A Big Girl Room for Allie / by Elizabeth Coombs

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It was May of 2016.  We were in Orlando with my parents, taking Alexandria (“Allie”) to Disney World for the first time.  I woke up early that morning and discovered during my morning routine that I was expecting our second child.  With excitement, I went back into the room and woke Braxton to tell him.  As we shared a princess breakfast with my parents that morning in Epcot, we told them that the next time we came, we’d have a second child that would be able to share in on the fun.  They were overjoyed and so were we.

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We soon found out that we were having another precious little girl, and I began trying to think of the best way to utilize space and furnishings for our growing family.  I decided that we would move Allie out of the nursery to make room for her little sister and that she would have her very own “big girl room.”   

I began looking for inspiration and measured the space just as I do for my clients.  I decided that the best focal point in the room would be to put a daybed in front of the two windows, and the twin mattress would be the perfect size for Allie to transition into from her crib.  I had fallen in love with an idea I found where a king headboard was used as the back of the daybed and built-ins were nestled on each side.  The only problem was that the only logical wall for the bed was in front of the windows as I mentioned, and there simply wasn’t enough space (or budget) for built-ins.

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I searched for white wood daybeds, but I couldn’t find anything I liked.  Luckily, I have a handy husband who is great at carpentry, so I drew up a sketch, and he built the bed for me and then attached the headboard to the back bedrail. I pulled the hot pink, aqua, and cream color scheme from a painting that reminded me of Allie’s sweet, yet colorful personality, and I found a beautiful Capiz shell chandelier that was the perfect statement piece in the room. We moved a chest from our master bedroom into the space as we were likely to have to find it a new home anyway once we started on that project, and I found a tufted chair and skirted ottoman where I envisioned reading Allie bedtime stories and sitting to put on her shoes.  Braxton’s aunt hand-knitted a gorgeous hot pink herringbone throw blanket, and I placed a beautiful stuffed horse on the skirted table by the chair that Braxton picked up for Allie during his work travels to India before she was born.

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People ask me a lot, “How does your house always look so put together and clean, especially with young children?”  I just laugh to myself because that is just so not the case. Believe me, my toddler’s bedroom does not always look like this image of perfection – truth be told, the main image was a second run after taking photos with a cranky toddler the day before while her younger sister cried for me to pick her up (she loves to be held – like all the time!). Toys and clutter were all shoved into the nearby playroom, and I shot the photos in my workout clothes (that I did not work out in). I was un-showered, hair in a ponytail, and not a trace of makeup to be found on my poor face. Also, if you saw the condition of my kitchen and family room at those moments, many of you might be appalled!

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I say all of this so as not to give a false sense of perfection – moms nowadays don’t need any more of that.  I’ve been given a unique gift by my Creator to “make stuff  pretty” as my sweet Allie says of what I do, but that does not mean that everyone has that ability or that things look picture perfect and magazine ready all of the time.  If it did, that would be pretty boring and no one would ever have any fun!  I say all of this because I just hope that what I do as an interior designer can make someone’s life better, more beautiful, more functional, and that they know that what they may see personally as their imperfections, God sees as a beautiful mess!

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which was also laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12