“It’s amazing just how much a difference paint can make to something.” This bedroom makeover is designed to last.
When you look at this sweet little room, it’s hard to tell what age the owner of it is. And that’s exactly what Resene Dream Room winner Nicola Wylie was going for when she created it for her 18-month-old daughter, Georgia.
“I was keen to design a room that was playful and met her needs now but that would easily adapt with her as she grows. I wanted it to last her into her early teens – I certainly don’t want to be redoing it again in a hurry!” Nicola says with a laugh.
The news that she was a winner of the Resene Dream Room competition and would be receiving $750 worth of Resene products and $750 cash came at the perfect time for Nicola and husband Tom. Georgia’s room was the last room in their house in Winton, Southland, in need of a makeover and Nicola had been eyeing it for months.
“It meant that I was able to buy some really lovely things for Georgia’s room that I never would have bought if we hadn’t won the money,” she explains. “I’ve always enjoyed design and crafty things so it was a great opportunity to get stuck into some projects I had been wanting to do for a while.”
The key project was refurbishing the wrought iron bed. It had been stored in the old homestead on the Nicola’s family’s farm for as long as Nicola can remember – she loves that it used to belong to either her grandfather or great-aunt – but it was in a somewhat rusty state when she dragged it home. She started sanding it, realised it was a huge job and instead sought expert advice. A local place sandblasted and powder-coated it for $140 – a steal considering how well-made the bed is, complete with porcelain wheels. And now lucky Georgia has a piece of family history in her gorgeous little room. The height of it gives good opportunity for extra storage – Nicola is thinking of sliding old suitcases beneath to hold Georgia’s toys.
The stylish stool used as a bedside table was also an old piece that Nicola upcycled. “It’s amazing just how much of a difference paint can make to something. The stool looked terrible when Tom’s mum dug it out from an old shed on their farm, but once I filled in the cracks and chips with putty, gave it a good sand, painted it Resene Half Alabaster and then gave the legs a dip-dye look using Resene Charlotte, it was as good as new.”
Paint also gave the room its wow factor, in the form of a striped wall using Resene Eighth Stonehenge and Resene Slipper – a muted pink perfect for adding colour without being too frou-frou. Nicola used Resene Magnetic Magic paint for the wall under the window and then custom-made magnets using magnetic A4 printer paper. The alphabet flash cards that Nicola found using Google Images are a particular favourite with Georgia.
Nicola made good use of the internet in buying pieces for Georgia’s room. The bunny lamp came from TeaPea, the art from Bird in a Bunny Suit, the striking Kip & Co duvet cover from Collected (Nicola didn’t want anything “too Disney”), and the house-shaped shelves from Cotton On’s online store. Nicola painted these to match the room, using Resene Half Alabaster on the outside of both, then Resene Slipper inside one and Resene Charlotte in the other. She then added polka dot stickers to one of them before displaying babushka dolls from Miss Molly Coddle (also bought online) in it. The other house showcases a ‘G’ painted in Resene Smitten and castings of Georgia’s feet, done when she was a few months old and then sprayed silver – “and kept up high, out of Georgia’s reach!”.
Nicola also got the stunning rug online through Etsy – at $310, it was the most expensive purchase for the room, but it’s also her favourite.
“I think the rug has real wow factor – it’s bright and fun and so nice under your feet. Georgia already loves stretching out on it with her toys and books. To me, it was worth the money because it’s made from New Zealand wool and the balls are hand-stitched together. It’s great quality and should appeal to Georgia for many years to come,” Nicola says.
Nicola’s clever and discerning choices have made for an ageless room – but not a personality-less one. The room is still fun for a preschooler to enjoy. Even though Georgia isn’t ready for her bed yet, Nicola reports that she already spends time in her new room, playing with the magnets and reading her books on the mat and the black-and-white cushion that Nicola’s mum whipped up using four pillows. It can be unfolded to lounge on, or folded up to form a chair – ingenious!
And mum Nicola is pretty rapt with the final result too. “I wanted the room to be functional and fun. I think I achieved it!”
“Most of the work is in the preparation. It can be tempting to quickly move past this to get to the point where you start to see your work paying off, but it will make a big difference to the end result so take your time and do it well.”
“Painting woodwork is time-consuming. I had to do the skirting boards, window sill, wardrobe doors and bedroom door. I first had to lightly sand everything before applying an undercoat to stop the stain from bleeding through, then another light sand followed by two topcoats.
“Make sure you invest in good quality gear. Good paint rollers give a better finish and help make the paint go on much easier and good painters’ tape is a must if you’re wanting crisp lines. I had painted stripes on a wall once before with a cheaper tape and I was surprised at the difference between the earlier room and Georgia’s room.”
Created by Debbie Harrison. Photography by Megan Graham.
Kid's Bedroom Decorating Ideas
View more decorating ideas for kids from Little Treasures magazine in the Resene kid's bedroom inspiration gallery.