Our sweet Amie has
endured enjoyed a variety of bedrooms.
When she was born we were preparing to move overseas and we lived in my brother’s house. When we brought her home from the hospital, we set her basket on the changing table in the corner of our room. Next, she slept in a pack-and-play in the walk-in closet of our two-bedroom apartment, until we moved her into the guest bathroom because she was so noisy. The child never even used a crib!
We moved to India when she was 14-months-old, and she shared two different bedrooms with her big brother, Judah. Finally, back home in Columbia, she shared two more: one in our rental house in Elmwood Park, and one right here.
The thing I love about Amie is she’s greeted every new bedroom situation with a smile.
We loved having our kids share a room for years. They built so many sweet memories together.
Truly, they never minded sharing until the last year or so. They got bigger. They developed more hobbies and more of a need for a little space from each other.
When we read The Penderwicks series and learn about Skye and Jane sharing a room (there’s a dividing line between the messy and the neat sides), we laugh because it pretty much summed up Judah and Amie’s experience together (I’ll let you guess who side was who).
And finally, just before Amie turned eight years old, she got her own bedroom:
I cleaned the whole house this weekend and so took the opportunity to snap a few photos.
Full disclosure: Amie’s room never looks like this.
She looked over my shoulder as I was loading pictures onto the laptop and said, “Oh my goodness! I love the way you made my bedroom look!!!” To which I replied, “You know that you can actually make it look like that too, right?”
This mother-daughter relationship is a happy dance of compromise. I let her keep her room messier than I’d ever prefer, and she cleans and organizes it once a week. Mostly for my sanity. I tell her that I truly don’t mind her clutter, as long as she’s actually using everything she has. It’s when toys and papers build up, tottering in wobbly untouched stacks, gathering dust, that my skin starts to get itchy.
It’s not that she’s such a messy person, she’s just a “collector.” Of many things. Shells. Hair ties. Friendship bracelets. Calico Critters. Stuffed animals. Chicken feathers.
When I recently suggested maybe she could purge some of the art on her bulletin board, she said, “But Mom! It all means so much to me!”
Amie and I had so much fun shopping for her room.
Since it’s visible from the living room, David and I told her from the beginning that we wanted to pick the paint color, and she was fine with it. We chose the light, neutral gray we used in our dining room and Judah’s room: Woodlawn Colonial Gray from Valspar.
Her bedding and the hanging lantern are from IKEA and we just transferred them from her old room. Actually now that I think of it, most everything else in it is from IKEA. I found the bedside table at World Market, big basket for stuffed animals at TJ Maxx, and bedside lamp is from Target. We brought that cozy brown leather chair in from the living room when we shifted things around.
At the beginning of this year, Modern Mrs. Darcy featured this Literary Heroine art pendant from Carrot Top Paper Shop, and I knew we had to have it. We ordered it during a sale, and I let Amie choose her favorite heroines.
See if you can figure out who they are!
In the last couple months, she’s become quite the bookworm, so I told her one day we’ll get her a bookshelf. For now she makes do with baskets, her cart, and racks.
Her one request for the bedroom was a big art table “with two chairs side by side.” Art is Amie’s passion. She loves drawing, coloring, sewing, cutting out bits of paper. Any kind of crafts.
We currently keep the family printer on top of that gray file cabinet on the right, which is why her hooks can’t be directly behind the door. Maybe one day we’ll be able to move them over.
It makes me happy to peek in and see her set up at her table with a coloring book or craft project. Creating fills her tank.
We actually had a good bit of work done on this room after the addition.
Here are a couple before photos:
And here we are now!
Amie does something called “Rhythmic Writing” as part of her school work, and it requires a chalkboard. Her bedroom was truly the only place in the house to fit it, and she’s thrilled. One more place to for designs and pictures!
This room was the first addition put on this house, many years ago. It was an enclosed sun room and doesn’t have a closet, so David and I bought two IKEA wardrobes when we moved in here before adopting the boys. They aren’t as functional as a real closet, but they’re pretty, and they work fine. I keep a few of her things on the top shelf in Judah’s closet.
It’s hard to even remember back to 6 months ago, when David and I were crammed in this room which felt very dusty and depressing with all the construction work going on next door.
Now it’s a bright, fresh, happy place that Amie loves.
And we’re happy for her!