Indiana Jones was the inspiration for this storage nook-turned-kids-room

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Ginger Curtis never planned to live in her circa 1901 home in Fort Worth, Texas as it was. But when the architectural plans arrived for the large-scale renovation she had planned, the Urbanology designs founder realized that she would have nothing left of the original house she had fallen in love with. So she pivoted, deciding to move her family into the house and remodel it bit by bit. The challenge: integrating his family of seven into the three-bedroom structure. It should use every nook and cranny of the existing home without enlarging the footprint.

Sleeping arrangements were particularly tricky. Ginger and her husband, Eric, took a room; their eldest daughters, Madison (17) and Lilly (18), had another; and their daughter Avery (11) and youngest son Asher (8) found themselves not so happy sharing the third bedroom (the couple’s oldest son, Tyler, is stationed overseas with the Navy ). Then inspiration struck: Ginger realized she could turn an unused space at the top of the stairs into a sleeping area for Asher. However, it would take some work to transform the micro-opening, with its tired carpeting and utter lack of charm, into a welcoming room.

As seasoned do-it-yourselfers, the Curtises knew they could tackle the project on their own without the help of a professional. They first paneled the entire alcove with wide planks of maple that they cut themselves. Next, Ginger tapped into 8-year-old Asher’s interests for inspiration in decorating, weaving her love for dinosaurs and Indiana Jones (hello, safari tent curtains!) in the bedroom. Here’s how she transformed the old storage space.

Warm up with wood

Asher’s room, before.
built-in bookcase with clothes racks

“It’s such a small space. I stuck to one material for all the surfaces because I wanted things to be clean and not too busy with lots of material transitions,” says Ginger of the simple wood grain of the maple planks. “I didn’t want a heavily striped pattern or something that would overwhelm this little room. The light but neutral maple color is very organic yet still comfortable.

Make a big gesture

hanging canvas curtains opening to the children's room

If you want to turn a standard kid’s room into a place where the imagination runs wild, Ginger advises focusing on a key element of visual drama — an indoor hammock, for example, or a ceiling lined with flying cranes. . Here, this element is the drapery that encloses the alcove. “Asher said he wanted it to look like a fort, so I came up with the idea of ​​making curtains with canvas drop cloths,” she explains. Nailed directly to the ceiling, they completely block off the nook. “It feels like a safari tent when you’re sitting on the bed and watching,” she adds.

Reinvent the staples of the room

integrated storage for books and clothes

Ginger was lucky to have the shelving built into this space, but even a basic bookcase can become a smart storage spot with the right bins. Here, soft rope containers hold most of Asher’s clothes, creating a simple, easy-to-maintain closet system for a child. Toys are stored in sturdier wooden bins and woven baskets. Who needs a wardrobe, anyway?

The designer also added wheels to Asher’s custom platform bed, so she could rearrange the room to suit her needs. “If he wants to play, with one finger you can push the bed so it’s completely against the wall and opens up the whole front of the room for a little activity area.”

Go vintage to avoid kitsch

Penant jostling on the paneled wall next to the bed

If your child craves a themed bedroom, Ginger suggests meeting their interests with something unique. In Asher’s bedroom, she nodded to her son’s obsession with Indiana Jones by hanging her grandfather’s hat (an Indy’s look-alike) on the wall and displaying an antique three-hour clock faces on the shelf. Likewise, she recommends browsing eBay and Etsy for vintage wall art: a throwback Batman The poster will satisfy your child’s desires and still vibrate with adult decorating sensibilities.

Nix wiring

painting and baseball cap on paneled wall

One of the first things on Ginger’s renovation list: unsightly lights, which weren’t a practical choice for low ceilings. “They were so ugly,” she says. To avoid the cost of electric sconces, she opted for a cozy table lamp and hung an IKEA clamp lamp on a hook next to the bed.

bedding to match

Indiana Jones themed nursery

The mustard quilt and buffalo plaid throw are neutral enough to pair with a variety of sheets and pillows, including the subtle dinosaur-patterned sheets that make her son smile. For themed (but uncoordinated) bedding, Ginger prefers understated prints over opposite patterns. “I didn’t create an all-green dinosaur theme,” she says. “It’s just that little pattern moment.”

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