OK, we’ve been bursting at the seams to reveal this fabulous before and after and it’s finally finished (insert party kazoo sound effect here). And the reason that we’re so excited to share this perky pink makeover is that it’s a little girl’s room (we often do adult rooms but kids rooms are so much fun). To add to our enthusiasm, we were also able to reinvent amazing thrift store finds and raid Ikea to transform little Olivia’s bedroom on a serious budget ($200 to be exact). So without further ado, the blank slate before pics:
Eight year old Olivia’s house is a new construction here in town, and her mom (who just happens to be John’s lovely sister) was looking to add plenty of playful pink along with a major dose of personality (for her fun loving and fabulous daughter). The room had great bones to begin with (a giant picture window and that amazing built in shelf behind the bed to name a few) so we couldn’t wait to create a whole new room for Olivia without breaking the bank. One of the first pieces that we found was this desk at a local thrift store. It needed some love, but the open shelving and the clean lines had us at hello. Not to mention the $15 price tag. That was a major selling point too.
A coat of oil based primer followed by two coats of punchy pink paint (Benjamin Moore’s Milano Red) took the old desk from drab to fab. Here it is living happily ever after in the corner of Olivia’s reinvented room:
But our affordable desk overhaul didn’t end there. We also picked up a custom cut piece of plexiglass to lay across the top of the desk to protect it from endless scribbling while lending a crisp modern look on a dime (well, more like 300 dimes- it was only 30 smackaroos).
We also snagged a $5 desk chair at the same thrift store where we found the desk, and even grabbed two magnet boards from Ikea, which we covered with some cheeky wrapping paper (that says “there’s no place like home”) to add even more texture and fun on the cheap. And for even more pattern and pinkness, we snatched up a $20 Ikea desk lamp to complete the layered pattern-on-pattern look. Now Olivia can file in style (we kid you not, the girl has a serious office supply obsession).
And because we wanted to create balance and inject some more of that poppy pink paint, we also painted Olivia’s hand-me-down dresser (located on the other side of the bed) the same punchy hue. Plopping a $9 green Ikea rug in front of it added even more fun and freshness, and also helped to tie in the color of Olivia’s existing bed skirt as well as her darling Olivia sign above the bed.
We also softened the windows and framed that gorgeous view with some easy, breezy grommetted curtain panels from Ikea. And even upholstered her headboard by hand (click here for our oh-so-simple tutorial). Then swapping out her existing duvet for something a bit more graphic and mod really polished off the entire room (for $13- gotta love Ikea).
And because creating a personalized and inviting space for Olivia was the name of the game, we grabbed a few of her favorite books (which just happen to share her name) and lined them up on that great architectural shelf above her bed. It doesn’t get much more customized than that…
And because we know you guys like to see how we worked with our $200 budget, we included a little price breakdown for your viewing pleasure. We may have spent every last penny (well, we actually had a few of those left since we rounded all of our prices up to the nearest dollar) but we’re definitely proud of our penny pinching purchases.
Olivia’s Cost Breakdown:
- Thrift store desk: $15
- Thrift store chair: $5
- Custom cut plexiglass desk topper: $30
- Pink dresser: free (it was Olivia’s brothers old desk that we painted)
- Two grommetted curtain panels from Ikea: $39
- Two Ikea magnet boards: $26
- Orange wrapping paper to cover magnet boards: $3
- Ikea heart duvet: $13
- Upholstered headboard: $40 (click here to see how we made it)
- Round green rug from Ikea: $9
- Ikea desk lamp: $20
GRAND TOTAL: $200
So what do you guys think? Isn’t Olivia’s new bedroom cozy and cute? Do you have any simple and affordable decorating tricks up your sleeves for transforming a kids room on a dime? Share and share alike.
Wow! Awesome changes. It looks so much more pulled together. I’m a native of your hometown…could I ask what thrift shops you like to haunt? I’m always looking for another one.
Great job, Olivia must be thrilled!
You forgot to add in the cost of the paint to your total. Having said that, this is a super cute kid’s room you achieved here. I’m also wondering about the white drapes in the after picture. Where are they from?
I love the finished product. Great way to add pink and color to a room without painting on the wall. BTW you didn’t talk about the head board, it looks custom. I love Ikea too.
…never mind the head board, I just saw the link ;)
I love it – especially how you balanced out the room with two pink pieces of furniture. Awesome!
John! I got to meet your sister just yesterday! KK and I were in Richmond and she was at our client’s photo shoot. There was lots of talk about the fabulousness of the blog. Small world!
Wonderful! The desk is my favorite element.
WHERE did she get the “For Like Ever” framed print? I saw that in a friend’s house recently – and I’d love to know! The room looks adorable!
Love what you did to this room. Can you explain what you did with the wrapping paper and magnet boards? Is the paper cut to the exact size of the board and then glued on? It’s darling.
Thanks for all of your great feedback on my little Olivia’s room!
Thrift stores in Richmond that we faithfully visit are “For The Love of Jesus” on Midlothian Turnpike and “Habitat for Humanity Restore” in downtown Richmond.
In terms of the wrapping paper, we just cut the wrapping paper to size and used little circular magnets to attach it to the boards so we can swap out the paper if we ever want to. The white drapes are from IKEA as well and the poster is from http://vllg.com. It was featured on the cover of Domino magazine a couple years ago and I ordered it way back then.
Hope this helps. We had lots of fun. Just one of the many perks of being related to John and Sherry…..
I think you can buy the poster on the Village website (http://vllg.com). It was sold out at one time, but I believe they have it again.
The room looks GREAT! What a lucky girl!!
I’m glad I’m not the only person who considers outfitting a room almost entirely from IKEA!! For kids’ rooms I think it’s especially efficient. When I have kidlets I’m totally scouring IKEA for inexpensive fixes. Thanks for such great tips, Olivia’s room looks fantastic!!
So glad you’re loving our latest makeover. We were so excited to see what you guys thought about our kids room redo! We hope you’ve noticed that John’s sister Emily answered everyone’s questions just three comments above this one, so feel free to check out her response to see what thrift stores we haunt, where we dug up the curtains and the poster, and how we made that adorable little magnet board covered in wrapping paper. It was such a fun little project for such a great little girl!
Wow! Please come do our nursery in a couple months.
I have to ask: why oil-based primer on the desk? I understand why on Kim’s kitchen cabinets, but a desk isn’t in a grease-filled environment, so why bother with the mess?
It’s always waaay safer to use oil based primer on any wood surface (grease or no grease) due to the fact that wood stain can be oil based which will cause any stained wood that you paint without using oil based primer to bleed brown goo all over your fabulous paint job as the paint dries. It looks great for an hour or so and then the goo starts rearing its ugly head. Total nightmare- trust us. And sometimes even raw wood that hasn’t been stained has been known to ruin a good paint job thanks to a knot in the wood that releases oily discharge when the paint comes into the picture (which is exactly what happened to us when we made a pedestal table using an unstained table round from Lowe’s).
In short, we’re always careful to use oil based primer on anything wooden from an old chest to wood cabinets. Hope that helps!
LOVE the room!!
Where does one get plexiglass and how do you get it custom cut? I’m thinking it would be great to have it on a table in my house.
Love the room! So cute… I’m just curious why you didn’t slap any paint on the walls? It seems like it would have really pulled the room up another notch.
Hey E, Emily’s husband knew of a local place that custom cuts plexiglass but the best idea to find one in your own town would be to google “plexiglass” along with your city and see what comes up. You also might want to hit up the yellow pages and look up any acrylic or plastic dealers in your town (who usually cut and supply plexiglass sheets on the cheap). One other tip is not to pay extra for rounded edges since you can file them down yourself with an electric sander to save some serious dough. Hope that helps!
Betsy, as for the white walls, Emily’s entire three story home boasts clean and contemporary colorless walls (which really makes all of their art and upholstered furnishings pop). So understandably when it came to sprucing up Olivia’s room Emily and her hubs wanted to keep things consistent (which is why we injected so much punchy color in the headboard and even the painted furniture in the space). From the patterned bedding to the oversized pink poster we did our best to inject style, color and texture without pulling out our rollers (even though that definitely would have been a quick and easy way to add some serious color).
Oh goodness, I love this. All of it. I can’t wait for my own daughter to be done with her crib so I can borrow your headboard idea.
Emily texted me about getting to hang with you guys the other day. We’re jealous we missed it. Small world indeed…and let us know next time you’re in Richmond and we’ll have you over for a visit. Plus, we need some more chihuahua-meets-great dane action again.
The color of the desk and dresser is GORGEOUS! I love it!!
Absolutely love the desk. I am on the prowl for a good wooden desk for my daughter, and the pink that was chosen is spot on perfect :)
Doesn’t Plexiglas get messed up fairly easily, scratches and such? Or does the width of it make a difference? Did you guys look into how much a glass top would run?
Great job tho!
I’m in Richmond and wondered where you got the plexiglass. Do they do regular cut glass as well?
I love it! And I remember your post on the entire house a couple months back and my heart skipped a beat. It was the dream house I had in my head made real! Too cool!
I did my kids room on the cheap and was pretty happy with how it turned out. It was under $500 for everything in the room which I think is a steal for a room for 2 babies. The link for my nursery is below:
I love your blog and all your cool decorating ideas. I can’t wait till we move to try some of them!
Adorable. I’m in love with that desk. Olivia is one lucky kiddo. And I want one of those For Like Evers now too.
I love this! I’ve been looking everywhere online for some great, affordable inspiration rooms for my daughters’ – and there’s NOTHING out there. I’m hoping after the holidays are over we’ll have some extra money to work on our daughter’s bedroom – we’re just waiting to be able to buy the bed (and I plan on doing an upholstered headboard for it, thanks to your DIY) and some extra art/accessories… It’s great to know it can be done on a budget! I’ll pass along some pictures once it’s completed…
Hey, i love the desk colour!!!
one thing a friend of mine did was put pictures umder the plexiglass, i thought it was a really cool idea, and i simple way to ‘frame’ pictures as well.. just an idea!
love the room!
Love the desk and the idea of putting plexiglass on top. I have been wanting to that for my own desk and just haven’t gotten around to it. Now that I know it probably won’t cost as much as I thought it would, I am definitely going to have to look into it.
Plexiglass is pretty durable stuff (and a bit less prone to shattering than glass) so it’s perfect for a child’s room. Sliding some pictures and even some fun playing cards or flash cards underneath it would also be a really fun way to decorate a desk- great idea RebeccaJaye!
As for the plexi company that we used in town, it’s called D&G Plastics on Boulevard and their number is 804-359-4754. Happy plexiglass hunting…
Awesome transformation! We’re moving in a month and I’ll be starting from scratch for our daughter’s room, so there’s lots of great ideas in here.
BUT, I’m wondering if you have any tips for finding good thrift stores. I always read about how people find such amazing deals at thrift stores…but how do I go about finding them? I think it’d be a safe bet to assume there are some pretty cool places in my city’s (Milwaukee) little neighborhoods, but I have no idea how to start my search. Any ideas? Thanks!!
Definitely try googling your town or your zip code and the words “best thrift stores” or “local thrift store list” and hopefully you’ll dig up a list (that may even include local favorites or rankings that will help you weed out the very best ones). You can also ask anyone and everyone you know (especially a stylish neighbor or coworker) because that’s totally how I found my two favorite local haunts. And last but not least, just hit up as many as you can find and choose a favorite or two for yourself after sizing up the competition. Hope that helps! Happy thrifting…
Alan Riley says
What a fantastic room makeover. I love the way you have introduced splashes of color through the pink furniture, bedding & pillows, headboard and the green rug. The new duvet cover is a great improvement. All done at a bargain basement price. You guys are really talented!
How come the cost of the paint isn’t included in the budget? Was it a can you had left over?
Oh man, this was so long ago I can’t remember. Maybe John’s sister had the paint already on hand?