In: Kids room
June 23, 2012
Bringing Outdoors In
Remember this post from a while back when Milo’s room got cleared of the baby crib and other nick nacks? Well, of course I didn’t leave it all empty like this.
I’m loving me some blank canvas for more home decorations! The way Milo’s bedroom theme has been evolving it is now clear that it is all about the outdoors. It started with some baby froggy gifts, then came the tree, the tent, and now we are all about camping outdoors. So, here is where we went with some more upgrades to his big boy room.
First, we went to IKEA, bought the cheapo Fjellse bed frame for $40, hacked it and stained it.
I wanted the thing to have a footboard as well as a headboard for symmetry, plus the headboard didn’t need to be quite that high. So Linc built a footboard out of some 2x2s, shortened the headboard and attached them both to the bed. Then it got stained brown to match Milo’s bench.
Since the temporary play tent solution worked so well to transition Milo from crib to bed, I decided to make him a new big tent. This version is really easy to build:
1. Find a straight branch and attach it to the ceiling with string and loop hooks.
2. Wrap a dragonfly light string around the branch
3. Throw a couple of yards of cheap fabric (got these 6 yards for $18 at Joanns, but really only needed 5) over the branch.
I also ordered some of these bed bumpers (for some reason their price went up quite a bit, I got them for under $20) that are placed under the bedding and prevent any active movers to fall out of bed while they are still learning to sleep like a big boy.
Milo loves hanging out under the dragonfly lights in the evening. They make for a really cozy atmosphere in his room.
The next step was to build a night stand to go with the new bed that could hold some of Milo’s essentials like his favorite good night books, a drink, his frogs, and his Gro-Clock. This sleep training clock is the best on the market in my opinion and also acts as a night light. See my more detailed review on this purchase here.
So I got two wooden crates for half price ($15 for both) and stained them the same brown as the bed. Afterwards I just stacked them on top of each other, which is more stable than expected and leaves the opportunity to use them separately again in the future.
Then Milo helped me paint this little bird house yellow that now adds some dimension to his painted tree:
The biggest improvement, however, is almost invisible in all the pictures, yet makes such a big difference to the room: Milo finally has a real ceiling light. One that turns on when you hit the switch at the door. Nothing special you might think, but somehow the previous homeowners had never installed it. Instead in both kid’s rooms (as well as the master and the living room) the light switch controls a wall outlet. But since we are not a big fan of having floor lamps standing around and they really aren’t an option in kid’s rooms where the plug can be pulled and the whole thing can topple over, we have been sort of living in the dark for a bit.
Until one warm day my handy hubby climbed up into the attic a.k.a sauna, ran some wires, and then installed this light fixture in Milo’s room that we had taken out of the guest bedroom in the basement:
Yeah, it does not look crazy cool, but it was free, and it makes light. Which is really a big help in reading books and getting the boy ready for bed. It is not said and done that I might not upgrade it to a DIYed lamp shade at some point in the future, but right now we are all happy with the way Milo’s room works and how it offers him a cozy comfort zone. Believe it or not, the other day Milo went up to his room and put himself down for a nap all by himself.
May 1, 2012
Good Night Moon
Man, I feel like I am running on steroids these days. No idea where all this energy is coming from, but I take it. After we finished the new guest room it took me only 2 weeks to complete the new nursery. And now we will get started on ripping down wallpaper in the big basement room. Just trying to get as much in the house done as possible before the third trimester heaviness and then newborn craziness sets in.
Luckily the nursery wasn’t too big of a project because the walls were already a neutral tan color that anybody can live with, so we didn’t have to paint for this room makeover. It is definitely a more toned down baby room than Milo’s bright blue and green, but hey – nothing to say against saving some time and effort and working with what you got. So all I had to do was to bring in a little bit of color and some baby appropriate decor. When I found these two mustard colored metal stars at my favorite thrift store for $6 the theme was set and stars and moon and night in general.
Perfect to set the mood for a well sleeping baby, right? I decided to pair the mustard yellow with a dark night blue and found those brand new black-out curtains for $10 on Craigslist. On the wall opposite of the crib I painted a big moon in the same color as the metal stars and added two wooden stars. Milo already loves that trio, he goes over to his brother’s room every morning and says hello to the moon. There is something about murals that makes him talk to our walls a lot.
For above the crib Linc and I made this starry night sky light board. I’ll post a separate tutorial for this thing soon.Â
The most time-consuming project was painting all these tiny wooden stars yellow and stringing them up to hang as a mobile above the changing table.
See how Milo is thoroughly testing the new room for his little brother? I am afraid he loves it almost more than his own room right now and I really need to come up with something spectacular for his now empty wall.
Some other wall space in the baby room was filled with these prints I found and put in cheap frames from Walmart. That’s also where the $15 neutral rug came from.
Since Milo already switched to his big boy bed, we were also able to move the crib over and put the comfy nursing rocking chair in the room. Together with a new crib skirt and color matching sheets this room is officially ready to welcome baby in a few months.
All set for sleepless nights. Bring it on, baby!
April 28, 2012
Kid’s Room Switcheridoo
So, now that the guest room moved into the basement we had an entire empty room to set up as new baby room. (More on the brand new nursery soon in a separate post.) Instead of keeping Milo’s room as a nursery and moving him into the new room, we decided that it would be better for him to stay in his old room for various reasons. First, there will be enough changes coming up for the poor little spoiled only-child. Secondly, he has grown to really love the tree I painted on the wall for him and says good night to it every evening. Thirdly, I just wanted to do something completely new for our new addition.
This is what Milo’s room looked like until now:
One change that was going to be inevitable for Milo has occurred a little sooner than expected. Since he figured out how to climb out of his crib a few weeks ago, we already had to move him to a real bed. Well, a real mattress that is. Until he becomes a less active sleeper we are keeping his new twin size mattress on the floor for safety reasons. He already tumbled out of it once, but was only startled, not hurt. Which is better than a fall from out of a crib.
The transition to his new bed went unexpectedly smoothly. Milo had already been wanting to lay down on the little pad in his play tent for the last couple of weeks, so all we had to do was slide the mattress right into the tent and he never wanted to go back to his crib. For the first couple of nights we kept the crib in his room – just in case. The good thing is that when Milo is tired, he really just wants to sleep. So all we have to tell him is to go to sleep and he will stay put on his mattress. That is still with the help of paci and blanki of course, but we will give him some more time with them. One step at a time.
Another change you might notice is that I did indeed take down the other way-to-high-therefore-useless shelf that came with Milo’s room. It has been unused and collecting dust for almost a year now, so there is my justification to get rid of it once and for all. Now the wall above his bed is kind of bland and definitely needs some nice art or other decoration bolted to it. I am thinking about a kite, bird or sun to go with his outdoor camping theme. Or I will build a bigger tent to span over his entire new bed.
Oh, and on an equally happy note I gotta tell you that the previously reported severe tantrum phase only lasted about a week or two. These days Milo is actually pretty happy and only occasionally gets upset when he can’t have an iPhone or paci. He seems to understand better what we explain to him and why he can’t do certain things. This probably goes together with his talking improving day by day and him being able to express himself better and better. I guess it still takes a lot of parental intuition and imagination, as well as English AND German knowledge to make sense out of what he says sometimes, but he just keeps happily chatting away and explaining the world to us.
Yesterday Milo and I went for our routine walk to the fire station where we usually have to wait for the fire trucks to come back. This time the fire trucks where there, but Milo still pointed to the bench and said: “Sit down wait”. Later when he wanted the neighbor’s boy to come play cars with him he said: “P(l)ay car Zach down”. Or he points at the elephant in his book and says: “Bfffff water” with a gesture of water spraying out of the elephants trunk. It’s sooooo cool to get to this stage where you can have almost real conversations and you get to actually hear what is going on in this little kid’s mind.
July 21, 2011
Ready for the big ONE!
Milo’s room is done! At least for now. Somehow one small detail always remains unfinished in my projects.Â Like that line of silicone that is still missing to seal the gap between kitchen countertops and back splash.Â I admit, I have a problem starting new projects before the prior one is completed. I think it’s a way for me to always keep a back-up project on hand in the fear of running out of stuff to do. But I always have a good excuse.
For example this one: The light switch in Milo’s is hooked up to the electrical outlet right behind his crib. Very conveniently located for the kiddo to pull the plug out and stick his finger into the outlet. The plan was to move the wire to the ceiling and install a proper ceiling light. Now that would require Lincoln to go up in the attic to install the ceiling receptical. Let’s see, 100 degrees outside, 70% humidity, take that times 5 for the climate in the attic = not gonna happen until it significantly cools down. In the meantime some tape over the plug has to do it.
Anyway, I declare this project completed. For now at least. Sweet dreams and play time, my son!
Read here, what the original plan was for the room, how the shelf almost caused a divorce, and how the tree came to life.
What do you think? What would you do for a little toddler’s room?
July 6, 2011
Bye bye nursery
According to my husband any news is only official when posted on Facebook. But I will post an exclusive piece of information right here before the Facebook world will know: Milo is taking his first steps!!! As soon as possible I will snap a video and post it here, but currently I still need both hands to catch him when he stumbles towards me. This little boy is almost a wobbly toddler now and is busy putting pieces and bits together every day to figure out the world and become a fully functional human being. First he learned to climb up the steps, now he can get down. First he figured out how to take things apart, now he is starting to put things together.
It’s just one more month until Milo’s first birthday and time for my little boy to get a big boy’s room. Yayyy for another room makeover in this house!! Here is what Milo’s room looked like when he was just a tiny 6 month old baby: (more…)