February 16, 2012

The Big Pink

I'm linking up on Thurdays with Jules of Pancakes and French Fries, as part of her 2012 William Morris home series. 

 I've been putting off doing a reveal of Lily's new "tween" bedroom. (I don't like the word tween, but I don't stop using it, either.) My feelings about the room are mixed, as you'll read below.   We completed the re-do in late November/early December, so it's definitely high time for the reveal of this big-girl room.  Lily's going to be turning ten in just a few weeks.  A decade of daughter! Hard to fathom. Here are a couple of "Before" shots:
Note the pink paint chips taped to the wall, next to her pinboard.
You can see the strange, angled little wall here.
Even since before she was born, she's had a pale blue room.  First in our old house in Orange, and then in this house, where we moved when she was two.  I liked the combo of pale blue walls, white furniture, and vintage accessories.  But alas, she's getting older and getting her own ideas about decor.  First, her best friend had her room painted HOT PINK and BRIGHT YELLOW last summer, and Lily was all over that. I said okay to the HOT PINK, but ixnay on combining it with bright yellow.  Then, she visited another good friend, who has a loft bed. And ever since that visit, it was all about: "my new room is going to be HOT PINK and have a LOFT BED."  And so it has come to pass:  Hot pink walls, and a black loft bed.  (It's wood, by Ikea, quite sturdy, and we bought it on Craigslist.)

I want to tell you that I love it, but I don't.  I really do like this shade of hot pink, it's called Springtime Bloom, by Behr.   What I don't like so much is the loft bed, and how it eats up the air and the space of her small bedroom, and most of all, the LIGHT. Oh, the light.  The black loft bed is a black hole for light, sucking up all the sunshine and good natural lighting of our home. 

The white desk is new (by Pottery Barn Teen, and a steal on Craigslist)  and the small bookshelf is new (she had a much taller one that doesn't work in the new room).  The Malm dresser was already hers, but it was hiding in the closet before. Now it's out, along with a mirror, to give her a little vanity area.  Because young girls need to gaze and preen and sing into the mirrors in their bedrooms. 
I truly wish I'd been able to preview the bed in the room before I painted the walls. Because the bed is so massive, it's a game changer, in terms of the color, and the lighting. This room faces north/northeast, so it only gets good morning light (when I took these photos). By afternoon and later, it gets even darker in here.  It's the pink cave, and I guess she'll enjoy it, since teens tend to like their rooms dark (the better to sleep until noon).  But personally, it's already starting to bug the hell out of me.  And so is the zebra-print comforter, which was also Lily's choice.  I strongly have the itch already to re-do some of this room: paint it white, and only have hot pink accents?  Paint it a more pale pink?   Either way, the question is kind of moot, because Lily loves her room.  And it was a lot of effort to paint the room, build the bed in the room (can't bring that thing upstairs!) and get the heavy full-sized mattress up there. I've got lots of other plans for my house this year.  This is going to have to stay for awhile.

So let's look at a couple of projects we did to the room a couple of weeks ago.  First, we finally got around to painting the Ikea spice rack, and putting it up on the wall next to her bed.  Lily is a big reader, and wears glasses, so it's a pain for her to have to get up when she's awake in the middle of the night, and climb down the ladder to fetch her book or Nook and her glasses.  (I take no credit for using the spice rack as a book shelf; this particular hack is all over the 'net.)
The next fix is something my husband came up with. I'm not thrilled with it, in fact I kinda hate it. But I agree that it's totally necessary: a safety board for the bed.  When we bought her new pillowtop mattress, we didn't take into account the fact that it's so thick, it sits right at the top of the highest bed rail. Meaning, zero safety for Lily. She hadn't fallen out of her old bed in a long time, but the fact that it could happen, and that she's so many feet above the floor, made both me and my husband pretty nervous.  Enter the painted board:

Basically, my husband got a large piece of plywood at Home Depot, cut and sanded the edges into a softer curve, and painted it the same pink as the walls.  The he just slid it in, between the bed frame and the mattress.  We both agree it's a little taller than necessary; it can be shortened a few inches.  It isn't pretty, but we all sleep better knowing that Lily can't just tumble out and require a visit to Urgent Care in the middle of the night.   (On the other hand, it's another element that is blocking even more light in the room.) 

Bottom line: Lily loves her new room. I'm happy that she's happy, but I get a little twitchy when I stare at it too long, and think of all the fixes I'd like to do.  For now, she still needs more art, and a shelf installed on that big empty white wall, to hold her birthday-doll collection, and some hooks, to hang her hats and necklaces.  And color! More color! I envision some pops of bright orange and/or lime green to break up all the pink, black and white.  Ideas?


  1. I think it's awesome because your daughter is happy. And you did a lot of work to get it that way. I'm impressed! But I would feel the same way if it were my house. It's torture because if you could put the loft bed on the white wall, it wouldn't block the light so much. But since that window is set back, it probably won't work. I'm sure you've thought of everything. Sounds like you're just gonna have to get used to it like you said. It's not bad, though, as far as tween rooms go. You should hear what my almost 10 year old is requesting!

  2. Thanks, Pam! I know it's not too clear from the pics, but the bed can't go on the white wall, b/c her closet takes up half that wall. It would also put it right up against the odd window-seat/window wall, blocking even more light. I'd love to know what your 10-year-old wants!

  3. I'm impressed by all you work! I always feel exhausted just looking at redecorating photos.

  4. I love this line: "Because young girls need to gaze and preen and sing into the mirrors in their bedrooms."

    And I love that you are letting your daughter express herself with color combos that maybe aren't exactly your thing. She'll be over it soon enough, and then maybe at that point she will like more of what you like. My mom was a great mom, but there wasn't a speck of me in my rooms growing up. I had no say. So, major pats on the back to you.

    You worked hard this week. Thank you for sharing it with me, too. :)

  5. Oh! And I forgot to mention that I love her Harry Potter and Black Apple prints.

  6. Thanks Hila. It was a project long in the works, so I'm glad it's done.

    And thank you, Jules. I can't imagine having no say in your own bedroom. Just not sure where I'll draw the line, with my daughter. My sister had New Kids on the Block posters on every wall AND the ceiling. So yeah. That might be too much "expression."

  7. I can't say enough about how amazing it is that you've allowed your daughter to create a room that she loves. When I was a kid a wanted a white bedroom. My parents wouldn't allow it, and I never got over it...I now live in a white house. My kids have a turquoise, black and gold room, and I wouldn't have it any other way (well, yes, I would totally have it another way :)). Wish I had some words of advise about the loft bed. Is there anyway to paint it out in a lighter colour (as you've said it doesn't fit on any of the other walls?). Just close your eyes, think of the light and the happiness of your daughter. Take a deep breath and walk away :)
    Love the Harry Potter montage!

  8. It's so fabulous that you let her do it her way. When the kids help, they are so much more invested in not just making it theirs, but keeping it nice. The desk is grand, and I do love the Bloomin' Pink walls (you're right, they are PINK). I see what you mean about the loft bed.... but there's not much of a way around it unless you lighten up from black to white. Maybe a light cushion on the window seat would help to reflect more light into the room? Or some scattered mirrors on the wall opposite to the window?

  9. I actually really like it. Maybe because you listened to your daughter and gave her what she wanted. If there's ever a time in a gal's life to have hot pink walls I'd say 10 is perfect!

  10. Love the hot pink! Can understand your qualms, but kudos to you for letting your daughter create her dream room. Lucky girl.


Thanks for commenting! :)

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