Designing rooms in your house is like raising children – the process isn’t going to be perfect regardless of the room/kid, but some of them are more of a struggle at different times in their lives/process than others. In this case, Charlie’s ROOM is my problem child. And I don’t even know why!!! It’s not odd-shaped, it doesn’t have awkward window placement or anything. Functionally it has no problems, but stylistically I was just STUMPED. Let’s recap:
When we moved in it looked like this, above. Totally fine, with a wall of pretty old windows. But we had some construction to do (see overall upstairs construction post here) so we added this little bathroom, which reduced the size of the room but really worked and most people who didn’t see it before thought it was how the house was built (yay!).
We chose the paint color for the whole house in one day, without really knowing ANYTHING about the design of most of the rooms. Charlie had a huge request for a green room. Great. I’m pretty into green these days and I was picturing a pretty olive.
Brian and I (and Ginny/Mel) did a facebook live paint deciding video and if you saw it you might remember the debate:
– The room has angled ceilings with no real stopping point or moulding so we thought at the time that we would have to paint the ceiling.
– Brian wanted a brighter green, Farrow and Ball’s Calke Green
– Brian suggested doing two walls – the window wall and the wall opposite. I literally was unable to even put that in consideration and yes, we did get into a tiny on-camera awkward tiff about it. As much as I really try to respect his opinions (truly), every now and again, I wanna be like YO, DUDE, WHO WON DESIGNSTAR? ME OR YOU??? Which is hilarious because I wasn’t even particularly good at design back then.
Another note – if it didn’t have plaster walls and sloped ceiling and near the jack and jill which is wallpapered I probably would have chosen a dope paper. But Birdie’s room, our bathroom and their bathroom were all papered so I didn’t want it to be a fun wacky house where every single room had some crazy big wall statement – and yet I would probably go back in time and would have just chosen a paper that would have worked (something super super subtle with a tonal pattern, maybe?).
So we compromised – the brighter green, but on the bottom half of the room and we’d add a chair rail so the top of the room would be Ammonite and ceiling can remain white. I didn’t feel great about it but it was being painted the next day so I was like o’well, let’s see how this looks….
Instantly I was like, hmmm… but I didn’t know why I wasn’t psyched about it. It just felt kinda dated and not very happy.
His last room was one of my favorite in the old house. I loved stepping into that room every day and I knew that this room wasn’t going to have that emotional stomach flip already.
But we were moving fast to get into the house, and remember paint is not a big deal to replace. It’s not permanent, folks. Plus this stuff is good content…
So we kept it as is and moved along – knowing that I would probably change it at some point.
Here it is – Calke Green on the bottom and Ammonite paint on top. Nothing should be bad about this but it just wasn’t good. It felt like school colors and somehow dated. I did 1 million mood boards to make it work but even on a computer with unlimited furniture, lighting, rug and accessory choices I couldn’t make it work!
Look how depressed Bear is in there – and NO! Dalmatian! Don’t jump!! I could have definitely made this work, but I didn’t want to make it work. Part of me wanted to take the chair rail off completely but the problem is that the guys did SUCH a good job installing it and connecting it to the windows and doors. They said that they feared taking it off would damage the original window and door frames. GREAT. We were able to find moulding that matched those frames and that’s what they used, but it was thick and rounded so it took a lot of cutting, filling, patching, etc to have them look seamless.
Then I thought let’s just add beadboard on the bottom half and paint it white to match all the window and door frames. But I had to find beadboard that is VERY VERY thin so that it could simply be installed on above the base board and under the chair rail. I didn’t want to have to ruin the baseboard by taking it off to put it on top. Luckily we found some.
Next we needed to choose a different color. I thought I could handle a non blue/gray color on a wall but turns out I can’t. Again, there was something that felt dated and 80’s about it – this combination of country, beadboard, forest green … with that heywood wakefield dresser …
So we made some changes and added chair rail on the bottom and repainted the top Sharkskin by Portola. The installation took much longer than I thought – 3 full days of two guys. Two days to properly cut, install and patch/paint the beadboard, then a day to paint the top.
Our contractor charged us $2500 for this room + the painting the laundry room + the family room (going from navy to a neutral). I’m sure you could get it for less, but his guys did an amazing job and they were here for days so it seemed good. I believe the beadboard was super inexpensive – like $250 from Imperial Moulding in the valley.
It was instantly better. But it didn’t totally solve my problems. It still felt strangely 80’s – the powder blue, while such a beautiful color is also kinda an 80’s color!!
And those GD temporary blackout curtains were bumming me out every day.
I love the rug (from Target), and was convinced it could pull the room together.
Once the curtains were installed (by Calico) it changed the whole room.
Then we received a new much more modern glider (gifted from West Elm) and it helped even more.
It was coming along and while I wasn’t 100% happy and certainly toyed with putting up wallpaper we ultimately decided that choosing and installing a last minute wallpaper would probably end up with regrets and that if I tried hard enough, I could make this work.
For all the moms out there – we kept Charlie in his crib til 3 years, 3 months because he didn’t know there was another option and we were psyched he had a cage to keep him contained at night. Then one day he watched a movie where a kid climbed out of his crib and he was like WAIT – I CAN DO THAT??? He tried it that night and succeeded (with SUCH pride). Two days later he landed wrong and hurt his knee. It didn’t seem serious but he wasn’t walking on it so we went to urgent care just in case (typically I wouldn’t have but a friend of mine’s daughter wasn’t complaining much about her ankle and then two weeks later they realized that it was broken the whole time and they felt TERRIBLE).
Meanwhile we converted his crib into a toddler bed (while feeling SO guilty that we hadn’t a couple days before). But he was so big that it just seemed time to move him to a big boy bed anyway – especially with the shoot coming up. We asked you about twin versus full on the Facebook live and all of you said FULL. It took some convincing of Brian Henderson but I’m SO glad we have a full and so his he. All of us read in bed together and it’s just wonderful. He only fell out once and we have no bumpers or anything and maybe that’s because it’s a full?
Stay tuned for the final reveal in August, but let’s just say that I am pretty happy with the room. I’m like a ‘8’ out of ’10’ on the satisfaction scale. I’m not sure what I would need to change to be a 10 (I have a couple ideas) but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. On contrast I’m a ’10’ on Birdies room, the kitchen/dining, the patio, living room, all bathrooms, etc. I am at a ‘4 ‘in the family room though … now THAT’s my REAL problem child.
Meanwhile – here is what we used in the room, and stay tuned for the full reveal. xx
White Bunting | ‘Work Hard & Be Nice To People’ Print | ‘Start With Yes’ Print | Two Tier Wall Bookshelf | Accordion Wall Sconce | Live Edge Side Table | Bed | ‘X’ Pillow and Sheet Set | White Duvet Cover | Blue Throw Blanket | Blue Quilted Pillow | Blue Striped Pillow | Plush Zebra | Plush Fox | Blue Shade Table Lamp | Antique File Cabinet Side Table | Rug | Paint by Numbers Art (vintage) framed by Framebridge | Dresser | White Table Lamp | Glider Chair | Dinosaur Toys | Navy Basket | Bean Bag Chair | Bookcase | Wood Box | Navy Globe | Beadboard | Wall Color | Curtain Fabric