Like any good parent, I bribed my daughter.
She has slept in bed with me since she was about 15 months old and started climbing out of her crib. I don’t even think climbing out is a justifiable way to describe it. She leapt, jumped, catapulted herself from her crib.
No lie, one day I put her down for a nap and left her room. I heard a huge thud and ran back down the hall certain a bomb had exploded in her room, or maybe a dresser had fallen over. You all, she was laying across the room. She climbed up on the rail and jumped out. Scout’s honor.
That’s the only way she would have made it over there. And after she learned she could do that, there was no going back. I know some parents had told me to just make her sleep in her crib anyway. Teach her she can’t climb out. Well, they didn’t know my daughter.
My son is 2 years old and still sleeping in his crib. He knows very well how to climb out. But his is more of a threat. Like when I lay him down for a nap and he’s not feeling it, he’ll stand up and cry and swing his leg out, acting like he’s going to climb out.
But I know when I put his leg back over, shut the door and leave, he then lays down and goes to sleep. No more antics. But, not my daughter.
She would not sleep in a toddler bed at that age, or any age that followed for that matter. Fast forward several years and she’s now 4. Jeremy and I decided it was time for her to be sleeping in her own room.
I let it go on longer than I anticipated because quite frankly, I liked it. I loved her snuggles and sleepy “I love you’s” in the middle of the night. She often told me worries she had right before she drifted off to sleep that I had no idea she was even worried about, and for that, I’m so grateful.
But, enough is enough.
One of the biggest drawbacks to co-sleeping, despite all the positives it held for me, was that she needed me to be with her in order to fall asleep. Which usually meant I fell asleep when she did.
Because lets be honest here, if my body becomes vertical these days, I fall asleep. There was just no way around it. And I missed my Netflix shows! But me laying with her to get her to fall asleep would turn out to be a very hard habit to break.
So, like I said…. I bribed her. She was told if she started sleeping in her own room, in her own bed, all by herself, that I would redo her room and give her a “big girl bedroom”. I talked to her about painting the walls, what colors she wanted in her new room, the pink canopy we could hang in the corner…. you get the idea.
And would you know, it worked! After 2-3 weeks of her consistently sleeping by herself, and going to sleep on her own, I decided to go ahead with my, ahem, promise.
Here’s the before.
The Big Girl Bedroom Reveal
Of course, things took a lot longer to complete than I expected. But that’s par for the course when it comes to DIY. However, I am so in love with this sweet little room that my dad called “magical”. Which was such a compliment because that’s precisely the feeling I wanted to create in her room.
First step was to paint over the pink walls.
First thing to go was the bubblegum pink walls.
We decided to paint her walls the same color as the other main living areas in our upstairs, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.
It’s the perfect neutral gray backdrop for all the colors I was planning on bringing in and I love how the colors flow from the entryway to the living room, down the hallway, and now into her room.
Not to mention, this gray color can transition with her as she grows. If she decides she’s tired of pink, no worries. We’ll just replace the pink pillows with something else.
Freshen up the color scheme.
Speaking of colors, I drew my inspiration from this floral throw pillow. I pulled out some blush pink, lavender, and light blue tones to soften the gray. I went with gold and white accents to tie it all together.
You may notice I reused a lot of the decor that was already in her room. I tried not to be wasteful and to come up with a new spin on things. Her old bedspread is now folding at the foot of her bed. Her dollhouse bookcase is still kicking as is her nightstand.
After walls were painted, Jeremy got to work on finishing some trim work and installing some crown molding. Due to the large number of corners in her room, we opted for blocks to go in the corners which makes the crown molding exponentially easier. Though still not easy, especially when dealing with uneven ceiling lines. But that’s a post for another day.
An added bonus was the addition of the blocks with the crown molding almost makes her room seem more “castle” like, if you will. It was the perfect girly touch for her room.
I know lots of people that prefer the look of crown molding with the blocks for every room in their home. I usually prefer the clean and simple look of just an old fashioned mitered corner crown molding, but the blocks in her room just made it so darn sweet.
Replaced closet door with curtains!
When we bought our house, her room came with sliding mirrored closet doors. At first, I thought we would just leave them because what girl wouldn’t love mirrored closet doors. They would be the perfect place to hang tacky seasonal/holiday window clings and to play dress up. And both of my kids enjoyed babbling to themselves in the mirror when they were babies.
But I eventually grew tired of the leftover sticker residue on them, all the smudgy handprints all over them. Not to mention they came off track everytime you turned around. Or how hard it was to access things in her closet. And really, they were just plain ugly.
Here’s some before shots. This one was taken when we first moved in.
And this one was when her room was in the toddler bed stage (that she didn’t sleep in.) Please excuse the mess and my foot. I promise I wasn’t trying to take a feet in the sand kinda pic.
We took the doors off their tracks and opted to hang a curtain rod in there instead. When we moved in the house, Jeremy had reconfigured her closet to make more storage and I easily could move all her things to the top rod. This gave her another little “space” she could use however she wanted.
We then hung some breezy white Ikea curtains to mimic the look of the sheer white curtains that hung on her windows. At first, I was going to get another exact pair of those curtains from Target, but they no longer carried them.
You should have seen my daughter’s reaction when she saw the hanging curtains. She squealed with delight, then immediately threw some pillows on her closet floor, and closed the curtains in my face.
And I would show you a pic of the curtains hanging only they’re not hanging. They’re laying in a puddle on the floor. Let’s just say the tension rod is not working out, at least not with my children.
So here’s a pic of the closet without doors now.
Added a sweet little desk.
We also bought her a vintage style roll top desk that I repainted a soft blue. Her favorite thing to do right now is draw pictures, color, practice her letters, etc. I figured a dedicated place to do that in her room would make her happy.
I also switched out her bedding, added a gallery wall of photos and prints, and hung the promised corner canopy.
My goal was to get as many toys as possible out of her new big girl room. I wanted to give her a space that was all hers that she could retreat to when she needed a little quiet time.
A place to read, a place to let her imagination run free, a place to rest, a place to create, a place that was just for her.
I think we accomplished all those things and more. And while we have had a bit of regression when going to sleep, most nights there are a few tears involved, she is still sleeping in her own bed and learning how to put herself to sleep on her own.
We still have a few things left on the to do list, however. The aforementioned curtains in the closet, for one.
I also have to paint her desk chair and get a few pieces of art for some of the empty frames on the gallery wall. I also need to take the canopy down and iron it as some point.
Also, we’ve kept the rug from her old room for now but it’s looking a little lost in her new big girl room. We will have to invest in a bigger rug down the road.
So I’d say we are nearing the finish line and about 95% done! If I waited until we were completely done, that may be 4 years away! And plus, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you ask my daughter, who’s pretty darn proud of it, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say she’s a fan of her new big girl bedroom.
Be sure to tune back in next week for the tutorial on how I redid her rolltop desk!
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