There are 3 bedrooms in our home. When we first moved in, we had a double guest bed in the smallest room, as well as Emma’s pack n play. The bed took up the whole room. Emma seemed to need it dark to sleep well. Since we were doing the whole no-money-on-optional-home-decor thing, I often stuffed a blanket in the blinds to keep it dark. It was pretty stylish. Don’t ask why I even bothered to hang that tiny mirror there. I have no reasonable answer.
Since many guests preferred to sleep on our super comfy couch in the quiet, cold, and dark basement anyway, we decided to get rid of the bed and turn this room into one of the girl’s rooms. We hope the girls will share this room eventually.
To transform it to Addie’s (almost) big girl room on a super cheap budget, I did 4 things:
- Got ideas and shopped around online to figure out ball-park prices
- Added up the total of my ‘must haves’ and started saving
- Did NOT GO SHOPPING AT ALL until I had the $160 I had decided to spend
- Went to Ikea with a friend to bounce ideas off of & help me stick to my budget 🙂 (Thanks, Marn!)
[Budget side note: I’ve mentioned this in other budgeting posts before, but we’ve decided to have personal spending categories in our budget, even while we pay down debt. Generally our strategy for budgeting during debt pay down is spend as little as possible no matter what. We have a few exceptions to this rule including our personal spending categories. We call it “pocket money,” or “blow money.” It’s a set amount each month that Ben and I each get and we can spend it on whatever we want, no questions asked. Dinner with friends, a $5 latte, a gift for someone that doesn’t fit in our gifts budget, a fun activity with the kids, new jeans, whatever. The thing is – we don’t have any of those other categories in the budget. We don’t budget for clothes or entertainment or home decor. So this is our catch all. There was a month where my only pair of jeans that fit AND my yoga pants both got holes. That month, I spent my blow money on new jeans and new sweats. #exciting. We tried to without this category last January when we first started paying off debt, but we ended up spending more and going over budget without this ‘catch all’ category. All that to say, my pocket money category is where any home-decor spending I want to comes from. 🙂 ]
Anyway… here’s the room!
These curtains were the main big-impact change in the room. Addie has always liked yellow, and I loved these curtains when I first saw them floating around pinterest. They’re from Serena & Lily, originally priced at $58-98 per PANEL. Yikes! I figured I could make some knock-offs myself.
My knock-offs cost $17.50 per pair (so, $8.75 per panel). Win!
2 pairs of curtains for $10 each at Ikea (I used these Vivan curtains) + 10 yards of yellow pom-pom trim from Joann’s (with a 50% coupon) = $35 for all 4 panels.
And it was SO easy. If you can operate a sewing machine, you can definitely do this. You just sew in a straight line. If you can’t operate a sewing machine, this would be an easy first project, because… you just sew in a straight line.
When I put them up, she was so excited! That was fun. “Oh mommy I like those yellow things.”
This is what you see when you stand in the door.
The rest of the room looks like this. She loves to have a zillion things in her bed. Do all kids? Why? That’s weird.
If you stand by that white shelf and turn around, you’d see this:
- Vivan curtains from Ikea = $20 for two pairs ($10/pair)
- Yellow pom trim from Joann’s = $15 with a coupon
- Light-blocking roller shades instead of blinds (safety first!) = $35 for 2 at Ikea
- Cube shelf = $35 at Ikea
- Baskets on shelf = $30 for 2 at Ikea
- Cozy reading rug = $13 at Ikea
- Twinkle lights = $5 at, you guessed it… Ikea.
- Curtain rods = $4 for both at Ikea. (They have this one light weight curtain rod for $1.79!! We used drywall anchors for them.)
Things we already had:
- Crib (gift from when Addie was born, childcraft from Walmart, currently $200, was $150 when we picked it out. It’s held up through 3 moves!!)
- Spice rack bookshelves (originally $3 each at Ikea) – I spray painted them white.
- Rocking chair ($5 craigslist find) – I spray painted it yellow.
- Melissa and Doug Table & Chairs (gift for Addie’s birthday)
- Dresser in closet ($20 on craigslist) – holds all of both girls’ clothes except what’s hanging above.
This little Melissa & Doug Table* gets a lot of use. (It’s on sale on Amazon* right now for $94… usually it’s around $150.) It used to be in our kitchen and Addie used it ALL THE TIME in there, until Emma started pulling the buckets of coloring stuff off. So I figured if it was in Addie’s room, she wouldn’t do that. Wrong! #AmateurMom Emma loved to sneak in there and knock it all down, and take all the marker caps off, and then Addie would cry.#GirlMomProblems
Now, the coloring stuff sits up high and Addie asks to have it down and colors at the kitchen table where Emma can’t reach, or comes in here and closes the door to color uninterrupted 🙂 Sometimes you just need some alone coloring time…
White sheets with navy mini stars from Walmart for $8 (Carter’s Child of Mine brand). The “Addie” pillow was a gift from our old neighbor and friend 🙂
Addie loves books, so I thought Addie would enjoy this reading corner. Turns out Addie really prefers to read right wherever I am standing or sitting, but Emma does come in here to read. 🙂
Funny story about these bookshelves. I started seeing these on Pinterest when Addie was a newborn, and thought it looked like a fun, easy project. I went to Ikea and couldn’t find them. When I asked a worker where they were located, he said in a bored-with-life-i-hate-my-job-monotone-voice, “Are these for a pinterest project?”
“Yes,” I said, in a really high pitched voice laughing uncomfortably.
“We’re out… you’re not the first.” #awkward
Anyway, they eventually came in stock and the price has gone up a dollar. (Smart, Ikea). They’re $4 each now. They come in birch. They’re great for leaning books up against, but they can’t hold that many books. They’re definitely more for decoration that efficient book storage. I think they’d look cute floor to ceiling.
So, that’s Addie’s yellow almost-big-girl room. Any cheap, high-impact projects you’ve tackled lately? How do you budget for redecorating and home renovation projects? Since we hope to be homeowners someday, we welcome any tips!!
p.s. Random parenting question. We’ve held off transitioning her to a bed because she still takes 2-3 hour naps most days and I’m not ready to give that up. Also, she doesn’t climb out and seems to like it in there. (She’ll turn 3 in late December.) Any thoughts about when to move a kid to a big girl bed? Any tips about the process?
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