Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For A Little Girl To Dream Big

I am so excited to share this post with you today!!!  My amazing sister-in-law (my brother's wife) just completed the most adorable closet redo.  If you remember here, I shared a few fun closet redo's with you that caught my eye on Pinterest but this one takes the cake.  It is the perfect little spot for my wonderful 4 year old niece Claire.

A-m-a-z-i-n-g, right?!?!  Well, my sister-in-law, Colleen, was nice enough to humor me and answer some questions about the space and the project so here is the scoop...

Tell us about the space before you did any work to it and tell us about the wonderful little girl who inspired you!

My daughter's room has two closets.  I store her clothes in a long and shallow one, but the other, deeper closet was just a graveyard for wayward items.  Once I saw how Sherry on YoungHouseLove transformed her daughter's closet into a play space, I started to think I could do the same with the extra closet.  I wanted to paint the space to transform it but was at a loss for a theme until I saw Jill's (that me!) playroom rug, and I was inspired to bring the outdoors in.

My daughter's fourth birthday was coming up, so we decided to renovate the closet and surprise her on the morning of her birthday.  She spent three separate nights with area relatives (one of whom was Jill!) so that we could work in her closet without her knowing.  The good news is because nothing of use was stored in the closet, and it had a door, she had no idea anything was in progress!  (Love that!)

Where did you begin?

The closet is 3' x 8.5" x 1'11".  So not a huge space.  It was originally all painted the same drab tan color.  It had two shelves and a naked bulb. 

It also had a crack in the back wall and a one-foot chunk of paint coming off. 

My husband and I are new to DIY projects, so we just made a solution up!  We took a thin piece of plywood to cover the trouble area and affixed it to the wall using nails, then spackled the nails and painted the whole thing.

Because the closet had no natural ventilation, we decided to use all no-VOC paint - BEHR Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel, Zero VOC to be exact.  I chose to paint the room Behr Serene Sky 540C-2, which made me think of the sky.  We didn't prime, we just painted three coats.  I used plain Behr Ultra White and a foam brush to hand paint clouds on top of the blue once it had dried. 

I love all the little touches...the "grass", the ceiling and the wonderful share the details!

My sister and I used this pattern to create birds out of fabric, which we hung from the ceiling. 

We really liked this pattern because it was easy to use and personalize.  We added beads for eyes and ribbons for tail feathers to the birds and were really happy with the end results.  And having the birds hanging from the ceiling really makes use of the entire space.  Instead of there being "dead" space in the top third of the closet, now there is a sky full of birds! 

And my sister and I sewed three pillows for the space.  We used our quilting know-how to piece one together so it looked like grass.  That large pillow covers the plywood covering the crack! 

A friend picked up the "grass" rug from Ikea for us to put on the floor of the closet.  We used carpet shears to cut it, and a rug pad, to size.  To make the rug seem more contiguous with the space, we bought Behr Scotland Isle to match it and painted the baseboard that color.  We also installed a new light fixture and long pull-chain (with a fun bob at the bottom!) so my daughter could turn the light on and off herself.

I wanted to take the door off so that the space would seem more like part of her bedroom, but I liked the idea of a little added privacy and coziness.  So we simply painted and moved the clothes rod all the way to the front of the closet and then sewed a sheer panel curtain to fit on the rod. 

What did you  learn along the way? 

You can transform your ideas into reality if you are willing to work at them.  I also made "perfect is the enemy of done" my new motto.  I am a perfectionist, but I am learning it is impossible to get everything perfect when working on home improvement projects.  Something always goes wrong!  Simply getting the project finished is better than not finishing it and trying to make it perfect.  Now that my daughter uses the space every day, we don't even notice the small imperfections (like the plywood covering the crack).  Instead, we see a special space that is helping make my daughter's childhood a little more magical.