B&A: Easy Paint Projects Give One Kid’s Blank Bedroom a Colorful, Cheery Redo

B&A: Easy Paint Projects Give One Kid’s Blank Bedroom a Colorful, Cheery Redo

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Colorful bedrooms aren’t reserved for the under-18 crowd, but kids’ spaces do often have color inspiration galore. (Here are 20 of our favorites.) Decorating a child’s bedroom offers up a chance to take bold risks and show off their unique style, personality, and interests in a way that adults sometimes have trouble doing in their own spaces.

Tripurashree Vittal (@craft_myworld) has let the colors of the rainbow guide many past DIY projects, and her daughter’s bedroom is no different. While it was serviceable, the blank-slate look lacked any hint of color or charm.

The walls were all white, which was a “a good foundation to start with,” Tripurashree says. A pink-and-white color scheme fit the bill for her daughter in her younger years, but as she got older, she wanted more color. “My daughter, who is almost nine years old, is getting out of the small kids’ decor and evolving into a sort of tween aesthetic,” Tripurashree says. “This became the great opportunity to design her room into a more colorful, fun, fresh, yet calm space for her to grow up with.”

Tripurashree did several paint projects to help liven things up and move the bedroom into the tween zone. For starters, she painted the wall behind the headboard a minty aqua (Clare’s “Headspace”), her daughter’s favorite color.

“Figuring out the right shade of blue definitely took more time than painting,” Tripurashree says. “It looks green or blue depending on the light and the time of the day! I like both the colors; it works perfectly.”

“Don’t be scared to use paint on anything,” Tripurashree says. “It’s one of the easiest and budget-friendly things you could do to add so much to the space, yet it is very easy to change if you don’t like it.” (Her advice is perfect for Apartment Therapy’s Color Month!) Tripurashree says she decided to use chalk paint on the pieces because it didn’t require as much prep as a latex paint, which helped save some time.

“It took only two weeks to get things together once I planned the layout, decor, and DIY projects,” Tripurashree says of her One Room Challenge redo. “Planning, sourcing furniture, and also working with the ever-changing ideas of my daughter took longer than the execution of the project.”

One of the biggest challenges in transforming the bedroom, Tripurashree recalls, was rearranging the furniture to be able to fit a queen-sized bed, a dresser, a desk, and book storage. “The only thing I will do differently is look at the big products in-person rather than ordering online, since I had to return two big mirrors, which took lot of time and effort from my end,” she says.

But she’s pleased she was able to piece it all together in a way that still gives plenty of space to move around, while also incorporating her daughter’s design ideas. “I wanted to involve my daughter in the whole process,” Tripurashree writes on her blog. “She is the one who is going to live in that room, I wanted to get her personality into the space.”

Now, her daughter has a color-filled, functional hideaway to call her own. “I’m super proud of the way the room turned out according to the way it was envisioned,” Tripurashree says.

This piece is part of Color Month, where we’re showing you the best ways to inject more color into your home and life. From paint color combos to vibrant house tours, head over here to see it all. 

Sarah Everett

Staff Writer

Sarah is a staff writer at Apartment Therapy. She completed her MA in journalism at the University of Missouri and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Belmont University. Past writing and editing stops include HGTV Magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine, and several outlets local to her hometown, Columbia, Missouri.

9 Tips For Choosing the Right Bunk Beds

9 Tips For Choosing the Right Bunk Beds

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When my son became bunk bed-obsessed back in 2019, I never imagined it would lead me to write a whole book about bunk beds, but here we are: “The Bunk Bed Book” came out last month, and now I am something of a bunk bed expert. Researching and writing a book about bunk and loft beds led me to realize what a wide world of bunks there are: Short ones, super-tall ones, triple bunks, trundle bunks, and bunks that looked like full-blown forts — not to mention all the loft beds!

Picking bunk beds or designing them from scratch is a surprisingly intimidating task. Because they’re often a big investment, these decisions become even more fraught. 

I can’t tell you exactly what to buy or build because it will depend on the space you have, but I can give you these nine tips to help you get your selection right, which follow right here.

Don’t just go for the cheapest design.

With bunk beds, you get what you pay for. Dozens of affordable bunks exist on bargain or mass-market sites, but from what I heard from homeowners and interior designers, these are almost never a good choice because the materials and construction do not hold up to everyday use.

Say no to particle board.

Along the same lines of not scrimping on price, pay attention to the materials of the bunk you buy. If you see particle board or MDF listed in the description of materials, keep looking for something made of solid wood. It doesn’t have to be expensive either: IKEA’s classic MYDAL is solid pine, which while less durable than hardwood, is way more likely to last than manufactured wood.

To prevent today’s bunk from becoming tomorrow’s trash, look at open-ended designs like, say, a simple house shape or a bunk with a slide, if you’re dying for something playful.

Be careful with super-low bunks.

A low-slung bunk bed can be a great solution for a small or low-ceilinged room, where bunks are the only way to fit in two kids. For the long haul though, I’d recommend you avoid lower style bunks. They’re harder for adults to get in and out of, and as your kid gets taller, the lower bunk will be less and less appealing.

Explore an upgraded size bed situation.

If you’re shopping for an older child or want your bunks to last into the teen years, look to extra-long twin, twin-over-full (like this one in a room by designer Erin Gates above), and even full-over-full size models. The extra few inches of length will make the bunks way more comfortable for anyone adult-sized. These plus-sized bunks are also a great choice for guest rooms that adults will use.

Weigh the pros and cons of stairs.

Bunks with steps are the easiest to use and arguably safer than ladders, but they also take up a lot of space. If storage is built into the steps, this can alleviate the need for a dresser, so that might make the extra cost and space for a staircase worthwhile. Just know that bunk beds with stairs are also the priciest option on the market.

Consider your ladder options.

Most people do not think much about ladders, but so many different types exist, and each has its own set of pros and cons:
Integrated straight ladders: The most common kind of bunk ladders, these go straight up and down and are affixed to one side of the bed. This type of ladder requires no additional floor space, and many bunk beds can be ordered or assembled to whichever side you prefer. This is also usually the most affordable option.
End ladders: Bunks with the ladder positioned on the short end leave the entire lower bunk open, which can be especially nice for adults and creates a more minimalist look. 
Angled ladders: Less common than a straight ladder, an angled ladder sticks out into the room. You want one with an angle of 30 degrees or less. Ideally, it should have a safety rail. These take up more room than straight ladders, but they are a little easier to climb.

Choose a brand with white glove delivery.

If ever there was a piece of furniture that warranted professional assembly, bunk beds might be it. White glove delivery can be pricey and depends on the vendor, but in my experience, the delivery people can build a bunk in mere minutes compared to the average person-and-a friend’s a half a day of work for assembly. Plus, when you’re making an investment, you want to know that your piece is built to last and safe for anyone to use.

Seek out flexible designs.

Many manufacturers are building flexibility into their designs with bottom bunks you can add or remove (like Oeuf’s Perch bunk, as seen here in blogger Erin Boyle’s home), stacked twins that can be separated later on, and more. One of these might be pricier than a fixed bunk, but it could save you money in the long run when you don’t need to buy additional beds later.

Laura Fenton

Contributor

Laura Fenton is the author of The Little Book of Living Small. She writes about home design and sustainability, and is a regular contributor to Apartment Therapy. Her work has been published in Better Homes & Gardens, Eater, New York Magazine, and Real Simple.

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“Battle on the Beach” Turns a Small Space into a Kids’ Room

“Battle on the Beach” Turns a Small Space into a Kids’ Room

The competition is officially over halfway completed on “Battle on the Beach.” The hit HGTV series, which is currently in its second season, charts the progress of three teams of aspiring home renovators as they make over houses in Surfside Beach, Texas. Network stars Taniya Nayak (“Build It Forward”), Ty Pennington (“Ty Breaker”), and Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab”) each provide guidance and design expertise to one of the teams on a weekly basis.

After tackling several of the key rooms in their identical houses, the teams found a slightly more relaxed challenge in the latest episode. Each team was tasked with renovating the kids’ room into a space that children could both sleep and play in. The room began as a small space with a lone window, a small closet, and high ceilings. The floors were unfinished and the walls were a bare-bones patchwork of white and gray drywall. On a base level, the room was drab, run-down, and in dire need of some imagination.

Roosevelt and Brandyn, Taniya’s mentees, wanted to find a way to “bring the ocean into [the] room and let it flow,” so the father-son duo went for a ship theme. With a $4,000 budget and a seven-day deadline, the pair kicked off their renovation by designing a hand-crafted bunk bed in the shape of a ship. Brandyn researched the local shipping lore and discovered a boat called the “Elissa,” which was one of the oldest transportation boats in the Surfside Beach area. He opted to have the bunk bed ships crafted with the boat’s look (brown with a blue base) in mind, for some historical flair. 

“To me, those are the things that tell a story,” Taniya explained, regarding Brandyn’s decoration inspiration. “And in every great design, if you can tell a story, you’ve got them.”

Roosevelt and Brandyn added a detailed orange and brown ladder to the structure, which allowed for easy access to the top bunk. They also built two portholes, which peered into the lower bunk. To complete the ship-themed look of the beds, the duo added sea-themed sheets for the two mattresses and a dark railing to the upper level.

“The whole idea of doing a kids room is thinking like a kid, and they’re thinking like a kid, and it makes me so happy,” Taniya said. 

Once Roosevelt and Brandyn finished with the bunk bed area, they were left with a large, blank wall on the opposite side of the room. At Taniya’s prompting, the two hired an artist (Darvin Jones) to paint a seaside mural with sunset motifs. After painting the other walls gray, they also added a small cloud mural by the upper bunk. In an effort to incorporate realistic, high-tech features into the space, they also installed lights and outlets by each bunk.

To help bring the entire space together, Roosevelt and Brandyn added several small finishing touches to the room, including wooden beach chairs, a chalkboard, a low-key rug, and a small ship steering wheel on the wall.

“I think it became more than just a space for kids to play in,” said judge Sarah Beaumler (“Renovation Island”). “But it also became a sleeping space, a creative space, a spot where they could become anything they want to do in their imagination, which I love.” 

“Battle on the Beach” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and Discovery+.

7 Ways I’m Childproofing My Home With A Second Baby On The Way

7 Ways I’m Childproofing My Home With A Second Baby On The Way

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

The first time I had a baby, “childproof” was a new word to me — it sounded like the title of an action movie. Now, I can look around any house and see a danger factory brimming with risk and potential hospital visits in every direction.

I babyproofed my house for my first child and was able to mostly keep it intact. Yet, over time, I have let my guard down. As he has aged, cleaning supplies have been more easily accessible and the child locks that used to keep the cabinet doors secure have been removed. The safety plugs have been removed from the sockets, and the coffee table my mom suggested we get rid of in the living room has found its way back into place.

Being a parent is petrifying as is, and babyproofing a home is one way to exorcise the things that keep a new parent awake at night (besides a crying baby). Now that baby number two is on the way, I’ll be returning to some of the above mentioned tricks and adding some oldies but goodies back in.

With kid one, I installed baby gates pretty early on, and I was glad I did. Though babyproofing comes with an inherent set of hassles and slows down the day-to-day motions of adults, they protect the little ones, which is the priority. I went with those classic tan-colored metal gates which aren’t pretty, but they do keep a child who is at the learning to walk stage from tumbling down the stairs like a bowling ball. Knowing my child would have a barrier to keep him from sleep walking us all into a potential ER visit helped me sleep better at night.

Strict In-Home Shoes-Off Policy

I see the disgusting things people leave on the ground, which is why I insist people take off their shoes when they come into the house. I consider this a form of kid-proofing because it means I have to vacuum, mop, and scrub to keep the home safe for my kids that much less. But I went one step further and got a cute shoe rack where people can both place their shoes and comfortably sit to take their shoes off and put them back on. It helps immediately get the message across when someone steps into my home that this is a shoe-free zone, and makes it easier for them to comply. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s cute.

My husband has this interesting “everything must go” policy, whereas I’m a person who keeps things to get use out of them. But when you live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, these two concepts have to meet somewhere in the middle. Sadly, we did get rid of this play area after baby one outgrew it, and we will be bringing it back. It’s flexible, so you can form it into a circle or square, and even use it outside in the grass. I lined the bottom with blankets to make it cozy for him to play in, and sometimes even climbed in there with him and took a nap, knowing he was safe while I snoozed nearby.

I take a daily prenatal vitamin and a daily vitamin C, and when my first was younger, I got into the habit of using a “childproof” pill box. The seller made a good point when advertising the box that “no box is 100 percent child-proof,” and this is an important piece of parenting 101: You think you’re doing it the way you’re supposed to, but children are like little genius robots, and they pick things up and figure them out in incredible (and incredibly frustrating) and sometimes dangerous ways. This isn’t a new one, but a reminder to adopt this item in your life if you have a baby coming.

Some cannabis companies have jumped on the bandwagon and even started selling locking boxes for cannabis products — another great idea if you keep any kind of recreational drugs in your home. It’s a cheap no-brainer.

Cabinet and Door Handle Lockers

In addition to those little plastic doodads that make opening cabinet doors harder, I also implemented knob covers that wouldn’t let my little trouble-seeker open up our closet or the bathroom and bedroom doors. These were great for gaining privacy in the bathroom, and for keeping cleaning supplies and freshly folded towels out of reach, which would be a complete delight for him to rifle through and toss around, much to my chagrin.

Foam Padding On Everything

When my firstborn was on his way, my mom recommended I remove a table from the living room. I did, but as my son got a little older and a bit more self-aware, I opted to return it because I kept kicking my drinks over. To compromise, I covered the edges with a peel-and-stick foam padding strip. I put it on anything that was pokey or potentially forehead-smack inducing. It was super easy to use and inexpensive — a terrific combo. Plus, it comes in a rainbow of colors to match all the furniture.

Other Things I Don’t Even Know About… Just Yet

One awesome thing about parenting is that with every month, year, generation, we get smarter and figure out answers to potential problems and hazards in advance. In just a few years, there are new, stylish solutions that will make parenting easier for anyone having a baby this year (including me).

This Bassinet Has a Range of Innovative Features—Including Ambient Lighting and Soothing Music

This Bassinet Has a Range of Innovative Features—Including Ambient Lighting and Soothing Music

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Between night feeds and outside distractions, there’s no denying that having a new born disrupts sleep schedules (for both baby and parent). But Fisher-Price is on hand with a new bassinet that is packed with soothing features to help parents late night feedings and calm babies in the dark.

The Fisher-Price Luminate Bassinet has been lovingly designed to give new parents peace of mind throughout the night, and beyond, with a range of special features and technology to create an oasis of calm for baby. The clever Smart Sensing System detects the baby’s cries and has three response modes to help soothe them back to sleep, with cycles based on recommendations of a sleep expert. The three modes are as follows:

Sense & Respond: the bassinet will immediately begin soothing when a cry is detected with vibrations and sounds; : Sense & Soothe: the bassinet begins soothing with the Ready, Settle, Sleep playlist. The bassinet’s response to baby’s cries is delayed to allow time for baby to learn to self-soothe; and  Ready, Settle, Sleep: the bassinet no longer responds and vibrations are turned off to help wean baby from these soothing features. 

Motion-activated floor light illuminates your path as you near to avoid harsh overhead lights during night time check ins and feedings, while gentle music and sounds will lull little ones back to sleep.

While the product packs a punch, the Luminate Bassinet has been designed with small spaces in mind, lightweight and easy to assemble and disassemble.

Unsurprisingly, the innovative bassinet has received plenty of five-star reviews from pleased parents.

“Absolutely love this bassinet,” one person wrote. “My favorite sound is the white noise feature and I was able to control that as well from my phone without worrying about my baby seeing me. Definitely helped nap time but even better at night.”

Another noted: “Love this! Super sturdy and simple to use.”

Priced at $249.99, the Fisher-Price Luminate Bassinet is available to buy from Amazon, Target, buybuyBaby, and more.