Several years ago, I saw a vacant home going up for auction and felt I had to “save” it. It wasn’t much to look at, but with some work, it had potential to be a great home with plenty of space. I’ve always been one to save money & invest in things that I thought were worth it. Though this place was in BAD shape on the inside, I no longer wanted to rent an apartment so I made an offer on this house just before the auction. As it turns out, they accepted the offer and I officially bought this the same day I graduated from college; talk about an eventful day! Shortly thereafter, I got to work on remodeling it and in this post I’m sharing how we flipped the upstairs apartment kitchen into a colorful girls bedroom.
Heres the house shortly after I bought it. The outside structure wasn’t too bad but we have since changed literally everything; siding, windows, roof, landscaping…you name it. The real beast however was on the inside. There wasn’t any heat, air conditioning, working appliances and was in need of major repair from fixing the walls, the floors, building rooms…the list just goes on. It was basically a time capsule from the 60’s but not in a cool retro way. That being said, she had good bones underneath it all & I could see the potential; there were hardwood floors under the old carpet and it was built really well. After some reconfiguring of the floor plan, we were able to turn this into a 5 bedroom home, which we now love.
In this post, I’m going to focus soley on the former upstairs apartment kitchen which I flipped into my daughters bedroom and in future posts, I’ll share other areas of the home that I have since revamped and paid for with cash thanks to some DIY skills, deals I found, and some awesome family members who helped when needed. On to the flip..
Let me first share that though this is a 2 story home, there were NO STAIRS!!! I couldn’t even access the upper floor when I first started living here because the outdoor staircase had to be torn down for safety reasons, so it looked like this for some time. The upstairs was actually an apartment, which explains why there was a small kitchen up here.
So, here’s the kitchen area; literally everything in here had to be taken out & changed down to the studs…everything! Let me tell you, this isn’t a project for everyone, but it has worked out well for us. When I bought this, I was fresh outta college and had NO money…none. I needed a low mortgage, so I didn’t take out extra for improvements. Instead, I did most everything myself with my husband, who thankfully is very handy and creative.These days, I wouldn’t take on a project this size but I’m so glad I did this at the time, as I have since remodeled the whole house & have been debt free for 5 years. (I’ll share more about this in the future)
Ah yes & this lovely area. This is actually where Harpers bed is now, which you’ll see in the after photos. This is the wall where her bed sits, so we closed this area up & the open space behind was where we added the much needed staircase! Wanna see it now? Check her out
So here is the room after we remodeled it. Harper really wanted a “big girl room” after her brother was born & I was determined to give her something that would suit her personality (she’s colorful, vivacious, funny….you get the picture, she’s awesome).
Paint: After Jason added sheetrock to the walls and snap down wood flooring, it was time to make it pretty. I knew I was going to decorate with a variety of bright colors, so I wanted to the wall color to be a bit more subdued. I found some mis-tint paint at lowes that was a “dusty rose” color & thought it would be perfect if only it were a little lighter. After adding some white paint I had to it to brighten it up; I ended up with a color that worked really well (If you ever mix paint make sure that it’s the same finish-semi gloss, eggshell etc) The paint ended up only costing me $10 to paint the whole room, yea!
Hoola Hoop Canopy: Now, to one of our favorite additions to her room, her hoola hoop canopy. I really wanted to find a way to make a canopy for her to make it seem really special. I’ll briefly tell you how I did this & I searched for a similar DIY in case you want to make one yourself (I wish I would’ve taken photos of the process but I had ALOT to do in a 2 day period!)
- Got a hoola hoop, opened it up at the seam then spray painted it white.
- My mom had some sheer fabric leftover from my brothers wedding so she added a casing to the fabric for the hoop to slide through (basically making custom curtains out of material we already had) Note: you may be able to use curtains for this, if you buy long ones, which would make this DIY super easy. Measure the height from the ceiling to floor & add a few inches if you want them to swoop back, then you’ll know long they need to be. (I’ll share some I found on amazon below, just make sure you measure)
- Super glued the hoola hoop shut & hung it using hooks which screwed into her ceiling.
- Add Led lights on a timer, so when it gets dark in the evening they will turn on…I’ll tell ya what, she thinks that’s just magical
Here’s a similar DIY, though for a bed canopy I prefer the sheer fabric or sheer curtains like the ones on Amazon below.
No Sew Canopy DIY
Vanity: Now, there is a vanity where the old stove used to be. My mom actually found this at a resale shop for super cheap (it was pretty busted) & refinished it for Harpers birthday. She absolutely loves it & added her own touches to it by placing some window clings on the front, decorating with her sandollars and starfish etc.
Pennant: I LOVE using banners & pennants; I found this colorful feather one at Target & thought it would be a great addition above her vanity. I make pennants all the time out of scrapbook paper for my mantle, across bookcases or like I did here, above a vanity or anywhere where there’s empty space.
This entire room is filled with DIY’s, literally every piece of artwork was some sort of DIY project but the up side to that is each piece is custom & cost next to nothing. Here are some of the pieces we made together for her room
- Embroidery hoop art– these are so cute & fun. I made this for Harper using just an embroidery hoop, fabric & buttons. Here is my previous post on that-EmbroideryHoopArt
- Harpers Framed Artwork: My mother in law actually put this together for me; she scanned one of Harpers first drawings, had it printed & then framed it. I just love it, espeically now that she’s older.
- Fun Ribbon Chandelier: Here is another great way to use embroidery hoops & this set me back like….$1. I’ll do a post on these in the future, but as you can see from the photo it’s just a hoop with various ribbons we tied to them to add even more color to her room.
- Clip frame: These are awesome, who doesn’t want a way to swap out your photos, artwork or cards? You can buy these at a variety of stores or make them super inexpensively (my video on this will be out within a week, stay tuned..its SO easy!)
- Handmade Owls: These are quite special; 3 different grandmas put these together to create memorable art for her room. My Mother in Law & Grandma in Law hand cut these owls for my baby shower. They were so adorable that I had to preserve them, so with my help of my mom we framed them for her room.
- Custom Art: Harper wanted some of her art displayed so I made another clip frame & then placed of her pieces on a canvas.
- Time for tea; in the corner we have a little tea party table with a small wall gallery with her initial, various artwork, wall stickers and of course, Hello Kitty.
Time for the surprise! By gently pushing the bookcase, she’s taken to a hidden playroom. This is such a fun space; though it’s just a small room, which used to be attic space, both kids love playing here. We truly tried to maximize every square inch of the house and this was another example of that. Sure, I can’t store as much junk as I used to but it’s totally worth it :)
Needless to say, Harper was so excited for her new “big girl room” and continues to make it her own. I’m thrilled to have this room finally flipped & look forward to sharing other transformations (on a dime) throughout the home in future posts.