GAH. Ready to feel good? This week we have the reveals of the 3 kids bedrooms we designed in a very fun and feel-good collaboration with Shavonda Gardner and Target. It’s transformative – both in design and life and while things certainly shifted on my end and I couldn’t even be there, they turned out GREAT, thanks to Shavonda and our lovely local assistant, Jordan. While I didn’t get to see any of them in person, I love them all and don’t think there is a favorite (read Shavonda’s post about it here).
But first, as a recap, we started this collaboration probably 3 months ago. It was September, the covid numbers were low and Brian’s parents live in Sacramento (where Shavonda lives) where we normally spend Thanksgiving every year. So we figured we’d come up a week early and Brian and I would work safely for the week shooting and installing the space. It was going to be so fun – a deserving family, a new blogger friend, and making a bunch of little humans happier. As a reminder, Shavonda’s sister, Andrea, is a single mom (4 kids – 12, 7, and twin 3-year-olds) and she serves as a military ICU nurse whose been deployed twice doing covid relief (wear a mask, stay home). They just moved to Sacramento and had no furniture. A total blank canvas. We designed the rooms digitally together, on Zoom and FaceTime, and had all the major pieces ordered. Then we would start accessorizing, installing, and shooting the week before thanksgiving. Well, that’s when that stupid virus started spiking and Mal and Sara were going to fly, (we were driving with the kids) and we were staying with Brian’s parents (who are NOT OLD, but they are technically vulnerable). It started feeling reckless and scarier every single day as the numbers jumped so high. Between Andrea’s family, my team, and production help there would be a lot of people in prolonged indoor spaces, indeed “gathering” in the house (5 days, 8 hours a day). So I called Shavonda and Target and canceled the shoot – I just couldn’t risk getting Brian’s parents sick and it felt irresponsible to have my team fly even if they were ok with it. Then it got worse. That same week Shavonda’s 3-year-old niece died unexpectedly and she had to come to LA to help her sister-in-love. And it started feeling like this wasn’t going to happen, that it wasn’t the right time, this wasn’t the priority and we all felt awful in a million ways, mostly because of her family tragedy (that I think a lot of you already donated to, she thanks you).
But at this point, the twin’s room was full of the boxes of furniture and they were sleeping on the sofa. I had a styling assistant, Jordan, lined up already so without me or Shavonda, Jordan was left to do all the unpacking, oversee the painting/wallpapering, change out the light fixtures, and not to mention put together like 18 pieces of furniture. I know firsthand how much work this is and it’s A LOT, so thank you. Like a million thank yous.
Meanwhile, we had a lot left to buy that we planned on doing together that week early in the morning before crowds. But since I wasn’t there I asked Andrea if she wanted to take the kids on a shopping spree to Target to pick out their own holiday decor… THEY HAD SO MUCH FUN. Supermarket sweep!!!! I actually love that they got to be involved and feel connected to their own rooms, which is really how it should be. (But thank you Andrea and Shavonda for lugging 4 cartloads of holiday decor to the car).
So a few weeks after the original canceled date, Shavonda wanted to style out the rooms. She along with Jordan worked their tails off to pull the rooms together and shoot them without me (and yes, I felt awful and grateful) and y’all, they turned out SO GREAT (but also no surprise there). I hardly take credit for the room design as I really didn’t do much besides helping choose the furniture, rugs, paint color/wallpaper. The second, third, and fourth layers were all Shavonda. So while this was a “collaboration”, I would feel weird if anyone thought I designed these alone or if anyone gave me more credit than I deserved – She did it for her sister, her family and her designs are well, as you’ll see. They are exciting and very “Shavonda”, with a heavy dose of “HOLIDAY” thanks to Target (everything is Target). HERE WE GO.
As you can see, it’s a blank slate, just two toddler beds that they were growing out of. I would show you the other side of the room but literally, nothing is there.
The twinnies got upgraded too, well, twin beds which is just highly appropriate and adorable. I love that modern white spindle and the room was designated into two different zones – beds and play space.
Shavonda wanted yellow (and I really wanted it to feel cheery so yah, yellow does it), but a full yellow room is HARD. So we took it up to 40″ which STRANGELY is the exact height of the headboard. So crazy! We gave them blackout curtains (the same ones we used to have in our kid’s room before the final makeover) and please note that there are four panels per window since the windows are really wide. They are high so ideally, those would be shades, but curtains break up the yellow in a good way and it does look really cozy (besides roman shades always have light leaks which was a HUGE problem to our kids when they were 3). Curtains are really the only way to successfully block the light.
This side of the room housed the little play area that is rather appropriately dominated by their own Christmas tree. When I pitched the holiday portion of this to Target they were like, ‘Sure, but how much holiday can you put in a kid’s room?’ I then kindly reminded them that our kids have historically had their own trees.
Shavonda found this sweet little braided rug, and the oval worked so well there because the closet door would have hit almost anything else. Also, please note the train that goes around the tree and the little Santa climbing the ladder.
That is some serious Christmas joy right there. Imagine being a 3-year-old who literally didn’t have anything in the room but beds and then they get all of this, in their own room!!!
Shavonda told me that Andrea was just so happy. And now that she is being deployed AGAIN (yes, right before the holidays) for more military covid relief to all the understaffed hospitals (again wear a mask, stay home) she gets to leave knowing that her twinnies will have this super fun room to hang out in.
There’s the lady of the hour. Pulling out THREE rooms (again this is just the first of 3) without the creative partner that was intended, but with some kids who got to pick out their own holiday decor (can you imagine three-year-olds on a Christmas shopping spree??) and a new lovely design assistant Jordan. While the process was full of a lot of twists and turns, the end result of these kids having a good Christmas in an adorable room, designed by their GREAT auntie (not that kind of great auntie, you know) is what matters. I can’t wait to show you the next one – there is a themed wallpaper that we all loved (hint: rhymes with Bar Fors:)). And a bonus for you readers, once the holiday is over and a lot of the decor is removed Shavonda still wants to finish the design because as you just saw the accessories are mostly ‘holiday’ which isn’t so ‘year-round’, so you’ll get to see these rooms totally finished.
Here’s a “get the look” and all the links to products that we used:
1. Mid-Century Solid Wood Spindle Bed | 2. Merry Christmas Garland | 3. Plush Sherpa Blanket in White | 4. Plush Sherpa Blanket in Red | 5. Embroidered Santa Lumbar Pillow | 6. Christmas Tree Shaped Throw Pillow | 7. Rotating Tinsel Christmas Tree | 8. Bear LED Nightlight | 9. Solid Jersey Sheet Set | 10. Jersey Comforter Set | 11. Ellwood End Table with Drawer | 12. Reindeer & Polar Bear Nutcracker | 13. Small Metal Wagon Figurine | 14. Kids’ Table & Chairs Set | 15. Small Cone Santa Figurine | 16. Large Cone Santa Figurine | 17. Small Truck Figurine | 18. Llama Musical Snow Globe | 19. 4 Christmas Character Stocking Holders | 20. Hudson Cubby Bookcase | 21. Puckered Pom Pom Stocking | 22. Large Green Bottle Brush Tree | 23. Large Blue Bottle Brush Tree | 24. 4 Small Blue and Green Bottle Brush Trees | 25. Cat & Dog Nutcracker | 26. Multicolored Pom Pom Garland | 27. Matte Black Clip Rings | 28. Clipped Dot Curtain Panel | 29. Dauntless Curtain Rod | 30. Polar Express Book | 31. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Book | 32. Fabric Cube Storage Bin | 33. How to Catch a Reindeer Book | 34. Construction Site on Christmas Night Book | 35. A Charlie Brown Christmas Book | 36. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas Book
1. Santa Star Ornament | 2. Mrs. Claus Ornament | 3. Pre-Lit Spruce Christmas Tree | 4. Elf Boy Ornament | 5. Bird Wreath Ornament | 6. 4 Penguin and Deer Ornaments | 7. Christmas Animated Train Set | 8. Buffalo Plaid Reindeer Ornament | 9. Faux Wool Snowflake Tree Skirt With Pom Poms | 10. Nordic Rabbit with Incandescent Sisal Lights | 11. Climbing Santa Figurine | 12. 25 Piece Ornament Set
A huge thanks to Target for not only wanting to support these feel-good projects but for being so incredibly gracious and flexible to what this year has thrown at us. Thank you for helping make these two twins pretty darn happy this Christmas.