Designing a Girl's Room: Phase I


First of all, can I say I can't believe it's March already. How did this happen? I was going to open this post telling you about how a few weeks ago I told showed you the uber cool design that IKEA came up with. Then when I looked at the link I realized it was in December. How did that happen?

Suffice it to say I'm behind schedule. Welcome to my mamihood.

Because I am not rolling in the dough (don't ask me why. Apparently no trophy wife job has opened up yet), I am doing the kid's room in parts. The first part was the hardest to begin: painting.

I bought the paint like 6 weeks ago (or maybe 8). And it has sat there looking at me with accusing eyes as I go about my daily business. A few weeks ago, after hearing "mami, I want to paint my room." for the millionth time I decided to get it done. Of course, I'd do it while she was out of the house because to her, painting is this cool thing that she can do with tons of colors and absolutely no direction. I had a visual of what these walls would look like if she got a hold of them.

After breathing into a paper bag, I got to work. And work I did. The frog princess did come in the room and sat there literally watching paint dry. The only thing that kept me going was her shower of praise (mami, thank you so much for painting my room! Mami it looks so good! Mami, I love you so so much!). I mean really, I could've painted more just to hear her cute voice. Okay, maybe not but, you get the drift.

The color looks great in there though I can't seem to get a good picture of the color in that room since there's little natural light that flows through it.

I waited a second day due to having to do a second coat. The lesson learned: even if I'm using the paint with primer, if you are changing from certain colors just use primer from the beginning.

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The fun part was about to begin. Oh Em Gee! So I've put IKEA furniture together before but never this fast and never this happily. Maybe because I've always had big Billy Bookcases or awesome Expedit desks to work on but seriously, it took me 30 MINUTES to put together. As soon as the linens went on, she jumped right in fully clothed. She's been sleeping in her bed ever since. So, my advice to fellow co-sleeper is: when you're ready to kick the kid out of your bed, go to IKEA!

Better than that were the praises from my child who calls it her princess bed and is astounded at the magic I performed by single-handedly creating her dream with my two hands and a hex wrench.

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The "castle" (canopy) took the amount of time that it took to screw in one of the hooks to hold it. The flower light was super duper easy though I will say the bug light had small screws that didn't fit well. Thankfully, I had a little wall hanging kit that had perfect screws to hold this.

Once everything was up, I decided to put her kitchen to the left of her bed. That was one of the options I'd originally been given. I still don't have the reading chair that goes to the right of the bed but, I think I need to go back to IKEA with a book and just make a day of sitting and reading to see what chair I like best.

More than putting this room together, I loved that I was teaching my daughter that I can do it and by extension, she can too. It's why I'm falling deeper and deeper in love with IKEA.

Not only are they providing me with great products for my home but without realizing it, they're giving me some awesome teaching tools.

Now that half of the room is finished, here's my left brain giving you the numbers. First of all, remember that this is a toddler bed that converts to a twin bed. AND, the mattress does as well which is pretty cool. I opted for a thicker mattress for her but there is a wide range in pricing on the mattresses if you're looking to spend less.

While at first I thought this was a little more than I wanted to spend, the frog princess will be using this bed for at least 5 years. Also, I purchased the leaf but haven't put it up anywhere because I'm not loving how it looks. Rest assured, it will find a good home (I'm thinking in my office). Oh and if you are shopping at IKEA don't forget to check out their as-is section because they have a lot of good furniture there at a very reduced price. Again, a good place to cut down on cost without cutting down on quality.

So, what do you think?

Next up...Phase II

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How to Design a Girl's Room...


(advice from someone other than me.)

In October I told you about how one little Tweet to IKEA got me in touch with their awesome social media gurus and into a conference room with their designers as they all put their heads together to create a room perfect for the frog princess.

A few weeks ago I got the call from my friends at IKEA telling me that the design was ready and I was then upset I had to wait an entire week to see it. But it was worth the wait! Oh. Em. Gee. These folks don't play! This is me the entire time I was looking at the room design.


I think at first they were afraid that I didn't like the room because I wasn't saying much. Alas, they had rendered me speechless!

Chris and Josie did it UP! I was blown away by the fact that they took my crazy non-artistic designs and turned them into a room that I may be sleeping in myself. More than anything though, I was amazed at how much attention to details this design had.


This is not just something they did for me (though you totally can't get this type of treatment), they do this for all of the designs you see in their showrooms and in their catalogs. Not just comfort for the frog princess but usability and accessibility. Rumor has it that Chris was seen in the kid's section on his knees trying to see what shelves the frog princess could access and looking lovingly into the perfect mirror for her dress up area (really, folks, why didn't someone take pictures!).


I was amazed at how they selected the right furniture and just the right touches. These folks took the time to know me and to know my girl. I'm not surprised that they go to great lengths to plan and construct those room at their stores. They take so much into account. Seriously, I don't know if I could do the job. Well, I might be able to but I'm sure most of my time would be spent sneaking into the store and perusing the thousands of items while taking advantage of the employee discount (wouldn't you?).

Here are some of the sketches:







IKEA is very good at making functional furniture. But they also make the furniture to fit your particular needs. Because I'd told the team that I'd like to repurpose the furniture when she got older, they selected more durable pieces that she wouldn't think were too baby-ish when the time came to shift to a more mature design. They even did a great sketch of what the room would look like when she got older. Of course, this threw me into fetal position at the thought of my child being like 6 or 7. EEEKK! I'm having a hard time with her being THREE! Can we not rush things?


One of the things I did not realize was that IKEA has an As-Is department and let me tell you, I wanted to kick myself for not having a truck that day! Because the beautiful convertible bed that they'd chosen for the frog princess was there. At 40% off!!!! By the time I checked back it was already gone but, I am inspired. The total room cost will be around $850 BUT I love that they gave me other choices so that I can change some things around and bring that down. Keep in mind, I'm getting all new furniture, linens, the works. Which reminds me, I need to put some of her furniture on Craigslist. Anyone interested in a fairy toy box?

So the plan now is for me to paint the room (after Christmas) and, because of the fact they everything is beautifully broken down (and yes, I have a spreadsheet with cost analysis included) I can work on the room bit by bit. I am going to start with this side of her room since the other day she told me she didn't want to sleep in her room because it wasn't beautiful. Granted, this was her tactic to let me to get her sleep in my room but still. And PS if she doesn't like her room after I'm done with it, I'm totally moving in.

More than just telling me what furniture would work in the room, the team at IKEA educated about how to create the perfect room. And although I wanted to start with a clean slate in the girl's room, I can tell you that I'm putting these tactics to good use in other rooms in the house where I'm working with the pieces that are already there. Next year is the year of new beginnings and the creation of a peaceful and functional house. And I'm totally trusting IKEA to help me make that happen.

I wanted to show you the design process as outlined by this deck in hopes that if you are tackling a redesign, you keep some important points in mind. You're welcome!

Have you ever taken on a room project? How did you tackle it?

Disclosure: This is not a service that is generally provided to the public. Rather, this was done in order to enhance my story (and blood, sweat and tears) as I embark in this redesign. So, don't be callin' your local IKEA and telling them I sent you!

Check out the beginning and the end: