Before and Afters of Joshua’s room (at long last!)

For those of you just tuning in…my big summer project this year was Joshua’s room.

(Last year? Kitchen cabinet painting.)

He and I painted his walls, his trim, and a loft bed we bought off of Craig’s list.  And we decluttered and reorganized his room in the process.

First up, some before pictures, because they make after pictures just that much better.


His room wasn’t really in terrible shape before we tackled this project, but there was some damage to the walls (old wall paper glue seeping in, holes, scrapes, etc.) and the moldings were really beat up.

We had to do a lot of prep work before painting…we spackled holes from old wall hangings and the old curtain rods, we painted the ceiling and moldings, and I used caulk to make the drywall seems less jagged (it’s pretty old and imperfect drywall).


Another problem in Joshua’s room is that the storage was a little not-cohesive.  And we knew we wanted to get rid of the enormous 1000-pound TV in the corner.

(Ok, it was more like 200 pounds.  But still.)

enormous old TV

The main reason we took this on, though, was to get the loft bed into the room and to free up some space for a future drum set purchase.


This room used to belong to Mr. FG and me.  But then Zoe came along, so we made an extra bedroom, and this one became Joshua’s.

However, the paint color is still the original one I picked back in 2005, so he was pretty thrilled to be able to pick a color of his own choosing.

Joshua’s pretty into the monochromatic thing these days, so he chose a shade of gray.  Which was more than fine with me because I dig neutrals pretty hard.

So, here’s a before.

bedroom before painting

And here’s what it looks like now.


behr sparrow paint

The paint is Behr Sparrow.  We initially got a sample of this and a darker shade, and Joshua decided the lighter paint would look better.


I happen to love it too, which is great.

Joshua’s craigslist bed is solid wood (originally from Ikea), and it used to be sort of a walnut color.  It wasn’t super ugly, but Joshua definitely wanted it to be black.


So we made it black.

(using the process described in my How to Paint Wooden Furniture post, naturally)


It was a pretty big job because of all the pieces a loft bed has, but Joshua and I worked together and got it done.

(Long time readers may wonder about the twin bed I painted black for him a few years back.  Never fear! We gave it to a nephew, so it’s still in the family.)

His mattress fits pretty tightly into the loft bed, so instead of a comforter, I bought him a warm blanket (in monochromatic gray, of course) and we’ll see how that works out.


Most of Joshua’s furniture fit under the loft, which is exactly what we were hoping for.


He does currently have one dresser in this corner.


He’s saving up for a drum set purchase, and when that happens, the dresser will go at the foot of his bed, the beanbag chairs will scoot over, and this corner will house the drums.


Now for the not-so-frugal part of this project:


To maximize space, we opted to freecycle the behemoth TV and buy a flat-screen in its place.  Mr. FG took care of all the research (because for me, researching TVs is right up there with sticking forks in my eyeballs!) and we ended up buying this at Costco.

The glass and metal TV stand is from Ikea.  It’s pretty sturdy and heavy duty, and I’m optimistic about how long it will last.

It fits EXACTLY between the bed and the open door…if it was even one inch bigger, it would be a no-go.

Joshua decided he would like to go without any window treatments (yay for simplicity!), so we just kept the faux wood blinds that we put in when we bought the house.


We’ve gotten all of ours at Home Depot, and have been very happy with them.  They cost a fraction of what wood blinds do and they look really great.

And they are far more durable than mini-blinds.

I accidentally broke one of Joshua’s frames during this whole process, so I bought him a new one at Ikea, along with this shiny clock.

ikea clock

The photos are his own work (you can see more on his blog!) and are both point and shoot photos.  I know I’m his mom and all, but he really does take some awfully good photos with a $100 camera.  ;)

Because Joshua’s room is the largest, we’ve always stored some toys in his closet.  When we put his room back together, we sorted through the toys, gave away ones that no one really loves anymore, and kept only the ones that are really timeless.

(We regularly have small children visit our house, so it’s important to me to keep some toys around even if my kids have outgrown them.)

The pared-down collection now fits on the top shelf in his closet, leaving the bottom area free for his stuff.


In case you’re curious, in Joshua’s closet we keep K’nex, toys cars, the Fisher Price parking garage, and a big bin of toy food (which the girls still do play with pretty regularly.  Like when they play Chopped.)

Joshua decided to sell his Bionicle collection, so once we list and sell those, his closet will be even more spacious.


I’m so, so glad we managed to get this all done before school started!  It’s been kind of weighing on me since we bought the loft bed last fall, so I feel all kinds of fabulous about crossing this off of my to-do list.


I did Lisey’s room last summer, and Joshua’s room this summer, so Sonia and Zoe feel somewhat strongly that they are in line for next summer.

I’m not sure I’m up for the task of painting their bunkbed (so. many. pieces.), but they may talk me into doing their walls at least.  ;)

But for now, I’m happy to take a break from painting.

Hamsters. In black and white.

dwarf hamsters

This does sort of have something to do with frugality.

Bear with me.


As you know, Lisey has moved into Zoe’s room, and we needed some new wall art for her (the baby pictures weren’t going to work!).

So, yesterday I laid out a bunch of frames on the living room floor and Lisey and I decided on a visually pleasing arrangement, shape-wise.

laying out frames before hanging

Then we scrolled through my picture files to find photos of things that Lisey loves (the beach, afternoon tea, Converse), and made them all black and white so the photo wall would have a cohesive look.

(And also because black and white is veddy classy.)


When we got to that last vertical picture frame on the right, though, we got stuck. What to put there?

That’s when we realized that of course, Lisey’s hamsters needed to be represented on her photo wall. ;)

So, that’s why we had a little hamster photo session yesterday.


The cute is so out of control.


(By the way, these are dwarf hamsters and they are crazy fast, so that’s why Joshua and Lisey are holding them so snugly.)

I did get all of the frames hung up on Lisey’s wall, and she’s super pleased about it.

I’m delighted that were able to decorate her wall with something that’s very Lisey, and I’m also pleased that we were able to use frames we already had (yay for not spending!) and were able to fill them with very inexpensive art (the only cost was the ink and photo paper.)

I wish I had a photo of the finished wall, but alas, I don’t at the moment. I promise I’ll include one when we do a tour of Lisey’s room.


P.S. Food Waste Friday is over at Simply Being Mum today. And on another food waste note, Zero Waste Week 2013 is all about food waste this year. I’ll tell you a little more about that next week, but you can go check it out right here.


Joshua’s 365 post: Half and Half