A few months before we decided to sell our house, our girls chose to move into the same room. It was after they moved in together magnified how much unused space we really had, which led to the decision to downsize and find a better layout. Even though they could each have their own room in the new house, the girls still insisted on sharing the FROG (finished room over the garage) and called it the “apartment” since it was the only upstairs room in the new house. The room the day we bought the house, was an interesting florescent lime green. I told them they could pick how they wanted it decorated and they both agreed, and wanted “under the sea”. Just when I thought that I got off easy and just as every “Little Mermaid” theme came to mind, they quickly told me, no literally under the sea. Ooohhhhh….
Naturally my first inspirational source was Pinterest, you saw that coming, and I looked at images upon images for how I could make this idea come to life. To further add to the challenge, because the room is a FROG, the two main walls are angled because of the roof line, and one of them had both air vents that couldn’t be blocked with beds. The room had a nice sized closet, however it only had shelving and no hanging space. The organizer in me knew that wasn’t going to fly and needed to be addressed first.
When picking a color palette for a room, I like to stick to 5 colors. I’m not a professional interior designer, but for some reason that number always stuck in my mind so I must have heard it from someone. The wood furniture is dark brown and I counted that as one of the colors since it makes up a majority of the space. Navy was another color I wanted to incorporate, but not as the main color. The room doesn’t get much light and the furniture is already pretty dark. An adorable sign from Easy was the inspiration piece for the remaining colors: white, teal, and gold.
Our evacuation during the hurricane gave us the opportunity to visit Ikea in Atlanta, GA. Luckily Ikea is where I found teal duvet covers for the girls bedding. From that teal, I decided that it would be fun to do an ombre effect on the walls to make it feel like they were a part of the water. My first instinct was to go lighter because like I said, that room doesn’t get much light. However the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it to feel like the girls were laying on the bottom of the ocean floor. Their carpet was a pretty shade of light brown/tan which reminded me of sand. In the end, I picked wall paint that was a bit darker than originally envisioned. (insert color choices) I painted the lightest color first and then the bottom color. I used the middle color as a transition color using a criss-cross motion to blend all the colors together. The end look feels like you’re caught in the middle of a wave as opposed to a true ombre, but I loved how imperfectly perfect it turned out. Needless to say my wrist was toast by the end of the day.
Next up- accessorizing, which at first I thought was going to be difficult. Kelsey, my youngest, on a random shopping trip to Target, found adorable white and gold stripped accent pillows. As we turned the corner on the end cap of the aisle, you know where they keep all the juicy sale stuff, I found two navy burlap curtain panels on clearance. Nothing says coastal more than burlap.
A trip to Hobby Lobby, which has never failed me, turned up some GOLD coastal goodness. I did restrain myself because with coastal it’s too easy to think you need all the sea shells and all the sea creatures or else no one will know what you’re doing. To me, coastal is more of a feeling like what you get on vacation: relaxed, happy, content … sprinkled in with subtle reminders. Besides, back home I already had a giant sea shell and some fake coral I had planned on spray painting gold. I picked up a gold octopus, and a gold whale tale that were too adorable.
As with many kids, mine have a ton of stuffed animals. SO much in fact, that I have tried to ban them. (I swear those things multiply.) To corral all of them, my initial thought was to use netting to some how pin them up. And again Hobby Lobby did not disappoint because not only did I find netting, I found navy netting. Yayyyyyy! But, when I tried out my idea, it didn’t work out. The weird wall angles and all the stuffed animals, I decided to go a different route with the netting and instead using it to display pictures.
On another Target trip, as we were on our way to check out, I spotted navy throw blankets with, wait for it, GOLD FLECKS. I mean come on, I never get this lucky! I thought it would be nice to break up all the teal and bring in the navy with the blankets, but these were coming from my mom to the girls for Christmas.
We already had a wooden cutout mermaid and dolphin I purchased from Hobby Lobby last year for a project that never happened, and I thought it would be great for this room. Yet again we were faced with the weird wall angles giving me no place to hang them. Then it struck me, since this room was supposed feel like they were under the water, I decided to trace and paint them on the ceiling. Laying on their bed, it looks like the mermaid and dolphin are swimming above. After I traced the wood forms, I painted first with the middle wall color and highlighted them with the lighter color.
A lot of what I did in this room was paint and reusing items we already had on hand. I got super lucky with finding things that pulled the room together, but the overall cost was well under $300.00 There were some bumps along the way, and dealing with angled walls did pose a bit of a challenge. The best part however, was the girls reaction. To be honest, I’m a little jealous of their room and how it turned out. I just hope we can keep it for a while.