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June 28, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Operation Grown-Up

By Rachael Ellen More Blogs by This Author

I never went for the tabloids plastered with Zac Efron’s face in the grocery checkout lines. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive, (anybody with eyeballs could see that he was adorable) it had more to do with the fact that there was something better to read. Standing “patiently” with Mom as she completed the transaction, I would glance over the propaganda that littered the checkout lane. Like clockwork, my eyes always dove to the very bottom shelf of the magazine rack where a few precious rows of Home Decor magazines dwelled. These were more than a quick distraction: They were my version of crack cocaine. I was an interior design junky. From a young age, I fell in love with interior decorating, and my habits only became more pronounced as I got older.

Every few years, I would spice up my bedroom with a fresh coat of paint and a new comforter, pouring over HGTV magazines and scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration to fuel  my next design phase. The final installment of the Rachael’s Room Saga ended on a kind of blue note, in more ways than one. In the most literal sense possible, my bedroom is actually a light blue, but my sentiment was also a reference to a more emotional transition. I’ve reached that point in my life where everything is starting to change: I’m moving out for the first time, heading off to college, saying goodbye to my mom and dad...  All of life’s “big kid stuff.” But, before the tiny violins start to play as I put on my big-girl-panties,  I thought I would share how my room makeover transformed a kid’s room into an “adult” styled escape.

Picking Your Paint

Learn from my mistake people: CHOOSE YOUR BEDDING BEFORE YOU PAINT THE WALLS (Yes, that absolutely did require capital letters). Finding a bedding that speaks to you and jumbles all of your favorite textures and colors is not always an easy task. Taking the time to find the right one is like dating; you browse the merchandise, look for good quality, and then see if it makes good snuggle material. Once you have made a commitment and said “I do” at the checkout line, go color shopping. Taking bedding that you love to a paint store and having a professional match colors is a much simpler choice, and it sets a bedroom on the right track to a uniformed look.

My mistake, again, led to me loving my paint choice before finding my bedding soul mate. Fortunately, after some dedicated stalking of Bed Bath & Beyond, I was able to find a quilt that combined all of my criteria. The bad news was that the shams that matched the quilt were no longer available (another side effect of having rotten dumb luck). Thankfully, when you have an awesome mom, sewing some shams in a bold fabric to match your quilt isn’t an issue. 

Using Whatcha Got

No question about it, I was spoiled with my room. Not only did I land the master bedroom when we transformed the attic into sleeping quarters, but I was surrounded with some stunning architecture! Thanks to the sloped ceiling caused by the house’s gable, I had many different angles to work with. When the room had been completed, two built in shelves had been added to store all of my Barbies and My Little Ponies. As I got older, these shelves became prime display space.

Okay, so here is where the confessional comes into play, mixed with some advice.

If you love something (hobby, sport, style, band, whatever!) incorporate that passion into your space. Somewhere in my childhood, I became obsessed with strange, antique knick-knacks. You can find glass jars, lanterns, beat-up oil cans, bird cages, and a plethora of  alphabet blocks scattered around my room. My parents thought I was going to become TLC’s next Hoarder. However, to their surprise, I had a design plan.

The last touch I needed had to make an impact...

What A Pane

The main wall in my room was bland. Similar to lima beans. You know that they serve a good purpose, and they are necessary in the completion of your meal before you are excused from the table, but they don’t have much flavor. So, my focal wall was just that: a blue, boring lima bean.The entirety of my quarters was beginning to look put together, tied in a burlap, vintage bow. But that one wall needed some pop.

To add a little old time charm, it took some some digging through Pitsch in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and some wheeling-and-dealing at local barn sales, but finally, my wall of windows came together. My goal was to do different sizes and textures, and I was actually even able to find a different, complementing color to complete my paned piece. But, like every good thing, it took some patience.

 I would suggest, if you are looking for some of these great pieces as accents to your home, explore unusual places. Frequent flea markets and barn sales. More often than not, you’re going to score a better deal and find a piece that is unaltered and ready to be harnessed into something functional and fun.

It wasn’t complete overnight by any means.The final product: A bedroom. A bedroom with spunk and style, bursting with all of the little things that help inspire me.


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