly responded "Yes!", but when I posed the same question to Simone, who's 6, she replied, "I don't think I would like that very much". How would I get them both behind the idea?

Make Room for Baby

Step 1: Select a bedroom that will accommodate both children. Chances are you have a secondary bedroom that is larger than the others and will have the space and layout to suit your needs. The old guest bedroom just happened to have a huge double window and ample closet space. What more could two girls want?

The old guest bedroom before the makeover
Step 2: Take measurements of the room to determine if it can handle separate beds or if bunk beds will be needed. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with the bunk beds to free up the floor space, but because I had purchased twin beds the year before when they each had their own rooms, I had to work with what I had.

Step 3: Let the children being uprooted by the new baby have an active role in the design of the new room they'll share together. My girls picked the paint colors; pink and purple. I had to say "ixnay" on the Hello Kittly and Disney Princess themes because they are going to be in this room together well into their tweens and I'm not redecorating this room anything soon. The girls finally settled on a Parisian theme that their mother conveniently introducted to them through the Madeline and Fancy Nancy children's books. (It's called "gentle persuasion" :-) ).

Step 4: Let the children participate in decorating the room. Simone and Nadia went with me to Lowes to select the perfect shades of pink and purple. We used Olympic's Low VOC paint in Cotton Candy and Lovely Lilac. I also gave them each a paint roller and allowed them to paint small sections of the wall. Since I was applying a design to the wall to work in their favorite colors, I couldn't just let them go crazy and paint whatever they wanted so I limited them to the space between the tape. It was like asking them to color within the lines with a really large and messy crayon, but hey - that's what clean-up sponges are for, right?

Simone & Nadia helping mommy remove the painter's tape.

Simone & Nadia's new combined room. Now let's layer in more color!

Nadia's "purple" side of the room.

Simone's "pink" side of the room.
This room is almost finished...just need to add a few finishing touches such as trim for the curtains, decorative throw pillows, a cute little rug, and the piece de resistance; a dazziling chandelier.

Step 5: Get started on decorating the baby's nursery. There are so many options for baby nursery themes, but since the proud papa was excited that he was finally getting his son, I allowed him to pick the theme. And if any of you know my husband, then you know that the theme selected was sports. Now all we need is to find the right bedding and accessories.
Miles' future nursery. Transformation in progress.


  1. The cotton candy stripes are sooo adorable and I love them paired wit hthe toile drapes! My sister would have died for a room like this when she was that age - she's actually studying in Paris next semester!! :)

  2. Thank you for the compliment. I never created a mood board, kept it all in my head, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. My daughters like it and I guess that's all that matters.

    I would much rather be with your sister studying in Paris! It's my all time favorite city that I've never visited. Hope to get there in 2012.


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