A Teeny Tiny Room For A Very, Very Big Little Boy

August 17th, 2014 - filed under: The Farm » Home

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It’s finished! After months and months (and months! seriously, oi) of working in our spare time, Jeremy and I have finally finished Waits’s bedroom makeover. It’s so exciting!

And what a labor of love. This is a project that started off ambitious and then progressively spun further and further out of control. But Jeremy and I were having so much fun! Can’t really blame us for that, eh?

I’ve gotta to say, I see a lot of Pinterest bedrooms that seem to be designed more for the parents than for the actual kids. And I didn’t want that. So as you’ll see, this isn’t some hip Scandi minimalist space, haha. I really just wanted to fill this teeny tiny room up to the top with the things that Waits loves, with items that interest him and that are meaningful in our lives. It’s a good blend of vintage, family history, and hand-me-downs, combined with flashy, fun modern stuff. It’s everything that he loves and it’s all for him, and that’s what matters to me.

Okay, now here comes a million pictures!

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First, the pièce de résistance: the fire truck bunk bed that Jeremy designed and built from scratch. The lights really light up. The control panel is real diamond plate steel, fitted with real switches and buttons. We got a real bumper, gauge, and steering wheel from the junk yard. And the fire hose and nozzle (which unravel far enough to reach the living room!) are real as well – a vintage model that Jeremy scored on Ebay.


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The front wheel swivels on a hinge for easy entrance.

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That painting is one of the few things I have that belonged to my mother. It hung in our living room all through my childhood. (And the dresser was a Craigslist find back in Portland)

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The firehose winds on a custom “W” spool.

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Charles Darwin. I DIYed this using one of my old textbooks.

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I gave Waits those giant anatomy posters for his 4th birthday. He’s completely obsessed with the inner workings of the human body. And the pennant above the closet is vintage 1950s Disney – a reminder of his birthday adventure!

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This little wooden animal set belonged to my grandmother. I used to play with them as a child.

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I picked up these vintage blocks when Waits was 6 or 8 months old, at a flea market in Portland.

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That top drawing was done years ago by a blog reader. It’s a family portrait of Damian, Waits, and me. I feel like it’s important to reinforce visually what Damian and I always tell Waits: we are still a family.

The lower drawing was done for me years ago by one of my closest friends. It features a wacky variety of “creepy crawlies” (I did my undergraduate research studying parasites).

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Made by a local artist.

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From above.

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And below!

♥ ♥ ♥

And that’s that! Before I go, I just want to take a moment to thank the person who made this all possible. Jeremy conceived of the fire truck bunk bed that started it all, but that was just the tip of the goliath ice berg that ended up being the bedroom project. From coming home late and finding him tearing up the old carpet, to seeing him spend his days researching materials and options, I can say with 100% confidence that none of this would have been possible without our strength, our motivation, and our never ending FUN – our Jeremy.

Thank you baby. From both of us.

fire truck bunk bed

  • http://coconutandberries.com/ coconutandberries

    This bedroom is what kids’ dreams are made of! What an amazing result after all that hard work. Hope Waits loves it.

  • Kyla Beresford

    Fantastic and wonderful.

  • http://sweetloveandginger.blogspot.com/ JC Carter

    The detail is amazing. It looks wonderful!

  • Angie

    This is all sorts of amazing!

  • FoodFeud

    This is so awesome! What a fantastically personalized space. You can tell Waits is really going to grow (body and mind) in that room. Love the Darwin lightswitch cover.

  • http://www.theveganchickpea.com theveganchickpea

    what an amazing bedroom for an amazing little boy!

  • lleverman

    All I can say is OMG! A work of L.O.V.E

  • http://taranoland.com Tara Noland

    That’s completely amazing – the labor AND the love. :-)

  • Nicole Selah Destrampe

    wow! What an amazing bedroom,Waits must be thrilled!!!

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Love Love LOVE!!! Best bedroom EVER!!! So amazing and so creative – love the mix of old and new:)

  • Sarah C.

    That is A-number 1 the coolest bed ever. We have been talking about building a loft bed for our girl – did Jeremy follow a plan he found or make one himself? If it’s something he could share, we would love it. My daughter is committed to the idea that the bed is something she and her dad will build together, but her dad wants to be sure that it’s something they can build safely. And this concept could be adapted to any theme – my first thought was rocket ship!

    Did you know that many cities’ fire departments will do kids’ birthday parties at their firehouses? My daughter had her 3rd bday party at ours – they toured the kids around the trucks, let them climb on and in the various trucks, showed the kids what a firefighter in full suit looks like (so they won’t be scared if the situation arises), and talked about safety plans. It was awesome (and free) – all the kids and all the parents thought it was the coolest party ever.

  • vegyogini


  • Sonja

    you guys are amazing! Such a cute bedroom for Waits! I bet he loves it! What a labour of love :-)

  • Lisa

    What a beautiful, perfect room. I love all the thought that went into every part of it! Waits is (and has always been) such a lucky kid to have so many adults in his life who truly care about him. The family portrait and your comment are so sweet. It’s really inspiring how you guys make it work with Waits’s best interests at heart.

    If you used any kind of special eco- or kid-friendly paint, would you mind sharing the details? We’re buying our first house and I’ll finally be able to paint walls! But jeez, there are SO many options and things to consider. Thanks for any tips you can share!

  • Frugal Vegan Mom

    Seriously so awesome, thank you for sharing!! This is great inspiration, we plan to do something similar for our 4 yr. old next winter in her small 2nd bedroom – with room for a crib underneath so we can fit in baby #2 (due in Oct.!) also!

  • http://kellisvegankitchen.com/ Kelli

    That is awesome! You are so incredibly creative… What a lucky little guy to be on the receiving end of so much love from you both!

  • http://howtofeedawookie.blogspot.com/ WookieWifey

    Oh my god, this is FABULOUS! So bright and cheerful and just perfect. I bet the look on his little face when he saw it put together for the first time made every bit of blood, sweat and tears totally worth it.

  • kittee berns

    The creativity and love that went into making this fabulous room is so evident. I would LOVE to sleep in a firetruck bunk with a real water hose and that dashboard. AMAZING!!! xo kittee

  • Cara

    What an accomplishment. I hope you can stay in your little house. Have you any further news about the sale & how it will affect you?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks so much! And yes, he definitely does. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Kyla!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks JC!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you Angie.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you, and YES the light plate was one of my favorite little touches. Lots of science in that room. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Caitlin!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, it sure is! Lots of love (and blood + sweat + tears, haha)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Tara, I’m so glad to see that the love shines through. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi is! Especially with the bed. Man he loves that bed. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank so much lady, I have to admit I had a LOT of fun scouring secondhand shops for all the little touches. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Sarah, so Jeremy did follow a plan but one he designed himself. He did a ton of research on programs and apps for designing stuff, as well as in bunk bed plans as well. If you want to email me we’d be more than happy to share with you! And OMG a rocket ship sounds *amazing*

    info AT bonzaiaphrodite DOT com

    I think I’d heard that about kids b-day parties but it had definitely slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder! Will keep it in mind for next year fro sure. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you Sonja!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Lisa! I grew up in a similar situation surrounded by lots of parent-type adults around me who loved and supported me and I feel so fortunate for that. I hope Waits feels the same way.

    As for the paint, we were on a very limited budget so we just used the house brand no-VOC paint at our local Ace Hardware. But if you can afford it, I’m in *love* with this company: Quiet Home Paints

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Well, thank YOU for sharing as well – I saw some traffic from a backlink and followed it to see you had shared this post on a forum. So thank you!

    And so fun doing a bedroom makeover for your little one (and impending little one) (!!!). The raised bed is perfect for that and a little crib or even toddler bed would fit so perfectly underneath. Yay! Are you going to do a theme?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thanks Kelli, that’s such a sweet thing to say. So many of my friends are artists and I often feel like the uncreative one, so that’s really special to hear! Thank you.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    The look on his face throughout the whole process has been so special. Every time Damian would drop him off after a few days away, the first thing he would do was run into his room to see how the bed had progressed. It was pretty dang adorable. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw thank you Kittee. Coming from you – my decorating guru (seriously!) – that means a LOT!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    HI Cara, thank you so much for asking, that’s so thoughtful! So the sale did go through but the new owners seem content to focus on some of the other, more run-down (and illegally expanded, apparently) bungalows for now. The property manager/repair guy insists we are in the clear for at least a year. I’m crossing my fingers!

  • Cara

    That’s really good news, Sayward. I’m sure you’re relieved. I know how important a home is & you’ve done so much to make this one yours that you deserve to keep it a while.

  • Liv Reiners

    I LOVE IT!

  • Emily

    Wow! It’s just absolutely amazing!

  • Lisa

    Thank you Sayward! I appreciate your response. Quiet Home Paints look amazing, but I think we’re likely to go the same route you did. I hope you’re having a fantastic Thursday!

  • Lynn

    AWESOME!!! I’ve been off the blogosphere for a good chunk of the summer, but for good reasons :) I have to say that this blog was one of the ones I missed the most and I’m so glad to be all caught up! Wait’s room looks absolutely AMAZING, Bravo!!! Miss you all!!!

  • Demetrius Bagley

    This is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing it with us :D So wonderfully inspiring in many ways.

  • saniel

    Worth the wait

  • nicole

    where did you find the child anatomy posters? Great idea.