I’ve been promising this post for weeks now and I finally got around to photographing my three year old’s new “big boy room”. I should mention that one of the reasons it took me so long to put this post together is that although this room had been finished for nearly a month, Theo had basically refused to do anything in there other than read books. He essentially treated the new bedroom as his own private study, which is why I felt strange posting about his new awesome bedroom that was going completely unused. After trying reason, bribery, moving all of the baby’s stuff into the nursery, and even telling him that his old crib was broken (a lie), we decided to just give Theo some time to adjust to the many changes happening around here. I hoped he would come around to the idea on his own. He didn’t. But he finally agreed to take a nap in there over the weekend and he slept like a champ. So last night, after a a light tantrum, our son FINALLY slept in his new bedroom. In fact, he slept in so late this morning that we actually went to check up on him and found him reading a book in his new bed. Legs folded, feet crossed and all.
All this to say, I now feel comfortable sharing his new bedroom with you. First, let us look back on the state of this room a mere 2 months ago…
My initial plan for this room – besides deflating the blowup mattress – was to go with bold wallpaper but it was just too pricey. Add to that a new bed, new mattress, new window treatments, bedding, furniture, etc – this was starting to turn into a bigger expense than I had planned. So I started to think about where/how we could save some money. I nixed the wallpaper and looked into building Theo’s new bed ourselves (as per usual, “ourselves” refers to my father and brother). I fell in love with the perfect shade of grey green paint and the room’s colour scheme quickly came together.
I was looking at IKEA beds but I wasn’t crazy about any of them. Although they are inexpensive, I didn’t want to spend $100+ on a bed that I didn’t love. After some digging around, I found this simple tutorial with instructions on how to build your own modern toddler bed. I bought a mattress from IKEA and my dad adjusted the DIY bed’s size to accommodate our measurements.
What I love about this bed is that it’s a)low to the ground, b)has walls around most of it to prevent your child from falling out multiple times a night and, c)it requires very few materials. We opted for oak plywood and beeswax for finishing. In total, the bed and mattress cost us less than $200. I find this to be incredibly satisfying.
Theo’s closet once had rickety slatted folding doors and the inside was a mish-mash of new and old shelving. My dad and I devised a plan to maximize the shelving space and make it more streamlined. We moved some shelves, completely removed others and added a pole to hang tiny toddler clothes.
The new closet doesn’t have as much “dead space” and offers a ton of storage. I liked it so much that I decided to keep it open.
I wanted Theo’s new room to be really cozy and accessible for him. I kept the furniture low to the ground and made sure to find a soft rug that he could roll around on (and that would hide those hideous floors). This rug is so soft that Mike and I always find ourselves sitting on the floor in there. We also held a family movie night where we piled pillows on the floor and watched Disney’s Robin Hood.
The bookcase is from IKEA. We hung it horizontally so that Theo would have a counter space to play on. The height of the shelf is also nice because it doesn’t dwarf the tiny bed and cleaning the floors is a breeze.
The big splurge in this bedroom was the custom bedding. Turns out IKEA offers very few bedding options for this mattress size. The duvets were too big and the sheets didn’t look like they would hold up all that well to a toddler in the midst of potty training. My friend Dalia recommended this place in Montreal that does custom bedding for a great price (Ungava, if you’re curious). I took advantage of Target’s sales and purchased two sets of Twin sized sheet in prints I liked. I then brought them to Ungava with my bed measurements and they sewed me some custom fitted sheets and duvet covers. They also made me a 4 season machine-washable down-filled duvet that fit Theo’s bed measurements. The total cost for 3 contour sheets, the duvet and duvet cover? $175. I was pretty pumped about that. To make the bed extra cozy, my mom sewed some pillow covers using fabrics I had ordered from Spoonflower.
Overall, it took us a couple of weekends to complete this project (let’s hear it for generous grand-parents!). We were able to save some money by doing a lot of the work and by carefully choosing pieces that could grow along with Theo. It makes me so happy to see our little guy playing – and now sleeping – in there.
Now to get started on the nursery…
Shopping sources: lamp, EQ3 (no longer in stores) / rug, IKEA / curtains, IKEA / printed fabric toy bin, V de V / map, vintage / wall hooks, by Danielle Carignan at Buk & Nola / bookcase, IKEA/ pillow fabrics, Andrea Lauren for Spoonflower / hamper, IKEA / paint, “Nature’s Gift” N410-4 by Behr / grey pouf, Home Sense