The DIY Project I Can No Longer Put Off

Last year Peter and I talked with Emma about redoing her bedroom, but time got away from us and it just never happened. There was some much-needed purging and cleaning out done, but that was it. She’s now 7, I mean, 13. Lavender paint and sweet birdy paintings, nice as they may be, are not quite her style anymore. Far from it, actually.

Its time. That girl of mine looks so out of place in that room. I have promised her it will all go down in the next 3 weeks. I made that promise not looking at the calendar, not thinking about other commitments, I’m really going to try and make her and that room my commitment. Remember though, the girl that made this promise has had no caffeine or alcohol in 14 days. I may not even know what I’m saying. Anyway…
Redoing a teenager’s room, of course, requires their input. Alright, okay, fine, if I have to. Guess no Scandi-inspired white room with modern furniture for me. I mean her. When I asked, it is clear that this girl has the developmentally appropriate style aesthetic of many 13 year old girls- steampunk, Doctor Who, and Minecraft.
Oh lord.
Thank goodess for pinterest. I have been pinning images for Emma’s room since last summer, hoping there would be lots to look through when the time finally came to take on this project and there is. I sat her down in front of the board I put together for her room, and was relieved that there was some common ground there. She also fell in love with several projects in this book, and listened to my suggestions for things like “a neutral base that can change with your tastes”. She even made the inspiration/mood board (above) to help us understand what she would like. We have an excellent starting point that is, thankfully for me, um, a little less themey and crazy. (Although I’m sure there will be a tardis in there somewhere. And look at all the steampunk, Doctor Who and minecraft fabric!)
I’m finally excited to get started (as excited for the deep-clean as for the redo)!
Of course, there are lists of needs and wants.
Major purge

New mattress, box springs
New bed frame
New window coverings
Patch walls, fresh coat of paint
Shampoo carpet
New artwork (hers maybe?) on the walls
New lighting
New bed quilt or comforter
New wall color
Area to “hang out” (cause, you know, teenagers do a lot of that)
There is nearly no budget to make this happen (is there ever a budget??) so Peter and I will be honing our DIY skills to create all kinds of things for this room. We’re currently discussing a new headboard. I love Erin’s daughter Jane’s upholstered headboard, that could be really cozy. The bookshelves need a new coat of paint. I would love to find a flea market piece to customize with paint and knobs. It’ll be fun. I’ll take lots of pictures.

  • erin

    June 26, 2012 at 6:03 am

    i love emma’s mood board. i bet this is going to be a fun project for both of you.
    and i have no doubt that you and peter can make a headboard. i’ve done it myself (although, i did not do jane’s). i’ve used plywood as a base and have started with an ugly headboard and added foam and fabric. my only advice: buy the new mattress, box springs, bed frame BEFORE you do the headboard. you gotta make sure you have the right measurements.

  • Dana

    June 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I wish I knew the Doctor when I was a kid because I’m pretty sure thats the ONLY theme my room would have…. 😀 Excellent job!

  • Erica

    June 26, 2012 at 7:37 am

    It’s a great collection of ideas — and you really can’t go wrong with Doctor Who as inspiration. If only teenagers’ rooms were bigger on the inside…
    Can’t wait to see the finished product — it’s going to be fantastic!

  • Megan

    June 26, 2012 at 7:47 am

    For more inspiration, check out Jen at she does “Saturday Steam” posts and cool DIY stuff…including a desk top made of pennies!

  • jill

    June 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

    oh, Dr. Who is so fun! I still love him (and I’m 36 now). Has she seen the old Dr. Whos with the 4th doctor (Tom Davis, I think his name was?). His best companion, Ramona, was very stampunk-y (though not on purpose, it not being a style back then).
    Have fun!

  • Nettie

    June 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Oooh, I’m so excited to see what you come up with together, and on a DIY budget. I just started a hallway redo, that I posted about on my blog. My 10 yr old, wants to redo her room, but since it hasn’t been long since I did it, she has to wait a bit. Perhaps I can take some inspiration from your room make over. I wish you luck working with a 13 yr old. =)

  • lorien

    June 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I just finished my 12 year-old daughter’s room. She is away at Farm Camp for a month, so I was able to move everything out of the room first, and organize it before it went back in. It really helped me think about what she needed for her room to be functional. Her interests are sports, dragons, and farming…so I went with an art deco look of, of course;)

  • Heather

    June 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    oh yes I also feel I need to finally redo my 13 year olds room. and yes the freshen up thing is something to look forward to. Just need to make it happen. what a good idea to look on pinterest. Good luck lets see if we can do it! Heather

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Good idea on the mattress etc before, we tend to get irrational about things like that when we’re in the moment! I am thinking we can use that Grace Bonney Design Sponge video for a how-to when we’re ready.

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    We will have to incorporate some Doctor in there!

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    She’s got the best room in the house… its big (minus the pre-teen stuffed animal clutter) and has great potential. We’re definitely going to have some fun.

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you Megan!

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    She’s seen every single episode, knows all the doctors, she’s truly obsessed. I think that’s where the steampunk thing all started for her.

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks Nettie, it will be very interesting I’m sure!

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I think I’m going to need to do that, move everything out. Plus if we’re going to do that it all needs a thorough deep cleaning out. I forgot how Emma loves dragons too, must incorporate that!

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Pinterest and the visuals there helped Emma and I understand each other that simply explaining really couldn’t.

  • lauradodson

    June 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    DR. WHO!!!!!! Our 15 and 17 yr old sons LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Dr. Who. It is getting a bit O.L.D. and strange. sheesh.

  • Laura Smith

    June 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I can totally relate. I am currently knitting some Tardis socks for my just-turned-14-year-old. Also, she has gotten us to promise to build a life-size Tardis for the garden when we sell our current home and move. Ah the DIY things we do for our special people!

  • regina

    June 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Looks like a BIG but fun project ahead. My guys are going to flip when I tell them there is Minecraft fabric! They are obsessed! Have your kids seen the Minecraft Papercraft Mini Mobs? They are all over our house.

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