Monday, August 31, 2015

VT Room

 It became apparent to me, after I totally blanked over the weekend, that my brain is in need of a rest. So, today's post will be fun, and totally thought-free. 

Last Christmas, Jack got a Fat Head of the VT stadium for Christmas, with the thought that I would redo his room. In May, he asked me if I had given any thought to his sports-themed room. At the end of May, a few days before his birthday, he asked if I thought I could get his room done by May 25. And I laughed and laughed at that. Anyone who knows me knows that projects typically take, oh, months to complete. But I started it, and when I did, I promised a few people I would share the progress. Since I am not the worlds most attentive person, I typically forget to take before and after pictures, but I got a few befores:

This is actually from a few years ago, when we first moved in, so it is minus wall decor, but gives an idea of what his room looked like. PS It was cute.

When we finally decided on the final design (we had to nix several circus-y, orange and maroon stripe ideas from the drawing board, and do some convincing on the addition of gray into the theme), we picked out the paint color and started painting.

On his birthday, he got, along with a new baseball lamp, VT sheets. And the VT pillowpet is absolutely a must.

The paint is a custom mix from Sherwin-Williams. I didn't want to go maroon (too purple) and orange was out of the question (too orange) and he wouldn't go for gray or white, so we settled on a brick red paint swatch from Lowes, which I took to SW and had mixed. It took three coats to cover the blue.

I knew that he wouldn't like white curtains, and I didn't want to go orange, so I thought gray would be a nice compromise. I initially thought dark gray would be best, so every time I went to Target, I would look through their curtains. I found a dark gray, but this stripe beat out the competition by a long shot. (Plus, it was Jack's favorite. I had to keep remembering that this was his room.) I also repurposed this shelf, originally bought at Target, as a baseball display. I originally bought it for a sports memorabilia room/closet I plan on doing for Jon (I haven't forgotten, I promise!), but it works perfectly in this room to display all his game balls from over the years. The small foot stool and side table are painted as well. (Orange in small doses is a good thing.)

Along with a room redo, Jack got a bathroom redo as well. We originally thought we would paint it orange to go along with the VT theme, but decided to go neutral so I could also paint his bathroom vanity (formally oak). It is done with three coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in French Linen, covered with clear wax. The small side table beside his bed is also French Linen with clear wax.

Progress on the vanity was slow, with three coats. This is coat one. You can use chalk paint to give your cabinets a whitewashed look, too, but I wanted a less transparent look to his vanity.

This is coat three. It looks funny when you first paint it one but will dry nicely.

When all the coats are done, you have to wax chalk paint, and they recommend more than one coat of wax. I used two coats, and then used a soft cloth to buff it out.

The finished product. I wanted to change everything in the bathroom: faucet, mirror, lighting, but had to remind myself that this is a 10 YO boys bathroom, and he needs to take care of his things before I go changing everything out. It'll take time. (Plus, I'm currently out of funding for this room.)

When the paint finally cured in his room (Fat Head suggests waiting 30 days, which is partly why this took so long), we hung the Fat Head on the wall. It promptly fell into a heap, sticking to itself and giving me a headache. Since Fat Heads do not stick well to textured walls, I used 3M strips to adhere it. It still needs a good press every few days to make sure everything is staying put.

One of the final touches in Jack's room--per his request--was a Hokie bird painted on the wall. I like art, I can draw a decent picture, and I can trace like a champ, but this was a challenge too great for me. My first attempt at freehanding the Hokie Bird ended in disaster, which I quickly painted over. Everyone needs room for mistakes!

So I borrowed an overhead projector (those of you who are my age will understand; youngers will not appreciate the overhead projector). I traced a printout I found online onto a transparency sheet, then traced that onto the wall. I knew beforehand it would be covered slightly by the door and the dresser.

Then I added the numbers so we could call it a growth chart. (As a mom, I needed this. Growth charts are cool no matter how old you are.)

A few years ago, Jack was able to visit the VT stadium and get autographs from all the football players, which I wanted to display. I finally came up with the idea to add chicken wire to an empty frame and clip the autographs in. This was not an easy job and reminded me that I need to invest in a nice staple gun.

You'll need wire cutters for this job.

Another set of hands is a good thing to have, since the wire wants to roll back on itself. Have someone hold the wire while you cut.

I bent the wire back against the counter to make it semi-flat.

Those little clippy things on the inside of the frame are what I used to make the wire stay. This is hard and I made it harder than it needed to be. Once I get that staple gun, it'll be easier to make it stay, plus it'll be flat in the frame. But it works for now.

There you have it, folks. A transformation worthy of a blog post. Here are some more pics of the (mostly) final room:

A few thoughts: most of the stuff in his room I already had, so I just repurposed. Some things were new, like the VT signs and the Fat Head (, the lamp (PBTeen) and the lampshades and curtains (Target). I'm not a person who is going to make it perfect for a photo, because it never is perfect. So this is a typical day in life at our house. Slightly messy, progress ongoing. I do think I'm going to paint the blades of his ceiling fan orange, as he is dissatisfied with the amount of orange in the room.

If you'd like to know more detail, just let me know. Happy decorating!