Lucas’s Room 2.0

You guys…

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the changes in Lucas’s room lately.

For real. 

Let’s start from the beginning, eh?

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Blank slate.  Dirty carpet.   Windows that were a hazard (they were loose, single-paned glass, and one didn’t open at all).   Sorry for the Legos.

Then, we ended up here after replacing the carpet and windows and adding the furniture that we had from our last house…

And while I liked it, (1) Lucas never used that tent, and (2) we BARELY used those Ikea Expedit shelves.   We needed them desperately in his room in our last house because his closet was so teeny, but in this house we have WAY more built-in storage.  It was one of the features that we marveled over during our first showing of this house.   Big closets and built-in desks.  Also known as Christina’s Playland.  Or rather, they would be if I actually chose to organize them at any point in time. One day… Maybe.  ūüėČ  

Anyways, the Expedit shelves took up space that could’ve been used for something else.  And they blocked my creative vision.  Seriously.   I couldn’t picture a better way to use the space with them there.  So, I moved them into the guest room (with Joey’s help).  This definitely helped to bring the room back to a blank slate and allowed me to experiment with other things.  

The other aspect that bothered me about the space was that it didn’t feel as fun as I wanted it to.  I mean, we have an energetic, lovable little boy and his room felt a bit grown-up to me.  And to others as well… I’ve  had several people comment that it didn’t seem like a little boys room until you looked closer.  And I totally agreed.   I wanted to add some more pattern and comfort to the space to jazz it up and make him feel totally at ease playing in here.

So, I made a few tweaks to help set us in the right direction.

Now, the space looks like this…

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It feels so much cozier with the area rug (found at Ross for $30).  I can’t even explain it.   It instantly made the room seem so much less cavernous than it did before.

 I also wanted Lucas to have a comfortable seating area for playing and reading (well, once he learns how to read anyways.  In the meantime, air-quotes “reading” will suffice ūüėČ ) and this totally fits the bill.    The grey chair is an extra Ikea Nils chair that we had on hand (same as our dining space), and I paired it with the ottoman that I revamped last year.  I plan to recover it again with a wider striped fabric to allow the rug to really shine, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

You can see that we also added a header to the window…

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The blinds had been missing a valence since we moved in and it always drove me batty how unfinished it looked.   So, we basically just sanded and stained a 1″ x 6″ piece of wood that we had leftover and mounted it on top of the unfinished header.   This small (and free) change is my favorite thing.  Like, for real.   It’s amazing how much more custom and tailored the window looks now.

As for his desk area, we started here…

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Then moved to this…

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And now we’re here…

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You guys… I found that metal bucket chair WITH THE TAGS STILL ON at a thrift store for TEN dollars!!!!    I know.   Shutthefrontdoor.  That chair is actually what prompted me to start the rest of the makeover.

I decided to paint the backs of his upper shelves with the same navy I’d used below (it was an oops mistint).  And now I’m not sure why I didn’t do that initially.  It looks SO much better.

That awesome bicycle painting was created by my mother-in-law and previously adorned our hallway by the foyer.   And while I loved it out there, it goes so much better in Lucas’s room and really fits the transportation theme we’ve got going.  Plus, swapping it out with the Expedit shelf makes the desk area so much lighter and brighter.  Those shelves really blocked the sunlight from the window.

The rest of his room stayed pretty much the same-ish (I mean, I’m always tweaking stuff)…

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Remember the four wall tray car organizers I created?  Well, the two trays up top fell off the wall because they were too high for Lucas.  He’d pull on them to put his cars away and they finally quit fighting the good fight and gave in to the light (*bonus points for rhyming).  ūüôā  The other two are still going strong, though.   I decided to leave those top goners off and added a painting above the remaining two organizers  to bring color to the space (again, created by my MIL).

And a few more pics for good measure…

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All-in-all, I’m really happy with how the space is turning out.  It’s much more fun, cozy, and functional now.   Lucas has played in there way more since we put the rug in.  He’s drawn to it.  It’s seriously like a bug-light for kids. ūüėČ

The funny thing is, I fully anticipate that our other rooms will continue to go through similar transitions to this one until they start to feel “right” to me.   We’ve lived here for a year now, and I’m still chugging along, changing things up, slowly injecting our personalities into the place.  It’s part of the fun of figuring out our style.  I definitely wouldn’t call this space done yet, but it’s slowly getting there.  ūüôā

So, how do you guys decorate?  Do you go through the same trial and error process?   Are you more a planner up front?

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Lucas got a brand new(ish) bed!

I’ve literally been talking about getting Lucas a new bed for years now. ¬†YEARS! ¬†The bed that we’ve been using for him was a hand-me-down gifted to us from Joey’s grandfather. ¬†It was a simple metal bed frame with a trundle bed beneath. ¬†No headboard or footboard. ¬†Useful for sure and much appreciated, but very basic….

As functional as his bed has been, I’v been craving¬†something a bit more stylish to help set the tone for his room. A good, chunky “boy bed”.

Back when we were in the process of buying our house, my uncle graciously offered up an old bedroom set that was previously used by my cousin Bryan. It was a simple, solid wood set including bed, dresser, and nightstand. For free. Um, Sold!

We didn’t need the dresser or nightstand in Lucas’s room, so we’re utilizing them in other parts of the house. But the bed, oh the bed. It was exactly what I wanted for him in terms of style and simplicity. The only issue was the oaky tone that didn’t quite jive with my plan for his bedroom….

I was originally planning to¬†use Polyshades to darken the¬†wood tone. ¬†I’d assumed that the pieces were oiled or finished with something that would prevent stain from penetrating without prep. ¬†But, after a little experimentation, I realized that the wood readily accepted the stain WITHOUT a stitch of prep work!!! ¬†Total miracle, right??? (Insert victory dance, circa¬†the Snoopy dance from A Charlie Brown Christmas.). ¬†So, with that, I proceeded to apply 2 coats of Minwax Ebony stain that I had on hand….

I left about 12 hours between coats to ensure that the first coat was dry, thus allowing the second coat to fully penetrate the wood. Then, I applied two coats of my newest obsession¬†tung oil following these steps. The result was a beautiful, ebony stain with a luscious, natural looking gloss. I really love that the tung oil lends a beautiful finish without any drips or brush marks. ¬†And it’s basically foolproof!! ¬†If you can wax-on you can achieve a beautiful finish. We’re total BFFs now. ¬†Me and tung oil. ¬†Picture us twirling in a field of daisies.

Anyhoo, the bed didn’t come with hardware, so we purchased some corresponding¬†bolts and washers from Lowes. ¬†Then, we assembled the bed and proceeded to bask in its glow of awesomeness…

I’m ecstatic about how well the bed coordinates with his dresser. ¬† In these pics, the dresser¬†appears¬†a bit more red-toned due to the lighting, but in person, the two pieces coordinate¬†perfectly….

A little before and after bid-ness…

REAAAALLLYYY Before:

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Before the bed (after we changed the carpet and painted)…

And now…

Sorry about the insane glare in these shots… I’m planning to retake¬†them¬†in better lighting soon and post them to Our House tour page, so keep an eye out for that.

Another view… ¬†Before

After:

The bed is a total game-changer for this room. ¬†It’s streamlined and masculine with bonus storage beneath! ¬†It gives the space so much style and function. Plus, the bed is lower than his last, which means he no longer needs a step-stool to get in it. I’m changing out the wood drawer handles beneath the bed for stainless knobs to mesh better with the other furniture in his room, so I’ll post a little update once that’s done. ¬†Now that the main-players of the room are in place, I can focus on¬†wall-art, his desk area, adding curtains and otherwise fine-tuning the space to bring it full circle…. And the fun can REALLY begin!!!! ¬†(Insert crazy cackle)¬†

TDC Before and After