It took me 3 months to start “decorating” my toddler’s room.
I was pretty overwhelmed by the rest of the house, buying furniture, and taking care of a toddler in general. It’s also important to note that almost all of my decorating and painting projects take place while the little guy is napping, so naturally his room was one of the last to see any real improvements since moving day.
His room was actually the very first to be semi-setup on moving day. I wanted all his toys and books, and everything familiar to be out and in place before he arrived at the new house. I felt important to me to be clear that this was his special place. It might have been 5-6 times the size of his old room (see photos below), but he didn’t have any trouble knowing which direction to run when we said let’s go play in your room!
HIS OLD ROOM
HIS NEW ROOM: On Moving Day
We lost a lot of vertical storage space, and the view from his new window is quite different, but the crib, chair, changing table, rug, lamps and toys all stayed the same. The only new items were the curtains (left by the last owners), a bookshelf from my in-laws’ basement, an IKEA play kitchen (a belated Christmas present), and a children’s table and chair that my Mom tried to gift us in NYC but there just wasn’t enough space!
Every new item (with the exception of the children’s table) still needs to be replaced or repainted.
Sidenote: Yes, I am planning an IKEA play kitchen makeover and I’m PUMPED!!!
The space was functional, but I never really enjoyed spending time there. It felt unfinished and a little sterile – especially after I put all the toys away…which I do with OCD regularity at nap time and bedtime.
I pictured eventually adding wainscoting or bold stripes, and definitely some color! I had LOTS of ideas, but I couldn’t figure out a time to actually complete any of my visions!!
I was contemplating a father-son weekend (just so I could get in there and paint, work, and create), when my toddler’s 2.5-3 hour naps suddenly dropped to 90 minutes.
I was completely devastated, but now there was no reason not to risk shortening his nap by putting him in another room in the house for nap time. I’d need to work FAST, but if I prepped while he was awake, I felt pretty sure I could paint one?? wall in that time? (In case you don’t know, I’m optimistic to a fault).
I figured I’d start with a navy blue feature wall, and work my way around the room during other nap times (as necessary).
Looking back, it was a pretty risky idea, but I was so desperate to make a change in his room – I just went for it!
Here was the plan:
- Prep room as much as possible before the nap begins.
- tape baseboard
- move furniture away from walls
- layout drop cloth
- have paint and tools in the room
- Begin painting as soon as I exit the “nap” room
- Paint back wall with roller
- Trim with brush and edging tool
- Second coat if possible (read: if there’s enough paint left, or time left)
- No snacks, social media breaks, music, or unnecessary noise that might wake the babe.
- No down time until the wall is painted.
For once, my daunting plans actually worked out pretty well! He gave me a full 2 hours of nap, so I had enough time to complete the painting and put the room back together, but not enough time to clean my brushes or even sit down.
Needless to say, as good as it felt to actually accomplish a MAJOR project during nap time, I was exhausted!!
So let’s see some photos…
We started here at the beginning of nap time.
One thick coat of paint got us here:
Then came the hard part…I strongly dislike “cutting in” – probably because I’m terrible at it!
I taped the baseboard before nap time, so that would be a cinch. I also bought a plastic paint guide at Lowe’s hoping that it would speed up my corners and clean up my ceiling lines.
No such luck. I abandoned the guide after spending twice the time cleaning up it’s spillover all over the wall next to it. My walls must not be square enough for this guy to be helpful.
I worked hard to finish as quickly as possible, and from this view it didn’t look too bad!
You can see a true representation of my true skills when you stand in the corner by the step stool and look back:
YIKES!! (Please remember I was on a 90 minute deadline here!)
The other corner (that I did second – and without the guide) looks much better:
Without the overhead light on you can almost see how warm and pretty the blue is. I chose Valspar’s Deep Twilight Blue. It makes the room feel warm and cozy in a way that I never thought a single wall could!
I imagined that this blue would fight with the preexisting buttery neutral walls, but to my delight (and relief!) I don’t think I need to paint them at all anymore!!
Don’t mind the spliced baby in the panoramic shot above. He doesn’t stay still and he messes up a somewhat styled room pretty much immediately.
This room is still evolving of course. I need artwork and to replace the curtain rod and tie backs to fit my aesthetic and design. Also, the crib will change to a bed in the next year or so. I’m beginning to be pulled in the direction of a theme, and it’s somewhere in the hunting lodge/woodland animals genre. We’ll see where we land!
I’m contemplating stenciling another set of trees (as seen previously in my NYC kitchen) on the wall opposite the blue wall.
It would certainly take more than 90 minutes, but it might be nice to have a forest again -and I already own the stencil…
Oh man, how many nap times is this project going take?!!