Our August issue celebrates family homes around the state, and we love hearing how you use ideas from our magazine in your own home. We chatted with reader Christen Byrd of Little Rock about the makeover she recently completed–and photographed–for her two young daughters’ shared bedroom.
What was this space like before you started?
I had actually started redesigning the space a couple of times before, but everything was too stock looking. It looked like I bought it at a store…and I realized that’s not what I wanted. Overall, it was just a mismatched mess of pink and green girly stuff.
Well, it turned out to be very bright and happy–as well as personalized. Where did you find your inspiration?
Ultimately, I wanted to steer clear of pink and girly girl. I love pink, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not a fan of a pink room just because that’s what girls should have. As a general rule, I don’t want what everybody else has. I want unique and personal. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with aqua colored anything. That was my starting point. I wanted the room to be bright and it has beautiful natural light. Yellow really makes that “pop,” so I searched and found the perfect drapes to add to this.
I also find inspiration in pieces. I may find a room in a magazine, Pinterest, etc. that I just like one tiny little piece of…a wall color, doll, blanket…and then I just build from there. All in my head. I know exactly what I want it to look like. Because I know how I want my girls to feel in this room. And I know what they will love.
You also had a good deal of cost-saving ideas when it came to the decor. How did you go about your makeover while be conscious of the bottom line?
I’m pretty sure that even if I had all the money in the world, I would still do things on a budget just because. I like the challenge of it. Most importantly, I had to be patient. It took me about 7 months to collect all the pieces for their space.
The main pieces are the beds which I got at flea markets. I do have a new favorite place that I check into often. It’s the Hampton Expo Flea Market on Daisy Bates. As I recommend with all flea markets…you have to check often. You just never know when you’ll walk in and find the perfect piece of furniture for next to nothing. The beds were both around $40 each. Lucy’s bed had to be completely stripped down from a couple of horrible paint jobs. It was quite the undertaking, but it has such beautiful detailing, I could just see it through the horrible black paint job…and I had to have it. My girls are so very different and I wanted the room to coordinate, but still allow for their own space. Having different beds but painted the same color worked perfectly for this.
The little bedside table was also from my favorite little flea market. I decided not to paint it at all because it just fit perfectly how it was. Their dresser actually belonged to my great aunt and has been stored away for years in a storage building. My dad spent months stripping the paint, fixing it up and repainting it for the girls. I wanted to keep it simple in color because it was an antique and the beds were already such a strong color piece in the room. I absolutely love finding old pieces and bringing them back to life.
I also wanted to have a strong handmade feel to the room. I made the curtains and all the decorations from the bed buntings to the name prints. I wanted it to be very personal. It was so fun to make and the girls just love it! The biggest and brightest piece in the room is the pom cloud that hangs above their beds. Which consists of several packages of tissue paper and some wire…and hanging it just out of reach. It really adds so much to the room, especially since they have such a high ceiling. It kind of pulls everything together and allows for little splurges of different colors all over the room. Nothing in the room is matchy matchy, but it all coordinates.
Did your girls help with the design?
Yes, they did indeed help with the design. They actually picked the bed color which was a pretty big deal. I gave them a stack of paint choices and they picked this one and we went from there. Lucy actually picked out the bookshelf color and painted most of it herself. We just stapled on a vintage sheet to the old backing and nailed it back in place. She also helped sand down her own bed. Both girls helped design their own name prints. They picked out the colors and letter patterns. Lucy chose a vintage floral and Olive chose cherries. Their favorite part was setting the table and their dresser for the pictures and making sure to add their own personal touch.
Are there pieces that will “grow” with them as they get older?
Definitely the beds and dresser. The beds are purposely very low to the ground for now, but we’ll eventually add box springs as they get older and bigger. And the dresser will obviously be around for years to come.
What’s your favorite thing about the result?
My favorite thing about the room is that it doesn’t look like anyone else’s room. And they love it so much. Even when it’s messy (which is often), at least it’s a relatively pretty mess. It’s bright and lovely and so inviting.
Thanks to Christen for sharing her renovation with us! If you have a Reader Renovation to share, send your submission to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.