Then I had an idea. A crazy idea. Dan was going to be away for the week for work, so as he was getting ready to leave I asked, "Can I just try to create a bedroom while you are gone?" There was a long pause, so I quickly added the clincher, "As long as it doesn't cost a dime?" How can you say no to that, and yet there was a crinkle that passed his brow. Without a pause I continued, "And if you come home and don't like it, I will put it all back, but you're gonna like it!" Hook....line....and sinker.
My idea: to use the utility closet for a bedroom, naturally. The room was completely unfinished: exposed beams, no sheetrock except on one wall, artificial grass carpeting, and pipes sticking out of the wall. Perfect. A crawl space went under the stairs and then opened up to an area you could stand in, as well. This would not be easy, but I thought I could pull this off.
The fist hurdle was to get a bed into the space. If I couldn't do that, I was finished. After some manuvering I managed to get the bed in to the room, barely. It fits perfectly from wall to wall. So the room was a go. I hung sheets to make walls: flat sheets, fitted sheets, pillow cases (when I ran out of sheets). I used blue and green sheets since I had several of them that I wasn't really using. I hunted for furniture in other rooms to find a small desk that would fit in the space and a little night table. With the limited square footage I needed to create space for her to put her things, but everything had to be on a small scale. I hung some posters to make it feel roomy. Hung sheer fabric from the ceiling to hide the exposed beams. Moved a dresser under the stairs; I about killed myself doing that one! I will tell you now, if we ever move, the new owners can have the dresser under the stairs! Hung a rod for a makeshift closet. Voila....bedroom! Cinnamon loved it. Dan approved it. Cinnamon has been in the mismatched utility closet ever since.
But, lately I had been thinking, and that can be dangerous around here. The room had been the same for the last five years and although Cinnamon never once complained, Dan and I wished her room was a bit nicer and more finished. So I came up with a secret plan! About a year ago, on a whim I had surprised Paprika with some updates to her room when she was gone for a weekend and she had loved it. I could do the same for Cinnamon. While Cinnamon and Paprika were gone to the International Dance Festival, I would fix her room. I only had 24 hours, but I could do it with a little help. Then Dan had to work. Okay, I could still do it with a bit of help from Allspice. Then Allspice had to work. Okay, so I could do it myself, maybe.
We dropped the girls off on Saturday morning and I headed home to completely gut Cinnamon's room. The clock was ticking!
|See! I told you it was a converted utility closet!|
I began painting with Allspice until he had to leave. I hung new sheets (Way harder than you think!). I decorated. I hung the "ceiling" (thank goodness, Dan came home to help with that!). I smiled and I smiled. She would be so surprised!
Let me tell you, she was!!! When she opened the door to her room she stood in total shock as she scanned the room. With a grin from ear to ear she said, "I can't believe you did this! This is the best surprise ever!"
Cinnamon loves her new room. Yesterday she said to me, "Mom, I can't believe that this is my room! I never thought I would ever have a room like this." She hugged me tight and said, "I love it, Mom. It is absolutely perfect!"
My heart swells each time I hear the joy in her voice. This was not about a newly decorated room, but rather a way my heart wanted to reach out to a teenage girl in her own love language and ask, "Do you know how much I love you? Do you know I am always thinking of you? Do you know I think about you when you are gone?" This wasn't about stuff, it was about love. It was perfect. Mission accomplished.