Cora’s Big Girl Bedroom™ makeover – moodboard and layout

I’m quite excited to share my moodboard and layout plans for Cora’s Big Girl Bedroom™ makeover. It took me about 6 months to get my head around a colour scheme, theme, and design for her room, not to mention working around the physical limitations that came with her dormer sloped ceiling [see what I mean in the before photo’s of Cora’s room here].

I took a huge amount of inspiration for Cora’s room from the dollhouse I updated and gave Cora for Christmas 2018. Mainly, the shade of green paint I used [pictured above] set the tone of her bedroom makeover.

I matched the green craft paint to the shade “Agaves Green” by Sico Paint via Rona hardware store [I feel I have to write hardware store as poor Rona has the misfortune of also being a slang term for the ongoing global pandemic. In case you needed clarification, I am not painting COVID-19 throughout Cora’s bedroom].

I decided early on that her room wouldn’t be entirely green, but half of it, similar to the little hallway I designed and coffee-stick-bead-boarded for Cora’s dollhouse [above].

Once I had the basic design figured out, it was time for the layout.

Cora’s bedroom is tiny. Like, hugely tiny. And it has the added obstacle of a dormered ceiling, plus no built-in storage, so I had to be creative [and cut-throat] with what furniture I added to her room. I measured her room and created a layout in Google SketchUp. Since there was little-to-no wiggle room when it came to space, I had to be certain the pieces of furniture fit and worked. Oh, and did I mention I sourced the furniture secondhand? If you’re new here, you may not know that I like to give myself a challenge.

So here is the basic layout I decided upon for Cora’s Big Girl Bedroom™ makeover, using an armoir and bed I sourced from Kijiji:

There was very limited options for furniture placement, so unless Cora was prepared to sleep in a bean bag or stand in the corner like a vampire, there was only the above layout option.

I also took a great amount of pleasure getting the perfect armoire for Cora’s room; I looked online for a few weeks and the armoires I found were either too wide, too deep, or too tall, which were immediately ruled out because of the dormered roof. I took my time and found the perfect armoire for $50. It fit perfectly, and I actually love the shade of wood it is, so I won’t be painting it. Just updating the hardware.

This actually won’t be Cora’s room long-term. Once Cora’s 5th birthday rolls around, baby will be 6 months old and it’ll be time for her to move into this room. Cora will be moving into our spare bedroom later this year, and just wait until you see what I have planned for that room. It will essentially be my dream childhood bedroom. No spoilers.

SOURCE LIST
– Walls “Agaves Green” by Sico Paint
– Isild female bird tray by ibride
– Needle felted pig by Felt Fauna by AC
– Bed and armoire sourced secondhand via Kijiji
– Bed painted in “Coal Black” from Fusion Mineral Paint
– Mushroom linen fitted sheet and pillowcase by Grannet Home
– Vintage porcelain pink knobs from Firstfinds

Cora’s Big Girl Bedroom™ makeover – before

For Cora’s 4th birthday we wanted to surprise her with a proper Big Girl Bedroom™. Previous to updating her bedroom, Cora was still sleeping in her Stokke crib, which we managed to get 4 years out of from the 0-3 year range [converted into a very low bed with one side removed for the last year so it wasn’t super-cribby].

Since moving into our house a year previously, we had done nothing with Cora’s room since. Her room is seriously tiny cozy and quite brown. It wasn’t very ‘her‘ and since all the furniture in her room was made from wood, it was just too many layers of brown for this spirited 4-year-old’s bedroom. With her 4th birthday fast approaching [and another lockdown impending] we were glad to have a fun project to focus on.

I feel it took about 20 seconds to photograph the before photos of Cora’s bedroom since her room seriously is tiny. There’s no storage incorporated into the design of the room, so it just about fits a bed, a storage unit and a few toys on the floor.

I quite like challenges like this because it means I have to be creative with a space. I’m not going to lie, it did take me a few months to get a plan in mind that made sense and made the most out of her tiny room. And looked good. And I did a mock-up on Google SketchUp, which I can’t wait to share on Monday! I’m hoping to share that along with a mood board as well as what inspired this makeover.

Renting tips – how to store your landlord’s stuff

If you’ve ever rented in Dublin [or Ireland], chances are, you moved into a furnished apartment or house. This will sound strange if you live somewhere where apartments and houses come unfurnished as standard, but here in Ireland, when you move into an apartment you acquire a lot more than just a lease. An apartment can come with furniture, accessories, knick-knacks, and depending on your landlord, a spectrum of interesting things.

Our current apartment came with a lot, most of which we found we wouldn’t need. Knowing what to do with our landlord’s things took some planning, so I figured if I had this problem, there might be other people out there in the same situation. There were things like vases, framed prints, photographs, pottery sets, curtains, objet d’ art and kitchen accessories that either weren’t to our taste or we didn’t need, so I carefully packed them away for storing. As the years went on, there were larger things we didn’t need either [a shelving unit and a double bed], so I spent some time planning how to store it all. Our apartment has very limited storage, so I looked to the unused areas of our home to store our landlord’s stuff …

The larger pieces like the double bed that was in Cora’s room before it became a nursery and the unused middle shelving unit in our living room were both disassembled and carefully placed under our bed. It was the perfect space to store both disassembled pieces. 

TIP! If you don’t have instructions for a piece of furniture, photograph each step as you disassemble it so later when you reassemble the piece, you can look back at your photos and can be put it back together in the right order. 

The top of the wardrobes in our bedroom and in Cora’s nursery took a lot of secret storage. It’s only when you stand at the far side of each room and look directly at them that you can see there’s stuff up there. I managed to hide quite a lot above each cupboard. There’s everything from pots and pans to mirrors carefully wrapped in newspaper to a samurai sword.

TIP! Make a list of what is in each box so if you need to find something quickly, you know exactly where it is.

Above the cabinets in the kitchen was another great place to store things. I took empty printer paper boxes, painted them white [this was during my nesting period], and was able to carefully store quite a lot. The boxes seem pretty obvious in these pictures, but our kitchen is very small [and DARK and impossible to photograph], so from the living room you don’t see these boxes as there’s a wall between the kitchen and living room, except for the door opening.

This has been another one of those blog posts where I’ve thought, people are going to think I’ve lost my mind because this is boring as hell, but I always find if I have a problem like this, there are other people too with it. Knowing what to do with your landlord’s extra stuff can be overwhelming, but all it takes is planning and a bit of creativity!