This week on Mutual of Omaha’s Mild Kingdom: The elusive blog lays dormant in the shadows of the internet, often for months at a time. It hibernates quietly, gathering strength for the moment it will awaken with an unexpected ka-pow! of awesomeness. At last, it is time…
Ahem. Yes, I have a blog! WordPress did not shut me down due to my nine-ish months of inactivity, which is a miracle in itself. And yes, while that is a long enough period of time to gestate a human, I didn’t do anything nearly so exciting while on my sabbatical (sa-blog-ical?). Then again, my latest massive household undertaking does involve a human I previously grew myself (she’s organic, and now free range!). And, you know it must be a pretty exciting project for me to honor it with a reanimation of the ‘ol blog. Welcome back—I hope it’s worth your while (and mine too, for that matter). (I also hope you like things written in parentheses. I know I do!)
Note: There are pretty pictures at the end; feel free to scroll down if reading is beneath you.
We’ve lately been in the throes of both spring winter cleaning and potty training over at Camp Morrissey, and the latter’s final step requires that Maddie Lou be able to get to the bathroom whenever she needs to. Since my monkey-girl has confoundingly never even tried to climb out of her crib, this meant getting her a big girl bed. A Big. Girl. Bed. (Dude. Major.) Of course, as we’re practical individuals, we decided that, instead of dismantling and (eventually) remantling the crib to make way for a twin bed, we’d just move Maddie to an entirely different room with a twin bed in it.* Of course, as I’m me, this meant much, much more than out-with-the-old and in-with-the-newing a few pieces of furniture. Oh no: This meant war. But, you know, not like WAR. More like “Whee, war on ugly paint and war on rooms that aren’t rainbow-y enough!” Or something like that.
*Yes, it is that annoying to assemble a crib.
Before we could actual create Maddie’s new digs, we had to relocate all of the toys and furniture that were in the room-to-be, previously known as the playroom. Which meant we had to relocate all of the crap homeless-since-we-moved stuff congregated in our basement “rec room” so it could become an actual rec room. Which meant we had to reorganize the laundry room and workroom to accommodate the aforementioned
crap stuff treasures. Which meant…you get the picture. Sparing you the details, I got the rec room cleared out, painted the walls—which I originally believed were white, only to find that they were some sort of murky maybe-used-to-be-white?-but-are-now-just-dingy-and-ewww color—and then painted the floor. I let Maddie choose between charcoal and brick red, and she of course chose red. Smart girl.
We assume the rec room was previously finished, because there’s a drop ceiling and the remnants of wood paneling that was very unceremoniously removed (probably after a flood) at some point. I don’t remember being particularly creeped out by it when we originally saw the house, but it’s not exactly the stuff that sweet dreams are made of.
Here’s how it looked before (stay tuned, that bookshelf makes an appearance later in this post, post-makeover):
After the floor was painted; the shutters-turned-fireplace screen used to be in my brother- and sister-in-law’s living room. Who’s laughing now, Lombard Morrisseys?
We didn’t buy anything new for the room, just relocated items from elsewhere. The big blue cabinet/entertainment center was left behind by the previous owner, whom I’m sure had grander plans for it than painting it blue and outfitting it with circa-2004 IKEA-fabric curtains. When we moved in, it was in the basement with two salvaged windows I’m sure she wanted to use as doors on either side…sorrynotsorry, I used one of the windows for the “art” over the “fireplace” and turned the cabinet itself into game storage.
So, does that blue paint look at all familiar? It does to me…because it HAUNTS MY DREAMS. It just so happens to be the color that the trimwork in Maddie’s new room used to be painted. Do you know how many coats of white paint it takes to cover something like that? Let’s just say the number is inversely proportional to my patience. Anyway, here’s a walk down memory lane as Sean and I turned the Death Star into Somewhere Over the Rainbow, starting with the OG (Original Gross–but perfectly fine for the boy who I’m sure just loved it–except that ceiling because OHMYGODWHYISTHECEILINGBLUE??):
Not really a reason to include it, but I just enjoy this shot of Maddie in her Easter dress surrounded by blue-on-blue blecht. She is not amused.Intermission note: Thanks to thrift stores and Craigslist, I got her bed for $25 and dresser for $20—a little spray paint, and it’s perfect for her new room. Painting furniture outside in sub-freezing temperatures is AWESOME, by the way. #sarcasm
I shipped Sean and Maddie off to a Daddy-Daughter Dance so I could paint the room unencumbered…it didn’t all happen in one night, but you can see by these photos that any progress was good progress. I used a special scallop-edge tape by Frog Tape for the accent wall treatment, which was inspired by the paint I had leftover from doing this to the basement stairs last summer:
Before we go further, just a disclaimer that a) despite working for a decorating magazine, I didn’t deign it necessary to “style” the room before I photographed it (I just vacuumed and picked up some dirty clothes), and b) I’m no professional photographer. Without further ado (or adieu, because that would mean this post was over), here’s Maddie’s Magical Rainbow Big Girl Room Reveal:
I made the rainbow pom-pom curtains by hot-gluing segments of ball fringe onto $4/pair IKEA curtains, which were also used for the bed canopy (made with an embroidery hoop and ribbon). To spiff up the white shades, I just found some butterfly stickers that matched the palette. The artwork is by Katie Daisy. Most of these animals used to live in Maddie’s crib; she doesn’t seem to miss them now that they hang out on these shelves instead.
I really wanted to incorporate family photos into the room; Maddie loves the little photo album I made for her, but this keeps her family and friends close at hand, er, eye (more to come!). The name banner is from her old room; because of the paint treatment and the room being a dormer-and-window-apalooza, this is where it fit best. This banner-on-banner action doesn’t bug me TOO much (just a little). The photo banner is easy to swap out because I just used mini clothespins on white-and-yellow baker’s twine. And here’s Panda Bear, which was a generous hand-me-down from Maddie’s super nice neighborhood BFFs. He’s hanging out near the awesome IKEA lamp that Maddie can turn on and off herself—and he’s got a comfy spot on the also-awesome IKEA rug that Maddie LOVES. (This room is sponsored by IKEA and Pinterest, by the way.) The stool used to be mustard, and now it’s fuchsia, which it probably wouldn’t be if I had known how horrible fuchsia spray paint smells.
Here’s a photo of the bookshelf de-booked; I painted a light “wood” bookshelf that used to be in Sean’s office with the green paint I used on the wall, and then used spray adhesive to attach butterfly wrapping paper to the back.
It’s amazing what we accomplished in a matter of weeks considering we had no real timeline to follow–unless you count my ongoing decorating neurosis as a motivating factor. Refused naps aside, Maddie has been sleeping fairly peacefully in her big girl bed (BIG. GIRL. BED.) since last Monday. We may, just may, have hyped it up pretty heavily before unveiling it to her. She was maybe a little excited when she first saw the bed:
Life is good. ‘Til next time, bloggeroonies! (Fingers crossed, it won’t be another nine months…)