Ok, so the baby isn't really a baby anymore but I'll be darned if that kid is moving to a real bed anytime soon (for reasons being sleep) so we'll just call it a "baby room" because the crib and all. So, another room where we had to start over – the chair rail, the navy and cream, all a little tired. Plus, I had been interested in this idea to paint 3/4 of the walls one color and leave the rest white (a la exhibits A & B).
Sidenote: My friend Jayne and I stayed at the place on the right this summer on our thrifting adventure through Nashville (@eastnashvillebnb). The thrifting was so-so but this Airbnb was pretty darned inspiring, from a style perspective. (I choose my Airbnb's mostly based on cuteness, don't you??)
With those two images imprinted in my brain for a while, I decided to go for it in Henry's room. A baby room is a pretty safe place to take some style risks since heck, probably no one is going to see it but you, and they're too young to want to paste Fathead Transformers decals all over the wall yet. Take advantage.
So I pried off that chair rail, spackled and sanded. Once the walls were all cleaned up I painted the whole room white – like a million coats to cover that navy. Next, I taped around the top quarter with frog tape. (That stuff is good but not good enough unless you go back over it with a credit card or a dish scraper – both super technical approaches to get it to adhere so the paint won't bleed.) Next, I painted the bottom portion with the Benjamin Moore oystershell (two coats) and pulled the tape to reveal a nice straight line.
Mike then bolted the ledge shelves to the wall for Henry's personal library. I love displaying books as art, as you might have noticed. Since the room was painted in neutral tones the pops of color from the books and toys really stand out. I hung blackout shades from Ikea for the blackout-ness but mostly because I loved the contrast they provided in the room. I also have a sort of black and white sub-theme going on so I was happy to score those.
This room was styled with a mix of new, old, vintage and upcycled items. That dresser was Mike's when we were dating. I painted it gunpowder gray (Glidden, I think) and added those brass knobs. Is it cute or crazy that I thought it would make a good changing table one day (while we were only dating)? Don't answer that. Anyway, this sort of eclectic mix is how I aim to approach any room for any client. Which pieces do you love and which pieces are you dying to trash and replace with something more current or just not Ikea? You don't need to start fresh for a few reasons:
1. You've lived this life and done some cool things and you probably have some equally cool things to show for it. This makes a room so much more interesting than filling it up with pieces from Pier 1 that have no story. Of course you'll have those things too, but keeping some of your personal mementos present just makes the house more you.
2. You have a budget or you should.
I knocked this room out in a weekend or so and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I lied last week when I said we started with the kitchen. I actually just remembered wrong. Mike insisted that we start with Henry's room and kudos to him for being such a good parent. No really. We moved into this strange place in a strange town where everywhere you go has a parking space (aka the suburbs) and we really did want him to feel at home right away. I think it did help his transition quite a bit. Of course, it doesn't hurt when you have a really cute dad to read you stories at bedtime ;)