Name: Luca and Gia
Age: 5 and 3
Location: Champaign, IL (Go Illini!)
Although most bedrooms belonging to children are on the small side, there are ways to make them seem twice as large. This space designed by Mom, Annalea Hart is so full of adventure and fun that it seems two if not three times the size it actually is — the best part is she did it all for less than $100!
When Annalea set out to design her children's rooms, she didn't start out by saying, ok we have this much money, how can we spend every last dime? Instead, she took things slowly, handcrafted items, refurbished garage and thrift store finds and the end result is a 10'x11' room that is seriously out of sight.
There will be a third child added to the space in the near future and although we can't wait to see how the siblings make room, we're excited to give Luca and Gia a little time in the spotlight as we just can't enough of their space. Even though the room is small, the tour is big, so check out the survey below and make sure you soak up the serious amount of fun to be had from each of the photos — there's enough to go around for sure!
Inspiration: Our kiddos. We really have tried to make this space not just for them but with them. We have a very girly girl and a boy with a new "favorite" every week.
Favorite Element: For Gia, the "Buon Giorno Principessa" banner. Inspired by my favorite movie and her love of all things princess. It is super sweet hearing her read it in the morning. (Even better when her brother says it to her.)
For Luca, the art over his bed, which we made together. The project kept getting pushed to the side and it took a year to complete. It is very him. This boy loves being in a city and I love the pride he takes in his work.
I also like the trio of shelves and their ever-changing items. It is such a motley and beautiful collection of their childhood.
Biggest Challenge: Getting them to not wake each other up in the morning. One child is always a little more bleary eyed than the other at breakfast. But it is adorable to hear them playing through the closed door.
Design related, I know the idea of a shared boy-girl space can be intimidating, but we didn't make it that complicated. We simply grounded the room with a few matching elements and some key neutral colors and patterns. From there, we felt free to add personal touches. Yes, there is pink in here! And our son does not gag when he sees it each day. Guitars and flowers, robots and fairies, spiderman and dolls - they all live together in harmony.
What Friends Say: Most think it is sweet that they share. Then they wonder how long we will keep them together. Currently, the plan is to add our 9 month old Enzo to this mix next fall. (Yes, three kiddos in a 10' x 11' room.)
Proudest DIY: I made mobiles for each of our babies while pregnant and love that they have transitioned to their big kid rooms so well.
But I would have to admit that doing this whole room for about $100 makes me proud. Most of it is secondhand and it definitely was a labor of love to gather it all. After 2+ years in this house, we have just recently put some finishing touches on their room.
(Oh and my husband says refinishing the hardwood floors deserve a DIY shout-out.)
Best advice: Remember that the space is about the little ones. You know your kids best and can create a place that really reflects them. But also remember that they change. Make room for that. I hesitate to jump all in on one idea or color. Once I realized we could go theme-less, the process felt much more natural and organic. And the results were much more pleasing.
In addition, I think it wise to not be too attached to anything in a kid's room. The reality is that things will be used. And things can be broken. It is just stuff. We teach them to take care of it, but we also understand that kids will be kids. Sometimes the stuffed animal flies out of a hand, hits the ceiling fan and. . . you get the picture.
Dream source: I dream of more time and energy to visit thrift shops, garage sales, salvage warehouses, flea markets, etc. Oh and more time and energy to make things. Where can i find that?
I love me some freecycle - like the guy giving away almost 10 years of National Geographic tonight. Also Etsy, Anthropologie, and Rice.
Walls: Benjamin Moore Kiwi
Curtains: Ikea, last summer
Headboards: hand-me-downs from their papi and uncle's childhood, revamped with red paint
Polka Dot Sheets: Kohls clearance, two years ago
pillowcases: homemade (fabric by Anna Maria Horner and Michael Miller)
Nightstand: garage sale, revamped with paint and oilcloth
Dresser: garage sale
Shelves and Brackets: Pottery Barn clearance, six or seven years ago (handed down from family)
lamps: hand-me-downs from family
Star Lights: Ikea clearance, six years ago
Ceiling Fan: came with house, sprayed oil bronze
You can also find more of Annalea, her family and ways of life over at ourhartbeat.
(Thanks, Annalea, Luca & Gia!)
Images: Annalea Hart