The biggest thing that was needed to complete Aaron's room was a storage solution.
As regular readers will know, I'd delayed on getting the bunkbed bought AND built and then delayed on getting the room decorated. Each and everytime, Daddy picked up the slack. But, even then, when the room was "ready" it was lacking storage solutions and by this time I was pregnant and in no mood to make it happen.
At this point Hillary's enters from stage right and gives me a challenge. Even pregnant and tired I love a challenge. They wanted me to sort the room with a budget of £100. I scratched my head and thought I can do that.
I submitted a "before" photo and Hillary's expert interior stylist Joanna Thornhill kindly gave me the following advice:
Your personalised advice:
1.The room is looking great already - as you say, it just needs finishing off and a bit of extra storage adding. Depending on how much storage you need, you could opt for just one large full-height wardrobe or cupboard/shelving unit, to go against this back wall. If you went for a fully open shelving unit, invest in some wicker baskets for the bottom shelves to keep toys organised yet looking great.
2.It looks like a reasonable space so you could possibly also fit a blanket box at the end of the bunk bed - this would be a great spot to chuck other toys into, and you could also top it with a cushion pad to provide your son a little spot to sit on.
3.Opting for plain white furniture would tie in nicely with the white sections of your bunk bed and keep the room looking smart, affording you to have a little fun with your seatpad choice.
I interpreted the "blanket box" as a Thomas and Friends toy box. I interpreted the cushion pad as a fleecy blanket to go on top et voila, the above solution to Aaron's messy, floor-filling, dust-collecting, tracks was born. They are Thomas tracks so the solution could not be more perfect. He does sit on it like she said he would, so perfect! I love that it is wood effect and solid. Please note it is not a hinged lid, it completely lifts off, which has pluses and minuses, but overall a good thing. So that was the first £38.99 of my £100 gone! £61.01 remaining...
I've always loved the cubic storage solutions in Ikea, but discovered that Argos do their version, so this is where my next storage solution came in: I got this Phoenix 4 cube unit. It's £29.99 and the storage cubes to go inside are only £9.99. I got the Stars Canvas Storage Boxes, which beautifully coordinate with my chosen Thomas theme. If you buy them at the same time as the shelving unit you only pay £34.98. There are FIVE colour-ways to choose from in the canvas boxes, including green and including pink. I went with Hillary's furntiture coordination advice above, but instead of picking out the white in the bunk bed I picked out the maple from Aaron's Julian Bowen Domino Bunk Bed except Argos call it Beech. It also means it coordinates with the shelves on the wall that you see above and is warmer than white and less likely to get scuffed/marked in a busy boy's bedroom.
Once I had all those books above sorted I wanted to get ALL of Aaron's books off my bookshelf downstairs as I had plans for my shelf once it'd be freed up :-) but that's no problem as there's plenty of shelving on BOTH levels of his bunk bed. As you can see he has plastered the upper bunk in stickers but as they are low tack I have let him, and letting him personalise/love his bedroom is more important than being fussy!
This leaves £26.03 of my £100 budget remaining.
When I'd previously "finished" (she says ha ha) Aaron's room, it only had bedding on the bottom bunk and nothing on the top. I had a gorgeous brand new Robot set from John Lewis.
This makeover gave me the opportunity to address that, so next stop was Thomas bedding from Character World. The Thomas "Adventure" Single Duvet set you see above (sorry about the poor lighting) is only £13.99 from Argos and is also reversible and easy iron. I love it as it looks classy rather than tacky and with all of the passport style stamps on it, looks artistic rather than too childish, good considering Aaron is 5 rather than 3 years of age. The other side can be seen on the Argos site (don't make me make the bed again please ;-) ).
By the way, did you know that the Thomas and Friends brand is celebrating their 70 year anniversary in 2015?
The Thomas and Friends fleecy blanket, which features the front of a Thomas the tank Engine, with the word Thomas at the top and the word Sodor at the bottom is avaiable at Very for £10 Thomas and Friends Adventure Panel Fleece Blanket.
This leaves me WITHIN BUDGET with £2.04 remaining. Yeeeaaaaah I did it and the room looks great! Aaron loves it and so do I. Plenty of room now to whizz the vacuum cleaner around.
So, the room is complete, apart from ordering more photos from photobox.co.uk to complete one of the frames below, but I am thrilled the other is done and on the wall:
My room makeover was part of a Hillary's makeover challenge that was not just set to me.
20 bloggers were set with the task of transforming a bedroom with a budget of £100 and some top tips.
Hillary's have put together a fab slideshow of the 20 bedroom transformations before and after - I am proudly there at number 11. If you hover on the line between the before and after photos you can see it can be dragged left and right so as to see more or less of before or after. You can do this on all 20 pics from the 20 bloggers featured.
Disclosure: this project is a collaboration with Hillary's, who provided the makeover tips and budget.