Children's names and ages: Sebastian (3.5) and Ruby (5 weeks)
It seems only fitting, as 2009 draws to a close, that we take a look back and see what changes the year has wrought. In this case, we're returning to check out the room formerly known as Sebastian's Blue Delight. It was a very popular tour several months ago, but there have been big changes since then. Sebastian's baby sister Ruby has moved in, and they -- and their mom Rachel -- have invited us back, just in time for a peek at this lovely shared room in all its Christmas glory.
We posted about Sebastian and Ruby's wonderful advent calendar a few days ago, but it's just one of the many handmade elements in this room. Rachel -- mistress of the awesomely inspiring craft blog Smile and Wave -- took some time to answer our questions about room-sharing, her greatest design success, and her most frustrating moment when recreating this space...
What was your greatest challenge in designing a room for two children?
The greatest challenge was adding a girl to an already boy-heavy room. I was worried about bringing in too much pink, but also wanted to be able to indulge in decorating for a girl.
One of my fixes was creating a wardrobe for Ruby. I painted it white on the outside to blend in with the room but gave the inside a shade of yellow that would compliment girl and boy colors. The top half is full of her clothes, shoes, blankets, etc., while the bottom half is storage for Sebastian's toys, DVDs, piggy bank, and other treasures. It satisfied my urge to have a space to decorate for her and took care of storing a lot of loudly colored toys at the same time. I still gave her space a lot of feminine color, but in hues that complimented the blues and greens already being used.
What other changes have you made to the room since we last saw it?
I tend to rearrange rooms every season, and Sebastian's room saw a lot of adding and subtracting pieces of furniture or large toys that only worked for us for a little while.
I've taken down his original art wall collection and covered all the holes with three canvases that he painted on himself. I've removed the Jenn Ski alphabet set and added the wardrobe in its place. I've taken out a vintage chalkboard desk and small wooden chair to free up more floor space, and added a bookshelf that was previously used in my craft room. Ruby's crib and wardrobe take up a lot of space, but I chose white for both to decrease their spacial impact visually.
Tell us your greatest success in this room.
Finding, painting, and filling that huge wardrobe all by myself at seven months pregnant. I had paint in my hair for days!
And what was your most frustrating moment?
Having paint in my hair for days!
What are your thoughts on room-sharing between brothers and sisters?
This is still a new experience since Ruby is too young to really be using her space, but I had about six years of sharing a room with my brother growing up and remember never being scared of the dark or feeling lonely. We fought a lot but I'm pretty sure it's because he was so ornery!
I'm hoping room-sharing will help us teach them about consideration for other people's space and belongings and give them a history of shared memories. However, we're also hoping they'll enjoy feeling like they do have things that belong solely to them, such as Sebastian's tractor-themed Christmas tree and Ruby's felt forest.
Right now, how the kids are liking their room?
Ruby seems to like taking naps in her crib, and Sebastian has always been open to sharing his space with his little sister. He even helped decorate her crib with paper snowflakes! He may change his mind once she's mobile enough to get into his trains.
Do you have any design advice for other parents?
Don't miss out on adding something you love because you're worried that it won't work perfectly with your color scheme. Let yourself try something new and don't be afraid to paint furniture to make it work. (I strongly suggest using low VOC paint!)
Thanks so much for the tour, Rachel, Sebastian and Ruby!
Images: Rachel Denbow