Monday, July 18, 2011

Sneak Peek: Dear Son's Room

Today, I am showing photos of Dear Son's room. Approximately, one month ago we moved to a smaller apartment, a 650 square foot studio apartment to be exact. That is a pretty small space when you are caring for a severely disabled young man who is a bit high maintenance. After all, I have a wheelchair, a hydraulic bath chair, an IV pole, a hoyer lift, a hospital bed and then all of his supplies: 5-8 cases of formula, 200 bed pads, 80-100 diapers plus suction machine supplies, syringes, feeding tubes, oxygen supplies and well, you get the idea. I have rented a small storage unit that is approximately 5 x 4 feet and that has worked well for the bath chair, but everything else I am storing in the apartment. Actually, I leave the wheelchair in the hallway but everything else is here.

As a reminder, here is a copy of the floor plan. It's a reverse floor plan so you need to flip it over to match our space layout. Dear Son's room is actually what is considered the living room on the floor plan. You'll see later in the week, where I put the sofa and how I managed to squeeze a living area into the plan.

Here is a photo of the space before we moved in. What appealed to me about the space was all of the light, the trees and the crown molding. We had it in our other apartment but it still looks nice. I measured all of the rooms and then created a space plan before I moved in. A space plan is nothing more than figuring out where you are going to put your furniture. I created a space plan for the entire floor plan and that helped me identify which furniture I would keep and which furniture I would sell.

One of the first things I did was to place his bed near the wall. Because his hospital bed is an extra long twin and because of the custom headboard and footboard, it's longer and takes up more space leaving less space for wall storage.His nightstand was a bit too small for the new place and I felt a three drawer chest would work better. Here is a photo of his former room at our old apartment.

I had a pair of matching three drawer chests that I had in my former bedroom and I loved them. Instead of getting rid of them and breaking up the set, I used one in Dear Son's room and one in mine. I'd prefer a straight sided three drawer chest however I don't want to get rid of a matching pair of chests. I plan on painting this chest black and adding some chrome handles. House Beautiful showed some boat cleats that looked really nice and they suggested using these as dresser handles although I haven't had time to look elsewhere at drawer hardware.

Since there were three large windows, I had two options that I liked. The first option was more modern; I could add three pieces of molding to the tops of each of the three windows to finish them off. My second option was to soften the windows with drapes. Since I prefer classic, traditional decor, I knew that I'd add draperies. To soften the windows, I used some drapery panels that I purchased from IKEA a few years ago for my tablescaping. IKEA sells each pair for $4.99 so it was less than $10 for drapes for all of the windows. Dear Son's Dad was nice enough to hang the curtain rods and put up all of the shelving in the apartment. Because the space was so small, it was challenging moving around the apartment until everything was installed. That nearly drove me crazy.
I placed the panels between the windows and used a black curtain rod that I already had. I love the way it softens the windows. It's really hard to take a picture of it because there is so much light coming into the room but it looks amazing when you walk in. One of my favorite things is also the trees outside. I can see them from my kitchen when I cook and you can't help but notice them. We can hear the birds singing all the time. It's just lovely.

I took a photo of Dear Son that an artist sketched at our Make a Wish Trip last year and hung it next to the drapes.

You can see more of the trees here. I also used the lamp from our former apartment. I covered the shade myself.

I had to keep Dear Son's Lazy Boy recliner. It's the only chair he can sit in since he can't support himself in a sitting position very well. One of the first things Dear Son does when he gets in the recliner is to use his feet to spin it around so he can look out the window. Last year at this time, he couldn't move his feet or legs at all. Since he's been on the coconut oil, he's regained the use of his feet and legs.

Once I get the dresser painted black and the new hardware put on, I'll take some new photos with some pretty fresh flowers and also put Dear Son's yellow sham on the bed. I was pressed for time so I omitted it in the photos.

I had a full length silver mirror that I purchased from Pottery Barn many years ago that I used in my bedroom. I didn't want to store it since I didn't want it to get broken so Dear Son's Dad suggested I put it over Dear Son's bed. It really reflects a lot of light and once I get the hanging impatients on the patio, it will reflect the flowers in the mirror.

In my former apartment, Dear Son had a small t.v. and I had a larger one in the living room.

For this new space, I decided to move the larger t.v. over near Dear Son since he couldn't see the smaller t.v. very well. He has a vertical gaze palsy making it harder to look up to see the t.v. so this was a better solution. Dear Son's Dad however felt that the t.v. should be wall mounted so he purchased it as a gift for me for my birthday on July 8th. I did strongly suggest that a pampering gift, like a pedicure, would be more exciting to me than a "wall mount" however he really wanted the wall mounted television. I think he wanted this so he could sit in Dear Son's recliner when he was babysitting and watch t.v.:) He was pretty excited about my new gift until I told him that now Dear Son's bedroom looks EXACTLY like a hospital room. I don't think he thought that was funny but seriously, the hospital has a big screen t.v. that is wall mounted, and a recliner, a hospital bed and an IV pole. You be the judge, lol.

The advantage to the wall mount is that you can see this t.v. from various parts of the room. It makes sense once you see where the sofa resides. After living with it for the last week or so, I am glad he installed it. While I don't watch t.v. very much, Dear Son is able to see t.v. much better and he likes it.
Currently, I have a black bookshelf that stores all of Dear Son's changing supplies. I am thinking about installing vertical shelves beneath the television and then storing all of Dear Son's changing supplies in the same baskets that I used in my kitchen. I can't install any shelving with a depth larger than 12 inches and because there is very little room at the end of Dear Son's bed, I'll need to use these longer baskets so I can slide them in/out of the shelves to make it more functional.That gives some continuity to the space. The Container Store has a photo which gives you an idea of what I am thinking about.

Another view of the room.
I think the best part of the room for me is that Dear Son gets to be a part of everything and see all of our visitors. Since he can't sit up for more than two hours at a time, he is in bed a lot. This way, he gets to see everyone versus being in his bedroom. Also, it's nice because we can watch a show together.

I asked Dear Son what his favorite part about the apartment was...he was lying in bed and he looked right out towards his window. He loves looking out the window and since we face east, it's nice and bright. At night, he likes to listen and watch his carousel.

One last look at Dear Son's room.


Ladybug said...

Well, it's certainly the nicest looking 'hospital room' I've ever seen! The arrangement is perfect and the placement of the mirror was inspired. Not only does it allow even more light but I assume still allows Dear Son to 'see' outside when lying on that side? And the tv will allow for bonding time during the manly shows. ;) I noticed the arrangement also allows you to keep an eye on things while still enjoying the patio. Can't wait to see what else you've done.

Speaking of which, I was able to locate that fabric online. I'm thinking of getting some and making some pillows!

clairesmum said...

that sure is a great layout - i wish you lived around here, i'd hire you to decorate/arrange some of my living spaces! You and Dear Son have a very appealing home.

Angela said...

LOVELY JOB! Thinking of you all... xo

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