We moved in 8 months ago, and Emma’s bedroom has already gone through a couple evolutions as we try to figure out how to best use the space. We seem to be iterating on most of the spaces as we grow into the new house, especially as Emma gets older.
When designing the floor plan, I made Emma’s room larger than the master bedroom – I know I am weird here, but hear me out! I planned to keep all her toys in either her bedroom or the basement playroom, and to do that, she would need plenty of space. Having all her toys in there also means she would be spending tons of time in the room, so having space to actually ‘play’ was important. Eventually she is going to be a teen / pre-teen and I think we will all be happy she has plenty of her own space to retreat to. The bedroom itself is 14.25’ x 22’ and has a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom.
If you’ve tried to buy furniture during the pandemic, you have probably noticed that most things are out of stock or on a long backorder. Our local Ikea is out of pretty much everything. So, I did my best to reuse furniture we already had and use DIY to convert her existing play kitchen and grocery store into something that she would love and actually play with.
The only new items in her room were the bed frame and the rug under her bed and I scored both on sale on Overstock! I always try to keep the furniture and rugs in a space pretty neutral so that the colors or theme of the room can be changed over time without having to replace large pieces. Her rug is a soft, ivory, wool rug – perfect for playing on or hopping out of bed in the morning onto a soft surface. The bed frame is a warm grey upholstery, with a simple, feminine profile. The nightstands are actually a few years old – they were originally my master room nightstands before the move – but they work great in her room! The old knobs were silver and since everything in the new house is gold, I swapped them for some inexpensive ones from Home Depot. We’ve had the lamps since Emma was a baby – they are touch activated so she doesn’t have to mess with a switch but sadly Target doesn’t seem to make them anymore. That pretty much took care of the bed half of the room!
On to the good stuff….
Vet & Pet Adoption
We have had the classic Ikea play kitchen and the Melissa & Doug grocery store since Emma was very small. She used to play with them a lot, but I had to be honest with myself that she hasn’t touched it in well over a year. I was the one who liked them – not her – so something had to be done! After much brainstorming, I decided to convert it into a vet’s office and pet adoption center. Emma is obsessed with stuffed animals (and real animals), so that was the perfect solution!!
Painting everything was super simple with a few cans of spray paint. I also used the roll on version of the white rustoleum spray paint to get even coverage on the larger flat surfaces of the kitchen and store. It ended up being a very inexpensive and fast way to completely change the look.The microwave and oven are now enclosures for animals waiting to see the vet. The knobs, sink, faucet and stovetop were all painted with gold spray paint. The stove is now an exam table and the sink is perfect for stuffed animal baths.
The grocery store had to be completely disassembled in order to be painted, but was still very simple. The bins were painted in a mix of pink and blue so that she could use them like a nursery to indicate if it was a boy or a girl. The little chalkboards were already there for labeling foods, so they are perfect for names! We are going to make a banner for the upright posts but haven’t made it to that part yet.
I wish I had more before and process photos of the actual painting, but it was just such a quick and easy thing that it didn’t occur to me to take snap shots.
Ikea Kallax Shelves
We have owned these shelves for about 3 years already. They were part of a “built-in” I made for Emma’s closet in our old home, and when we moved they came with us because they were not actually part of the closet. While the new house was being built, we lived in a rental nearby and these got rearranged and used as storage for her toys rather than clothes. When we finally moved into the new house, I was sure that I would be replacing them because I wanted shelves with a more “finished” look. However, it seemed silly to spend money on new shelves when we already had these – and who knows how long they would take to arrive, so I had the random thought – I wonder if I can get feet for it?? Turns out there is a whole market for furniture feet on Amazon! They have tons of styles on there and I picked ones that seemed like they would go well with the feminine vibe of the rest of the room. A little white spray paint and they were ready to go! They were super easy to attach to the bottom of the shelves. I just decided where I wanted to place them, drilled a pilot hole and attached. DONE!
The wicker cubby baskets are from Amazon (Ikea was sold out), and the drawers and doors are the regular Ikea Kallax inserts – I just swapped the knobs for inexpensive gold ones instead of the tiny silver ones they came with. We actually had the drawers from back when these were in Emma’s old closet and they were going to be sent to goodwill, so I am glad they never made it! As an added bonus, the feet brought the shelves up to a good height for Emma to use as a play surface for her little Woodzies play figures.
The last piece of the play area was the table. As a placeholder, Emma had a round coffee table from Target that had been kind of destroyed by various art projects. That gave me the feel for how I wanted a table to function in the space – it needed to be pretty large and SQUARE. Something about the round table was just not inviting. I have never had that vibe from a round table before, so I am not anti-round table, lol. But it didn’t call to you and say, “hey, come on over and have a seat!”.
If you have kids, you know that their play tables tend to get destroyed, so I didn’t want to spend much on it. I have a secret addiction to Facebook Marketplace. Every night I scan the furniture section while I am in bed trying to fall asleep and it makes me super sleepy and I just pass out. I don’t usually find things I would actually buy – it’s just fun to see all the old stuff (I’m a sucker for antiques). But this table caught my eye and the woman selling it was literally ONE BLOCK AWAY from our house. I’d been wanting to try out the bleached / raw wood look I keep seeing around, so we snatched it up. I figured it would be a great practice piece and if I mess it up, I could call it a learning experience and it would be no big deal.
Well, I did learn a lot!! All the steps I took are in my DIY Bleach Wood Coffee Table Post if you want to see the whole process. I am super happy with how it turned out and it looks way more expensive than it was. And best part is that if Emma ever gets sharpie or something on the top, I can just sand it down, re-bleach if needed, and done! I’m already looking for my next piece to try out the process on and see what happens 🙂
Oh and the cushions around the table – those are small bath rugs and dog beds!!!