From Big Boy Room, to Brother/Sister Space, ON A BUDGET!

With baby number three due this summer, we’ve had to make some changes in our house. No construction projects, just some shifting of belongings. We only have three bedrooms in our house, and up until recently, each kid had their own space. When we bought this house, with plans of a large family, we knew we’d stick around in this same house as long as possible, and knew that meant doubling up our kids in rooms. For some reason, I always thought I’d be a “boy mom”, and so I thought nothing of having bunk beds with Star Wars sheets, and Hot Wheels all over the floor. And than our second child was born, and she was a she! The thought of eventually putting a boy and a girl in one room was still ok by me and my husband, but for some reason I worried that other people would think it was weird. I mean, when they are much older, we’ll have a “girls room” and a “boys room”, but for a 4 year old, and a 2 year old, a shared space is just fine!

Since this week is March Break, I thought now would be the perfect time to do the big switch! Expecting it to disrupt everyone sleep, at least this way the 4 year old wouldn’t be grumpy for school….sadly, I didn’t think about the fact that these kids of mine, who normally get a break from each other during the day, have now been with each other 24/7…all. week. long. A bit of a parenting fail you might say, I’m hopeful things will settled down next week…

room makeover

You all know I love a good deal, hate spending unnecessary money, and consider myself quite frugal, so of course this room makeover was done on a budget. Here is the breakdown of what we did and didn’t do and why:

Paint – the room was painted a light blue just 3 years ago when we moved my son into it, and has held up just fine. Light blue for girls? Why not! I had a blue room for part of my childhood (a colour I picked, that my mother hated) and I loved it. Blue and pink rooms are super cute! Bonus: money saved!

Beds – when we moved my son out of his crib and into a bed, we bought bunk beds that could be separated or stacked (and got a great deal on them!). We put him in the “top bunk” on the floor, and saved on having to buy a bed rail, since the top bunk has them built in. We stored the extra mattress and bed (in pieces) in the basement. My son was moved to the twin bed without rails, and my daughter into the bed with rails. Those beds/mattresses are long paid off, so no money spent.

Bedding – We didn’t really have to buy her new bedding, we did have an extra twin comforter that wasn’t being used, but I wanted to have her help pick out her new bedding, to help get her excited over new bed. Turns out, she didn’t really care that much, and didn’t have much of an opinion on what I choose. After finding ink stains on a super cute little girl pink and blue butterfly/flower bedding set, I ended up getting something better. I didn’t want a character she’d out grown in a year, and ended up with something much more mature that she’ll likely have forever, but she loves it, and the set was an amazing clearance find at Home Outfitters (comforter, pillow shame, decorative throw pillow, and fleece blanket: reg $119, sale price $49.95!)

Decor – This was more about moving stuff around. We had to move my son’s posters and Star Wars stickers to just his side of the room, and add some girly touches to my daughter’s side. I picked up some wall stickers for her at WalMart (2 packs for $3 each!) and moved some of the artwork I made for her nursery, over to her big girl room.

Organization – This was easier than I thought. The dresser and closet were virtually empty with just my son’s clothing, and my daughter wasn’t using up all her space in the nursery either, so combing it all wasn’t going to be an issue. There is still TONS of space in the closet, and the dresser is finally being used properly. They are sharing both, and so far it’s working really well. The only thing I bought was a pocket organizer I hung in the closet for socks and underwear; it was on sale for $194 at Jysk, and we used some command hooks to hang it.

Toys – This part stressed me out, to the point I was in tears at 5:30 pm on Saturday because my entire upstairs was in shambles from all the toys the 4 year old had tucked into every corner of that room. My husband made a trip to WalMart and spent $80 on 8 large bins. This does sorta count towards the room budget, but it was also something I wanted to happen for a while, since all the toys in the basement were just in cardboard boxes. My husband organized all the toys into the bins, and they fit perfectly under their beds, taking up no floor space. This task also helped up clean up the basement, and set it up better!

So in total, we spent less than $150 to makeover the room, and half that expense was storage bins!

Ok, enough with all the details, here are the pictures!

Before, in all its messy glory:

room makeover
The view from the door (just about all of this was changed around)
room makeover
His bed (stayed in the same place)
room makeover
His dresser and toy box near the closet (both were moved)

After, a perfect brother/sister space:

boy/girl shared room
The view from the door (another bed! and the dresser is on the other side)
boy/girl shared room
Just her side (bedding from Home Outfitters, new wall stickers, other decor from her old room)
boy/girl shared room
Just his side (bed in the same place, and same bedding, just moved his posters and stickers over)
boy/girl shared room
The dresser is also shared (they each get one drawer for bottoms, and share the cubby space with pjs and his shirts)
boy/girl shared room
The closet seems so empty (shelves and floor will eventually be used to storage, his Church shirts are hung up, with all her tops and dresses. The pockets have socks, tights, underwear, bathing suits and other misc. small items)

So far, they love the room. They like going up there and pulling the toys out, and haven’t minded keeping it clean either. Bedtime, well that’s another story for a whole different post!

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6 comments

  1. It looks great! Buying the bunk beds that came apart was genius foresight – especially since the top bunk has a built in rail. I never even thought of that. Ours don’t come apart but we didn’t buy a rail – seemed like a waste – having one built-in would’ve been handy. Love your daughter’s bedding and the price was really a steal! By only really accessorizing, the room is still very versatile and will be easy to transition to boy and girl rooms in the future. I don’t know why we have it stuck in our heads these days that each kid must have their own room. My mom always talks about sharing a room in the bungalow where she grew up with her 2 sisters until she moved away to university! They got the master bedroom and her parents and her only brother each got their own of the smaller bedrooms. Guess it is similar to the thought on vehicles. Each of ours will have their own room but people can’t understand how we’re going to be able to transport 3 kids without an SUV or van.

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    1. Everyone always think bigger is better, and more space means a happier family. In my mind, more space means more to clean! lol. And the more time we spend together, the happier we are. We have enough to room go our separate ways when we need to, but everyone doesn’t need an entire room to themselves. It’s like the man cave thing, I’m sorry, but I like watching TV with my husband, and being in the same room as him, we don’t need separate living rooms/tvs.
      We will eventually own a bigger house, once our kids are older, and they may end up with their own rooms, or maybe they’ll still want to share.
      As for the van/SUV, if you find a way for it to work without, than good for you for saving money on the price or the car and the gas! We bought a van, because we know we want a big family and will need all 7 of those seats, so a car isn’t an option (plus my hubby is really tall, and takes up half the backseat when he drives, so we need the extra space that way too).
      I just love how people love to stick their opinions in our faces about how we live, when it isn’t any of their business what car we drive, or the size of the house we own. Good on you for doing what is best for you and your family!

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  2. It looks lovely! I know what you mean about the toys. When my children were much younger, the toys were a big headache. Even though I think we were quite restrained in our toy purchases, people would give them toys as presents. There didn’t seem any way around it. For a while, my 2nd (a girl) and my 3rd (a boy) shared the same room. One afternoon, when the 2 of them were supposed to be napping, I heard a noise from the bedroom. Opening the door, I found my daughter smearing Vicks Vaporub all over her younger brother :) So watch out!

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    1. Oh goodness! I have nightmares about something like that happening! We, thankfully, keep any products like that in the linen closet or in the nursery…both up on high shelves! I don’t need diaper cream spread on someone or something!

      Yes, the toys are overwhelming, but at the same time it just shows how loved they are by all their family. We have purchased hardly any toys for them, since they get so much from Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles that all love close by.

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