Sunday, April 22, 2012

Twin Boys' Room Part II

The goal for Ben and Joe's room was for it to be a play space as well as bedroom space. Our basement level isn't yet ready for habitation, and the sole living room in my 1939 Cape Cod is too small to host the inevitable tide of Lego pieces, Nintendo paraphernalia, books, and Hot Wheels cars associated with not one, but TWO eight-year-old boys.

Luckily, their room, which is on the second floor, is spacious enough for all of that. While it is under the gable and not a complete full ceiling room, I was able to arrange it with the two twin beds under the eaves (enough head space even for adults), and a big floor space in the middle for play.

A made bed? Who's fantasy world is this?
Above you can see a book shelf niche that was built in to the wall, rather badly. One of the things still on the list to do is clean up the trim, and paint both it and the plywood back. The window that defines the full ceiling height (though it's only really 7 feet) is in between the beds.

Monkeys, bats, and fuzzy puppies.
Above is the other side of the window. You can get more of an idea of the ceiling lines of the room in this shot. The quilts are Nautica, and Mom and I got them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I like them for their 1950s classic boy's room feel even though they are new. How many times can you go through the register line to use up those "one item only" discount coupons? Just ask me. The pillow shams are sewn (by me) of denim recycled from a futon cover. To be perfectly honest with you, they're only there to gussy up the room for company; the boys wouldn't put up with them on a regular basis. And it's not like this is pillow overload even in this photo. There must be something on the male DNA strand that rejects multiples of pillows. Or throws them on the floor.

"We seem to have run a'bureau, Cap'n!"
The dresser is a few years old, and is another piece of Sears, Roebuck mail order furniture, pine, that I saw fit to paint. I did it with my twelve-year-old son's school desk in this post here. It's already got some dings and wear you can see in the photo. It was from the era in my life (which I'm now over. Who wants to do what everyone else is doing?) when I worshiped all things Pottery Barn, and sought Pottery Barn Look for Barn Sale Price. I've got more money in the new hardware than I've got in the piece of furniture. There's a matching dresser/bookcase piece too, but it wouldn't fit along any of the walls in the new home, and is now in the walk-in closet, which I'd like to turn into a reading nook.

The artwork is a collage I put together of patriotic background fabric, an old Life magazine cover that had become separated from the rest of its edition, some vintage post cards, vintage celluloid buttons, and some military themed ribbon and appliques from the fabric store.

I'm a big fan of using or reusing what you already have. These curtains were a Pottery Barn Outlet bargain bin score from years ago, which my oldest son eventually rejected as being too childish for his room. The red/blue stitching picks up the other colors in the room and the decorative stitching in the quilts perfectly. Isn't it nice when things just work out that way?

The rug is an inexpensive one from I wanted something I could literally carry out to the driveway and hose down if I needed to (And trust me. I'll need to.)

I think the design looks like quilt squares. The boys see kites and Stealth Bombers.
The boys also chose something personal to hang above their beds. Ben wanted his first initial:

The art is a Hobby Lobby frame with plaid patterned scrapbook paper spray-adhesived to stiff cardstock. A wood craft letter was spray-painted red, and also spray-glued to the design. It's popped into the frame with no glass to make room for the three-dimensional letter.

This one was a lot easier. Joe is absolutely crazy about Saturn right now, and I found an artist's illustration of Saturn from a vintage astronomy magazine from a seller on Etsy. I only had to slide it into the frame, and it was ready to hang. Joe was soooo pleased!

Bonus fun photos:

Let's play Blue's Clues!

Can the '90s be vintage already? The photo above is Side Table Drawer, a character in the Nickelodeon's children's show Blue's Clues. All my boys were huge fans, and Noah, my twelve-year-old, loved Side Table Drawer most of all. I designed this piece of furniture for his third birthday, his Dad built it, and I painted it to look like the cartoon. I'm terribly sentimental about this piece. All the boys have loved it, and "she" is like a member of the family. But even Ben and Joe have outgrown her, and are asking for "grown up" nightstands for their beds. (Excuse me while I get a tissue.....)

Now let's get our science on:

Here's a little detail from the shelf, above. A good friend of mine gave me an old mounted rock and mineral specimen box, which must have belonged to one of her parents. We love it! Oh, and RAWR! (From the dinosaurs. Little plastic savages dominate our world.)

What's left:
I was so in a hurry to get the room to an acceptable level to be occupied that a lot of trim painting got overlooked. I need to finish painting the built in shelf, the built in bookshelf/desk, and the baseboard trim. And while I admit it would  make the room look tons better, spending hours with a paintbrush in my hand slapping on just plain white paint doesn't really set me on fire to get going. Can I get a witness?

Toy bins or boxes that corral the mess. At age eight the boys are getting close to being done with the massive amounts of pretend play toys that dominate the younger set. So I'm loathe to invest in an expensive toy chest. Vintage ones can be a safety issue, and are usually too small for our 21st century consumption habits anyway. I need to consider my options before the 3 percent of all Legos ever manufactured in the universe that we seem to own overwhelm that room.

I'm on the fence about bedskirts for the beds. While I think there is a hint of a bare, barracks like feel to their room because they don't have them, I'm not a big fan of them for boys' beds. They seem like in that case, they should be called "sand catchers."

Out of the the four bedrooms, three of them are 95 to 100 percent done. Next up is my room, which will take multiple posts and multiple projects to get done, since it started off in the worst shape. Look for it in future posts!

See Twins' Room Part I here. 


  1. Super cute! I especially like that bright blue on the dresser. Nice touches everywhere - those kids are lucky!

    1. Thank you! It's an amazingly big room for a bedroom; but with twins, it's a godsend to have that much space to work with.

  2. I always see sooooo many people mention Pottery Barn on their blogs, well - the more fancy design type blogs if you know what I mean. :) They always say thing like "I want my house to look like the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog". I always think the same as you, "Why do you want your place to look like a carbon copy of everyone else's place???" I just don't get it! Props to you for decorating your sons room beautifully, while on a budget, AND it looks awesome and unique! I love it!!!

    ps- I totally would not worry about the bed skirts either, I think the beds look just fine without them!

    1. Thank you so much!

      Pottery Barn is also big into ivory, beige, light tan....I'd drive myself nuts trying to keep a house in those colors clean with all these boys. AND I think it's boring. I like bright colors.

  3. I love your Side Table Drawer ~ too cute!