Children’s Ikea Hack bedroom makeover Part 1: Before
A small bedroom in need of a makeover
After 12 months of extensive work to our house, which included an extension, a ‘dining room to study/den’ makeover, and revamping our old living room, the only room requiring a makeover was our nine year old daughter’s bedroom. Emily has the smallest of the four bedrooms, mainly because we have a guest room with a double bed for when grandparents or friends come to stay. The guest room also contains all of Richard’s clothes because *ahem* our bedroom wardrobes are full of mine, (*sheepish face*). In my defense, my clothes aren’t the only things we store in our bedroom and although there seem to be a lot of clothes in the wardrobe that’s because all of the clothes I own are in there: I don’t do that ‘thing’ where I put all of my winter clothes in the loft in the summer. Anyway, enough of my excuses! Let me get back back to talking about Emily’s bedroom.
When Emily asked me before Christmas if we could redecorate her bedroom early in the New Year, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic (translation: I would rather have pulled my own fingernails off with a rusty set of pliers). I had good reason to be reluctant as the extension project had been massive and we were still decorating well into December. Plus, I had insisted on painting and decorating the whole thing myself to save some pennies. Half way through this epic task I did question my own sanity because Dulux Once emulsion is not ‘Once’ and neither was the brilliant white emulsion I used for our large single story extension at the back of the house. In fact, the extension needed three coats of paint after the initial sealing coat we applied to the plaster. Consequently, I was totally ‘over’ the whole decorating thing, my hands and finger nails were in shreds (*drama queen*) and my back had still not recovered from painting the ceilings. Then Emily turned her ‘puppy dog’ eyes on me and I was powerless to defend myself. That’s why Emily now has a newly redecorated bedroom and my dreams of being a hand model have been shattered, (*more drama*).
The design brief
After agreeing that we would redecorate Emily’s room before Easter, we sat down together and jotted down some ideas. I ‘delicately guiding’ Emily with her choices, and we compiled a wish list, (Yep, more list-writing, because it’s the law).
As I said, Emily’s room is relatively small and she has a tendency to be untidy (ie. it’s usually a complete tip and I just have to close her bedroom door and pretend the mess doesn’t exist). Also, with her existing furniture and layout there wasn’t much storage space and the shelves and drawers were rammed full of stuff. Her room always looked cluttered and we weren’t making the most of the limited space. With this in mind, we wanted the bedroom design to:
- maximise the space
- add lots of storage (to hide all of the plastic c**p, piles of random bits and bobs and store the ever expanding mountain of soft toys).
- store clothes and toys in drawers and cupboards, rather than have them cluttering surfaces or be on display.
- have furniture and a layout that would last her well into her late teens.
- not pink
- not ‘girlie’
- ‘Superhero’ pictures/posters
- blue walls
- spherical lampshade
Emily already had a shade of blue in mind and so she set about mixing her paint colours in earnest. She painted a sheet of A4 with her final paint mix and then rushed over to me with the glistening blue sheet. ‘This is the colour I want!’, she exclaimed excitedly, ‘…But lighter.’
Armed with Emily’s helpful colour swatch (!), we set out for B & Q and Emily chose a few tester pots after thoughtfully considering all of the shades of blue on offer. After painting a few walls with our short list of blue candidates, Emily chose Sky matt emulsion from B&Q’s Colours range, because it was ‘nice and bright and not too ‘cold’ looking’.
She was right and we all agreed with her choice.
Looking for inspiration
Early on, Emily and I agreed that a mid-sleeper bed with lots of drawers beneath it would make better use of space than her current bedroom layout. Although the existing layout utilised the space beneath her single bed using plastic under bed storage boxes, raising the bed even higher would make room for more storage but wouldn’t use up valuable floor space.
Her current wardrobe, chest of drawers and bookcase weren’t particularly high, so we wanted to buy furniture that maximised the vertical storage space as well.
We looked at dozens of mid-sleeper beds online and on the high street but they were aimed at younger children, were very expensive or had a configuration that didn’t suit the layout of her room, usually because the ladder was in the wrong place or some of the drawers wouldn’t be accessible once we fitted it into Emily’s room.
So, having been delighted with our Ikea Hack Study Makeover (see earlier posts) we decided to have a look online at mid-sleeper/cabin bed Ikea Hacks. There are some great examples on the IkeaHackers website. Inspired by the ideas on the website, we decided we would design our own ‘Ikea Hack’ bed.
Drawing up plans and making some decisions
We had fun making a scale drawing of Emily’s bedroom and started measuring up some of the chest of drawers, book cases and sliding wardrobes on the Ikea website. After lots of moving little paper shapes around our room plan we decided to use the following items for Emily’s Ikea Hack bedroom makeover:
- her existing bed frame and mattress (minus the headboard and footboard)
- three Nordli chests of drawers in white (2 x 80cm three drawer chest and 1 x 40cm three drawer chest) – We considered the cheaper Malm drawers but there isnt a narrow three drawer chest in this range, only a two drawer chest.
- 1 Pax 58mm x 150mm x 236 cm sliding wardrobe with Hasvik doors
- 1 Billy 80cm bookcase with extension unit
We would also need Plywood, MDF and wooden battens to raise Emily’s bed frame onto the Ikea chests to create our own mid-sleeper bed.
Our selected Ikea furniture for Emily’s bedroom makeover:
To finish the room design we also wanted:
- a desk and chair
- a step or ladder (built-in or free-standing) for Emily to get onto her bed.
- A shelf beside the bed for her clock and lamp to sit on
- White venetian blinds instead of curtains
Coming soon: The ‘big reveal’.
Find out how I got on in Part 2 when Emily’s Ikea Hack bedroom is revealed.