Smaller Cooler 2009: Olivia's Re-Decorated Room

Smaller Cooler 2009: Olivia's Re-Decorated Room

Janel Laban
May 25, 2009

Name/Age: Olivia, 3
Location: Laguna Beach, California
Family: Olivia, mom Tracy and dad
Room Size: 90 square feet
Division: Kid

Tip for Living Small with Kids: Two tips come to mind when I think of living with my daughter; Organization and involvement. Organization is essential when living in a small home. Create a place for everything, and make it easily accessible to the child and manageable for the adults. It motivates the child to become organized and clean up after herself if she knows where to put it. Also, Include your child in life's daily activities and chores. Olivia loves to be involved in everything I do, from getting herself dressed, washing the dishes, cooking, doing the laundry, spot cleaning the carpet, and the list goes on. It's hard to sit back and watch her without completely taking over, or correcting her, but I realize that she is learning her way and if I don't let her be involved now than she might never be. If it's fun for her than I need to relax, besides I can always fix things later! If "chores" are fun for her than I should be blessed!

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in putting together this room? It was difficult sticking to a design, or color scheme that I liked because I had so many ideas that I wanted to try in Olivia's room and I am constantly changing my mind when it comes to design. I must have re-decorated her room 3 times since she was born! Also, I was working on a strict tight budget. I would recycle furniture from her room on craiglist, and then rolled the profited money into something new. I only spent what I made from selling items. In doing this I was able to re-decorate but also avoid spending an excessive amount of money.

Once she outgrew her crib and we transferred her into a "big girl bed", I knew that I wanted to create a room design that would grow with her and last. I wanted her room to be organized, bright, comfortable and stimulating. I started with Peach colored walls, which I thought evoked calming and happy emotions, plus it was a color you don't see often on walls. I love it for a little girl's room.

Since our budget was a challenge, I filled her room with things found on craigslist, and in thrift stores. I throughly enjoy an improvement project and the hunt for unique and vintage pieces. I knew I wanted a Jenny Lind Spool bed frame for her room, but didn't want to spend $500 dollars on it, which was what Land Of Nod sells it for. I found a similar bed frame at Kmart but selling on Craigslist for $60 dollars! It was made from dark brown oak, so I painted it white. The nightstand was a $10 dollar thrift store find. It was beat up brown wood veneer, which I painted a glossy red and then replaced the old handles with $5 antique carved Gold handles. Her bedside lamp was another $5 thrift store piece. I repainted the bow brown, and covered the lampshade with a vintage polka dot fabric. Her curtains are $10 from IKEA, and I sewed a panel of the coordinating polka dot fabric at the top of them. The green/white polka dot duvet cover is made from two sheets found at TARGET, and her printed red Olivia pillow was made by a good friend. I reupholstered her glider with a floral Free Spirit fabric, that shares the same color scheme as the other fabrics in her room.

Olivia loves books, so we framed and hung illustrations from Children's books and the word READ in Bold Red on the wall (an inspiration from an old OHDEEDOH post). The shadow boxes of both side of her window display a collection of Alexander McQueen Wizard of Oz figurines that we collected from McDonalds happy meals (not eaten). Her collection of stuff animals and dolls include family heirlooms, vintage dolls, and gifts given to Olivia.

Since her room is small, there are only so many options for storage and functionality. The white bins work well for storing most of her toys in, as well as containers we have stowed away under her bed. The white bookshelf that is on the wall was a great find at Land of Nod. It is conveniently located near the glider, where we like to read books before bedtime. The dresser is from IKEA and the painted white drawers were once black. Being on a budget, I find myself buying things that may not always thrill me but temporarily fill a space. Therefore when shopping, I always keep my eyes open for things to add or replace in our house. Design is a continued process for me, and something I really enjoy. Olivia seems to love playing in her room, and spends a lot of time in there and that is exactly what we wanted to accomplish.

Give Olivia a THUMBS UP if you think this room belongs in the finals!
Thumbs Up Voting is only activated for 48 Hours — so don't delay!
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