Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Boy's Room

This desk is suspiciously clean.

I'm not sure I can call this room, my 12-year-old son Noah's room, a renovation, or even a redo. It just came together with pieces that we already had, and even with leftover buckets of paint. It was the bedroom that came together the most quickly too, in those weeks before I moved into the house to live.

Noah's room is the smaller of two downstairs bedrooms. My teenage son Grant's bedroom I've blogged about here and here. The fortunate thing about those two rooms is that the oak hardwood floors and plaster walls survived history relatively unscathed. It was really only a matter of fresh paint and an area rug to get ready to move in furniture. I wish I could say the same for my room, which still looks like a construction zone.

Let's start the tour:
"Mama let that boy play some rock and roll..."
Noah is my musician. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, dabbles in harmonica, and has tried viola (that was the only thing that didn't take). Like Grant's room, there are two double-doored closets at one end of the room. The one behind the instruments we plan to turn into an awesome mini studio, which I'll write all about in some future post. For now, we just stash the gear in the bare bones closet.

I'd like to thank my brother-in-law Rusty, who cussed a paint sprayer pretty hard for this one.
Over in the diagonal corner from the music closet is the desk. This desk was mine when I was a kid. Remember Sears and Roebuck mail order furniture? Yup. This is it, and this is what happened to it a few years ago when I was yearning for the Pottery Barn Kid Look at a Not Pottery Barn Price. Noah was 8 at the time, and he wanted an orange desk. Mama delivers, yes she does. We also upgraded the hardware.

At the time Noah had sort of science/space thing going on and he's still a really good science student. So when we covered the desk top with a piece of glass, I downloaded and printed out fun art for underneath:

Eerie! Bizarre! Otherworldly!
What you can't see running off the photo to the left is a periodic table of the elements.

This is where Mama's wee lamp problem comes in:

The color, the planetary shape, the starburst design, the size were all perfect for a boy's desk lamp. The shade is a Target cheapy. I'm still trying to decide if it needs spray paint of some color, a stencil job, a fabric of some sort.

The dresser, right next to desk, came from a type of real bargain foray I call "shopping at Mom's." My mother has had this dresser for-stinkin'-ever, and it was mostly unused in a spare bedroom when she said I could have it. It's from the 1960's:

Noah's bed is also a Sears and Roebuck children's furniture piece, this time my sister's:

Our momentary nod to fantasy: a made bed in a boy's room!
My sister Dyan didn't need it and didn't want to haul it all the way back to Georgia from the Midwest, so now it's Noah's bed. I toyed with the idea of painting it orange like the desk, but I backed away from that one. I don't like matchy-matchy, and he's getting older. He might not want circus-colored furniture. (His Mama, however, is always up for some circus colored anything, anytime.) You can tell he's moving more toward music as his room "theme." With the posters over there, he can lay in bed and look at Jack White's and Kurt Cobain's and Tony Iommi's guitars, and that's pretty cool in his world. He picked out the bedding set, from Kohl's. I think the lines have sort of a 60s flair to it.

The walls are pale blue, Journal Book by Valspar Paints, and the headboard wall/window wall is a dark blue, left over from some can of paint from the pre-divorce house. I couldn't tell you what it is.

A word about the curtains. They are cotton plaid tab-tops that were hanging in the other downstairs bedroom when we got here. It's difficult to tell from these photos, but the colors are a close match to the bedding and the rug. I almost threw these curtains out because they were so limp, so dirty and dusty and nasty looking. My ever thrifty Mom rescued them from a bag of trash, washed and dried them, starched and ironed them. They looked as good as new, hardly the same curtains. It was a good lesson in looking PAST the dirt. Not everything can be fixed, but almost anything can be cleaned.

The rug is an inexpensive one from We picked it out to mimic the groovy lines in the bedding set. Again it's hard to see in the photos (dang lighting), but the colors between curtains, rug, and bedding coordinate well together.

We've got stuff left to do. Except for the cool guitar posters above the bed, the walls are a little bare. We'll get them filled as Noah finds things he really likes. We have the music closet to do, which will be a fun project. But we have a lot of annoying things to do too, like painting the trim and closet doors (which are a strange mauve-y beige color).

Readers will note the two bedrooms I've posted about so far do have some elements of retro to them, but not tons. Especially the room in this post. That's because my boys aren't as into that kind of stuff as I am (though the two older ones are becoming history geeks. They take after their mother.), and these rooms belong to them. I want the rooms to reflect their choices and their personalities. Vintage elements in their rooms speak to a decade in the home's past, but don't force something on them they don't want. The next bedroom I'll post about, the twins' room has a lot more retro and vintage elements in it, just because their room has it in the permanent fixtures, like a built-in desk.

[Big disclaimer: I am kind of in a toot about the photographs. It's a small room on the wrong side of the house for good natural light. Every day that I've had time to take pictures, it's been cloudy. Every time it's been sunny, I've been at my payin' job. If it's sunny in the morning, the sun comes straight through the windows and washes out the photos. If it doesn't, then the room is too dark, and I don't have a good external flash. Today I said to heck with it and brought in a floor lamp I've got, lit the place up a bit, and did the best I could. I'm still not crazy about these shots. The perfectionist in me is grumpy, and she's a pushy broad when miffed. A photography class is in my future. So be kind, or leave photo tips. Or a fifth of something. End disclaimer/rant]