Friday, December 30, 2011

Tween Spy Room

Okay, this is my first blog, so be easy on me.  I have no idea what I'm doing here as I'm technically challenged, but surely I'll get the hang of it with time.

Earlier this year, I decided it was time to work on my son's room.  He desperately wanted a more grown up room.  I mean, after all, 10 is almost grown, right?  So, this room was designed for my 10 year old spy-in-training.  It was completed just in time for his 10 year, spy themed, birthday party!

I started by taking everything out of the room!  EVERYTHING!  It was hard to take this next leap because I'm a bright white trim kind of girl, but I painted the entire room a medium gray.  When I say entire room, that means walls, ceiling, closet doors, trim, and the back of the bedroom door leading into the hall.  It felt so good after I did it though because I really thought it had to be done to make the plan work.  I wanted all the gray things to disappear, and let the paint treatment jump out.  Initially, I was going to use the lighter gray color that you see in the spiral (which is the same color of the hanging chair), but my son was a little disappointed at this color choice because he wanted it really dark gray like a cave, and it WAS his room after all.  After seeing a sample of the light gray on the wall, I realized it was too light.  With the two windows in the room, and the amount of sunlight that pours in during the day, it just looked like plain old dirty white when it was on the wall.  So, we went for the gold....or the gray in this case. :-)

Inspired by the James Bond movies, I thought it would be cool to paint some sort of spiral - like the one shown at the beginning of the Bond movies.   Then, I got the idea to paint the spiral to come out of the ceiling fan.  I debated on whether or not to draw a graph of the spiral and chart it out on the ceiling so it would be perfect, but being that it is a ceiling, and the fact that I love my neck, I decided a more "cat-in-the-hat" type spiral would still be appropriate for a tween spy room, and would be so much easier.   So, I taped it out just to see what it might look like and decided that a not-so-perfect spiral would be, well, perfect.  I taped it out, making it come down the wall and end behind where his new dresser would be, but sticking out just a little on the side so you could still see it hitting the floor when the dresser was there.  I rearranged the tape a couple of times as I was going until I had it like I wanted it, then painted the light gray.

When the tape came off, we all loved it! Being that it is a small room, and being that my son is a tech geek like his dad, I knew he had to have a large desk for his electronics, and I knew he had to have a bed, so I opted for a loft bed with a desk underneath to save space.  After looking around at various retailers, and not finding what I wanted as far as size and sturdiness, I was tickled to find this homemade bed on craigslist for $75!  It was exactly what I was looking for AND I didn't even have to build it myself!!!  A grandfather had built it for his grandaughter who had outgrown it.  It was originally painted white.  With the removal of stickers, a little sanding, priming, three coats of the darker gray (so it would blend in to the walls), and a final clearcoat, it was perfect for the

Well, I guess it wasn't actually perfect.  One thing I did not like about the bed was that both ends of the bed were ladders - although one end went almost to the ceiling to form sort of a headboard.  I knew that when walking into the room, you would be able to see under the desk and I just didn't like that. So, never fear, there's always a fix! After a little woodworking using thin sheets of wood panel, we closed in both ends of the bed, still allowing access to the ladder on one end to climb up to the bed. The other end, we made a hidden weapons cache cabinet with a door that doesn't look like a door. Every spy needs one of those.  There just may be hidden compartment in the headboard too.  It's so hidden that even my little spy has probably forgotten about it by now. 

This is the desk area under the bed.  His previous desk held his monitor, keyboard, and that's about it.  I would like to mount some drawers under the countertop, or maybe even add a small filing cabinet to match the black furniture, but honestly I forgot all about it until I uploaded this photo.  He also got a grown up office chair from IKEA (, which is also where we got the black furniture.  We have an IKEA store nearby, but I included the link for anyone that's not as fortunate to have one local to them.  We chose their solid wood line, not partical board, so I'm hoping it will last him through college.  I love to repaint furniture and spent a lot of time trying to find a dresser and bookshelf that I could "marry," but with all the painting in this room and on the bed, it was nice to just to finally buy the dresser and bookshelf.   Furniture from IKEA does have to be assembled though so there was still SOME work involved.  You can see how we added the wood panel on the left of the desk to block out the ladder.  On the right side of the desk, we cut the panel in half so we could make a door.  A wood panel has also been attached to the back of the ladder on the right end of the bed so that when you open the cabinet door, it is an actual cabinet, not just the wall.  Hmmm, does this make sense?  We purposely didn't add a knob to the cabinet door, only a strip of wood covering the crack, so that it doesn't look like a cabinet.  This is the hidden weapon cache.   I also have white board paint to paint on that cabinet door but forgot about that too until just now.  The ceiling of the desk area was painted black to bring some of the color in from the furniture and to match the chair, and two LED strip lights were mounted to the desk ceiling.  It's very bright under there now!!!

Oh, by the way, I found some really cool removable wall stickers on and surprised my son with them as the finishing touch to the room. I had to keep something as a suprise since he was eagerly watching every step of the room remodel!  He uses the hand scan sticker by the weapon cache to open the secret cabinet. The blue wall stickers beside his computer look like a wall of computer monitors - so that he can monitor the premises.  Fake bullet holes are scattered throughout, along with this security camera which is focused on his bedroom door.  No unwanted visitors can sneak into this spy's room.

He always wanted one of these hanging chairs.  It was the first thing we bought for his new room, and this is where the color scheme started.  It's always a fun place to sit!  Since he has friends come over a lot and hang out, I lined the wall under one window with three red and black storage cubes that I found at Target.  Together, they make a bench seat under the window.  But they are easily moved around the room for extra seating.  After considering several options, I decided to just go with simple black roller shades for their simplicity.  You can barely see a red wall lamp peeking out from the hanging chair, and there are two more hanging at each end of the dresser.  I like the punch of color, and the ceiling fan just doesn't put out enough light for this dark room once the sun goes down.  The red rug came from Target as well and I'll have to say my favorte part about the rug is that it gives the kids a place to with legos and other small things without losing them in the shaggy carpet.

My only concern about putting a loft bed in this room was the fact that the room is small and it has a ceiling fan.  This means that anywhere a loft bed would be placed, one would be able to reach out and touch the ceiling fan.  Knowing my son, and knowing his friends, someone would eventually lose a hand or get a concussion.  But like I said earlier, there's always a fix!  So, I came up with this plexiglass (I mean bullet proof shield) idea.  I found a sheet of plexiglass at Lowe's, trimmed it to the size I wanted, and mounted it to the bedrails and to a strip of wood that I mounted to the ceiling, into the studs.  It worked perfect!  I kept the size small - only in front of the fan - so that it didn't block the view of the t.v. from the bed.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog!  This Home Girl can't wait to start a new room for my little girl!


I recently ran across the BEFORE pics and, once I got over the embarassment and shame, decided I HAD to post them.  :-)


UPDATE TO TWEEN SPY ROOM:  Spy Silhouette and White Board Project

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