Today’s post really proves that I deserve to be an internet-famous PROFESSIONAL Interior designer. If you need to feel better about yourself and your home (and will keep judgement to yourself), then continue where you’ll enjoy a peek into my process, which is actually quite ugly and messy. I’m mid-re-design of FOUR of the rooms in our house. Here’s what is happening:
- The kids moved in together so Charlie’s room is going to be their shared room and I have to redesign it for function (two beds), which gives me the excuse to change it because I never felt it was right.
- Birdie’s room is now up for grabs. What should it be? It needs to be like four things—home office? Guest room? Yoga room? Craft/art room? Brian’s editing room?
- In the dining room, I found my dream dining chairs and changed out the light, but a few decisions have to be made (fabric, mostly).
- I’m FINALLY designing the downstairs playroom—YAY—which is actually coming along, although full of garbage because IT’S A PLAY ROOM.
See? It’s a lot. Almost every room, except the master bedroom and the bathrooms are in flux (the living room is always in flux) and if I carried the gene for embarrassment and shame, I would not let anyone into my house, let alone post it on the internet but lucky for you, I DON’T!
So here you go. Today you are going to see what is happening in Charlie’s old room which we’ll refer to as ‘the kids’ room for the immediate future.
You might first be wondering WHY are the kids sharing a room when they have their own room?
Well, a few months ago, they both said they wanted to share a room. Both were waking up with nightmares or just generally feeling scared to be alone, and at one point Charlie even said, “but mama, you get to sleep with daddy, you aren’t alone, why do I have to be alone?” He was trying to convince me to stay in his bed, and it was a good point. Up at the mountain house over the holidays they shared their bedroom and they loved it and slept well. When your 3 and 5 year olds ask to share a room because they WANT to spend time together, you just say yes even if you technically have separate bedrooms for them. It’s painfully sweet.
But nothing is easy in this house. The bedroom is a challenging shape for two beds.
It’s a rectangle with a niche into the closet making the windows not centered and one wall hard to use because the doors open into it.
Where do we put the kids’ beds??
Well, they begged for bunk beds after they had played at another kids’ house who had them and thought they were a blast. Great! But since the ceiling slopes where the bunk beds would go we couldn’t really have normal tall ones, nor did I want to invest too much in this, not totally convinced this would stick or that it was the right thing to do design-wise. So I did what any professional interior designer would do—I sent someone to IKEA and bought cheap bunk beds (save money!) where it took them like 6 hours to put together (whoops).
Sorry. It’s the only photo I took probably because somewhere inside of me I didn’t want to show you this. They LOVED it during the day time, but come dark, they were both TERRIFIED. I think we didn’t fully realize that this isn’t really a bunk bed – it can be kinda hacked into it, but it’s not meant for someone, let alone with their mama, to sleep on the bottom. We tried but I ended up sleeping on the bottom with Birdie and Brian sleeping on the top with Charlie (both disoriented and therefore scared), so I basically laid there terrified that it was going to break and the weight would crush us. Birdie and I had severe claustrophobia and Charlie was really scared up high. We tried to give it enough time, not be those parents that pull the plug quickly after, allowing for enough adjustment time but after nines nights of HELL, all four of us up ALL NIGHT LONG, Brian disassembled it while I was out of town and we called it quits.
For weeks, they had two mattresses on the ground with Charlie strangely sleeping on a couch cushion in-between the mattresses.
We had put the couch cushion in between for us to read (and yes, for us to sleep when we get called in) but Charlie liked the comfort of being snuggled in between and they started sleeping through the night again so Brian did what any parent in this situation would do: INSISTED that we keep it this way.
It was painful for me. So I at least bought those really low beds to put the mattresses on (above), as if that looked any better.
So over spring break while the kids were out of town, we started the larger parts of the redesign, including removing the beadboard that I regretfully installed two years ago.
I hired Spaulding Co to take care of it because we clicked really well, they are awesome people, know what they are doing and AREN’T FLAKY. We have other things we need to fix (severe water damage in kitchen cabinets, leaky roof in the playroom) so we are working on these things simultaneously in the house. They took down the beadboard and chair rail, which damaged the casing – but we knew that and it’s being replaced.
So when I came back from spring break, it looked like this (already so much cleaner, fresher, simpler and felt so much bigger):
The question is how do we arrange two beds in here?? Bunk beds are kinda out of the question as we are all scarred and Charlie and Birdie are still scared of the idea, and there really isn’t one good option. We played with different options and we THINK we have the best set up.
We tried shoving them together in front of the window but they wouldn’t be centered (because of the niche) and it would definitely feel like a big, low king bed so design-wise I wasn’t psyched.
We even tried putting them long-ways to help save some space (I had seen it on Pinterest).
While I think it can work, and certainly does open up the room, it didn’t feel ideal either. If you have a square room and if it also has to function as your playroom, I think this can be a great solution. I saw a few that were styled out a lot like a long daybed and it was cute and interesting.
Ultimately, we are thinking that we are going to do this L-shaped configuration:
This layout allows the following for a lot of space in the middle, a cuddle or reading corner, plus it kinda mimics the architecture of the room.
If you think this is weird, know that I did, too, but I found a few online and thought, wait, that could work…
Sure, they have a corner piece that separates the bed, but I think this could still work.
So now what? We have a potential layout, but what about the design?
Would there be a theme?
You betcha. The theme to the new kids’ room is…drumroll please…wait…be quiet because the theme is…
BEDTIME OR NIGHTTIME.
That’s right. It’s a super subtle hint to my two darling children to GO TO SLEEP and STAY IN BED. He wanted ninjas, she wanted unicorns but ultimately this isn’t a playroom, it’s their BEDroom and well, ninjas don’t say “sleep.”
So what does that look like? A tonal, blue calm-ass room.
Yes, we might consider painting the window casings and the doors. This is a HUGE decision and I’m not sure why. I want to do it but I do fear that this is a trend that in five years I’ll regret but then what? Just paint back, right?
Calm. Quiet. Cozy. And what about the ceiling? Our ceiling is coved so it would make sense to take the color up onto the ceiling. Would this be too cave-like? Possibly, but I hear people pass the hell out in caves, for even 12 hours at a time.
So “nighttime” or “bedtime” would be the theme, with elements of sky, clouds, stars with some whimsy but mostly calmness and softness.
We might keep the same paint or paint it darker. At night, I LOVE the blue that it is and then I think, well, would I love it more if it were darker? Probably.
I’m going to stay away from too much pattern or color, and lean into this direction, maybe there is some dark green or wood, but nothing busy.
I DO want to potentially do a ceiling treatment like this below, but in tonal blues instead of a bright color. This room still has to be interesting, just not busy.
In order to do a treatment like that, I might need to square off the room or at least give that niche (where the closet is) some purpose. Right now, I’m in the middle of trying to convince Brian to let me build some sort of corner secret fort that would visually make the room more of a square, but be less permanent.
You know I love a castle theme. This could also be made out of wood like the original doors are so it looks more purposeful. The only thing is that we wouldn’t be able to access the reach-in closet as well, but right now there is NOTHING that we put in there except the toys that are being rotated. No clothes actually hang in there. So we could make it more toy storage that they have access to and then when they are older and it’s likely just one of their room’s again we’ll take out the castle thing and restore it to the normal closet that it should be. I’m also wishing that we had just reconfigured it to be a larger reach-in closet instead of a niche and a tiny closet if that makes any sense.
But how wide could it be to have a big cut-out fort like that, above?
There are other elements we are playing with like a cloud-shaped upholstered headboard, a large cozy rug, new whimsical lighting, Roman shades…but right now, it looks like this and with all the projects that have actual deadlines (the mountain house, the Atlanta project), this room will likely look like this for a while…
And yes, it kills me. In case you are like Brian, confused why it bothers me so so much, I’d once again like to give you an analogy of a more “professional” career: it would be like me being a dentist, a pretty good one actually, and my kids walking around with disgusting dirty, neglected teeth. I really like looking at clean teeth in my house and it’s just hard to see the yellow plaque and say “we’ll get to you in June.”
But it’s not dental hygiene. It’s not even their first set of teeth (you parents know what I’m talking about, we care a bit less about their baby teeth than maybe we should because they’ll get new fresh ones around age 6). It’s just their bedroom and they are PERFECTLY FINE with how it is right now.
Here is the mountain house shared room, which actually IS done, if you actually came here for inspiration.
For now, we are working on our other more pressing projects while pinning and planning for this one. And just getting that beadboard down, having it all painted one color and moving the beds into what seems to be the best configuration is super helpful to keep going.
I do have a question for you, though. Up at the mountain house (see above) we’ve removed the trunk and shoved the twin mattresses together so we can all read together and because inevitably one of us is called in to cuddle in the middle of the night and there isn’t enough room in a twin bed. So at least temporarily we are going to buy one of those mattress joiners because all spring break (when Brian wasn’t there), I slept with the kids (because it’s a fun excuse to snuggle all night…gee I wonder why they call me in all the time….????) albeit HORRIBLY because I fell through the crack all night long. The question is, is the reason that more kids don’t share a king bed because it seems weird and potentially socially unacceptable? I’ve done some research (google) and most child psychologists say that it’s very bonding for, yes, even children of opposite genders when they are young. They say that it’s totally fine and healthy until they don’t want to anymore (usually around 8).
Looks like we’ll give it a whirl up at the mountain house, but I’d LOVE to know why this isn’t more of a thing. Have any of you ever shared a room OR bed with your opposite-gendered sibling while little OR are your kids sharing a room or large bed?
** and yes, feel free to weigh in on the whole shit storm of a design, too. 🙂