Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Big Boy Bed

You may remember that I wrote a few weeks ago about updating Gavin’s room . I was hoping to make the room feel like it was made just for him. I wanted it to be well organized and easy to clean up, but still be really fun and cheerful and very toddler-friendly. Assuring it was toddler-friendly meant taking into consideration the height and stability of the furniture, omitting anything he might attempt to climb up on or pull over onto himself. It also meant making sure that his toys and books are easily accessible to him and easy for him to put away. It meant having a place for everything, and lots of hidden storage for the things that he doesn’t need to take out or access, like off-season clothes or clothes that are too big and toys that are in storage mode (we’re cycling bins of toys so that he doesn’t get too bored with what he has).

We started these updates a couple of months ago, but his room has been a work in progress, and still is. I had two fairly significant limitations in this project – I was NOT going to repaint the room, and I was NOT going to buy new furniture. So, all the updates were in the little details.

In my previous post, I broke down the cost of all of the updates that had been made as of that post. That included bedding, a couple of paper lanterns, a set of vinyl wall decals, and some modular storage cubes that we’re using for books, puzzles, toys, extra blankies, and diaper changing supplies.

Since Gavin is still sleeping in his crib, we weren’t in a huge hurry to get the big boy bed ready, but we had a bed in there that I wanted to take out, so that motivated me to get the new headboard done. The bed that was in there was a really cute old black spindle-frame bed with a trundle underneath that I picked up on Craig’s list a couple of years ago for $25.00. I like the bed, and plan to use it in the future in a spare bedroom, but it wasn’t the right bed for Gavin. I wanted his furniture to be white so that it could all be mismatched and still look good together and the spindly headboard and footboard on this bed would have looked too feminine if they were painted white. He needed something simpler. The trundle underneath the bed was convenient for sleepovers, but didn’t allow any room for under bed storage and the old metal frame was a little rusty and I worried about a little person like him getting bumped or scratched on it while climbing in & out of bed.

We decided to just make a “headboard” that we would attach directly to the wall and push a bed frame up against it. Since the side rails of the black bed attached directly to the headboard and footboard, we picked up a barely used bed-frame off Craig’s List for $20. It was a steal with brand new extra-wide casters and didn’t have a single speck or rust or chipping paint!

The bed ended up turning out really cute. We had no idea the mattress was going to end up so low, but we're glad it did! We used the same mattress and box-spring-type-frame thingy that were on the black bed, but the actual frame must just be that much shorter! Gavin can get on & off the new bed with no help at all and I don’t worry about him falling off of it either, since it would only be about a 15” fall.

We spent around $20 on lumber for the headboard and Cliff put it all together from my drawing and sanded it smooth. We applied two coats of white ‘kid’s room paint’ and caulked the seams between coats. Then, Cliff nailed the headboard right to the wall. The top ‘shelf’ board isn’t perfectly level since we forgot to check that when we nailed and glued it all together, but it’s not noticeable and works great as long as we don't try to set marbles or balls on there.

The headboard also looks much taller than I expected, but that's because I measured the height based on how high the mattress sat on the old frame. Since the mattress sits so low on the new frame, the headboard looks too tall, but I'm already over that. Besides, he will eventually need a new mattress since the one that is on there is really old and when we get a new mattress and new box spring, it will sit much higher, so the headboard height will be perfect.

I love the white in his room and can't wait to move the crib out of there and swap his dresser out for the white one that's in the basement. I want to paint the knobs on the white dresser orange or turquoise and put a high-gloss finish on them so they almost look like porcelain or glass. Maybe I will get to swap the dressers out this week… we’ll see.

He isn't sleeping in the big boy bed yet. He wants to, but he won't stay in bed. He crawls up on the bed and lies down on the pillows and says nigh-night, but he doesn’t stay lying down. I think it might be a while longer before he's really ready. We tried it for nap time on Sunday, but he got right out of bed and came to the door crying, so we just put him in his crib. I'm not in a rush to get him out of the crib, but I am worried that one of these days he'll climb over the rail and fall out. He already puts his one foot up over the railing!

I’m still working on printing a couple more photos to hang on his wall, but I love the way the frames are turning out. I have five frames so far that I either picked up at garage sales for anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar or already had and just spray-painted white. I cut mats out of scrapbook cardstock in orange, turquoise, green and brown and put those in the frames. The finishing touch was the white wooden letters spelling GAVIN. I had bought them at Michael’s several months ago with a plan to use them in his room, but wanted to come up with something more creative than simply hanging them on the wall. I wanted to find a way to ground them so that they didn’t look too random and out of place. I glued the base of each letter to the top of one of the white photo frames on his wall. They’re at slightly different heights, but clearly spell his name and add just a little whimsy to the wall.

The final finishing touch (is that redundant?) was the adorable hand-made toss pillow from our friend Carrie. She made it just for Gavin and incorporated the colors from his bedding in the circular yo-yo appliqués on the pillow. Gavin loves it and says “nice?” when he runs his hand across the soft chenille fabric and feels the colorful little puckered circles.

If we’d had a little girl, I know her room would have been filled with magical fairies, butterflies and other beautiful fairytale creatures, as that’s what I always imagined for a kids room. I had a bit of a hard time imagining how to make a little boy’s room feel just as special and magical, but I think we’re doing it.

I love his room and all in all, we spent a grand total of $180 which included the new bed frame and the custom built headboard.


1 comment:

Dreams and Designs said...

You guys did a fabulous job!! It looks wonderful!