Category Archives: Girls’ Room

September 15, 2014

DIY Hidden Corner Bookcase

When we moved into our current home, we set up a temporary basket in Zoey’s room for storing books. Two years later, we now have an overflowing basket and two very frustrated little girls, trying to squeeze books in and out of it.

Their room has an awkward little corner, directly behind the door, where we’d previously hung a few hooks for coats and bags. It worked, but it definitely wasn’t making the most of the space. We could do better. I pinned this clever corner bookcasetwo years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’ve finally built something similar!

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage |

We took some cues from our inspiration, and then put a few twists of our own on it, like the rounded dowel rods vs square, and doubling them up on each shelf. I wanted to make sure it could accommodate smaller books too, since the girls still have a few of those hanging around. Plus, the books will just get smaller again as they grow older. So, the idea is for this to work for many years to come.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage |

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage |

Ricky built the entire piece in the garage, and them installed it, fully assembled, which was really gratifying to watch. Blank corner to instant, awesome bookcase corner (why can’t all project be like that?).

DIY Hidden Corner Bookcase |

After a lot of wood putty, I painted it to match the future trim (ha), Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound, in semi-gloss. Harmony ftw – pretty much my go-to paint for anything inside that can’t be aired out. And if you haven’t already noticed from the taped up rosin paper, I chose to bring out the spray gun on this project, because, you know, tight corners, limited time, (must save all patience for children) type things. We’re fans of the Wagner Flexio 590 (link contains affiliate), in case anyone is interested.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage |

Loading it up with books was definitely my idea of a good time. Very Christmas morning-esque. It’s also been really fun to rediscover many of the forgotten books from the bottom of the pile.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage |

AND, amazing extra bonus – for some reason, the girls are now excellent about putting away their books when they’re finished. We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m really hoping it’s the new norm!


September 10, 2014

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet

Last November we celebrated Zoey’s third birthday, and naturally, as we now come up on her fourth birthday, I’m finally blogging about. For most holidays we’re pretty low-key on gifts for the kids, nothing overly complicated, but birthdays we try to step it up a notch. (Really, this means I come up with ideas and Ricky kindly builds them, like a play kitchen, train table, play tent, etc.)

With Zoey’s ever-growing collection of dress-up clothes, it couldn’t have been more evident what to make her. Some of you may remember the Ikea Ombre Chest?

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

Well, the exterior was still in great shape, but we thought the interior could use a fun new makeover. Here she is now!

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

Ricky removed the interior drawer glides, whipped up a simple cubbie area for baskets, and installed a tiny clothing rod for dresses galore. Wood putty, prime, paint, and we have a whole new look!

As for the door itself, we wanted to the exterior to appear the same, so Ricky separated the drawer fronts and reattached them to one another using a few 1×3′s. Easy peasy. The entire door hangs on a trio of new hinges.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

The baskets hold all of the accessories - tiaras, magical wands, jewelry, etc. You know, the necessary princess attire.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

While a few packs of small hangers clip up the dresses.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

Honestly, I don’t even know how our dress-up collection got to this point. I swear just yesterday I was pregnant with Zoey, and now we have backpacks and sports gear and questions about everything, and it’s all just moving entirely too fast. Anyway. Start to finish.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet |

A year later and the girls are still getting so much use out of this project. Because princess dresses count as normal, everyday clothes, right?

September 8, 2014

Girls’ Room Updates

When I first began playing around with a new design for the girls room, I wanted them to be as involved as possible. So, I asked them what they wanted. Let me lead this by saying that there are maybe five total items that I was planning to have stay in the room, one of them being Zoey’s headboard. I’d just need to duplicate it for Lizzy. Well, as I mentioned in the initial plans, their first idea was to change that.

Pink headboards it is.

DIY Pink Nailhead Headboard |

The hot pink fabric is the Warsa Linen in Fuchsia from Gray Lines Linen (it’s the same fabric that we used to upholster the previous headboard as well as the dining banquette). Awesome price, awesome quality.

DIY Pink Nailhead Headboard |

This was my first time using nailhead trim, so this trim kit ( in french natural) made it a lot less intimidating. Totally doable for any beginner.

You also may notice that we painted the once gray walls. The new color is Sherwin Wiliam’s Lighter Mint, which reads as a completely different color than the first time we used on Ryan’s ceiling. Instead of the warm and muted mint that we had in the nursery, here we have a light and fresh mint.

Girls' Shared Room |


It’s subtle and yet, so much fun against the hot pink. Actually, it almost looks white in these photos, which is 100% the result of my lacking photography skills.

Girls' Shared Room |

I mentioned in our plans that I’d scored a campaign dresser on Craigslist last summer. Well, here she is, all dolled up in a fresh coat of white paint and clean hardware.

White Painted Campaign Chest |

I can’t get enough of the campaign hardware and the nailhead trim playing off each other.

DIY Pink Nailhead Headboard |

So, clearly there’s a lot to still do here. Address the blank walls, the ceiling, lighting, and let’s not forget that I neglected to even show you the other half of the room.. there’s a reason for that ;)

August 28, 2014

Plans for the Girls’ Shared Room

I’m long overdue on sharing updates in the girls’ room, so I thought I’d start by catching up with our initial plans for the space. I decided to finally get my butt in gear after finishing Ryan’s Nursery. I mean, it’s totally unfair for a newborn to have a 100% finished room of his own, while his 2 + 3 year old sisters have bare walls. Which they’ve made very evident, pinning up their artwork on said blank walls saying, “Look, Mommy! We have pictures too!”. Those girls know how to seriously break a Momma’s heart.

Prior to Lizzy moving in with Zoey, we had already made a few updates to the room, but some of them haven’t been working out so well. For instance, their yellow Ikea chest. As a birthday gift for Zoey last year, we actually gave this guy a completely new look on the inside, removing all the drawers, and installing a few small shelves and a clothing rod. We kept the exterior the same, so it still appears to be a chest of drawers. I’ll have to share the entire thing on the blog someday. It’s absolute princess dress-up heaven. Point of story – The chest now has a swing door, not drawers, and it doesn’t function as well between the two beds. We’re still shooting to keep it in the room, somewhere, just not as a bedside table.

You also may remember the gallery wall, which has been removed for quite some time now. What used to be a play kitchen beneath it, now lives a second bed, with curious toddler hands. This was pretty much taken down the night that Lizzy moved in. She’s been in the new bed for about six months now, and I don’t think art on the walls during bedtime would be totally distracting at this point, but it definitely can’t be anything fragile. I’m looking at you string heart and animal heads. Plus, most everything in that gallery wall was thrown together in an attempt to just have something, anything on the walls. This time, I’m hoping to make things more personal, and really incorporate the girls’ interests. It’s their room after all, so no holding back.

Alright, alright. Onto the mood board!

Girls' Shared Bedroom |

First up, color scheme. We’re switching a few things up, with new hot pinks and mints (nixing the red and orange), but keeping the yellows and pastel pinks from the previous direction we were headed in. Not a huge deal, doesn’t effect much, but it feels so fresh now! Plus, I’m a sucker for mixing in a cool color (mint) with warmer tones (pinks and yellows).

I’d envisioned white walls for the longest time, but on a whim I threw this minty color in as the background on Photoshop, and I was sold. The ceiling is getting an entire new look as well, if you’re remembering the coral paint. Covering the popcorn ceilings has been a long-term goal for all of the bedrooms, so we’re hoping to do a white wood plank ceiling of sorts. If not, maybe just drywall again? Also, yes, I realize that mint walls and a plank ceiling combination is the exact opposite or Ryan’s Nursery, ha!

1 • Ok, here’s the deal with the old headboard. Zoey and Lizzy mutually agreed (that’s a damn miracle in case you didn’t know) that they wanted their beds to be pink. I had already made Zoey a headboard, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t necessarily all that excited about making a second one of those. Easy, yes, if I hadn’t misplaced the curvy-shaped template to duplicate. I know, I could figure it out, but “PINK, MOM”. The thing is, I want the girls to be in love with this room. I want them to be proud of it. So, if they want pink headboards, what the heck. Let’s do this.

I sold the old one on Craigslist (for a profit, actually) so no harm. The new headboards are complete, they just need to be properly hung, and then I’ll share the hot pink and brass nailhead details in all their glory!

As for bedding, we’re using most everything that we already had on hand – White pintuck duvet, yellow striped sheets, and floral Marimekko pillows. I’m itching to try out a fun DIY project with two of these black and white striped blankets, but we’ll see.

2 • An old house and unpredictable Cincy weather call for ceiling fans in the bedrooms. I’m loving the sleek design of this one, but haven’t quite pulled the trigger on anything. Hoping to find an affordable option, white, aesthetically pleasing (duh), and the real kicker – a flush-mount. It’s a rough search. The ceiling fan design world needs help.

3 • I haven’t done a large piece of art in our new house since this epic fail, so I’m declaring this makeover the time for it. I’d LOVE to get something huge over the girls’ beds, and I just keep coming back to this freaking awesome diy dinosaur engineer print. We visited the new dinosaur exhibit at King’s Island this summer and holy dinosaur obsession. The girls can’t get enough. They’d go nuts if I let them pick out their very own dinosaur to go over their beds. Or maybe some other animal? I don’t know, it really doesn’t get a whole lot cooler.

I’m also totally digging these embroidered quotational art pieces. Definitely DIY-able. It’d be super fun to go big here too.

4 • I grabbed one of these industrial task lamps in yellow during a lighting sale a few months ago. It’s perfect for bedtime stories and the girls are just a little too excited that they can turn it on and off by themselves (it has a switch on the cord).

5 • I’m not going theme crazy in this room, I mostly just want to focus on whatever it is that currently has the girls fascinated. Right now, that means dinosaurs, outer space, monsters, and unicorns! These years are so much fun and I just want to embrace it. They’d loose it for this moon globe. I can see the endless late night talks with Daddy already.

6 • Last summer (yes, you heard me) I found an entire set of Campaign furniture on Craigslist. Chest, nightstands, bookcase, and desk.. For $200 dollars. People, you are killing me. Obviously, I bought it, and obviously, it’s been sitting in our garage since then. Ha. Next post, promise, I’ll share what we’ve done with the chest, along with the headboards. (chest source)

7 •  I haven’t quite decided if this pointy unicorn is practical for preschoolers yet or not, but it’s a definite want. The girls would flip, and maybe I could hang it high enough out of reach (aka, eye-stabbage-level). I mean, gold glitter dipped horns. Come on.

8 •  Last week Zoey and Lizzy learned how to use the tape dispenser themselves, and all of walls are open game for their art. It’s adorable. Really. Except for the paint that peels off the walls when the tape comes down. Not cool. I would love to give them a big space in their room to display crafts to their hearts content. Preferably, without the use of tape. I’m crazy for these cloud-shaped magnet boards. A big grouping of them would be so adorable. A handful of dinosaur magnets to really set things over the top on the cuteness scale. Clouds and dinosaurs tho? Maybe airplanes. Oh, screw it.

9 • They can’t read just yet, but when they can, hopefully they can appreciate this banner and the weirdness that we’ve instilled in them. Stay Weird little babies.

10 • I have no idea what to do with these tiny alphabet cards, but I so desperately want them displayed. Shadow box maybe? String banner? Ideas, anyone?

11 • Because space and monsters are cool right now. One. Two. Three.

12 • As mentioned earlier, a quick color palette switcheroo, leaves a few quick changes to be made in the closet toy storage department.

13 • Last, but oh so certainly not least. We have big plans for a bookcase in the corner behind their bedroom door, like this one (scroll down after click). We’ve made some serious progress here, so I’m shooting to share an update here as well. Plus, Santa brought a pair of these fur bean bags last year, for the coziest little reading spot! Way to think ahead big man.

July 19, 2013

DIY Custom Closet Makeover

When we first moved into our house, just over a year ago, we knew that all of the bedroom closets needed some work. Custom closet organizers are crazy expensive, so we also knew that it’d likely be something that we’d DIY when it came time. Well, it’s now officially way past time.

All three bedroom closets are in constant state of chaos and bursting at the seams. We’ve done our best to work with what the house came with by keeping things as organized as possible, and purging clothes that the girls have outgrown, but when it came down to it, the current closet systems just weren’t utilizing the space to their best ability. Specifically, Zoey’s closet.


DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Clothes are piling up, toys are piling up, random things that don’t below are piling up. But, the most obvious problem in Zoey’s closet is the dead space. Talk about a waste. And with Lizzy well on her way to the age at which the girls will begin sharing a room, we have no wasted space to spare.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Not only does this space serve as clothes storage, it also functions as toy storage. The girls will have some toy storage beneath their beds, but the room isn’t huge, so that’s about it. We knew we had to make this closet work hard.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

I ran through a few of my favorite inspirational photos and landed on the idea of using the lower portion of the closet for toy bins and the upper sections for clothing. After pricing out a few options, we decided to buy most of the inner workings in-store and to spruce them up with a “custom built-in” feel by framing everything in. We picked up one of Closetmaid’s 9-cube organizers for the bottom half and Ricky worked his magic.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

(just ignore the wire rack above it, we hadn’t taken it down yet)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Next up, clothes storage. I always find that a mix of open and closed storage in closets works best, so we opted to use a few sliding wire bins to serve as drawers, with a rod above for hanging shirts. Ikea’s Komplement wire baskets (in 39″x13″) came close enough to the closet size that we could easily build out the sides of the closet to accommodate the drawer slides. The bins are perfect for pants, shorts, pajamas, and the smaller undergarment pieces. One basket really would have been sufficient for Zoey, but we chose to do two so Lizzy would have room down the road.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

We topped these pieces with a sheet of wood as well to create a space that would serve as a little tabletop, just beneath the hanging clothes area. A small white trim piece disguises the unfinished edges.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

We filled all the nail holes with a little wood putty, gave everything a fresh coat of white paint, and added the hanging rod above, as well as an extra shelf at the very top.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Looking so much better right?

Just wait.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Boom. Color.

Be still my heart.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

We tossed in a few of Closetmaid’s Fabric Drawers (Pink. Red. Yellow. Orange.) in the bottom cubicle for toys and lined the wire baskets above with the same Watercolor Meadow fabric used in other areas of the room. The “liners” are really more of just faux fronts. I used a few leftover cardboard pieces, cut them to size, and wrapped them with spray adhesive and fabric. Voala.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

I used the same technique on the bottom of the drawers too, just to give clothes a nice landing spot. Nothing super pretty, but it works, and it’s hidden beneath the clothes anyway :)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

And moving up, we’re still playing around with styling, this isn’t going to cut it, but it’s a cute place for Zoey to display a few of things of her own. A little dish picked up at Target on clearance last year for jewelry (she has her ears pierced and is wildly obsessed with bracelets), a small flower vase that has yet to be filled, a few sentimental snow globes, and some other decorative accessories.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

The wooden serving tray is corralling a few pairs of shoes (most live in the mudroom).

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

And as if this post isn’t long enough, let’s talk about the outside of the closet. I’d always envisioned a curtain to serve as the closet “door”, but the more we lived with the curtains in Lizzy’s nursery I realized how much I missed being able to actually close the doors. I loved the look of Ikea’s Hasvik high gloss white sliding doors, especially up against all the color going on inside.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

This way, it can be a nice little surprise when we open the door, or easily hidden away if the color gets overwhelming. Win, win.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Ricky installed the track that came with the door directly to the wall, and it functions just like a barn door. Except, beautiful, beautiful high gloss white. Yum. The door has several safety locking features, so no worries about the door sliding off the rail, or even the kids pulling it off the wall from the bottom. This thing isn’t going anywhere. The door sits out just a tad from the wall, which works out perfectly with the adjacent wall art. The door just slides right over it.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

A few other things to note:

- The door can only be purchased in a two pack, so we’re holding on to the other to use in Lizzy’s room some day, we’ll just need to get our hands on another track.

- And one small issue we ran into was the way the door hung. Since it’s meant to slide on a top and bottom rail, and we’re only using a top, the bottom tends to cling to the wall. We’ve since installed a pair of casters to the inside of the door, just at the bottom, that gently glide along the wall and keep the door standing perfectly vertical. I’ll catch you guys up on that as soon as I can photograph it to better explain.

Now, because you guys know I’m a sucker for a good before and after, let’s get these babies side-by-side :)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover |

Oh yes. Yes, yes, YES.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets excited over a organized closet… :)