This is a peek into my favorite room in my home ….. my children’s bedroom. It’s true, even though I spend an unlimited amount of time cleaning and picking up this room every day, I love it more than any other space in any home I’ve ever lived.
It started out as a hideously painted lime sherbet green room in our new condo when I was 5 months pregnant. My husband and I were very excited to transform it into a beautiful nursery for the little boy we were expecting. I imagined one of those gorgeous simple and clean nurseries you see in the magazines, with all the newest and greatest things a baby boy needs. We did end up getting a very solid, beautiful mahogany crib and dresser/changing table, a whimsical woodland animal mobile, lots of baby books and painted the walls a very creamy beige with a soft indigo accent wall. We filled the room with adorable little owls, trees and other cute woodland and forest creatures. My husband built the crib, put in a closet organizer and hung our son’s name on the wall above the crib. He also found an old beat-up toy chest that his father made for him when he was a kid and refurbished it. I must admit, I was skeptical about the toy chest when I first saw it, but with a little sanding, a few nails, some new hardware and a lot of love, that chest turned out beautifully and we couldn’t wait to put our little boy’s first toy in it.
My contribution to the room (besides the baby, of course) was a homemade family tree wall hanging, created with canvas, wooden leaf shapes, paint markers, fabric and spray adhesive. I loved the idea of showing my little guy where he came from and who was here before him shaping who he will be.
I wouldn’t say the room was exactly “magazine worthy,” but it was super cute and we worked hard getting it put together.
It was exactly one year later when we learned we were expecting a little girl and the room immediately began yet another transformation. We tried to figure out a way to incorporate a little girl into this design and find space for her things too. Luckily we had 9 months to make some changes. It didn’t take much decorating to get the room ready, it was teaching our 18 month old to sleep in a “big boy” bed AND STAY THERE ….. that, was the tough part. 🙂
When our little girl arrived, Aidan welcomed her to share his room with him and seemed happy to have a partner in-the-middle-of-the-night crime as she grew. There was lots of giggling and stuffed animal throwing going on in that room, and Cici especially loved it when her brother would climb into the crib with her and help her chew every edge of that beautiful wooden crib like it were a yummy ear of corn. Together those two chewed up that crib, the head and foot board of the “big boy” bed and pulled out 3 knobs from the dresser drawers (never to be found again).
When Cianne was big enough for a “big girl” bed, we had some friends giving away a full-sized loft bed that we thought would work great for Aidan, who was now 3.5 years old. We did away with the chewed up crib, and Cici inherited her brother’s twin bed which we tucked under the new loft bed.
It wasn’t long before she was swinging like an ape from the planks under his bed, and he was hanging off the side of his bed and jumping onto hers below. At times it’s like being in an animal habitat at the zoo! At this point, we had accumulated enough toys that the old toy chest couldn’t close, the closet was completely stuffed and my hubby had to build a tall bookshelf to house the excess toys. But still, everyday, I walk in and find the other 75+ creatures that share their little habitat … stuffed animals. They are everywhere! Every species of stuffed animal imaginable spilled about the floor and the beds.
We bought lots of containers and baskets and made an attempt at organizing the 10 thousand legos, plastic horses, puzzles, fake food items and stuff animals, and I think we did a pretty great job considering the space we had to work with. Is it perfect? No. All the beautiful furniture is chewed up, the books are torn, there are still animals everywhere, I get legos stuck in my vacuum, Aidan’s fish keeps having babies, there are creatures having tea while I scrub the floors and I trip over the Hulk every morning.
But I’ve come to realize that even though the room is a far cry from the adorable nursery we started with, it is so much more. It is my children’s space, the place where they feel safe. This is the room where we first brought them home, where we read books to them, where we build lego structures, have tea parties, create forts and cardboard box creations, save pennies for fountain wishes, have picnics on cold winter days. We measure their growth on the walls. The space where Aidan hangs his medals of accomplishment, where Cianne sings “Let it go” while she plays with her kitty bank.
It’s true, my favorite room is not perfect, but it’s a place where imagination lives, love is felt and where dreams are dreamt.