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.

Secondhand Victorian-style dollhouse

I’m going to come clean straight away and say this is a project I’m working on as a gift for Cora this Christmas, but it’s also 9,000% entirely for me. I am living vicariously through Cora this Christmas. And beyond. 

I had been looking on Kijiji for a dollhouse for Cora for a few months. Probably casually looking for around six months, but more seriously searching for the last two to three months. I found amazing dollhouses every few weeks but they were either too expensive, located too far away or were the bad kind of homemade that were misshapen and home to jagged edges that no amount of sandpaper or filler could fix. This would after all be a present for our curious toddler so I wanted it to be a practical, special and more importantly a safe dollhouse. 

Kijiji did not disappoint. Kijiji is a gentle creature that rewards those with an abundance of patience. You have to look and look and look and inquire and have a deal fall through and keep looking and change your search words 20 times and then right when you’re about to give up, the most perfect thing will present itself. 

I suspect many peopled passed on this dollhouse because of its lack of a front door, a window and stairs. Ha, I say. HA! You’re going to have to do a lot worse than that to deter me. Before I heard back from the owner if it was still available or not, I was already researching how to make dollhouse doors and stairs and I am up for the challenge. 

As Robert pointed out, the attic is very like the wallpaper in Adam and Barbara’s house in Beetlejuice. It’s really sweet and I might keep it for the time being. 

As for the rest, I will be changing. I’m already overwhelmed with redecorating ideas. It will mostly be for Cora’s current / my old Sylvanian Families [aka Calico Creatures in North America] collection, so it will be decorated to be sweet and adorable. I might try my hand at making some tiny wallpaper, and there will be bits of burgundy here and there, but I’ll try my best to not to impose a gothic look. I’m way too excited to start redecorating Cora’s dollhouse and I’ve even come up with a few moodboard ideas for it! I really can’t wait to start. I love a good project, especially on a scale I can handle for a few hours a night. 

But more importantly, want to know how much I paid for it?

Guess.

Go on.  

No. 

Lower.

Lower … 

$45.

p.s. Serious question – can I say I own a Victorian house now? Because I kind of do … 

Should you be interested, check out my post where I share my

Top Tips for Buying Secondhand Items Online

Secondhand Schoenhut baby grand piano

As I was searching Kijiji for a storage bench for our hallway last week, one of the ads to show up in my search was this tiny toddler grand piano [and subsequent tiny toddler grand piano ‘bench’, which is how it showed up in my search]. I had to have it … for Cora. I showed Robert its picture and within 15 minutes I was arranging to collect it from the seller.

It was advertised for $40 on Kijiji as some of the legs on the bench were wobbily and the seller explained they were unable to fix it for years. Challenge accepted. I took the piano as is and 5 minutes after bringing it home I fixed both wobbily legs [I wrapped the screws on each leg with a bit of masking tape and screwed them back into the bench. The screw and socket (?) seal had just become loose over the years]. I leaned back and allowed the smugness to wash over me and I bathed in it for several minutes.

I’ve tried finding this ‘Schylling’ piano online but the closest thing I’ve found was this Schoenhut Baby Grand Piano online from Target [I can audibly hear Canadian’s weeping] for $169.38. It’s a surprisingly solid piano made entirely of wood – no cheapy plastic parts.

It has the sweetest little chime sound to it and Cora is already a huge fan. Unlike our poor neighbours. If you’d like to see our new-to-us baby grand piano in action, check it out in my saved stories on Instagram under ‘Thrifted’ [only viewable via the app]. It’s amazing and perfect and I can’t wait to put it in Cora’s room once it gets more organised.

Do you have a favourite secondhand piece you found recently for a sweet deal? That’s my favourite thing about finding excellent things secondhand; how much cheaper they are than brand new and I feel almost no guilt when buying them.