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$Monday: A Room of Her Own (Pandemic Tween Bedroom Makeover)

Before the pandemic struck, my family had planned to use every last bit of our spare time and cash in 2020 on badly needed updates to our deteriorating kitchen and main bathroom. We were going to start the work in the spring or summer, when we could have windows open for ventilation (just for the dust and fumes! ha!), and then the pandemic came along and shifted our priorities. We spent part of our stimulus check on an electric log splitter, a new fridge and dishwasher to replace our breaking-down old ones, and one professional plumbing fix. We postponed all cosmetic and non-emergency kitchen and bath work, made ourselves a temporary pantry in a torn-out hole in our kitchen, and invested the rest of our renovation funds (and my year's worth of vacation time) into a bedroom makeover for our nine-year-old daughter.

The pandemic made it less important (because we aren't having guests inside the house) and more dangerous (because of the likely need to bring in professionals) to complete the rest of our kitchen and bath renovations, and at the same time it increased the impact of a bedroom makeover for our daughter, whose education and social life have gone virtual. While we took advantage of frequent opportunities to play outside with masks over the summer and early fall, most of our time is now spent quarantined in the house. Tidy, beautiful surroundings make this much easier for our daughter, who loves a clean and organized space. She is now confined to our home almost 24/7 and needs a restful, focused area where everything feels orderly and inspiring for daytime work and also comfortable for relaxing with a book and a warm kitty and getting a good night's sleep.


We had promised to redecorate her bedroom soon anyway, as she had already outgrown her bright, playful, little-kid color scheme. The pandemic school shutdown made this update even more urgent for her. Now her bedroom is not only a haven of refuge and rest but also her classroom and staging area for FaceTime and gaming with friends.

She selected the colors and designed the space, and I painted the walls and switched out some of the decor and furniture. The wall color is Oleander, Emerald Designer Edition, flat finish, by Sherwin-Williams. For the first time ever in my household, we purchased new furniture. My husband and I prefer sturdy antiques, but a pandemic isn't a good time to browse resale shops, so we ordered a bed frame and two matching bedside tables from Wayfair. The quality is what we expected, okay but disappointing compared to things made back when things were built to last. But our daughter loves the fresh, clean look. 

And her study buddy, Gretchen MurderMittens, loves napping on the higher perch of the new bed or playing in the new space underneath it! As you can see, our daughter is a crazy cat kid, and it's adorable how Gretchen actually likes to nap in the cat bed while her girl is playing Roblox with friends or logged into her Google classroom. Having that precious scene in the background gives our daughter the confidence to keep her camera on during class, which helps her do better in school and helps make her teacher's job easier too.

This bedroom makeover was a satisfying project for me to complete this year, and my daughter certainly appreciates it! Her new room has sweetened the switch to online school and social distancing, and I think it's part of the reason she is doing remarkably well, both academically and emotionally, during this difficult year.

For more pictures of my daughter's bedroom makeover and other ways we are adapting through this rapidly changing time using creativity, resourcefulness, humor, and play, visit me on Instagram.

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