Sarah's room reno begins

Actually we have made very little in the way of progress aside from moving her things out of the room. Today marks 2 weeks until her birthday. Yikes!

Here is her room before:

Not long after this photo was taken we moved a second twin bed into this room. It only gets used occasionally for sleep overs and when we have extra company and need to move one of our other girls into this room. The twins needed new mattresses terribly, so about a year ago we invested in two new ones. But more on the beds in a bit. 

This photo shows the old casement window. You can't tell from this photo, but one of the glass panes is broken, and the others are cloudy from condensation between the panes. When evaluating what to do we pulled the trim off and discovered the cranks no longer functioned. With the cost of replacing the glass and trying to find cranks for old windows, we opted instead to replace the entire unit with a big picture window (since there is another functioning window in the room). We have the new window in and it is so light and bright!

We purchased white laminate flooring from Ikea last spring to replace the carpet with. You can't tell here, but this carpet is original and quite stained and dirty at this point.

Also on the list: scraping the popcorn ceiling and retexturing it, painting everything, and adding new baseboard and casement to everything. Much of the baseboard was missing anyway due to the heat registers that were removed 3 years ago.

We are keeping the chandelier! I am definitely going modern in this house, but I like a few ornate and girlie touches mixed in. I don't think it hurts to mix styles to make things more interesting and lived-in. 

The closet doors don't work well and stick out so far into the room, so I plan to remove them. I would like to make grommet curtains to hang (with tie-backs) there instead. I would also like to add more shelving and rails and more functionality to this wide open closet, but that will have to wait for another day.

The built in drawer unit is awesome and means we don't need an additional dresser. I was undecided on whether or not to try to remove the trim and change the hardware to make the look more modern. I'm leaning toward leaving it as-is (besides freshening it with paint) because I think it fits the girlie rooms. What do you think?

This built-in vanity is going to be pulled out and a desk will go in it's place. I have some fun ideas for this area and I already have desk that I purchased on Craig's list. It came with a chair and mirror also. I think every kid needs a place to display their treasures and special art, and this nook will be her space (rather than tacked all over the walls)! With a bathroom right next door, I feel a desk area is way more important than a personal sink.

This photo was taken after we started stripping everything out, but it highlights one of the dilemmas I was fighting with. While I liked having 2 beds (and we had just invested in new mattresses for them) it just made the room feel crowded and furniture-heavy to me. Removing the closet doors to the right would help, but I still felt like it was crowded. And it is really a big room. 

We have an old farmstead here with a mobile home parked on it. While we've had a couple of people stay there off and on, it has been vacant for the most part. My dad had purchased it from an old couple and they left quite a bit of junk in the out buildings. One thing I noticed several years ago was an old iron bed (sort of like this). I knew it could look great painted a fun color but I didn't have a good use for it at the time. 

But wait... I could make it Sarah's bed, and make a trundle for underneath and use the second mattress! (Buying a new bed/trundle combo would be expensive, and you have to use special trundle-sized mattresses). Alas, I could not find the bed. It had disappeared! To who-knows-where...

So, I decided to push forward with the two twin beds. I wanted to paint them white and thought this would be the perfect excuse to try Annie Sloan chalk paints. The one AND ONLY source for these paints in the entire state of Montana was in Bozeman at the Antique Barn. Well, as it happened, Mom and I were planning a trip there this past weekend for the Parade of Homes tour! Perfect!

After I found my can of paint and wax, we of course took a few minutes to peruse the store. They have such a great selection! The back room was dark but I still peeked my head in for a look-see and.... uh-oh. LOOK at this beautiful turned-spindle bed!!! Only $165! 

I wisely left it behind, only taking a little phone photo with me. 

But then I couldn't stop thinking about it! It was the answer to all my problems! (And the source of a few new problems, as it turned out). We had brought my mom's car with us and it was too small to carry the bed. My brother-in-law was going to be working in Helena (halfway between Bozeman and us) this week, however, so I was able to talk him into picking up the bed for me. While I waited for him, I discovered the second problem. It was a 3/4-size bed (slightly smaller than a full), as antique beds sometimes are. But with Lee on the way I decided it was too late to back out so I asked her to shave $15 off the price and bought myself a bed.

Yesterday I met Lee in Helena and brought the bed home. I had considered trying to modify it to accommodate a full-sized mattress, but in the end I decided to order a custom mattress online. It will cost me a little bit more, but in the end I think I will be happy not to have to change the bed shape.

Speaking of changing the bed, I got the side-eye from my dad when I mentioned I was planning to paint it. Sorry! But the wood look isn't what I'm going for! I'm going for something like this:

Jenny Lind from Land of NodIt's going to be perfect! It will give Sarah so much more floor space, and we she can still share it with a sister or friend when she needs to. I was planning to sell the twins to offset the cost, but they were given to us by my in-laws and it turns out they can use them again. We are still hoping to the sell the almost-new mattresses though. After seeing Sarah's old quilt in one of her baby photos and realizing her bedding was almost 8 years old, I had decided it was time to replace that anyway. In fact, I had just purchased 2 new duvets and duvet covers and 2 sets of sheets. I returned it all and traded it for one full-size set, which saved me money as well. With that the custom mattress doesn't sound quite so bad! Now I'm just crossing my fingers that it will get here quickly. They said 2-3 weeks.... 

One more thing:

I have been inspired by paint-by-number murals like this one and this one:

Camp Wandawega nursery muralI want to do one in Sarah's room based on this vintage paint-by-number I once found on Etsy:

Should be a breeze to complete by my Oct. 1st deadline, right?

This is what is on our list:

install new window
remove sink vanity and demo out soffit
figure out what to do with plumbing stubs
raise vanity light
scrape popcorn ceiling
retexture ceiling with mud
patch walls above vanity
paint ceiling
paint walls
paint closet and desk niche different color
paint mural
lay new flooring
install new baseboards and casement around doors and windows
paint trim
paint desk, mirror, chair, and bed with chalk paint and wax
cross-fingers and hope Sarah's new mattress arrives
find a rug to buy
sew new window treatments and curtain for closet
Somehow plan Sarah's birthday party in the midst of it.


We have started fall seeding and are planning to tear up our yard also. Nothing much. Wish me luck! And please do weigh in on my dilemmas.