Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another Room Off the List- Finished Kid's Bedroom

Three years ago, Andy convinced me to drive out to Decorah after a long day of teaching pubescent middle schoolers in St. Charles, Illinois to check out a house that just went on the market.  He had checked it out earlier that day with the realtor and was in love.  4 acres, lots of useable outbuildings and a house with "great potential".  After a 4 hour car ride with a 2 year old, I pulled into the drive, walked through the house with extreme trepidation while Andy pranced around gleefully with an expectant look on his face.  He almost had me until I made my way upstairs and stepped into the murder room.  Broken window, low ceiling, random floor covering and even a scary cot (which E proceed to immediately jump on).

Andy's puppy dog eyes got to me so despite my reservations, we bought the property knowing it was a fixer-upper but the upstairs bedroom would need immediate assistance to make it safe and livable for E.  Knowing they were only temporary fixes, Andy replaced the window, installed a fan and put in 12"x12" VCT commercial vinyl tile (a good flooring option that is cheap, easy to install and easy to maintain).  I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint and stuck flower wall decals on the walls.

It was a good temporary fix but we knew eventually we would need to replace the insulation and walls in the entire room.  Flash forward to this past winter:  With the imminent arrival of baby 3, we decided to dive into the project while Andy had 2 weeks off over Christmas.  We found some... unique things under the walls.
Wood siding under drywall

News clippings (this one from 1903) glued on the studs
But luckily, Andy was undeterred and soon had the room down to the studs.

At this point, we decided to make the ceiling a loft ceiling, wrapping the supporting beams with the reclaimed wood we found under the drywall to give the room a rustic feel and make the room seem bigger and airier.

Best decision of all time and a huge improvement to the entire space.  Second best decision was hiring a professional to finish mudding and sanding the walls- he finished the day L was born so we were so thankful that this big job was finished before bringing a fresh baby home and having to worry about sanding dust in the house.

Running home while I chilled in the hospital with baby L, Andy got two quick coats of paint on the walls so we could move E and F's mattresses back into the room.  I am in a hot and heavy romance with this color- Shadowed Dapple Gray which is a Walmart color that I color matched in Glidden paint.  I have decided that this color is the answer to my white wall phobia- the perfect neutral color that makes the white trim work pop but makes a room look complete.  In the last couple of months, I have bought several gallons of this paint and used it to freshen up the laundry room and hallway leading upstairs.

After taking a few weeks off of the project, I painted all of the trim and Andy finished his custom lighting boxes and installed the fan- same fan we had before but with a longer drop to fall at the beams.

2 of the 4 lighting boxes Andy built in the beams
I did some custom furniture painting on an antique dresser and bed and shared details on those projects here, here and here.

Using more reclaimed barn wood, Andy built a door- a semi-tricky feat with one slanted wall to contend with.  He built it in the style of a barn door complete with barn hardware so I painted both sides in white and then gave it a distressed look with a sander.
New door- unpainted
Sanding the paint for a distressed look
Finished door

Finally, six months from the start of this project, I finished sewing two quilt tops for E and F's beds- starting with a fish fabric and the same pattern, I made a port hole effect using purples for E's quilt and greens/blues for F's quilt.  F calls it his "under the seas" quilt.  He is now requesting a "Wreck it Ralph" quilt.

The kids love their new room (perhaps a bit too much from all their wild antics after bedtime) and we notice a huge difference in heating/cooling throughout the room now that the room actually has insulation in the walls.  The fan helps keep the room cool in the summer and the in-wall electric heater unit is perfect on those cold nights.  Between the new bathroom and their bedroom, I think I might be kicking the kids out and moving upstairs.

And just in case you forgot where we started....

Crazy huge improvement.

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