Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big-Girl Garden Room Reveal: Your Book Nook

Dear Em,
* This is part of a five post room reveal. For more peaks into the room, see also Big Girl Garden Room Reveal: The BedBig Girl Garden Room Reveal: Dressing UpBig Girl Garden Room Reveal: Star Gazing, & love letters. *

When I was a little girl, I longed for a book nook. One of my rooms had a window in an alcove, & I dreamed of a sweet little window seat in it. I would have read so many books in my quaint little book nook. Your papi worked on my room for months, & I forced a smile on my face when there was no window seat or book nook in my room reveal. I also never got the large weeping willow I wanted so badly so I could sit under it & read away my summer breaks. I was forced to go swimming in our pool instead. I know, it was a difficult childhood I lead.

Designing your big-girl room was my chance to finally give your room what I thought every little girl should have: a book nook.

Creating this book nook wasn't all sunshine & butterflies. I had a very specific plan for the shelves, & what you see is not what the plan entailed. Remember how I had bought these organizing cubes from Home Decorators Collection for a crazy amazing price? Well, I soon learned that they were a crazy amazing price because they were pieces of crap. I was in the middle of putting them together when I realized that not all of the right pieces needed to put the shelves together were even in the box. Then one piece completely fell apart & broke. No wonder they didn't even ask me to return them to the store. They just sent me a gift card for what I had paid (since I had bought them when they went on sale 5 months earlier). Luckily I can use the gift card at Home Depot, because I wasn't planning on buying anything else from their company.

That left me with no shelves, & have you noticed how expensive shelves are? Crazy expensive. I searched online for a replacement, but with the extra we spent on your bed I knew we couldn't afford to also splurge on shelving. That was it for me. Between the changes we had with your bedding & the disaster of the shelves, I'd had it. 

That's when I started to cry...over a bedroom design. I know. I'm not exactly proud, but that's what happened. In the middle of my tears & feeling bad for myself, I started an Etsy search. Etsy saved your room (& saved us a lot of money).

I found someone who was selling white-washed wooden crates that had been made into shelves. She didn't have as many as I wanted, but it gave me an idea. I ordered 12 unfinished, wooden crates from a wholesaler. They were more expensive than my original plan for shelves, but much cheaper than anything else I found. They also give the garden room the rustic vibe I was going for.

The crates were delivered disasembled. 12 crates= 60 sides. Your nonnie, cousin Michaela & I stained all 60 sides. I picked out a pink stain at Home Depot (well, I thought it was pink, it came out more purple) & a whitewash stain. It took what felt like forever to put two coats of stain on all 60 of the sides. Your nonnie & cousin Michaela will probably tell you I tortured them by making them stain in the garage in 100 degree heat. I just tried to smile, lie & say we were almost done, & bribe them with Dels Lemonaid. I'm sorry not to have pictures of us staining the 60 sides, but I'm pretty sure Nonnie & Michaela would have murdered me if I took out my camera.

Once the sides were stained, it was really easy for your daddy & I to put the crates together (they had pre-drilled holes). I was incredibly nervous about making the individual crates into shelves & anchoring them to the walls (like I said previously, I don't don't have a lot of confidence in our craftmanship), but that was actually pretty easy too.

I love the result, & it makes me smile to think we made this. We also finally have a spot to store a lot of your knick knacks, baby dolls, stuffed animals, & the library of books you've accumulated. 

We topped each shelf with purple flower prints that I found at Home Goods for a great deal. Michaela & I painted the frames pink to bring a little more of your two favorite colors, pink & purple, into the room.

While I was perusing Etsy for shelving ideas, I also came across bench ideas for the window seat. I found benches that were inexpensive, colorful, & rustic: just what I needed. I ordered your bench from Square Nail Furniture. I highly recommend this Etsy shop. They were so responsive. "Um, what if we made a bench this size by this size?" "No problem." "What if it was this size by this size." "No problem, but we'll charge you less." They let me customize the size (I needed it shorter & deeper) & the color (sunflower). I love the sturdiness of it. I love the rustic look of it. I love that there is an area for storage bins. I love that the shop refunded some of my money when they realized delivery would cost slightly less than what they had originally projected.

We added some throw pillows from Home Goods & Walmart (can you believe that Walmart had a better online selection of throw pillows than anyone else?), & we had created the window seat I always wanted.

We kept your yellow curtains from your old room & added some white sheers. I think they add a sunniness & match your bench so well.

To add a little more seating, we brought in your yellow rocking chair & your pink bunny chair from your nursery. Since "and they lived happily ever after," is one of your favorite lines from the books you read, the frame that we were given as a wedding present fits perfectly just above your bunny chair. I just added a happy picture of the three of us.

We also bought you a big, pink beanbag chair, personalized with your name on it. It was on-sale at Pottery Barn Kids. We figured it would be another comfy spot for you to read until your heart's content. 

And when the lights go out, the string lights we got from Target, give your room a little night-time magic.

There's one extra finishing touch that I put on your room to make your nights a little magical, & I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Until then, you might find me sitting on your window seat, lost in a book & the beauty of what sits just outside your window.

I love you so,

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