Last year I became unexpectedly expecting with baby number five. Although it wasn't a primary concern, we soon realized that we didn't really have a place to put her once she was born. For each of my other kids, I had the space to create a traditional nursery. But after we moved into our current house, we were done having kids (or so we thought) and didn't have an extra room for the baby. Kates and Paige already shared the biggest room and had brand new loft bunkbeds. Ali is about to turn 13 and definitely needs her own space. Which basically left Asher. Luckily, my "manny" was open to the idea of sharing his room.
This left us in a conundrum though since Asher's current room was 1. a disaster and 2. definitely a boy's room filled with boy toys (think nerf guns, legos, and boxes of rocks). I talked my husband into a room makeover, but the most we were able to accomplish before Gwen was born was buy him a new trundle bed.
Then, to my great excitement the rumor that The Container Store was coming to Memphis turned out to be true! Say what?! It was a miracle! It was also the solution I needed to combine their rooms. I perused their
massive amazing website and made a list of essentials (and some fun nonessentials).
I decided that each kid would have their own side of the room. This would define the space and also help separate their belongings. But then I had the task of making sure the room still looked cohesive. I couldn't very well have a "nursery" side and a "9-year-old boy side." It was also important for me to choose things that could grow with Gwen. So often moms go a bit crazy decorating nurseries with adorable baby themes -- but we forget those adorable babies quickly grow up into active toddlers. I knew that I wanted something practical (yet fun!) for Gwen now but could also be used for the next three to four years.
I narrowed down my choices and decided first on bookshelves (this was pretty tricky since The Container Store has so many options!). Previously, Asher had a dark wood bookshelf and a black utility shelf. This made the room feel small. When I chose the bookshelves for their new room, I made sure to find ones that were bright white and they'd both get the same one. Asher would get sturdy wicker baskets while Gwen would get animal themed fabric ones. Same look, yet different.
Next, since I didn't have an official changing station for Gwen (#fifthkidissues), I needed something to contain her diapers and wipes. I loved the idea of a rolling cart. I wanted to keep it a touch girly, so I chose light pink (The Container Store has it in LOTS of colors!). While it's acting like a diaper caddy now, eventually it can be used to store other things.
Lastly, I chose decor for Gwen's side that could change as her personality starts to emerge. I loved the idea of displaying special knick knacks out of reach, so I picked a set of floating shelves, again in white. A modern picture frame currently holds her newborn photo (who knew The Container Store carried small decorations as well?), but could be easily switched out as she grows. I found some local animal-themed art to help round out the decorations and tie back to her bins.
While it was challenging to create a space for both a 9 year old boy and his baby sister, it was also fun. I used custom sewn bedding in black and white to keep a neutral color pallet then added pops of color through Gwen's handmade mobile and Asher's pillows and wall tapestry. Dark, blackout curtains added a touch of masculinity to the space yet are extremely functional when the sun is still out at bedtime! I also let Asher choose the new wall color (bright green!), helping him feel a part of the total room makeover.
I loved the fact that I could find all my storage needs at The Container Store. They offered the perfect variety and the quality is sure to last as my two amazing kiddos keep growing.
* no professional decorator was used. I love eclectic looks and tried my best to create a practical yet cozy space for my kids!