The plan for Ellie’s new room

The last project on my Home Goals 2023 list (and the only indoor project) is going to be our first project of the year. Ellie’s new room.

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been trying to convince Ellie to move into the guest room for a while. The room is bigger, so she can have a double bed instead of a single. Her current room is closer to the centre of the house, a good location to become a playroom (and remove some of the toys from the living room). Most importantly, sleeping next to each other–with an open door between us–is not restful.

In December, we were struck down by a bad cold, and I moved into the guest room so that my coughing fits wouldn’t disturb her. Even with being sick, we both slept so, so well. I think that showed Ellie that the guest room was maybe okay, and she became a little more open to the idea of moving.

There’s still some resistance and sensitivity. Our girl is not thrilled with change. But talking about her new room and how we can design it like she wants is helping… a bit.

My initial plans (reuse the bed, paint the walls a muted green, make it soft and girly and floral) are shifting a bit based on her vision. But I’ve decided to let her make the choices. It’s her room, and I want her to be happy with it.

Right now, her favourite colour is teal, so that’s where I’m starting. We went to the store and looked at paint chips last week. With no hesitation, she immediately picked the colour she wanted (Calmness C35-3-0709-4 by BeautiTone from Home Hardware). It’s not as bright as I expected, and actually isn’t too different from what’s on the walls already. I’ll still be bringing in lots of neutrals to balance everything out.

I’m planning to reuse the dropcloth curtains that are currently in the guest room. Their warm colour will soften the bright walls better than white, I think. Hopefully I have enough bamboo shade left to make my standard layered window treatment. I need to buy blackout blinds to go underneath, and I may also add a blackout lining to the curtains (we like to sleep in the dark).

White will play a part with a new headboard. I had planned to reuse the metal bedframe that is in the guest room. But our girl likes how her current bed has a shelf (or as she calls it a nightstand). She stashes her water bottle and various other treasures. So I’m going to build a simple headboard with a shelf and paint it white. We have an extra metal bed base in the driveshed, so I will attach the headboard to that.

Her bookshelf (also white) and dresser (grey-ish wood tone) will move with her to the new room.

The tractor and likely the Strandmon wing chair will not. In my new quest to be thoughtful about how we use our house (like, do we really need a guest room?), the chair doesn’t make sense for her room. The chair was helpful when she was really little (especially for nursing), but now we read stories sitting on her bed. I’m trying to minimize clutter, and a big chair that we never sit in seems like clutter. The tractor can move out to the garage. Thanks to her new headboard, she won’t need nightstands.

Accessories and finishing are a bit undetermined right now. I really wanted to use the flowered chenille bedspread that I shared previously, and it looks like it is a nice match with the paint chip. My Mom’s flower girl lamp will hopefully find a home (and a new shade) as well.

For art, I’m wondering about a big gallery wall of black and white family photos. But I’m not sure black and white are what Ellie has in mind. There’s a cute curvy mirror (with a white frame) in the guest room already, but it’s a bit small to get a good look at your outfit. Maybe the light fixture should be more sparkly. Or I could paint the ceiling a really light pink.

I’m all over the place. Usually I’m pretty good at picturing spaces and have a vision in mind. Designing for someone else is a challenge.

Work on the room is kind of underway. The first step is clearing it out. As the guest room has been a catch-all space for years, this is a bit of an undertaking. We’re slowly going through things and have sold, donated and thrown out a lot with more to come.

Some major progress was getting rid of Matt’s and my bed last week. I don’t love sleeping in a king size bed and it was too large for our room. So in the spirit of making our house work for us, I posted it on kijiji and it went to a new home. The guest room bed is now my bed–once again. It was in my cottage bedroom as a child and was Matt’s and my bed at our first house and when we first moved to the farm. I’m glad that it continues to have a place in our lives.

Now I have more space to work on Ellie’s new room and make it what she wants it to be.

Is anyone else having realizations about what works and doesn’t in your house? What would you mix with teal to make beautiful room for a happy, sensitive, energetic young girl?