Thursday, January 15, 2009

Superstar Savvy Decorating Tips for Kids' Rooms - Part I

Today I thought I would share how I used savvy savings to decorate the Superstars' rooms. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that some of it was decorated with thrift store finds. Since this post turned out to be pretty long I thought I would break it into Part I and Part II. Today's half will focus on Superstar #1's room which we did for about $600 total.

SUPERSTAR #1's Bedroom

We decorated Superstar #1's room when she turned 2 and we had to transition her out of the crib to make room for Superstar #2. She turns 7 in a couple months and outside of a change in the dresser (from a free one to a bought one) it's lasted almost 5 years now. I like the fact that you really can't tell how old/young the child is that lives here. A few changes and we could make this a guest room very easily.

Furniture Breakdown - $483
The bed was the most expensive item in this room, but we bought it through a buying club we belong to called Direct Buy and ended up with a $1200 day bed for $450. IKEA has a comparable bed that we considered (not quite as sturdy, but looks very similar for $400) but the IKEA version has pull-out drawers whereas the one we bought has a pull out bed which is perfect for both sleepovers or if we have lots of guests in the house and the Superstars have to bunk together. I don't see us replacing it any time soon.

The chest of drawers was a purchase from the thrift store last year. It was $15 and brown. I brought it home and painted it with white semi-gloss, put the old knobs back on and voila! The bedside wicker table was $8 at the thrift store. The matching trash can was from...a trash pile left on the side of the road. I sanitized it and sprayed it with another coat of spray paint ($1 a can at Walmart) and it's perfect. The toy chest was from IKEA, bare wood, for $10. I painted it and that's where all the extra stuffed animals are stored.

Bedding & Curtain Breakdown - $70
($85 for the option to change out when she wants)
All that cute kid's bedding can be EXPENSIVE! We found that IKEA was the cheapest, well made items that looked really good. We timed our trips to IKEA as part of a family vacation to visit the family in California or St. Louis (then drove up to Chicago). I envy all you out there who have an IKEA nearby.

The duvet cover & pillow case was a set and cost $20. Each European pillow with sham was less than $10 a piece. The duvet itself was around $20 (hypo-allergenic). The sheer cotton window panels were $20 ($10 a set and I needed 2 sets for the 3 panels). The matching fabric fringe at the top of each panel was the pillow case from the duvet set taken apart and sewn on by me. The hardware to hang the curtains was $10 at IKEA.

The red standard pillowcase was bought during our 2007 Christmas trip to California to see my folks. We bought both girls a matching duvet/pillow set on sale for $15 a set. Superstar #1 had been wanting to update her room and so we bought one for her so she could switch back and forth as she wanted. It's as easy as pulling it out of the linen closet when we pull the dirty ones off. Isn't it amazing what a change it is, just for $15? When everything else is pretty basic, you can change the whole look of a room for very little money. I think blue, greens & reds would be another great color combination in this room, so that if we had a boy, it would work just as well without painting.

Art, Accessories & Lighting - $42
Last but not least the art and accessories. We bought the "M" & "B" letters at TJMaxx for $4 a piece. The butterfly was from my mom but I have seen them for less than $5 a piece at various places from Target to Party City. They're seasonal so you can't always find them but they sure are cute.

The rug was $16 at IKEA, a little surprise that my husband brought home from a work trip to California. I LOVE the pop of color it brings to the room and how it keeps the room from becoming too girly/fru-fru. It also hides the permanent ink spot that was there when we bought the house.

The wicker mirror over the drawers is actually mine from when I was a child. It was one of the things my Mom & Dad let me have as I went to college (it was brown back then, $1 can of spray paint changed that). There's a good chance that one of the girls will take it with them to college someday. The tall mirror behind her door was a curbside find. Actually a friend of mine was leaving town and had a pile on the front porch she was throwing away. It was dark brown and now it's white.

My husband and I bought the hanging star lamp with a gift card we received for our wedding over 10 years ago. It was originally bronze, a reminder of the huge star lanterns that hung up in the restaurant in Playa del Carmen where we had a wonderful dinner one night during our honeymoon and hung up in the living room for a long time. When Superstar #1 was born we painted it white and it has been hers ever since. It was a great "night light" back then for her as a baby and she still uses it now. The main light in her room was a horrible builder's grade see-through glass globe (BLECH!). I found a nondescript white flushlamp for $12 at Lowe's.

The ballerina picture over the night stand was a $5 buy at TJMaxx. The lamp, was another friend's "we're throwing all this out if you want any of it", and the fairy hook that she can hang her bathrobe & pajamas on was .99 new at the thrift store. I wanted to put it behind the door, but she wouldn't have that. Thank goodness the robe matches her room. You laugh, but it would catch my eye and bug me every time I entered the room!

One Last Word...
So that's it for Superstar #1's room. I hope you all know that as I share these things it's not to say "this is how you should decorate your room" because I know that we all have different tastes and styles. I definitely don't share it with you because I feel like I am on the cutting edge of decorating.

I just wanted to share that with a little time, creativity and patience, you can have a room that looks pulled together without a lot of cost. I have friends that LOVE Pottery Barn and surf Craigslist and eBay looking for the set they want and save a ton of money doing it, but I've never been beholden to any particular look so I'm fine mixing and matching. It's more eclectic and more organic in the sense that it's not so "matchy-matchy". It's also more forgiving with experiments where you can add and take away pieces as the children grow, without changing or throwing off the whole room's look.

I don't have any examples of it here, but garage sales are also GREAT places to find accessories and sometimes incredible deals on furniture. I remember my girlfriend buying a gorgeous hand painted Bassett armoire for her daughter's room for just $75. Another girlfriend bought a boy's car bed for $50. The deals are there it's just a seasonal thing around here. We don't have as many of them around when the weather is freezing.

Tomorrow's post - Superstar #2's room. It's kind of in transition at this point, having been thrown together rather haphazardly over the last 2 years. It's the second child thing. I was too busy to put as much thought into it and without another child on the way, it was easier to let some things slide. Bless her heart, we just got rid of her changing table/dresser this summer.

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