He’s Growing Up…

Sniff.  My baby boy… He’s losing his crib….  Sniff.

Ok, I’m not that sad.  It’s a chance to design something new, and that’s always a great pick-me-up.  And just to keep you all coming back, I’m going to drag this out all week, Millionaire style.  So who’s ready to play?

First, let me tell you about how I designed Son’s room the first time, before he was born.

I chose the room directly across the hall from ours.  I wanted Son close while he was an infant, and closer when he becomes a teen.  I’m a long-term planner, you all know this; it borders on neurotic at times.  The room was originally our study/studio, and it looked like this…

Yeah, I know, it was sad.  It was full of mismatched furniture, left over from pre-marriage life.  In my defense, though, that blue papasan was oh so comfy.  Once we found out we were in need of a baby room, I got busy packing all that stuff up, and the furniture was handed down to others.

I knew I wanted a room design that could grow with my son, and not have to be redone when he turned 5.  I also wanted a room that didn’t make me cringe when I went in, and in my pregnant state, most things did.  And then Husband instated a budget on the room design, that included furniture, paint, and everything.  I know.  Can you believe it!  Husband capped my dreams off at 1,000 clams.  Out the window went my dreams of a 700 dollar crib, and a 600 dollar wall cabinet.  But never one to give up, I knew I had to find a way to make my own versions of the items I had fallen in love with online.  Don’t ask me why I had my heart set on something as crazy as a 600 dollar wall cabinet; let’s assume it was pregnancy hormones.

I also wanted to paint the room red.  Really.  That’s not a figure of speech.  And as an example of just how preg-crazy I was, we had to paint the room 3.5 times.  The first coat I chose, in a semi-gloss because I wanted to bring in light, and have easy cleanablity, well, it turned out safety orange, and made the hallway glow.  No, I’m not kidding.  That’s when I learned that anything shinier than eggshell just doesn’t work for walls.  So we quickly tried another colour, and it was too burgundy.  It was a perfect shade of red for a study, or a dining room, but not for a child’s room.  So I selected another colour of red, but this time, to save some effort, we only painted two walls, and didn’t cut anything in.  That was a smart decision because it turned out to be pretty pink; maybe a fuscia.  So I gave up, and I let Husband choose the next can of paint while I melted in a puddle of pregnancy hormone tears.  He chose “3 Cheers for Pooh” red, and it was perfect.

Next it was onto agonizing over the crib.  The one I had chosen, that was way out of budget, was white with a nice walnut base made of shelves.  I tried to focus on what I liked most about the crib, and it wasn’t the storage, it was the heavy walnut base.  So I picked up a white Ikea crib, chopped the legs off, and then helped Husband build a new base out of 4x4s.  Of course, I let him do all the staining.

Then I had to figure out a way to recreate the $600.00 wall cabinet.  When Husband had his apartment, my mother gave him a 15″ “wooden” storage cube every year for Christmas.  It was all part of an entertainment center I was building for him.  I’m sure he looked forward to every Christmas when he’d get to unwrap a shiny new cube that he’d have to carry back to his apartment and assemble.  Once we moved into our house, we used the cubes as simple storage in that awful studio pictured above.  I figured it was time we re-purposed them into something useful and beautiful.  I decided to keep four of the cubes, three with doors, and mount them all side by side, with a thick, walnut base.

We opted for the least expensive dresser Ikea sells, and then added knobs to the drawers.  I had Husband build some simple shelves out of 1x8s and angle-iron that we mounted over a white toy box we found at Target.

Then, I found some simple curtains for the windows, and finished the room off with a 4’x6′ painting that I painted myself while sitting on one of those exercise balls to ease my aching hips.

We finished it all just before Husband’s parents arrived for Thanksgiving, and to this day I’m not sure how Husband put up with me through the whole process.  But the room was perfect.  It looked like this…

Of course, these images were taken before I had a good camera, and a few months before the room was actually used.  After three and half years of use, the room didn’t look quite as pristine.  We lowered the crib, then took off the rail.  The toy box got full, and then over flowed.  The table became covered in books, and the wonderfully clean chair?  Well, someone thought it needed redecorating with a Bic pen.  I figured I better wait a year or two before I took the cover to the cleaners.



Filed under DIY, Home Design

2 responses to “He’s Growing Up…

  1. namhenderson

    very nice, especially like the painting… you did that yourself huh? Freehand?

    • Of course I did a smaller sketch first to get the ideas and colours flushed out, but then I drew the image onto the canvas before painting it. I made the canvas too. It’s painter’s drop cloth stretched over a wooden frame, which is why there is a seam. Husband had to do the stretching for me since it requires lots of strength to get it tight.

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