Thoughts on Kids Rooms

Hello all.  I don't like to make excuses for not posting, but recently my laptop decided to take a vacation, hence the lack of posts.  I dug up an old relic from our closet, so let's see how this goes...

If you are an avid design blog reader, there is no shortage of beautiful and inspiring kids rooms out there.  Here is one of my new favorites at Avenue Lifestyle.  See her full post here.

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The trouble is that because of the sheer amount of cuteness on the web (a) it can be overwhelming to make any kind of decision, and (b) some kids (ahem, mine) don't actually use their room until about the age of two, and even then, most mornings you wake up to one, or even two, cuddle bugs in your bed.  So much for your well-thought out, sweet, yet chic nursery. 

In our case, we knew we were going to be co-sleeping for some time.  So, thankfully we didn't put time or money into the extra bedroom until our oldest was about 18 months.  I was very excited.  I came up with a mood board on pinterest.  Ok, so, it's not so much a mood board, as it is a brain dump of beautiful, monochromatic kids rooms, with a splash of color and coziness. 

We painted an accent wall, got some furniture from IKEA and DIY'd the Kura bed, probably the most posted bunk bed on Pinterest. (Thoughts on this particular piece of furniture to follow.)  And then... she didn't sleep in it. I had a toddler on top of me for the last four months of my second pregnancy.  And then, the baby came and our daughter slept in her room, but not in the bed we had so lovingly papered and painted, rather with her dad on the crooked futon that was meant for guests and took up 60% of the room when opened.  We had some hideous black out curtains that were also supposed to block sound.  The futon featured a handmade, earth-toned quilt.  The quilt is a cherished wedding gift, made by a good friend's mother, but it had nothing to do with the forest green wall and pinks I had going on.  Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the space from that time, though it is probably for the best.  Eventually, (at two and half), our daughter started sleeping in her bed and very soon after, it seemed, our son was in his own bed, as well.  We sold the futon and moved things around.

This is what it looked like at some point...

I have to share two big pet peeves that came up in this room.  Pinterest is often a source of design inspiration for me.  Like the Kura bed, those IKEA spice racks pictured on the green wall above are all over Pinterest, displaying books and cute knick knacks.  They look great in a photo!  However, this is one of few IKEA products that it not sold with hardware.  Very slowly, with much practice and just as many mistakes, I'm getting better at installing things, but I could not decide on the best hardware for these, beyond a simple, sturdy screw, and the size of the holes on the back meant that there is very little room for measuring errors.  The reality at our house was that the shelves were unstable and when the kids tried to put the books back themselves, the books often slipped right through the crack or the kids pulled the whole shelf off the wall.  Design failure!  (Maybe that's the reason these shelves are often pictured at grown up height??)

Pet peeve number two.  The Kura.  Ah the Kura.  It has so much design potential.  One problem we encountered with this bed is that neither of the kids wanted to sleep on the bottom bunk, until very recently.  Too dark and scary, perhaps?  Also, all the pictures on Pinterest with the bottom part done up like a mini lounge are really cute, but by three or four years of age, most kids are already grazing their heads, or outright bumping them, on the platform above. 

VIA Domino

VIA Domino

See? So beautiful!! Not so functional.

The low loft seemed like a relatively safe way to make better use of the space in their 11x11 bedroom, but regular bunk beds, or even a regular loft bed, probably would have been better.  An adult cannot sit up in the lower bunk, which kills story time.

Still, I will say that the Kura is versatile.  For the past year, we have had it set up like a regular twin bed for my daughter and my son's mattress was on the floor.  A month or so ago, I flipped the bed over and my daughter is now mature enough to handle the top bunk. In other words, after about a week of jumping from the top to the floor, instead of using the ladder, she seems to have gotten it out of her system, for the most part.  My son also no longer seems perturbed to be sleeping in the cave-like lower bunk.  And we have more floor space!

This is the current setup:

I often consider adding a reading corner or adding new wall art, but just as quickly I have a new idea, and never make a decision.  In photos, it's pretty barebones, but in person it's bright, fresh, and most important, functional.  What has your experience been with decorationg kids rooms?  Have you encountered any decision paralysis?  How does your nursery reality match up with the vision you had in your head?