healthy family

Big Sister and Baby Shared Room Part 1

Brook before after room 1

Sometimes I get an idea, a burst of creativity, and the timing can be all wrong, but I bust into it head first anyway. That is exactly what happened 3 weeks ago. I had in my mind that our new baby would have a little “nook” in the hallway. As I tried to fit a changing table and some kind of storage in that tiny space, it became clear I was not living in reality. So then I started crying because we would have baby things spread all over the house, and I just wanted a place to make cute, and the changing table didn’t work at all, and I was selfish and didn’t want to give up our office space, and well . . . I am 7 months pregnant, it doesn’t take much to make me emotional these days!

For a while we have said when this baby gets old enough to sleep through the night it will share a room with our oldest. So I just decided, let’s go ahead and set up the room for that day now. I knew there was no way I could purge and paint in her room with my save-everything, full-of-questions, 5-year-old. So Big sister moved into the guest room and pregnant momma went to work on the makeover. I told her it would be one week. Three weeks later- we are finally ready for the room reveal!


The Before:


Oh goodness this part is embarrassing!  Notice the random paper taped to the wall, the crayon drawing on the wall as well, outgrown clothes and forgotten toys stacked in tubs and boxes in the corner, and the utter chaos in general.  This room needed some serious love.

I spent an entire day cleaning and moving bedding and curtains out of the room. I way overdid it on Day One and Brian threatened to get me a babysitter if I didn’t promise to slow down. So I did. Husbands… 😉

These are the things I kept in mind while planning her “Big girl” side of the room

  • She LOVES crafts. This normally accounts for 75% of the mess and damage in her room. I wanted to make sure she had a space to be creative.
  • She doesn’t really play with “toys”.  Stuffed animals are great, but traditional dolls and toys are just not her thing.
  • She wears a uniform to school and is rarely in “real” clothes at home. Normally, she can be found in dress up clothes or a nightgown. So I wanted something functional for clothing storage, but it didn’t need to be huge.
  • She loves adventure and exploring! This was already the theme I had picked out for the new baby, so it was not hard to transfer it over to her side as well.
  • And maybe most of all: She LOVES being a big sister. Her relationship with little brother is one of the sweetest blessings in my life. I love watching them together. She is already so excited for a new baby. She even reads a story to my belly every night before bed. Talk about sweet!

So this is the result of all of those random thoughts meshing in my head



I am so excited with how it all turned out!  I have been tremendously blessed with some great online finds, repurposing older items, and generous gifts that have allowed me save a load of money on the new baby, and to get a few special new items for this room.

One of those items goes along with the number one item- her LOVE for crafts


A new small table and chair.  There was absolutely no need to buy craft supplies, or even organization for it- but I wanted a table large enough to be able to work on, but small enough to not take up the majority of her floor space.  This chair and table are from IKEA and they fit perfectly.


A place to display her work was absolutely important.  Maybe the most important of all.  I had a really cool thick white frame that I had strung twine across and put cute clothes pins on to hang artwork and pictures from.  The morning I was going to reveal her room, I walked in and the frame had fallen off the wall onto the floor.  It was heavy.  Like, for real, heavy.  No panic, no tears, I just did something quick and easy.  I don’t love this plain wooden board (the bottom of an old drawer from a no longer used dresser) hanging on the wall, but I have no doubt she will have it so covered with masterpieces I won’t even see the wood soon. It works.

The next area is for toys and stuffed animals:


I love this storage unit from B&Q and would love to put a comfy cushion on top one day.  But for now, her friends fill it quit nicely.  Like I said, we didn’t need a lot of room for toys, but I did put a few sets of figures in one box, and filled one with baby dolls and accessories.  I’m thinking there is a chance she will be more interested in baby dolls when we have a real baby in the house.  But if not, that box can easily be switched out for something else.

Then we get to the clothes:


This odd little closet area used to be an outside entrance.  It’s now a closed off door, but with a cool little frame around it. So I painted the inside purple and bought 3 cheap tension rods.  Now there is a place for Baby’s clothes on top (when we know what gender clothes to buy), one for her dresses, and then the easiest to reach is everyday tops.  Underclothes, PJs, and bottoms all fit into the small dresser beside her bed. The dresser is a left over piece I found from a vanity set and then glued a sample tile to the top.


A smaller dresser makes precious space for the most important clothes and shoes of all- dress up clothes!  The hooks were just relocated from a different spot in the room and the quote is my favorite from the new Cinderella movie, “Have courage and be kind”.  Words for all princesses to live by.

And that just leaves adventure and exploring:


A small gallery above her bed really carries over from the baby side of the room.


Brian captured this photo of the kids on a recent family hike and it’s perfect.  It’s 16×16 and makes all of us smile when we look at it.  The quote is a print I downloaded online and it also could not be more perfect for my girl, “Here sleeps a girl with a head full of magical dreams, a heart full of wonder and hands that will shape the world”.  The mermaid and feathers are also downloads that just fit with her spirit.  I do all of  my photo  printing on photo box website.  I can usually get a good deal and I am always happy with what I get.

One last detail I thought was incredibly important was a list to help her keep the room tidy.  At this point, everything has a spot- but with my girl, that organization can quickly deteriorate.  She loves to tidy up, but needs some direction with it.


I am praying this dry erase marker does not end up all over the other frames in her room.  Time will tell… But on the first day she checked and erased the entire list about 5 times as she played and cleaned up each spot.  Who am I to laugh at a girl who loves a to-do list?!

I don’t want this post to go on forever, and I’m still waiting on a baby bed to be delivered.  So the “baby” side of the room will be Part 2- coming soon.  But it’s good, I promise!

I said at the beginning, sometimes I rush into things before I really think about what I’m doing.  I’m also impatient in the middle of a project, moving things I have no business moving, learning to drill holes because I don’t want to wait for someone else to do it, climbing higher than I should probably climb.  I’m not saying it’s a good quality, but it’s truth.

The first week of this remodel I was a mess of expectations.  I found out I was way more pregnant than I was admitting, and the room was way more work than I had expected. The ironic twist is that I was doing this whole thing for a girl who has no concept of time.  I told her at the beginning this would take one week.  At the end of 3 weeks I asked her how long she had been in the guest room.  Her answer: one week.

The reality is, this doesn’t just happen when I’m pregnant, and it doesn’t just happen when I’m painting a room.  It happens a lot in life.  I put higher expectations on myself than are realistic.  And I am usually the only one holding myself to those expectations.  Thankfully,  I am hopefully learning to slow down.  Rest is good.  Rest is important.  And help from others is important as well.  Now, I’m off to repeat those last two lines to myself as I look at my to-do list for today.


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