Friday, April 20, 2012

Twin Boys' Room Part I: Trashed Room to Play Space

Ben and Joe, my twins, are eight. Their room was the first we worked on once we got the keys to the house. Going between two households as kids with divorced parents is a difficult transition, and I wanted very much for my youngest boys not to have to land on this doorstep, new as it was to them last year, in a room that was a construction zone. I wanted something cheerful, sturdy, and ready to rock. A lot like them! Here are my little monster-men:

Here is what we started with:

There was bird poop and pet urine stains on indescribably filthy sculptured carpet, and the walls were paneled with an exterior grade plywood that was stained an odd pinkish orange--- I mean, where it was actually stained (see complete blank spot above). It was an execrable room.

But my oldest son Grant, my Mom, and I got busy tearing it out as soon as we got our hands on the house. I elaborate more in a post here. Grant tore out paneling (cussing nails all the way), and I tore out carpet and pad (cussing staples all the way). We had to say goodbye to some awesome but heavily damaged vintage wallpaper:

We repaired, primed and painted the walls Journal Book, a pale blue color from Valspar Paints.

We decided to keep two big features of the room. First, the streaky vinyl composition tile flooring. My Mom was the champ, getting all that green carpet glue goo off the floor, stripping, and waxing it back into some of its former glory:

This was before wax. Dark chocolate, cream, and caramel. Why am I suddenly thirsty for a latte?
 And here it is with its shiny new baseboard molding, added by my sister during her commando construction work visit in July 2010:

We also kept a built-in desk that is topped in dark blue swirled linoleum: Here's a close up of the awesome linoleum:

And a little detail of the metal edge. This was one of the do-it-yourself jobs that wasn't too badly done, though the desk and hardware need some cleaning up and fresh paint:

Here's a bigger shot of the bookshelf built in at the end of the desk:

You'll notice there is still some of that orangey-pink paneling lurking in all of these shots. It's one of the things that remains to do: prime and paint the rest of it. Thank heavens all the light blue and dark blue tones cool down the eyeball searing experience of having a whole room of it, like before. The dark blue wall is paneling that went down behind the desk. Ripping that out (along with all the outlets and light switches too) was going to be too much time, money, and aggravation, so I found a quart-size can of navy blue paint in the rejected colors section at Lowe's and it worked perfectly. It will do a better job hiding smudgy finger prints in a high traffic desk area than the lighter blue would have. I'd also like to tone up the stained metal supports on the shelf with some spray paint, but fear the mess.

Don't be fooled. Normally this desk is stacked with Legos, piles of Spider Magazine, and rocks.
 The framed print is a reproduction of a vintage "Flying Aces" aeroplane enthusiast magazine, stuck in an embarrassingly cheap plastic WalMart frame that I glossed up with red spray paint. The chalkboard you see on the left is one from my childhood-- I love the wood frame and circus animals.

The lamp is "free" in that I found it in the gutter on my way to work. I don't know if it missed the garbage truck or if the people who owned it loathed it so much they wanted it to experience the low life. I blogged about it here. The shade is a Target shade covered in a folded map insert from an old issue of National Geographic magazine. I even trimmed the edging of the map for the decorative trim on the shade. I could have done a better job with smooth edges, but since it was one of my first projects ever with spray adhesive and and the funky three-dimensional geometry of lamp shades, I think I did okay. The tin buckets are from the Dollar Spot at Target and Lowe's paint department.

Little details:

A built-in clock that had to come out of the wall (wiring issues). We're keeping it as shelf sculpture for now, though it's so cool we'd like to find a place to put it.

A glass knob (still gobbed up with paint) from the closet door:

Stay tuned for Sunday, Part II, and more new details on the twins' room! 


  1. Wow!!! The room looks amazing girl! Great job and your sons are super adorable. That floor, I LOVE that floor - props to your Mom for all of that scraping!!! I want to strangle people who paint all over door knobs and the such, ugh! Onto read part 2!

    1. I love that floor too, and with all my Mom's amazing hard work, it's ready for another fifty years or so. Thanks for all your encouragement!

  2. I don't envy you all the work, but it looks like it turned out to be a great room for your boys! :)