It was just too spur of the moment to have had the foresight to take "before" shots. I wasn’t planning on doing much more than tossing out some toys while the kid was on a camping trip. But what started out as a "I’ll just rearrange a few things" turned into a 24-hour, caffeine and IKEA-fueled marathon of productivity. Let me take you back, to last weekend…
(enter blurred, wavy lines as we go back in time together)
So it was last weekend and as I was going through some of Cole’s stuff in his closet, taking advantage of the fact that he was on a camping trip with his Dad and nowhere in the vicinity to say, "BUT YOU CAN’T THROW THAAAAAAT AWAY!", and I realized this: you live 20 minutes from IKEA and no one is here to stop you from going.
A little back story is in order… For a long time now, I’ve yearned to re-do Cole’s room, mostly to give it a semblance of order and to make it look as if there is a small, creative boy who sleeps there. Long since gone are the Pottery Barn dreams of nautical themed rooms which would have put us in debt on par with our vacation to Disney. (Remember: I am married to a Minnesotan. They are PRACTICAL.) No. I just wanted a little bit of order, and the possibility that he could open and close his own chest of drawers without the drawers falling out onto the floor, and crushing his size 3 feet. That, and maybe a dedicated place to store his $2,000 Lego Collection. (Okay, maybe Minnesotans aren’t that practical all the time.)
So there I am, in his room, toying with the idea of rearranging the furniture when it hit me: now is the time to go to IKEA and get this boy some furniture because there is no one here talk you out of it.
Dan isn’t super huge on IKEA because I think he thinks it’s a bit cheap. Me? I ADORE that store. A few years back, I redid my entire office in IKEA. The results? FABULOUS. Every day I’m in the office (which is, oddly enough, every day) I am happy. Happy and not in debt, because I spent less than $600 to redo an entire room, complete with lighting and chachki’s. IKEA = good.
So, risking a possible backlash of discontent from my better half, and throwing caution to the wind, I headed out. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I wasn’t going to labor over the choice: I needed a chest of drawers and a night stand for starters. Maybe toss in a few lamps and some frames, and boom—instant room upgrade.
Here’s what I got:
A 4-drawer Malm chest in birch.
The matching 2-drawer chest.
When all was said and done, my bill came to $204 bucks. I headed home and began the arduous assemblage process, as well as the way more arduous cleaning and sorting process.
It was the cleaning and sorting that led me to realize I needed more stuff, and so… I decided to head to Target to pick up some under bed boxes for storage of Cole’s artwork when I came across these cool Itso bins (perfect for all those Legos). So I added four to my basket, along with some other storage bins, a bulletin board, an alarm clock and a few frames, then returned home to keep working.
24 hours later, his room, while not a PB showroom in any way shape or form, now looks a bit like this:
I even spent time in the closet, hanging some of the gazillion ball caps that pepper my home.
The verdict? The boy thought it rocked.
I also hung stuff on the walls, like some of his random instruments, or cool momentos, like his autographed Saints’ stadium cushion, which prompted the following phrase: "It’s like I live in a museum."
And now, with the new lighting scenario in place, it’s SUPER cozy at night.
The bottom line? The boy LOVED it. The bulletin board was definitely his favorite part, I think. He immediately added photos of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Weird Al to put his finishing touches on it.
And the bottom line for me? A room that has order, and a little more peacefulness, and gives the kid a hope in hell when i say, "Go clean your room."
To sum up:
Trip to IKEA: $204
More stuff from Target: $85
A kid who can FINALLY put his own laundry away because he has smoothly sliding and spacious drawers? Priceless.