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Kuddos to this Kiddo Space

Its International Women's Day today, in the midst of Women's History Month, and I keep remembering or reading about amazing women (not to mention knowing and working with many!). 

So today I want to share another amazing woman who made this beautiful space for her child...

by herself...

with her own tools...

while pregnant... 

Emily Higgins is a rockstar! 

Great DIY chops here! 

With another one on the way, it was time to bump up their toddler, Oliver, to his big-kid room. 

And if you are a mom with a design itch, thats such a fun prospect. Kids rooms are fun. Full of design opportunity we don't afford ourselves in other spaces. But also full of challenges (where do the toys go?!). 

I asked Emily to divulge a bit on what went into her big-boy room makeover. Read on... 

Where did you get inspiration from for the overall aesthetic? 

So I always browse Pinterest for my room inspiration, but honestly for this one I never saw one room that sparked everything. This was by far the hardest to conceptualize. I found a few different pieces I loved about other rooms (the board and batten wall, the book arch - actually from an Instagram account called @withinthegrove, and the wall that is split solid color on the bottom and fun pattern on the top.) I've always taken the doors off of the closets and painted them an accent color, so that was always part of the plan. (I hate closet doors!) I had the hardest time creating a vision of everything I wanted to happen. I usually start in Illustrator and mock up the room, but this time my Illustrator mock doesn't look too similar to the final product. The split wall was the biggest challenge and I just kind of turned that into reality as I went. The biggest challenge there was that those storage units were ONE INCH too short of being able to use three across. So that's why I went with the diagonal style on the bottom and then just attached a piece of wood across the top to finish off the middle. 

Did you DIY, hire out, or both?

I DIY-ed the whole thing! And no, I don't have my husband help, the only thing I asked him to do was unjam my nail gun. LOL. (oh and a couple furniture builds/heavy lifting that weren't safe for me being pregnant) I honestly love DIY-ing woodwork and home renovation work! (I designed and built our laundry room almost all by myself at 7-8 months pregnant last time lol) Fun fact - I asked my husband for a chop saw for mother's day or my birthday this year hahaha.

The Before! The guest room about to get a creative upgrade

Tell me about that amazing board and batten design! How did you go about doing it?! 

This was the most fun part!! I love doing wood work like this. So, I actually did not go in with a solid plan. I had a design sketched out in Illustrator to measure approximately how much wood I would need, and then when it came time to putting it up, I had so much fun just going with the flow that I didn't even look at my pattern. You're going to think I'm crazy, but the only thing I actually measured with a tape measure on the whole wall was the distance from the floor to where I wanted the middle beam and the distance between each of the vertical beams. Other than that, the whole top part was eyeballed. I knew I needed a diamond in the middle to fit the name sign, so I started there. I eye-balled where approximately half of the top space was and held up my wood and marked where I would need to cut each of the 45 degree angles. Once the diamond was done, I started nailing other pieces around it and decided to just mirror what I was doing on the other side. Don't judge, but I just used my hand to measure distance between each piece! Once all of the wood was in place, I started by painting the white top because the rest of the room was going to be the same white, so it was the least blue taping I had to do (blue tape is my least favorite part of doing rooms!) After all of the white was done, I taped off the rest and did the dark blue. 

Biggest painting tip - after you put the blue tape down, paint over it with the white of the wall first so that the white bleeds and creates a straight edge for the blue. The biggest challenge of the board and batten wall was bent wood pieces, if you look closely, there are some flaws because of that. I wasn't able to screw the big divider piece to the wall tight enough. 

What was the biggest challenge with designing for a kiddo? 

The biggest challenge here was that this is a cross between a nursery and a "big kid" room. While it was super fun and exciting to get to think "big boy" I had to stop myself and remember that he does still in fact need a changing table, crib, etc. and I need it to function for both my husband and I now since Oli can't walk yet, but also Oli for when he can walk when he's a little bit bigger. You can almost see the split in the room, the accent wall half is the nursery and the fun play wall is the big boy half. 

Did you take into account any of his personal preferences (hard when they are so little, I know!) 

Honestly no, he's too young to tell me what he likes and doesn't, so I'm still holding my breath waiting for him to say "Mom, my favorite color is yellow and I think trucks are the coolest thing ever, not dinosaurs and space." in a couple years lol! 

Storage is so tough for little kids with all of the clothes, books, and, of course, toys! You look like you nailed it here. Can you give me the run down on storage solutions in this room?  

So much storage!! That was my number 1 goal. I HATE clutter, it's my biggest anxiety trigger, so everything is hidden. So in the closet, the first row and closest to where I can reach are his shoes, medical/first aid supplies, and extra sheets. Then in that second row with the four bins are extra diapers and wipes, diaper genie bags, and a "miscellaneous" bin. On top of that is some of his small clothes in bins, waiting to be transferred to his little brother's room in a few months! Also (not pictured) I keep extra diapers under his crib in bins as well. Underneath his changing pad there is one basket of diapers, one basket of wipes/butt cream/hair brush/nail clippers/extra binkies/etc. - anything we may need on a daily basis, one basket of socks and washcloths, and one basket of burp rags. The last two baskets mentioned have the softest/safest items because they are closest to the ground, since he will inevitably get into them. On the play wall side, we have aaaaall those bins for his toys! The bottom ones are already all filled with toys, and to be completely honest, the top ones are empty at the moment, but I imagine will be filled with art supplies or other toys that he isn't necessarily allowed to have unaccompanied. I wanted toy bins out of his reach on purpose, I know there will be things that only mom and dad should be able to reach eventually! For books, we decided on ledges so we could see all of the titles easier, that was just personal preference and fit within the arch design better. 

Anything else you want to share about designing for kids? (Space ideas, materials, buy cheap vs long-lasting, etc?)
My goal here was buy cheap! I know he's going to destroy things and this won't be his permanent space forever, so a kids room is not where I want to invest money into life-long pieces. I'll give a rundown of everything below. Designing for kids is the best because you can have the most fun with it! My number one aesthetic goal was colorful and exciting, in a neutral way. (that makes no sense I know lol) 

Oliver's favorite part of the room is the already-existing ceiling fan. LOL. 


Target - Crib, changing table, bean bag chair, lamp, green dino stuffed animal (the only stuffed animal we didn't have previously - bought specifically for the design), hamper, fake plants, back of door hooks, all baskets and closet bins, curtains, chair pillow, hexagon shelves
Ikea - Wooden toy storage (diagonal and hung on the wall), table and chair set, book ledges, dressers
Wayfair - rocking chair and rug
ArtPrintsFactory on Etsy - dino/space prints
HickoryHomeCo on Etsy - wooden Oliver Robert sign
Michaels - frames
Amazon - rattan foot rests 


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