Hulett House: The Girls' Room 2.0 - the work

One of my top priorities for our house this year was revamping the Girls' Bedroom. Since Isora's bed frame broke a few months ago I've been dying to get into their room and redo the whole thing. 

So when Tracey said she was going to IKEA and needed my help (and by "my help" she meant my husband's) to get her and Mom's new mattresses in the truck, I didn't hesitate to jump onboard. What sane person turns down a trip to IKEA? Not this one! 

*2 Sisters 2 Houses PSA - IKEA can be a really overwhelming place to shop, particularly if you don't know their layout or get stressed out by a million people crammed into a ginormous store. Always spend too much when you get to the big blue box? Wind up forgetting something totally crucial to your project? Save yourself the stress and headache and shop online before you go to the store. Add everything to your shopping list. Get yourself the IKEA app for your phone. The whole shopping list, including whether or not it's available at your store, and where it's located, is on your phone when you get to the store. You just check everything off as you go. It's brilliant. Going to IKEA? Get the app. You're welcome. 

So we got to IKEA, shopping list in hand, and were sticking to the minimal list of odds and ends we had on our list. When suddenly we wandered into the Kid's section and saw this beauty...

We had planned to buy a twin over twin bunk bed with a trundle from Amazon for around $500. But when we saw this one for $150, we couldn't say no. 

The only drawback? It's natural pine and would need to be painted white to work in the girls room. But we were crazy enough to think painting this thing wouldn't be too bad. 

Another thing that needed replacing in their room? My gorgeous midcentury rocker. This one really hurts. They have jumped and pulled on that thing to the point where there's a giant rip in the seam of the vinyl and the webbing underneath is shot to hell. I'm hoping to have it recovered and put it somewhere else in the house, but in the meantime, they needed a good book-reading chair in their room. 

We posted a couple months ago about all the armchairs we were drooling over and this bright pink Nina chair from World Market has been nagging me ever since.

World market pink nina chair.jpg

So when they announced their huge furniture sale AND I had a 15% coupon and a $10 shopper's reward...well I got that chair for $175, originally priced at $300. SCORE!

Then I hit up the 75% sale and got this beautiful rug, for $100, shipped for free. 

So now that we had our large pieces all gathered, we were ready to pick a weekend to attack the Girls' Room. And by "we" I mean me. I didn't warn Michael in advance, just had all the stuff ready to go and he had no choice but to go along with it. 

First things first? We needed to paint the bed. After some very informal Facebook research surveys (and a healthy debate between me and Michael) we decided to paint the pieces first and then put it together. This was not my choice. But in the end Michael was right (do you hear that Husband?!) and it was the smarter choice. But just look at all those pieces...

After determining how many pieces there were and what would be seen, we decided NOT to paint the bed slats. Because no one would see them. And there were 28 of those suckers!! 

Another decison I'm glad we made? Primer first then paint. I didn't do this step with the dresser I painted for their room. Just went right at it with latex wallpaint and then wondered why all the grain and knots were still showing through. So I asked at our local Mom & Pop hardware store what would help eliminate that and they recommended this product, Zinsser BIN Primer, which I am now in love with...

We got to work early Saturday afternoon, hoping but not expecting to finish painting on Saturday. But once we popped open this primer and got our system down, we were pleasantly surprised by how fast the process went. 

Our system was simple and surprisingly effective. We laid out all the like pieces (and first pieces we would need to assemble), and we each painted half. By the time we got finished with the first coat of primer on everything we could go back to the first pieces, that were dry to the touch, flip them and prime the back sides. By the time we got done with the second side, we took a couple minutes break and then attacked the second coat. Once the whole second coat was done we took a lunch break. 

We noticed that the second coat of primer REALLY covered the wood. You couldn't see the pine knots or even grain. And we even painted over that probably-important bed safety sticker thingy and you could barely see it with two coats of primer. 

After lunch we painted one coat of paint, took a break (since wall paint takes longer to dry), then worked on another coat. By dinner time the first round of pieces was finished. So while I cooked dinner and took care of the minions, Michael primed the second round of pieces. After dinner he painted the second round and everything had overnight to really dry so we were all ready to assemble by Sunday morning. 

We still had to take down the beds and clear out the room before we could even attempt building the bunk bed in there. Which was surprisingly faster than I thought it would be. 

Aren't these floors gorgeous?

Aren't these floors gorgeous?

Michael had to go to work before we could start assembling so me and the girls took that moment to start decorating the walls with these 2" gold dot decals. My inspiration was something really organic and haphazard, like a galaxy of golden stars close to the ceiling, gradually fading into a few scattered suns near the floorboards. 

What I love about this look is how glamorous yet playful it is. Perfect for a glam girly room. These decals are awesome. They're removable and reusable, so if the random design wasn't working out we could move them around and play with the configuration. So I started in one corner, gradually making my way across the wall, when suddenly, I ran out of stickers.


 It's not nearly as dense along the ceiling as I want it to be and there's an entire portion of the wall we couldn't even touch. I'll finish this wall this weekend when the next package of decals arrives. 

As far as assembling the bed goes, thankfully there are no pictures. There was a lot of cussing involved and a whole lot of frustration. One of Michael's least favorite thing to do is to build IKEA furniture. And one of my least favorite things to do is to read instructions. So when I didn't read all the way to step 16 saying that now was the time to tighten down all the bolts, it caused some issues, since had been constantly loosening and then re-tightening the bolts. You would think I would learn by now but take this as my cautionary tale: always read all the directions first before assembling any flat pack furniture item!!!

Once the bed was assembled (hallelujah) we went ahead and got the mattresses right on the beds, because the girls were dying with anticipation to climb up on that top bunk. Seriously. They were thrilled. Within the first hour of being assembled the top bunk was turned into a double decker bus, a zoo and a mansion, and the bottom bunk was a hot tub and a doctor's office (thanks "Barbie: Life in the Dream House" for teaching my girls about hot tubs).  

We got the bed in place on the long empty wall, threw down the rug, rotated some of the furniture around until it all 'fit' and were so pleasantly surprised by the huge increase in floor space in the room. It's seriously roomy in there now! Plenty of area for all their baby dolls and American Girls. 

Next we attempted to make the beds. I say attempted because someone really should have warned me that making the top bunk of a bunk bed was the 7th circle of hell. It's not for the weak or easily ruffled. I have battle wounds from trying to make that bed. Thankfully, none but me will ever care if it's made anyways, right? There's got to be a better way, but for now, it's messy, and oh well. 

Look at this face. How proud she was of her Mom and Dad to put this whole cool room together. In the words of Isora "TADA! Isn't it so beautiful Mommy?!" 

Next came the fun part. Decorating!! I've been collecting art pieces to put in their room for a while now. So I roughly put together a gallery collection on the floor to work out the arrangement before hanging it. 

Then I hung the mirror that I gleaned off Tracey when she was moving (I painted Radiant Orchid this past fall and never got around to hanging it). 


And I hung the cool Land of Nod curtains that I got on sale. With a curtain rod from IKEA.

That is where I will leave this story for today...come back tomorrow for the big reveal and where all the accessories and such ended up. 

But seriously, HELP!!! Any tips on making the top bunk of a bunk bed?

Curious if our readers have any IKEA tips of their own. This could make for an awesome blog post. Leave your tips and tricks for big-blue-box shopping in the comments section!!