Thursday, January 7, 2016

Evie's Christmas loft

When we bought this house three and a half years ago, it had just enough bedrooms for the five of us - three. We planned for Evie to have the small office like bedroom once the baby, Samuel, no longer needed it. I painted it yellow to match the Potterybarn quilt a friend in Gburg gave her years ago. And then I got pregnant with Ezra and all our plans went out the window... or rather they were changed and accelerated. 

We needed another bedroom. The first thing that had to be done was a new free space for all the storage in our unfinished fourth level basement. So we build a loft in our two story garage. Next we needed to put our big couch and toys in the unfinished basement so we could turn the den area they had previously resided in into a fourth bedroom. So we finished the basement, aka, dungeon. Then we needed that fourth bedroom, so, of course we did that too. 

Wow, we've done a lot. I sort of forgot. 

So our new plan was to have Samuel and Ezra in the green room next to ours, Evie in the nursery/office and Noah in the den area downstairs; his room would act as a guest room at need. One night a couple months ago Samuel kept Noah up late into the night for one reason or another and we decided perhaps it was time to make the great bedroom switch. It was not simple.

Evie had been in the green room by herself. After all, one girl with three brothers needs a little space.

Ezra had been in the nursery/office since birth when he kicked Samuel out of there.

Our plan was to put Evie's bed in that little nook where the crib was. However, the room was so small that it would have been very tight with her bed and two dressers. Terry's solution was to build a loft for her new bed. He spent time browsing plans and pictures on Pinterest and figured out what he wanted to do.

 The day Nathan and Ana left, Saturday December 19, we got to work. We moved Ezra's crib into the green room with Evie.

For five days they slept like this. A queen bed, crib and three dressers. Geesh. 

It was actually good training for Ezra to learn to sleep with someone who could talk better than Samuel. 

I had Evie lie in the place her loft would go.  

Then I got to work on my nemesis - popcorn ceiling texture. I've de-popcorned the master bedroom and bathroom, hall bathroom, school room, laundry room, Noah's bedroom - and now Evie's room. All that's left is the green bedroom and the main floor, which might never happen. 

As long as the popcorn hasn't been painted over, it's incredibly simple. All I do is scrape with a drywall spatula.  

It's the mess that's a pain. 

Then I painted the ceiling. 

I painted two walls pink with paint leftover from Evie's Gburg bedroom

I did all of that in one day. It was incredibly busy and I was exhausted. Terry got bored and decided to build the loft in the garage instead of in the room like he had planned. By that evening he had it done. What a productive day!

The following day, Sunday, Terry wanted to nap all afternoon. I booted him off the couch and we got to work installing the loft. And by "we," I mean Terry. I took pictures.

Terry made the loft to very exact measurements and it fit perfectly. We had to push it down into place and rough up the drywall a little but then it just stayed there, suspended in air, because it was such a tight fit. Most impressive. Then all he had to do was level it out before securing it to the wall.

There was only one leg supporting the loft from the floor (the ladder). When Evie first saw it she was alarmed, thinking she would fall to the ground. But Terry screwed the loft lumber into every single stud. This thing is solid. It don't need no legs.

Once he finished screwing the loft to the wall, he attached the ladder. Then it was time to call Evie. This is the first picture of her on the loft (Noah followed her right up of course). 

Next we had to decide how to do the rails. We wanted to be sure about where to put them so we carried Samuel's mattress all the way up the two flights of stairs and held up three different boards to make our choice.  

I guess we sort of forgot we didn't want to have a rail around the bottom of the loft so we decided to cut the second hand rail of the ladder off. 

One more thing left to do that night.

We had been up in the air about how we were going to do shelving under the loft. Evie had been saying for weeks that all she wanted for Christmas was a book shelf. At first we were going to buy just a generic shelf and call it good. But since we were going to do an entire loft we thought we'd combine the two ideas. In the beginning we were going to do little cubbies behind each ladder step. Too much work. We decided to do a plain table and add some shelves above it later.  

Terry screwing the table supports into the studs.

Boom baby! Not bad for a Sunday afternoon!

And actually, that evening Terry filled in his screw holes and I sanded the whole thing down. We kept Evie and Ezra awake too late in the next room.

The following day, Monday, we were hosting our staff Christmas party at our house. Man I had a busy day. First I cleaned my house and then I primed the whole loft, ladder and table. After the Christmas party I put a coat of white semi-gloss over the primer. That afternoon and evening Terry spent a ton of time out in the garage working on the shelves. 

On Tuesday I put a second coat of semigloss down and then one coat of polyurethane. Overkill perhaps but I just didn't want the thing to get chipped up. I hope it helps. That evening Terry implemented what he had spent all that time working on in the garage. Evie had begged for a drawer under her table and even though she didn't need one (she has nine dresser drawers!), daddy did it for his baby girl. Just when I thought I was done painting I had two shelves and a little boxed drawer to finish as well. It didn't take long and was done by the following evening.

By Thursday, Christmas Eve, we were done. And that had been our plan. It was her gift to be able to sleep in her new loft on Christmas Eve. That day was the most work out of everything. We had three bedrooms worth of furniture to move up two flights of stairs. Then there was the moving clothes and closet stuff, cleaning, organizing and installation of bedroom wall stuff. Finally we were done. I was exhausted that night. Christmas was the next day!

Here is Samuel and Ezra's new room. Ezra is still getting used to sharing...

And Noah's. All of the bedrooms but Evie's are incredibly bare. Maybe I'll get around to hanging something up...someday.

Now before the "after" pictures, keep in mind how plain it was before: 

Boom baby! There it is in all its glory.

This is the view directly to the left when you walk in. We added those two little hooks for her small things to hang on. 

Her pretty dressers from Grampa B have plenty of room. 

And here are the shelves and little drawer. The table is supposed to be for coloring or writing, and she probably does do that, but most of the time it's just a play area for her Legos. 

Ignoring fabulous Noah, let me point out the blackout curtains I made a year and a half ago and that still go well in her new room. 

The loft looks great and she really loves it.  Actually, I'm a bit jealous of how great her room is. It's better than ours!

Those four little pictures came with the bedding set, along with the translucent curtains, and a couple hooks. 

There are hooks. I wanted to get rid of the poster (it came with the house) but Evie insisted it stay. 

The video:

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