OK, I think I’m ready. After months and months of hard-ish work, I’m ready to show you the final big-deal before-and-after of Kennedy’s new room.
I couldn’t jump into that without first dedicating a post to my favorite part of the room. I just couldn’t. You understand.
The hardest thing about creating a nice room for your kids has got to be dealing with all of that STUFF. Clothes, toys, papers, pens, doodads, thingamajigs. It can make even the fanciest room look like a shack in about 3 seconds flat. We have absolutely found the solution and it doesn’t matter if your house is big and brand-new or old with tiny bedrooms and weird wonky walls. Like ours.
Built-ins, my friends. Built. Ins.
When we added the wall of shelving in baby Jack’s nursery last year, I was pretty sure I was in love. The room always seemed so easy to keep tidy no matter how much stuff I accumulated for him. And it still is, really!
When Chris was able to turn this formerly awkward and useless wall in Kennedy’s room into the star of the show, I was sold! Built-ins for every room in the house! Brace yourself, Chris.
The wall where this sheving/desk area is located, is just between the bedroom door and the closet door. It’s kind of a weird angle and we really could never figure out what to put there. Any freestanding furniture blocked the flow of traffic to the closet and just really reminded us how small this room is, even though it’s the biggest of the three upstairs rooms.
This room feels huge now though! All of Kennedy’s junk is miraculously not on the floor too!
Creating custom built-ins allows you to really make use of every inch of usable space. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can fit when you fill an entire wall with shelves.
I had it in my mind that I was going to really go all out and buy all kinds of trendy decor for this shelf to make it look really amazing. In the end though, I decided it was already pretty amazing, so as far as decor goes, I kept it pretty simple.
I used the same paint colors that I used elsewhere in the room (CIL Zeppelin, and Shoreline) in repetition in a few different areas of the desk and that really helped create a nice pulled-together look. I wrote a post about creating absolutely perfect wall stripes too if you’re interested in that.
Other than that, I just borrowed some homeless decor items from around the house and used a few zebra-themed things we’ve picked up over the last year since Kennedy’s zebra phase started.
And of course, legos.
If you’ve got an awkwardly-shaped kid’s room, or just a room that feels endlessly messy, I’d highly recommend filling a wall or two with built-in shelves and even a desk! They hardly take up any floor space, but they make such a difference!
If you feel like a project of this scale might be a little outside of your comfort level, you can start with a smaller project or you can just use an online service like SmartReno.com to find yourself some quality professional help in your area.
Since our walls are so wonky, and Chris is such a perfectionist, this project honestly took him about 4 full days to complete from dawn until dusk, but I’m soooo glad we went for it.
I’m starting to dream of a whole wall of built-ins in the living room now, and Chris is dreaming of the giant TV I said he could buy if he builds them for me!
If there’s anything I can do to help you get started on a project like this, please just ask! It sounds a little crazy, but having this great storage in my kid’s rooms has really made a big difference in my day-to-day life!
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.