Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Top Secret Project Revealed!

My daughter lives in a utility closet under the stairs.  Yep.  Crazy, I know, and yet it is a pretty cool space according to Cinnamon.  Several years ago the girls really wanted their own rooms.  The problem was not so easy to fix.  We live in a three bedroom house and there was not really an area to carve out for another bedroom.  So we did what came natural:  we ignored the problem and hoped that this was a passing request.  Well, it wasn't.  Paprika's medical needs at the time really pushed us to look for a way to create some space; the want became a need. 

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.


  1. Ohhhhh, it's PERFECT! And it's so Cinnamon. :) Loved, loved, loved- your kids know how much they are loved, that's for sure.

  2. My step-mom did something like that for me in High School. I went out one day and came home to all new bedding and things moved a bit differently. It is nice. It's just nice when you know someone is thinking about you, the rest is just the icing! her room looks fantastic!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...