Friday, January 22, 2010

Request for Advice

I've got nearly ZERO confidence in decorating my house.  We've lived here 3+ years, and our home is largely undecorated.  In thinking it over, I think I am intimidated because it feels so PERMANENT -- which is completely ridiculous!!  I can change it whenever I want, right??

Anyway.  Here's where I need just a little advice.  I'm starting small -- with JellyBean's room.  She already has a crib bedding set with a matching rug, but...

well... I'm just not in love with it.  It's pretty cheap-o, as you can see by the sagging bumper.

Here's the room as a whole (please ignore the clutter).  Not loving it.  The only thing I really love about this room is the big bed -- A simple, cute pink spread and my FAVORITE quilt of all time!  So I think I want to build the rest of the room around that.

Here's what I've got.  I thrifted the striped twin flat sheet yesterday for $3 -- possibly a bit expensive when you can get a new one for about $5, but the ones at that price are largely unimaginative (read: BORING).  Plus, it is super duper soft and just the perfect colors to match the quilt!  The flowery fabric on the left came from a thrifted bedspread cover thingy.  I finally removed the ruffle last night and washed it.  It's 10" wide x 9 yards (!!!!!) long.  (That was a LOT of seam ripping!!)

Anyway.  Here's what I need help with.  I am planning to turn that flat sheet into a crib sheet.  (JellyBean has only ONE, which is just plain silly!)  Then I am thinking I will use the flowery fabric to make a dust ruffle for her crib.  The hard part -- the hem -- is already done for me!  That's about as far as my imagination has taken me.  I could also make a little curtain from the flowery fabric.  That would probably be good since this is her current curtain:


Is this a good plan?  Curtains and I just don't get along -- I've never really met any I liked.  How do I do the curtain?  Just a simple ruffly valance-thing from that flowery fabric?  And what about coverings for those naked pillows on the big bed?  Then, of course, there are those blank, naked walls...  but I think I'll start with the sewing first.

OR -- Should I abandon the entire plan and leave the room as-is until she grows out of her crib, and deal with decorating then?  (A tempting option!!)


Jan said...

If this were my child's b'room, the first thing I would do is paint the walls. Paint is inexpensive and a great decorating tool. You do need more crib sheets, but a dust ruffle could come later, or not at all. A valance would be great, and add a lot of punch. Just do something very simple.

Andreae Callanan said...

My husband and I are just now planning to decorate our 15-month-old son's room. I'll probably have photos on my blog soon, but for now, trust me: our room is worse! Honestly, it looks like a storage closet with a crib in it. No wonder my child wakes up crying - I would too! I wish I had advice for you, but all I know is we have a can of paint and a great deal of hope...

If it's any help at all, here are some photos and a description of what I did with my daughter's room (she's six), on the super-cheap. Not sure any of it's appropriate, but at least it's proof that it can be done!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jan - PAINT!! Better still, take that pretty flower pattern on the fabric, enlarge it about 300 times and paint it on the wall. Not all OVER the wall, of course, just a few very large flowers in an odd numbered patch in one exposed corner, green stems coming up from the baseboard, wrapping through the corner, flowers tilting just a bit here and there. Paint a row of the blossom heads over the window valance; add a large one behind the corner of whatever you have hung on the wall, preferrable opposite the walls where you painted the other flowers. Oh! And for the colored paint - don't take it all the way to the ceiling. Stop several feet short of the ceiling with a curved line that wraps around the room, leaving the upper wall and ceiling white. This is a super cute look in a kids room, and leaves it feeling airier. Paint the ceiling fan blades!

This is what I did for my kids' rooms when they were little. Teen Daughter #2 had purple and green walls with ENORMOUS white daisies, Teen Daughter#1 had some purple/royal blue and glitter gold paint in an Arabian Nights inspired theme; Teen Boys#1&2 had fire trucks painted on the walls. For all four kids, this lasted through childhood, and then they all repainted their own rooms as teenagers.

I am totally serious - paint will give you big bang for the buck, and if you hate it when you're done, it's super EASY to PAINT OVER IT!!

Valance - yes, keep it simple. For this busy flowered fabric, a tailored valance with no gathering, a curvy line and contrasting bias trim on the bottom would be pretty. I've done this with wide curtain rods and it looks great! You should spring for some yardage of opaque curtain lining fabric to back the valance, so that the it appears to be substantial, no sun shining through it. The tailored look up on the window will not detract from the loveliness of the quilt on the bed, either. If you want "more" on the window, make a flag banner with flowers (again copied from the fabric and enlarged) instead of flags and drape over the valance.

Pillows for the bed? I'd keep them tailored, too. use the stripe as the main panel, make mitered trim edges from the flowered fabric, about three inches wide. Use all the leftover flower scraps to make accessories, like lampshade cover and such.

I'd use the striped fabric to make a tailored bedskirt for the big bed, as well. I would focus on the big bed and not bother with the crib linens, as the baby will be out of there before you know it, and she will spend many MORE years in the big bed!

I can take pictures of the valances I made for my laundry room and family room and send you directions, if you'd like. I've made all of my own curtains, because custom made are just so totally overpriced and overrated for how SIMPLE they are to make! Oh yes, these will be easy peasy for you, I promise! Unless, that is, all of the sewing seen on your blog is done by a ghost-seamstress and you just take the photos!! ha ha ha

I can also send you some pictures and very specific instructions for painting figures on walls.

Oooh! I've taken over your blog with my enthusiasm. I love encouraging people to just jump out there in decorating their kids' rooms. It's easy and inexpensive, and so worth the effort!

Emily said...

I love your blog.

If you want a valance there are these now sew valances at Joann's where you just tuck in the fabric and then hang it up over your window. So it looks professional with out all the work to make it look so.

I haven't use it before but looks might a simple solution.

Lynette said...

I am personally a fan of keeping walls white (or a neutral color) so that you don't have to re-paint every couple of years if you want/need to change the room. I'm also a big fan of keeping the room as-is and painting ONE wall a cute color (you could do the wall the crib is against).
Love the fabric choices and the colors, what a fun room it will be! I agree that a simple valance would be great in that room.

Leslie said...

go for it!! build a room around that beautiful quilt

Kris said...

I have a 10 month old boy and I made/painted most of what is in his room. Here is my advice:

PAINT the walls! it is work, but it will change the mood of the room. use a warm neutral that way you can change the colors of the accessories and not have to repaint when you want to change it.

Use the left overs of the striped fabric to make pillow covers for the bed.

love the flower fabric!! after you make the dust ruffle, make a valance (will 10" be enough thickness for a valance? it might look funny if it is too small). I would sew a pocket in the top and stick the rod through it. i think you could use the rod you have, it just needs to be moved down and mounted closer to the windows and adjusted so there isn't much over hang after the brackets.

i don't like doing anything permanent to a room, it's too scary and too much work later. instead of committing to painting something on the walls, blow the flower design up and paint it on a primed canvas or on a piece of card stock to frame. you could blow the flower up on 4 canvases and do an andy warhol style painting and alternate the colors that are in the beautiful quilt. it would take up wall space and make a statement.

here is the zebra painting i did for our son's room (i have a thing for orange.)

i hope this helps! I love your blog!!!

cannwin said...

your talking cheap I suppose... so here's an idea I absolutely love

I did this with my boys room and bam! insta color. All I used was a piece of plywood spray painted black and some digiscrapping papers I printed off on my computer (okay and mod podge) I'm so proud of it!

another idea I love is using blocks

but instead of buying wooden blocks I just raided my boys blocks (you know, those red and blue and yellow and green basic ones) I put the letters of my sons name on them (scrapbook paper letters cause I have wretched handwriting), drilled some tiny holes in the top of the blocks and added wire that I twisted into picture holders.--More cheap color.

For my girls room I put up cork boards that we can add pictures to. Then on a piece of solid card stock I put extra large scrap booking letters of their names. I pinned these up on the cork boards and got my insta color.

I also made one of these with my older girl..

out of a cereal box.

As for curtains why not take some sheer fabric gathered at top and bottom of window and tied with a ribbon in the center (like an x) I've always wanted to do that to a window or two, but never can do. I'll be honest with you though...I don't do cute windows.

tara said...

My cousin has this wallpaper in her daughter's room, it's pink with these big circle polka dot things all on it, but in a nice uniform grid like pattern. The dots are all nicely contrasting colours, like a lighter blue, light orange, or a nice green, sort of pastels or muted. She wanted something that would 'grow' with her and not be dated or a kid's character or something.

When I made my son's window treatment I had very little fabric and what I was working with was a skirt for a cradle. So I just took the 2 rectangles from the top and the bottom and hung them on the top of the curtain rod, over some white sheer curtains. it was really simple, I just sewed a pocket on the back and slid the rod in. I also bought some window frosting type paint from the craft store and used it to paint the bottom window panes so no one would see in clearly, just blurred shapes. You can sort of glimpse it in the corner of the picture with my rocking chair in this post,

Since you have a long piece already I thought that might work for a valance like I did.

Pam said...

I agree, paint does wonders.

And why not some fun little quilts for the walls? ;)

Papgena Made It said...

you can use stickers to the walls (that way you don't need paint it). Some flower sticks in the quilt's colors!
I like pam's idea of quilts in the walls either!
To the curtains you don't need nothing to complicated. It is a nice fabric so you just measure a rectagle and attached ribons in the width so you can hang it with laces (i don't know if my english is understable...sorry)

Pam said...

Here is something easy and non permanent you can do for the walls if you have scraps of fabric left from your project you can cut shapes out of them ie butterflies, circles, daisies etc. Then apply them to the wall by spraying with spray starch and attaching to the wall. When you are sick of the shapes just wet with water and wipe any residue off the wall. You could do a google search for fabric wall decals and find a proper tutorial if I am not quite making sense.

Denise said...

I'd go ahead and decorate now with all the fabric. If you do it up right it should last until she is around 6-7 years old. Then she might want to give you input on what she likes and dislikes about her room. But definitely do a valance. They arent hard to do.

Jen said...

I can see I'm already too late to throw in my 2 cents! Tons of great ideas by everyone :)

I love your inspiration quilt and the fabrics to go with it. You just need to build around those things and it will look great! With your sewing skills I know you'll come up with some super cute things :)

molleemac said...

wow! looks like you got a lot of good advice. (I love the blog community!)

My 2-cents, is go for the paint! Its easy, and adds immediate emotion to a room. Its also easy to change later. And the colors you are going with will look fine for several years. Next do a valance. The window has beautiful light so you don't want a heavy curtain, but you'll be amazed at what a full size (read as "cover the length of the window") will do for the room. Once those 2 things are done, then everything else is bonus!

Here's a trick I like, 3-d. Rather than try to paint designs, go ahead and just use the real stuff! For example: plastic flowers from the dollar store hot glued around the window frame, vines from the dollar store stapled along the wall, fabric cicles hung up on the walls, you get the idea.

Have fun! You'll be happily surprised how easy it is to make over a room.


Kimberly said...

Paint, definitely. It's really not that hard; you should be able to do everything in a single day. How about two walls pink and the other two walls a light green (pulling colors from the quilt)?

Definitely go for a valance -- about 2x the width of the window for a ruffled look, and then long enough to cover the top the blind hardware. It's super easy and it'll look great. Since you have plenty of the flowery fabric, how about matching pillow covers?

For the walls, what about making simple wall hangings with the flowery fabric as a background? For my son's room, I cut out animal shapes from felt, hot glued them to squares of flannel, and then sewed that onto a leafy background panel. The background panel was just hemmed with a loop on the top for a dowel, and they're hung with ribbon. You can see them here:

I really would not recommend those wall stickers. I had some wall stickers in one room that have started to peel up and they look terrible. I do like the paste on wall borders (they come in rolls and go on with water, IF you put them somewhere out of kid reach. I put on about 3' off the ground in my son's room, and it looks great except over the changing table where he has started to peel/rip it off.

Clyde's Family said...

I think you should design around what you like and if the crib doesn't match for a while that's OK. I'd definitely do a valance to match your bed quilt, here's a cute and fairly easy tutorial: In your room, you might want a more simple shape, but since you have blinds, a valance would really make it look finished.

Something I just did that turned out darling and was practically free was decorate with some of my daughter's clothing. Her "alcove" color scheme is red so I hung 3 of her cute red dresses. You could find things that your daughter has outgrown that match the bed quilt and hang them on the wall (I used nails and satin hangers) or string a clothesline across the room or on one wall and hang them on there.

Good luck!

Kerri said...

There is a YUMMY green paint called "Shagreen" from Sherwin Williams that we put in our daughters room and we love it! Try it and see if it works!

Anna said...

good luck care! I love that quilt that you have, it's so beautiful! I think you'll do great designing things around that. Although, it might be easier to wait like you said, or maybe you could start it now knowing that she's going to be out of her crib soon, and just hold off on some of it. I don't know, and I'm actually thinking about painting my room tonight, eek! Might be a late night!

Myrnie said...

Good luck!

Here is an easy curtain I made for my daughter's room- with clip-rings, you can use ANYTHING, and change it out easy. (I used 2 yards of blackout fabric and 2 yards of cotton print, with a strip of printed flannel to make up the difference in width. Sew together, slip the corners and turn, and whip stitch the opening shut.) I like that it keeps out the light, keeps in the heat, and it's all one piece so there's no gap during nap times.

Another fun decorating thing is to either cut pictures from a printed fabric or just shapes, and either spray heavily with starch or dip, then slap it up on the wall. It's temporary, but will stay until you take it down. Wipe any extra starch off the wall with a wet sponge when you take it down- no mess!

Miss Muffin said...

I also would definitely not ditch the decorating idea! I would however try to make sure that you decorate in a way that it will last - even after the crib is removed. I do agree paint is a great option. Here also I would try to pick a color that will last a while. If you don't want to do the whole room or are not really sure yet you could do only one wall. Also you could paint just a border - or use one of those self-adhesive ones. They have really cute ones.
Other than that I would also concentrate rather on the large bed than the crib. And definitely would do the curtains! They do change the look of a room alot! I do not know what they are called but in my daughter's room we have those really easy curtains - just two rectangles of fabric. Still looks great. To add more color to the walls you could still add pictures ... there are so many possibilities. Framed fabric, photos (I love black and white pictures), big kids' posters, pages of old childrens' books ... I am more reluctant to painting things directly on the wall. I think it is great if you REALLY love something. But if you are not sure I would try to hang stuff first. If you paint your wall with something and you don't like it anymore after 4 weeks ... well, you'll have to paint the wall again. If you don't like a picture or some art anymore ... you just take it down. You could even let your boys make some "art". Just use canvases and paint and let them go at it ... Or you could build a mobile to hang on the ceiling ... Yeah, and a quilt as wall art would be great. Maybe an I-Spy-Quilt ... ;-)
Hope you're gonna have fun decorating!!!

Nikki said...

Painting is great but if you want something a little less permanent grab some kid's wal decals. I got some from a $2 shop (pirate monkeys with a pirate ship, treasure map and jolly roger) for $10 - a double set of decals. They are great, don't mark the walls and peel off cleanly.

Crib sheets are a must, I made my son's fitted sheets from thrifted double sheets. 1 x double fitted sheet makes exactly two crib sheets, you just need to sew two corner seams (using 2 existing corners per sheet) and add some elastic.

Definitely make some curtains from your fabric but you might want to add some block-out liner to keep the room dark for nap times. I would make a ruffly valance for the top and grab some cheap blockout eyelet curtains to hand from a pole. Easy-peasy. Maybe add a strip of coordinating fabric to the bottom of bought curtains.

A small bookshelf or some cube storage displaying soft toys and things would be great too.

And some artwork, even framed photocopies from storybooks are great until she grows into her own likes. Paint some thrifted decorative frame and there you go.

Shannan said...

Not confident in decorating your house??? Are you kidding me? Are we not looking at the same house? Um...Caroline...your house rocks and it always has and it always will. You have that special something that makes your style really'll figure it out because you always do and it will be amazing because it always is!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

This is what I need to do for my WHOLE house! Posts pictures and get advice OR just have Katie come over and tell me what to do. Cute fabric.

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