A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...On a $175 Budget (Part 2)

A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...On a $175 Budget (Part 2)

Having sufficiently recovered from the muscle exhuastion of painting the world's darkest room the world's lightest color, I resume...

The $96 Window Treatments

Since it’s not my bedroom, the window treatment has a strict $100 budget, so I head straight to Ikea. When I first saw the SANNOLIKT curtain rod, my first reaction was that the wooden dowel-and-rubber band idea looked cheap and ridiculous, but the idea stayed with me. After looking around, I started to think the Sannolikt had something light and architectural and had a certain Swedish airiness.

Also, they were only $7.99...so the more I thought about that, the more I though they were just perfect!

That's $8 worth of perfect!

That's $8 worth of perfect!

I painted the interior sill with the high-glass Paparazzi in Part 1 to bring light in - I always paint in the direction I want light to flow. I can't imagine this does anything, but I feel great about giving the sunlight a path.

For my sister, the desire to sleep until 3pm is a siren song best avoided - so just like Odysseus' crew, I'm going to give her a major lifehack by removing the blackout vinyl roller shades and replacing them with gauzy curtains that really let that 5:30 AM sunshine fall right on her sleeping face.

"What, what, what is this burning?" I can imagine her screaming.

"That's the harsh light of the global economy, Mia. Time to wake up and learn coding..." 

I think she'll really like the curtains.

Because grey can be such a sterile color, I decided to "splurge" on these IKEA INGMARIE Curtains.  I was really happy that the delicate floral print incorporated several shades of neutral grey, with a pale sage that picked up some of the existing furniture and carpet, and most of all the cheerful red accents. My sister doesn't like florals, but she likes red - so to me that's a generous compromise.

There's another compromise I made with myself because I was lazy. I should have offset the curtain brackets about 3" away from the edges so that they could push past the window cutout - instead they're flush. However, I'm not good enough at drilling to just rip up my parents' walls and I wanted to use the existing anchors. It's not perfect, but it's a sacrifice she's willing to make.

The $19 Gallery Wall

The main challenge for me was the gallery wall. Gallery walls can be tough and there are a lot of tutorials by experts, like this professional tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

My Secret Method to Gallery Layouts is not as pretty or creative - but it works and it's fast. 

First, I decide the exterior outline of the area - in this case I wanted the gallery section to be the same height and width of the windows to give it a symmetrical look. I used leftover blue painter's tape to mark it off.

Then, I choose the central piece - in this case it was a botanical drawing of a plum - and I centered that within my crude box. I know that offset centers are more creative, but they also can go wrong and I don't want to arrange mock-ups or rehang anything. 

Once I had a centerpiece, I used it as the base for a 9-sectioned tic-tac-toe design. Using that as the model, it was very easy to design the rest - I just had to fill in the gaps by centering items in their own square. 

I also like to make sure that in any gallery, one of the blocks uses 3-dimensional items. I found these red flamingo sunglasses she bought from the AVAM gift shop in Baltimore and I really liked how silly and sparkly that red glitter was. I added a Lucite hand mirror owned by our great-grandmother (which I hung at hair/makeup-checking height) and a little fan a friend bought her from Japan.

I gave myself a $19 frame budget at Ikea to fill in the gaps, and even found a frame that matched the curtains. My favorite find was this $5 KVILL plastic frame - as you can see, the back just snaps right in for easy change-out!  

Meaningful Art for No Money

The Before: A Beatles Shrine

The Before: A Beatles Shrine

My sister’s current photography collection was pretty uninspiring to me. How could she want photos of the Beatles when I don’t even like the Beatles? Yet, here I am sleeping in her bed underneath Paul McCartney in a Chevy truck, a moody profile pic, and Oh. My. God. Is that a nude (?!) Yoko Ono  (?!) Does anyone else in America have nude Yoko Ono on their wall? Did Yoko Ono pay my sister to put this up?  


Luckily, I had my own photo files and realized that Mia's most important and meaningful experiences in her life must have been from the times she spent with me. So here’s a photo of us having fries and wine at the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. Here she is at AVAM when we lived in Baltimore. Here we are not having lunch at Cafe Zoetrope.

I also found her Photography 101 portfolio from UC Berkeley which offered a wealth of her own high-concept art photography. Finally, I raided her Instagram feed and chose a photo taken by her best friend during an epic night on the town. I knew that it would remind her of the great times and great friendships she had in college and they had already been filtered to her taste.

After seeing the photos all hung, I realized that we had a photo with red and turquoise accents that fit perfectly in an open space. Oh no! It's perfect for...that naked Yoko Ono picture! It goes back on the wall, and I laugh hysterically. 

The final touch of the room was to add a little table, clean up her cabinet of swimming medals, and pull a mysterious rocking chair marked the University of Louisiana out of the garage. 

The Before: Lest We Forget...

The Final After.

In Conclusion

Although I think the room looks a lot better, now that it's done I feel like I probably should have asked permission. It was probably a little insensitive and since she's seeing it for the first time on this blog, I'm a little nervous about how she will react.

However, in addition to how nice it looks, I have one other card to play: 

Remember, I also saved her life.

The best and final photo in the gallery wall!

A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...My Sister Does Not

A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...My Sister Does Not

A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...on a $175 budget (Part 1)

A Childhood Bedroom Grows Up...on a $175 budget (Part 1)