My daughter's room looks wonderful. The mural looks wonderful. The dresser looks wonderful. It isn't all completely done, but she loves it.
There's about 2 more days of work to do -- seal the dresser and put its little ladybug knobs on, tack on the missing toe moulding, touch up the paint on the trim, blah blah blah. I don't know when these things will happen, we are in social summer mode, but we can live really happily without having these things done. I mean, my daughter loves her new room so much that she cleans up after herself, putting all her little toys away, every day since the big reveal. She's four and she cleans her room! No, wait, we need more exclamation points!!! There!!!! I don't even have to tell her to do it. (MY room is not clean, just so you know.)
I thought I should explain how all this came about. It wasn't spontaneous and it wasn't something I had always planned to do someday, not really. I never designed a nursery or anything. A few months ago, some friends were sharing photos of their homes, and especially their kids' rooms. My friends are really creative. They poured their creativity into their homes and created all these special spaces for their families. The kids' rooms were simply dreamy and dreamily simple. Nothing was too extravagant, nobody spent a ton of money, and everything they had done, I knew that I could do, pretty much, if I would just make the time to do it. And I knew my kid would love something more put-together, if I would just put it together, and that I would really, really love doing it. One day soon that room is going to be much more hers than mine and eventually she'll want to paint it black and hang up crazy posters of crazy celebrities or something (and you know -- I probably won't stand very much in her way, I think), but right now, my kid is my number one fan, my muse, and my best customer. She really puffs me up. So I did this for her, and for me, and the pinky-purple paint may be buried under lots of other layers of color in years to come but we will never forget this.
Now onto the details I figure some people will be looking for:
The mural. The mural was drawn in Illustrator and finished up in Photoshop by yours truly. It measures 43"x54". I used uprinting.com to print it; they call this a "wall graphic" which in actuality is like a giant piece of medical tape -- a thin fabric with an adhesive back, and the adhesive is repositionable, but I wouldn't monkey with it too much if I were you. Uprinting says they can print these wall graphics up to 60"x60", I believe. They packaged it very carefully -- it came all the way across the country without any damage whatsoever. Sam and I learned the hard way, when mounting it to the wall, to smooth out its bubbles and wrinkles with our hands and NOT with a squeegee (it's thin, you'll scrape some ink away), and if your wall has little pockmarks and nail pops and defects in it, they will definitely not be masked. But I still think it is a really fabulous solution, and excluding shipping it was under $100 with a 1-day turnaround. I think that's astoundingly good. I also think there is some hope of transferring this mural to another little girl when my girl outgrows it, if we're all really careful. If transferring years from now was higher on my priority list, I would have had this printed on paper or canvas or foam core instead and I would have Velcro-ed it to the wall. I had considered printing on vinyl, too, but that tends to off-gas a lot.
The paint color. That's a little tricky. I'm very fussy about paint. I wanted zero-VOC (I have used MAB's EnviroPure a few times previously and I'll be glad to use it again). My town (3 hardware stores and a just-paint shop) was essentially out of zero-VOC in a configuration that could produce the vivid bluish-pink color I wanted. My paint salesman sold me on Sherwin Williams Duration, which isn't entirely zero-VOC but close, and meets their GreenSure standard. Sherwin Williams/MAB have, I think, awfully limited color swatches, so they matched Behr's "Posies" for me. It's a pink with a lot of blue in it. The major difference between Duration and EnvroPure is that Duration is done in ONE coat, EnviroPure wants 2 or 3 coats. I'd still rather have truly zero VOC... but getting it done in one coat, that is pretty convenient.
When the big day came, my friend Julie was wonderfully supportive. She works hard and yet she spent her day off on somebody else's housework, you know? That is love. She painted the doors (which needed it! bad!) and assembled the bed and was generally in charge of the soundtrack while we worked. It was pretty funny when she put Loreena McKennitt on. Loreena McKennitt is fine in small doses, I find, but in a room that is ever so PEENK, oh mah gah, I laughed right over the edge. I think she switched to Sweeney Todd right after that. Or maybe it was Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Either is a worthy antidote. I know we listened to both.
Sam put in plenty of sweat equity too AND the photos that are actually good, well, he took those. If you have photos of a pretty room for me to look at, please share them. I am a new fan of design*sponge too!