Brody & Harper's Shared Bunk in the City

Brody & Harper's Shared Bunk in the City

Carrie McBride
Oct 6, 2014

Name: Brody (4) & Harper (2)
Location: Manhattan, New York City

Living in New York City is an experience; an experience so special that New Yorkers will do pretty much anything to stay, including squeezing their families into small apartments. Our story is no different: we have a love affair with the city and so our family of four happily calls less than 850 square feet home.

Big brother, Brody, and little sister, Harper, share a converted second bedroom of just 56 square feet. A huge part of our summer has been planning the revamp of their nursery now that they are "big kids". It took several months to curate every piece in the space, with endless online research, hours on Pinterest and Etsy, and many shopping ventures both in and out of the city.

We can finally say the project is complete and just in time to kick off the new school year. The room is modern, fun and includes urban-inspired accents to pay homage to the city we love so much.

Source List:

All of the key pieces in the room are from IKEA, from the MYDAL bunk bed (which we custom trimmed to fit our wall and painted white), a steal at $159, to the two dressers, the MALM for our wider wall and the BRIMNES for our space with more height, each under $100.

I wanted to keep the room looking as spacious and open as possible, so I went with a semi-gloss finish of Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace for all four walls, as well as for the bunk bed's crisp, clean white hue. I got some help from NYC's PaintZen for the painting and supplies. All I had to do was visit their site for a quote and book an appointment, and within a few days an experienced painter was at my door with the all of the required supplies. I had crisp, new white walls in under two hours without a single drip. It made the first step in the project so much easier.

Wall Decals
One of my favorite trends as of late is stars in a nursery or kids room. I didn't want to splurge on a pricey wallpaper, so I went with silver metallic star decals from Urban Walls. It was a third of the price of the wallpaper, simple to use, and looks great. The stars add a playful touch to the modern aesthetic and I love the way they look behind the mirror and surrounding the door frame on just one accent wall.

Chalkboard Paint
One final touch I added was a chalkboard on the back of the door. I used Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint in black, and with a few coats and a couple days to dry, my kids had a built-in chalkboard for art! What was once a boring door is now a place to create.

It is always challenging to find bedding that works for both a boy and a girl. I was set on black and white, but didn't want something too sophisticated or modern. I also wanted designs that they could still like in a few years. I went with West Elm's Organic Chevron Duvet Cover in Slate for Harper's lower bunk, with simple white sheeting and added Brody's IKEA pillowcase to juxtapose the chevron. For Brody's top bunk, I found the EIVER ORD duvet cover and pillowcase at IKEA, which earned his approval in white with a black alphabet print.

I wanted to incorporate some unique sheeting to complement the duvet and I found the perfect organic cotton bedding from Etsy shop, Little Woolf. I chose the arrow design for the pillow case and the triangle print for the twin fitted sheet, both black on white. They added the perfect flare to the bed. For accent pillows, I found a cute white elephant throw pillow lined in silver sequins at Home Goods and added the geometric NÄVIVVA and LAPPLJUNG RUTA pillows from IKEA. I also "threw in" a throw by Fine Little Day, another online shop I went crazy for in the black and white styling. They specialize in modern, yet whimsical textiles, tableware and wall art. I put their Gran Child Blanket on their bed as a throw to add another fun minimalist print and pop of color to the room. I love the fir tree print with the yellow edge.

Wall Art
Since the room is black and white, I wanted to pull in some pops of color with at least one of the wall prints. I fell in love with an artist I found on Etsy, whose shop is named CocoMilla. I chose a panoramic water color of the New York City skyline and it turned out beautifully against the white wall in a simple, silver frame. Another tie-in of the city is the framed Manhattan Typography Map. I saw it in the window of a gallery and thought it would work perfectly in the narrow, yet tall space above the tall dresser. I liked that it paid tribute to our city and the gray also complemented the monochromatic mood of the room.

The final area where I envisioned having art was another tall, yet narrow strip of wall to the right of the door. I wanted to have some text in the room that was inspiring and reminded me of the kids, so I found three typographic black and white 8.5 X 11 printables on Etsy to hang vertically as a series in simple, black frames:

  • "I'll Eat You Up I Love You So" by Febystan: A line from one of our family's favorite bedtime stories, Where the Wild Things Are
  • "Good Vibes Only" by The Motivated Type: A mantra to get us through tantrums or bedtime battles
  • Lyrics from Bob Marley's Three Little Birds by ThimbleTypeCo, since we listen to a lot of reggae in our house

Just as I did in the kids' nursery, I chose FLOR modular tiles for an area rug. I am a huge fan of this company for a few reasons: 1) I love their modern designs and colors, 2) their prices are usually well below the cost of a rug of the same size, and 3) the modular tiles are perfect for kids: if a tile gets stained, you can replace it, as they are easy to lay and remove. I went with the Jim Dandy in Titanium to fit the modern vibe. It added a coziness to the hardwood floors and really pulled everything together. I used 12 tiles to cover the area and I went with gray/white over black/white as to not look too match-matchy or "zebra-like".

Other Accents
For a black and white space to not appear cold, I think it is important to include pieces that add charm. Here is a list of the accents I chose to warm up the space and make it unique for Brody & Harper:

  • Zinc "B", "&" and "H" Letters - Anthropologie
  • Decorator's Shelf - Pottery Barn Kids
  • Chevron Storage Cube - Simplify Storage & Organization
  • Lamp - West Elm
  • Mirror - Pottery Barn Kids
  • Bookends - Jonathan Adler
  • Picture Frame - Nate Berkus
  • Peace Sign Marquee Light - Room Essentials
  • White lamp - Flea Market Find
  • Toy Storage Bin - Ferm Living

Thanks, Lauren! Readers, say hi to Lauren at mama{love} NYC.


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