I thought I’d share what I did with N’s room first, since it’s the first room I completed after we bought our house. First of all, the whole thing is paneled in knotty pine. Real, honest-to-goodness 1956 knotty pine paneling, not the horrible pressed board stuff that’s really cheap at Lowe’s. This is the real deal. That being said, I really wanted to paint it and brighten the room. J was deadest against painting because he respects the knotty pine and feels real responsibility for preserving all old things both great (hello, Lincoln!) and small, so I relented and we left the pine alone.
The whole theme of the room is based around this amazing quilt my mother-in-law made N a couple of years ago.
Isn’t is gorgeous? She designed it herself when Noah picked an underwater theme for his bedroom. I just love the swimming sea turtles with their beautiful batik backs. It is truly a focal point of the room. Because N had picked an underwater theme for his room, and because I wasn’t allowed to paint the paneling, I found this removable “wallpaper”/mural made by Scene Setters that was perfect for brightening-up the room.
I won’t lie. This was a total pain-in-the keister to hang. All of the fish and sea creatures have to be cut-out of a big sheet which takes a really long time, depending upon the number of fish/sea creatures you wish to have swimming in your ocean. In addition, you have to hang the backdrop and then layer the sand portion on top before you apply the sea life. It took most of an afternoon, probably 4-6 hours, with the help of a friend, so not a quick project but totally worth it in the end. It really brought the “underwater” into N’s room. If you go to Party Cheap (in the link above) the price is around $33.00 for one of everything listed, which is what I purchased. I had a coupon code, along with a free shipping promotion at the time, so I paid around $28.00 for everything. Not too bad for a high-impact addition and a lot cheaper than wallpaper. Plus, I used those removable 3M poster hangers on the backdrop so when the time comes to remove it, the knotty pine will still be intact in all of its knotty glory.
The furniture in the room belonged to J when he was growing-up, so we paid $0.00 for these items. The only piece of furniture I bought for this room was this entertainment center for $10.00 off of Craigslist. We already had the TV, which was a grandparent hand-me-down from a technology upgrade, so it’s been a nice place for him to play his Gamecube and watch movies. (Yes, he has time-limits, fyi. Also, the Gamecube is a hand-me-down, as well, and I can still buy N “new” (to him) games on e-bay for as little as $.99. No, it’s not a Wii, which we don’t have, but I can’t afford $50.00 video games, anyway, and this thing is still AWESOME compared to the Atari 2600 I had as a kid. N quite enjoys his Gamecube.)
I bought this sea turtle print off of e-bay for $.99, free shipping, and the frame was a couple of dollars from my local Wal-greens with Christmas coupon. The jar that holds the seashells came from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon, as did the little sea turtle figures. I think all-told these items cost around $8.00, or so. The shells were collected on a trip to Mustang Island in Texas a couple of years ago, so those were free and a great reminder of a super fun time.
The cool shell art over N’s bed was found by a friend behind a thrift shop that was, apparently, throwing it away because it hadn’t sold, so this art was free, as well. In an odd-twist, the artist signed the piece and dated it on my birthday, which makes the piece even more special, although anything free tends to set my heart atwitter anyway. Yes, I’m cheap, wink wink. The net holding all of N’s stuffed animal friends was a gift, as was the net hanging on the wall next to his bed. These were from extremely thoughtful folks who knew I was doing an underwater theme, thus making them free for me. Even so, I know that these items were picked-up inexpensively, so definitely a doable thing if you’re on a budget. The blue curtains you see in the picture were from our previous house, so they didn’t cost anything extra this go around, although they were a really good bargain to begin with from Value City, which sadly no longer exists in our neck of the woods. Moment of silence.
To round out the turtlelisciousness of the room, I also bought a turtle pop-up hamper (you can see him peeking out of the corner in the entertainment center photo above) and a stuffed turtle friend (shown above in the quilt picture) from IKEA. I can’t find these items on their website to reference, though. It’s been a couple of years ago, so they may no longer sell them. I also don’t remember how much these items costs, although they were from IKEA, so not much. The rest of the stuffed sea creatures on the bed were already owned and just happened to go with the theme. Also, notice the “sand” carpet under the bed. This was picked-up inexpensively last year at Lowe’s during their back-to-college promotion. This should be occurring soon, or very soon. They will have boxes of these 5 X 7 rugs, in a variety of colors and piles, for around $20.00-$30.00 a piece. No, these are not fancy CB2 or West Elm, which I LOVE, by the way, but they are serviceable, look pretty nice and can be used in a variety of ways. Great for kids’ rooms and basements.
Finally, this guy was made by my very talented mother-in-law, as well. He’s actually a beach bag but when N became a little self-conscious about carrying a fish to the pool (my daughter still has hers and uses it all the time) we turned him into a wall-hanging.
Here’s a breakdown of what the room cost to put together (I’m rounding):
Furniture (Craig’s List entertainment center) – $10.00
Bedding – $0.00
Curtains – $0.00
Wall mural (including 3M removable tabs/double-sided tape) – $41.00
Artwork/decorations – $11.00
Turtle hamper (approximately) – $8.00
Stuffed Turtle friend (I think this is right)- $5.00
Carpet (5 X 7) from Lowe’s during their back-to-college sale – $20.00
Not bad for creating an underwater paradise for a nine year-old. Granted I have a lot of items that are gifts and we are lucky that J’s boy-hood furniture is still in decent shape so we’ve been spared that expense. Even if we did have to buy furniture though, I know I could find decent quality items at extraordinary prices if I bide my time and troll Craig’s List. It’s a veritable wonder-land of bargains. Yes, you have to be careful and you will encounter some very interesting people if you buy enough stuff. The bargains are so good, though, it’s worth the extra caution and trouble. At least for me, it is. You may disagree and that’s okay. It’s not for everyone, I know. I sure do love it, though. Craig makes me all gooey on the inside. I’ll share more of my treasures along the way, don’t worry about that. Also, I will share with you my unfettered love of IKEA. I will not apologize and I don’t want to hear about their business practices. They’re big business, what do you expect? At least they’re not Wal-mart. But, I digress…
I hope you’ve enjoyed my meanderings through the creation of the underwater sea turtle paradise. While I’m at it, I will go ahead and point-out the awkward furniture arrangement as everything is pushed along the walls. As I’ve stated before, though, I am not a designer and this is real life. I positioned the furniture in a myriad of ways and concluded that this makes the most sense for a nine year-old who has lots of friends playing in a 10 X 10 space. I did have the bed positioned facing out from the wall, rather than along the wall, for a long time, which is visually very nice. However, when I pushed his bed along the wall, N made a point of thanking me for moving his bed because he has so much room to play now and all of his soldiers can be in battle at the same time. I rest my case.
What about you? What excellent Craig’s List bargains have you found? Or, do you think it’s super creepy and you’ll never take the CL plunge? Let me know.
Coming soon with the house tour – I’m still getting some photos together.
Happy 4th of July!!