Necessity is the Mother of… Rearranging.

I spent a week up to my eyeballs in kids’ clothes, going through eight bins and five boxes, and realized I needed to rearrange furniture so my two oldest girls could use small matching dressers from other rooms for extra storage of undergarments and shorts/jeans/skirts.

You may not be able to tell, but there was a system in all this madness.  Post-its everywhere: “Too big for S” or “Too small for A” and so on, so I knew into which bin it would need to be sorted.

The small dressers were previously in my other girls’ bedroom and the main bathroom, where they were either too small or not well utilized.  My older girls’ nightstands were also small and not well utilized, and toys littered the floor under their nightstands.  The new dressers-as-nightstands also freed up some much needed space in their tiny under-the-attic-stairs closet.

Form and function… aaaaahhhhh.  And a free project among so many money projects this summer… double aaaaahhhhh!


Campaigning Again!

I made over a campaign desk earlier this year and love how it looks in my guest room.  So when I saw a campaign dresser in my favorite resale shop, I wanted it.  But I really had no way to incorporate a black piece of furniture into any room in my house.  I’m all earth tones.

campaign dresser

After playing Musical Furniture (again), I was looking for a wider – but still lower than the window – dresser.  I kept coming back to this dresser, then walking away.  For a few months.

Earlier this month, I purchased a table for my foyer and painted it an almost white.  It’s basically a smaller version of what was there before, but meant I had less space to fill.  Still on the hunt for new hardware.

It finally occurred to me that I could *gasp* paint the already painted dresser.  The heavy beast was purchased and loaded into my van, taking up an entire row of the bench seats and having only an inch or so of clearance. I managed to unload it from my van, but couldn’t even move it from the driveway to the house.  A dolly went on my Christmas wish list.

Did I mention the hubby was coming home from a week long work trip THAT DAY?!  “Hi honey, how was your trip?  I have no idea how that large black object appeared in our driveway.  You want to help me carry it upstairs?”

After procrastinating for a few days, and therefore making my children walk around the dresser and drawers, which were removed in an attempt to make the extremely heavy piece slightly less heavy, I got around to painting.

I let the girls put their clothes in the dresser last night and put the hardware back on this morning.  I think it looks great in their room!

A Room for Two

My 11- and 4-year old girls were not only sharing a room, but sharing a full-size bed.  This wasn’t really a problem until recently, when my 4-year old decided she needed all but 6″ of the bed, and would kick and toss and turn, keeping my 11-year old awake.  I’d planned on them having their own beds, and they used to have their own beds, but with the addition of adopted children, I did a lot of rearranging furniture and ended up one bed short of finding beds I like and that fit my style.  (Truth be told, with the boys having bunk beds, I’m still short two beds I like, but they have their own space to sleep, so it’s not as big a deal right now.)

This past weekend, I went to an antique store and bought two mismatched but similar beds, and then began the hunt for bedding.  The girls have some decorations in turquoise that I knew I wanted to work around, and I also knew I wanted a bold floral pattern.  The bedding sets came in (minus one sham, with the replacement on the way) and went right on the beds, and they’re exactly what I wanted!

The secretary from the guest room has been moved into the girls’ room and fits nicely between the closet and bathroom doors.

I still need to find a chair.  Oh, wait.

There it is.  This is controlled chaos, people.

I still have other things to do in this room, like buy blinds for the windows, make curtains, and ideally find a different piece to serve as the nightstand/dresser.  I’m toying around with the idea of wall-mounted lighting for the beds, which I’m sure will just make my husband’s day!

It’s progress, and progress feels so good!  Plus, the girls are both saying they’re sleeping better!

Playing “Musical Furniture” Upstairs

When we moved in, my husband put every piece of furniture exactly where I asked, without (much) complaint.  At the risk of sounding mushy, I adore that man.  I mentioned in my last post that I was shopping for two twin beds to replace the full bed two of my girls had been sharing.  Well, I found them, drove 45 minutes to pick them up, drove home and dropped off my husband, kids, and beds, then drove to the mattress store to buy mattresses and bunkie boards.

I managed to order mattresses and bunkie boards, but the ones I wanted weren’t in stock.  I’m waiting for a call anytime now, since they’re supposed to be in today.  Which means the girls are still sharing a bed, but only for a couple of days.

Anyway… while I was shopping for mattresses, my husband was at home putting the beds together.  When I arrived home, I found the assembled beds sitting in the middle of the room, waiting to be told where to go.  The full-size iron bed had been moved to the guest room and was already set up, so that was one big job done.  I started playing with the beds, and realized that the highboy my girls keep their jeans and shorts in just wasn’t going to work in the room.  Leaving it in its place meant the beds had to be scrunched on the other side of the room, and arranging the beds how I liked meant the highboy looked out of place on either of the walls it could live.  I like that piece too much to have it look like an afterthought.

I mentioned to my husband that I’d just have to find another room to put it in, and his immediate response was “On this floor, please.”  Well okay.  The guest room had a small secretary against one wall that actually belongs to one of the girls in this room, so I brought the secretary into the girls’ bedroom and moved the highboy into its spot in the guest room.

At first I felt like I was losing so much storage space for the girls, because their closet is the smallest of all the closets upstairs.  The nightstand they’d used previously was much too small for the space between their beds, so I moved the nightstand into the guest room and moved a chest from the upstairs landing into the space between the beds.

I’m not crazy about the chest as it is now, but my grandparents were getting rid of two of them, and I knew I could do something with them.  (The twin is in my bathroom, which had ZERO storage space.  Not even a place for my toothbrush.)  Ideally, I’d have a piece slightly shorter and wider to better fill the space beneath the window.  But it works for now.

Back to the subject.  The three drawers in this chest work just as well as the five drawers on the highboy because part of the highboy was used for linen storage.  I can keep extra linens for all of the upstairs bedrooms in the bottom drawers of the highboy, and still leave space for guests in the upper drawers.

I had some errands to run today and one of my girls spotted the mirrors that are now hanging over the beds.  The other day, I told her what I was looking for, and she asked if these would work.  Why, yes.  Yes they will.  (My husband just looooves drilling into plaster walls.)  By the way, I’ve tried many different ways to figure out how to hang pieces at the exact same height, and I finally figured it out.

First, my son held the mirror where I wanted it to be on the wall, and I measured the distance from the ceiling to the top of the mirror (19″).  I flipped the mirror over and measured from the top of the mirror to the places where the nails would hook in (8.5″).  I marked a spot at 27.5″ on the wall.  Then I measured the distance between the two hook-in places (11.5″).  I measured the total width of the part of the wall I was working with (between the window and corner), marked the middle, then marked 5.75″ out to the left and right.  Make sure your marks are level!  Drill into the plaster, put in the perfectly spaced nails, and hang perfectly level piece!  No guessing, and no sheepishly asking your husband to re-drill a hole a fraction of an inch away.  And easy to repeat on the other side of the window for a matching piece!

I can’t wait to see this room with bedding, bedside lighting, and who knows what other fun stuff!