Mallory’s Pre-Tween Room

We moved a couple miles down the road into a new-to-us house just a few months ago. We lived in our last house for 8+ years so it’s fun to have a fresh space to design and decorate. The first rooms in the new house that I really want to change/design/decorate are my girls’ rooms. You’d think having three girls would have given me a lot of decorating experience with GIRL rooms, but it hasn’t!

Before my oldest daughter was born in 2006, I designed a gender neutral nursery, thinking I was being smart, since we could use the nursery decor for future children. I painted the room, some artwork and a couple decor pieces; I designed and made the area rug; and my mom sewed the bedding, curtains and some other accessories.

Nursery v1

We moved when our first born was 4 months old and I set up the same nursery again (minus the blinding yellow walls) in our new house, in a new state. More pics of the nursery(s) can be found here.

Nursery v2: View 1 from Door

In 2007, before our second daughter was born, I designed a fairly girly ‘big girl room’ for our older daughter to move into, so our second daughter could take over the nursery.

Big Girl Room

In that room, we added a shelf, a chair rail molding up high, and crown molding. I did a fun harlequin/diagonal checkerboard paint treatment on the walls, and painted the ceiling to look like the sky (being 6 months pregnant and up on a 10 foot ladder probably wasn’t the best idea!). More pics of that room can be found here.

Big Girl Room: Woodwork

When our third child/daughter was born, she also used the gender-neutral nursery, because at that time, I didn’t have the time or energy to design and decorate a new nursery, having three kids ages 3 and under. Our middle and oldest daughters began sharing a room (and bed) at that time and did for the next 4+ years. Up until now, this is the only feminine room I have done for the girls which is kinda funny when you know that I have three girls, ages almost 9, 7 and 5.

Anyway, onto our current house…

I tackled our oldest daughter Mallory’s room first. She is in third grade; her favorite color is turquoise (but she likes a lot of colors); she likes animal prints; her favorite class is art; and, she is nearly a tween (ack!). I wanted a room that could grow with her and a room that wasn’t very theme-y. Her furniture is the black furniture that we bought for the nursery (dresser + full bed made from the convertible crib). The room looked like this when we bought the house:

Mallory's Room: BEFORE

A few coats of paint plus some new/repurposed accessories and handmade items and now the room looks like this, as seen from the hallway before entering her room:

View from the hallway, before entering her room. Accent wall painted SW 6486 Reflecting Pool
Accent Wall painted SW 6486 – Reflecting Pool. Other walls and ceiling painted SW 6484 Meander Blue.

Mallory helped me pick the two paint colors we used in her room (she said she wanted turquoise walls and then I selected several for her to pick from). I used Sherwin-Williams Reflecting Pool (SW 6486) on the accent wall and in her bathroom (walls and ceiling). Sherwin-Williams Meander Blue (SW 6484) made it’s way onto the rest of the bedroom walls and the cathedral ceiling (thankfully I wasn’t pregnant while painting the high ceilings this time!).

Walls painted SW 6484 – Meander Blue.

My favorite part of the room is the gallery wall. I collected bits for it here and there when I found something that seemed Mallory-ish. Besides being a focal point in the room, the pieces in the gallery wall are also functional since they cover up three electrical/cable outlets that are midway up on that wall (for the flat screen TV that used to be there).

Pom-Pom garland, turquoise walls.

I had fun finding and creating wall decor and other accessories for her room. I reused some things from other parts of the house, made a few decor pieces and bought several items too.

Mallory's Room: Walls painted Sherwin-Williams Meander Blue (SW 6484)

I knew I wanted to give her a place in her room where she could display some of her *stuff*. However, I didn’t necessarily want to see that stuff upon entering her room. Around the corner from where you enter her room, I strung some wire between eye hooks and hung some peg hooks to give her a place to hang her gymnastics medals & ribbons and a way to display her artwork. It’s a little messy looking but I know that she likes having it up on display.

Mallory's Room

Mallory began wearing glasses in December so when I found the oversized mirrored glasses at HomeGoods shortly after that, I knew they’d be perfect for her room.

Mallory's Room
Mallory's Room

Mallory’s room has an attached bathroom. She hasn’t been able to fully use it yet because I still need to make her shower curtain – I just have fabric draped over the bar now. It looks nice, huh? 😛

Mallory's Room

I found the the fun lighted star during the Christmas holidays at Target in their seasonal department. It’s a perfect night light for the bathroom.

Mallory's Room: gallery wall

The gallery wall has a couple of pieces that light up too – the yellow arrow (Target) and large black M (HomeGoods). After finishing the gallery wall, I realized that a couple of the items inadvertently make words when placed together. Can you spot M-O-M and O-M?? The girls think that happy accident is funny.

Mallory's Room

I made at least 50 yarn pom poms by the time I finished the pom-pom garland. It took me making quite a few to figure out how dense I wanted them. I used the large Clover Pom Pom Maker tool which I’d highly recommend if you have a lot you want to make.

Mallory's Room: IKEA Tarva hack using O'verlays

The only furniture purchase in the room was the IKEA Tarva 3 Drawer Chest which is being used as a bedside table. Mal’s mattress sits up high so the height of the chest works well for this situation. I knew I wanted to make the chest look fancier, so I ordered O’verlays decorative panels to adhere to the drawer fronts. I picked the Anne pattern (1/8″ thickness) because I liked the simplicity of the design.

Mallory's Room: IKEA Tarva hack using O'verlays

I am mostly happy with the end result of my IKEA hack, especially after adding the O’verlays, but I wasn’t impressed with the wood quality of the Tarva. I sanded, primed, sanded, painted (darker turquoise with lighter turquoise dry brushed on top), poly’d and sanded the piece some more. Despite the prep work I did, I can still see and feel the grain in the wood. It’s not rough and it’s subtle, but it’s there. I did at least 8 coats of regular and wipe-on polycrylic (lightly sanding between coats) and I eventually gave up thinking that I could make the surface as flat as I wanted and figured it is good enough. The surface is smooth, just not what I expected. For the next furniture piece that I paint (for Tessa’s room), I am going to give chalk paint a try (DIY version not Annie Sloan).

I still have a few things to do before the room is really finished.

  • The biggest item on the list is to  make a quilt for the bed (using my stash of Flea Market Fancy fabric, original and legacy reprint). The colors in the FMF collection are what inspired the color scheme for the room, so I better get the quilt made soon so that everything ties in together.
  • I also want to make a cushion for the window seat (using this fabric); I haven’t made a window seat cushion before so it should be interesting!
  • And, as I mentioned earlier, I also need to make a shower curtain (using IKEA Britten Nummer fabric).
  • Lastly, I think I am going to add a simple pattern (like small stars or dots) in a darker turquoise paint color (Cloudburst SW 6487) in a different sheen (satin) to the accent wall. I used Sherwin-Williams “Emerald” Paint in the matte finish for the walls and am really happy with the results.

It will be awhile yet before those few things are completed, so at this point I’m calling this room DONE-ish. 🙂

Chelsea’s room is also DONE-ish, so I’ll be sharing that here soon, too. Thanks for looking!

6 thoughts on “Mallory’s Pre-Tween Room

  1. lucia this rooms looks so fabulous! how cool. i feel like a slacker thinking of my 9 yo daughters room! im going to keep my eyes open for fun stuff on the walls like M has! cant wait to see the FMF quilt on the bed!

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