We are now almost nine months into country living and old home remodeling. Since we will be leaving this home later this year, we wanted to give all the rooms a facelift without investing too much time or money into the projects. (The kitchen and bath are a different story, as they needed a major overhaul. Stay tuned for a full reveal after gutting and reformatting those two spaces.) So this reveal includes a little bit of paint, wallpaper, and storage solutions to make a tiny room with awkward ceilings work for us!
Step one was paint. I ordered all of our paint from the comfort of our New York City apartment. I knew that I wanted something pretty neutral (aside from my daughter’s pink demands) and friendly to future renters. Given the pandemic, it was important to me to find an online retailer, and avoid stores like Home Depot as much as possible. We ended up in love with the paints offered at Clare.com and ordered the removable sticker samples to test in our New York apartment. Between the in-person samples and the online pictures and reviews, we were confident with our choices. You may want to wait to see how the light hits your space, but our light varied since I took three of the same colors through every room and floor of the house. Once we made our selection, I placed the order and paint was waiting for us in Connecticut!
The house is 120+ years old so full of imperfections. To help conceal, we opted for Clare’s ceiling paint, which is a clean, matte, white. After that, all trim in the house was painted in their color “Fresh Kicks,” another bright and clean white. I also ordered the wall paint version of “Fresh Kicks” to use throughout the house. My daughter asked for a pink room, and while I didn’t want to commit to pink all the way around, I was willing to give her a pink feature wall (for this one we used Glidden’s Lady Pink) and three white walls. The paint instantly turned the space into something fresh, clean, and youthful.
Paint wasn’t solving all of our problems, though. The ceiling dormers really shrunk the space, and felt like big boxes coming down at us. Any solid paint, even white (but especially something more colorful), seemed to make the space stand out even more. We are so happy with our solution: wallpaper. Wallpaper was able to take the awkward space from an inconvenience to a design feature. Finding a subtle print actually helped the area blend into the space. We worked with Milton & King, a company known for their modern, yet timeless designs, and high-quality paper. Another bonus, wallpaper helped distract from all of those old-home imperfections I mentioned earlier. The pattern we chose is the pink Calcutta.
The actual wallpaper process was pretty painless. We were able to complete the job within 3 hours. That was covering both dormers, on either side of the room. I could have done it all myself if I was covering vertical walls, but the gravity of the angles meant I needed to enlist my husband. Since the room is VERY uneven, as well as not working with smooth walls, traditional paper and paste seemed a lot more forgiving than the peel and stick type. We were able to move the pieces around while we figured out where to consider the center for the pattern. I highly recommend the brand and introducing wallpaper into your home. It adds a lot of fun to an otherwise basic space.
After that, it was time to furnish the room. Since it is a little girls’ room, which includes a daytime napper, blackout curtains were a must. We managed to find sturdy curtains, but still ladylike in design, from Crate & Barrel Kids.
My oldest’s convertible toddler bed was too high for the pitch of the roofline, so that was another problem to solve. We found a similar, but lower toddler bed through Wayfair. The original toddler bed was converted back to a crib for my youngest that was outgrowing her mini-crib, so the timing wasn’t bad at all.
Also shown in the pictures below, art from Etsy and Wallaby Creative Co. Great destinations for fun prints, and sweet original art. It’s often nice to have digital downloads to really scale and frame to your space. Additional art (not shown) is from Anthropologie, and from the Canterbury Cathedral gift shop over in the U.K.!
That low roofline affected the other side of the room, as well. The shelving units we had back in New York were too high, and as you might know, kids come with a ton of stuff! Luckily, Wayfair to the rescue once again with these low storage units. We purchased two to perfectly span the length of the dormer.
Other storage solutions for small-space living included some versatile Ikea hooks. Hung vertically down the closet door made a cute little hat display. I also found some wooden crates at a tag sale that I painted white for miscellaneous stuffies, toys, and dress-up accessories. Another score was this wood bassinet I found on the side of the road! It had a wide rocker base, but after cutting the legs off, it became a sturdy, low crib for the girls’ dolls! An addition like this is playful in function, but also corrals way too many baby dolls!
Other finishing touches shown include this Pottery Barn rug and rocking unicorn, rainbow-producing window decals and this canopy that houses a pillow and some favorite books. My daughter calls the room her Princess Cave, and that to me means job well done! Comment or email with questions!
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links where I earn from qualifying purchases.