Milla's Cozy & Eclectic Small Space

Milla's Cozy & Eclectic Small Space

Danielle Thompson
Aug 24, 2011

Name: Milla Plum (8)
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Room size: 8' x 12'

Every summer James Kicinski gives her daughter's room a facelift to give her a little something new to look forward to after spending the summer with her Dad. Like any parent facing the challenge of working with a small space, James knew she wanted to create a cozy atmosphere without imposing too much clutter and sacrificing space for play. The result is a perfectly eclectic and homey room that contains lots of points of interest but keeps plenty of breathable, fresh white space in tact.

Decorating small spaces is a subject near and dear to our hearts at Ohdeedoh, and something we feature often. We think Milla's mom did a pretty fantastic job of including all of the things that are special to her, creating lots of cozy and pretty nooks for the eye to rest without seeming cluttered! It's amazing what white walls and thoughtful restraint can do for a small space. James took some time to answer our questions about Milla's sweet room.

How would you describe the look and feel of this room? What design styles did you draw from?
I would say that the room is quaint, girlie and colorful with lots of vintage and handmade treasures. I really wanted a room that she could grow in but still wanted to keep it age appropriate. As far as styles go, I wanted the room to be full of things that she loves without feeling cluttered. Our budget was small, so most of the things in the room were thrifted or repurposed from somewhere else in the house. The rest of our home is designed very similar, lots of pretty vintage and found things.

While Milla and her brother Julian spend the summers with their Dad, you usually give their rooms a little facelift so that they have something to look forward to when they get home. Was Milla excited by her "new" room? What element was she most drawn to at first sight?
She was thrilled! She loved that I painted the walls white. Two summers ago I painted the wall with the door bright pink to give a big pop of color. She was 7 then, and now being almost 9, she feels the pink was a bit childish. ;) She also loved all of the vintage artwork and pieces I put in her room. Now that she's getting older, she takes better care of her things so it was time to move some of the treasures I've been hoarding into her space.

Did you face any challenges while decorating this room?
Yes! The space. All of the bedrooms in our house are very small. It was really hard finding storage space for all of her toys while keeping enough room for play.

Are there any DIY projects that you created for this room?
The bed was found at a garage sale last summer. It was a chipped up old dark green army bunk that we sanded down and spray painted butter yellow. I purchased some pretty matching knobs at Anthropologie and super glued them onto the posts. She and I made the construction paper stars hanging above her window a couple of years ago for a fort we built that she wanted to keep and I made a few things out of vintage fabric throughout the room like the heart shaped pillow, the little deer on her bed and a few rag dolls. I am currently in the process of making curtains for the room out of vintage linens.

What is your favorite piece or element?
I'd have to say the bed. It was such an eye sore when we found it and we gave it new life. I also love the mismatching bedding and all of the little throw pillows. It looks so cozy. I also love the vintage print hanging over the bed. I actually purchased it while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, Gemma Bird, to go into her nursery but her room is even smaller than Milla's. It made the room look cluttered so I planned on hanging it somewhere downstairs but I just didn't like it in any other room, so into Milla's room it went. I think it looks amazing in there.

You own an online vintage shop and are an avid thrifter. Does Milla go with you on vintage treasure hunting? Did she pick out some of the items in her room?
She does. Not as much as she used to when she was small, (she used to be my little thrifting partner in crime), but now she goes with me less often. She prefers going to estate sales rather than the thrifts but a lot of estate sales don't allow children, that and she asks for everything, haha, I'd be broke if she came with me every time. She does pick out things for her room. The little white cat on her night stand she thrifted along with the floral piggy bank on her dresser.

As Milla gets older, is it a challenge to keep her interested in and appreciative of "old things" (vintage toys, decorative items, etc.) when she might just want the newest fad at the toy store? As a Mother of two boys, I find it a challenge. Do you find that girls are a bit more appreciative of items that have a history?
Milla Plum is a rare bird let me tell you, she LOVES and appreciates old things and is very sentimental. I am sure that a lot of that comes with having a mom that collects vintage and antiques but she really does love it. She likes to hear the history behind things. When the kids come home from Florida each summer they love to walk around the house and spot all of the "new to us" things. It's really cute. She isn't really into a lot of the new fads and if she is, she doesn't want them plastered all over her room, at least not yet... knock on wood. We did go through a short Hannah Montana phase after spending the night at a frien'ds house a couple of years ago. She wanted a Hannah Montana pillow so badly, so she got one and slept with it every night for about four months and then one day she wanted to throw it away because Hannah Montana wasn't cool anymore. Phew!

Any tips or tricks you can share with readers that are decorating a similarly small space on how to overcome that challenge?
Yes! Get creative with storage space. Think outside of the box. I had to really get creative, especially in my son Julian's room with shelving and things. I did end up buying some tall storage bins in bright colors from Ikea for her room to house all of the little Pet Shop toys, Calico Critters and Barbie things, but for the most part I used old wooden crates, wire locker baskets and little suitcases to store things in. That and the closet. There are LOTS of toys in the closet.

If money were no object, what would you buy for this room?
A bigger room, haha. Just be honest, I'm not sure. I'd love for her to have a really nice chair like this one in turquoise and maybe wood floors painted white with a really pretty rug.

Thanks, James! Be sure to follow her blog Bleu Bird Vintage for lots of family style inspiration, vintage eye candy and more!

(Images: Bleubirdvintage)

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