home tour: the girls’ room

I had thought I’d do the tour of our new home some time ago. But then little things weren’t just so; I wanted a rug or a light fixture to paint one last thing. In short, I wanted to share our home with you in the way it will be. But then I thought hello, it won’t be *that* way for a while and by then it’ll be something else. Besides, where’s the fun in waiting? I’ve never liked it. Also, arranging and composing is one of my most favorite things to do. Our home will always be in one place with potential for whatever comes next.


This is the second room in the home tour, sharing rooms are as they are and as they were when we moved in last summer. The first was the sunroom. I’ll move through each room over the next few months, sharing our paint colors and object sources but also, I will share the artists whose work we have collected over the years. We budget for art purchases and we also do a lot of trading for art. We treasure handmade stuff and I am excited to share our collection with you!


:: BEFORE ::


We ripped up the carpet (oh the glue! remember the glue?!) and retextured the ceiling and walls. Paint color is Yolo Dream.01 in eggshell. Ceiling (flat) and trim (semi gloss) is Yolo white base, untinted. We replaced all the brass outlets and switches with matte, dark brown.


:: AFTER ::

This room is our daughters’ bedroom as well as their play room. So, it needs to be fun and functional. Right now, their choice of play revolves around three things: dress up/make-believe, art-making and reading. My challenge was to make a space that invites interaction, allows for toddler-height access to essentials and is beautiful. I do believe all spaces in my home and all things in my home ought to be beautiful. Artful arrangement of objects I enjoy looking at makes me happy.

The nook next to the bunks held so much potential and has seen several arrangements already. The red bookshelves weren’t working as they were visually too heavy and the books too hard to put away for Margot and Ruby. It was cramped. The corner needed space to move and play:


I ditched the shelves and placed only the easel in the corner, which I loved at first but I didn’t love the books on the other wall. And the nook by the bed meant a lot of wasted space with only the easel there:


Eventually, reluctantly, I removed the easel and there was so much more potential and room. I love that easel so much but its footprint is too big for the small room. I moved the books and toys back to that corner, sans easel, and the whole room opened up:


Recently, we replaced the table and chairs with two school desks. The small red table was awesome but too mobile, if you know what I mean. The chairs always needed to be pushed in; the girls and their friends were always moving the table and chairs all about so they could reach things that I didn’t necessarily want them to reach.

These desks are sturdy little SOBs and conveniently allow for book and paper storage inside.


The girls choose to sleep together in the bottom bunk, sometimes feet together and sometimes like spoons. This leaves the top bunk as their play perch. Oh that bed is full of sea shells, rocks, beads and all sorts of secret, magic objects I’m not supposed to know about.

handmade quilt, bunk beds, www.digthischick.net

The closet holds all of their clothes, bed linens and shoes. And happens to be where Margot and Ruby hide every single time we play hide and seek.

small space living: closet storage, www.digthischick.net

All of the furniture in the room (bunk bed, desks, fruit crates, wall shelves, baskets) came from garage sales or thrift stores. The old laundry cart was Andy’s grandma’s, the sailboat dresser was Andy’s dad’s and the dress-up trunk was ditched in a friend’s garage. Total cost for furniture in this room: $109.

Quilts: my mom made them; tapestry over doll cart: thrifted; hooks that hold necklaces, scarves, aprons etc: Ikea; wool rug: Pier 1 (I got it on clearance, I don’t think it’s made anymore); curtains: my mom and I made them; painting next to closet: Andy’s childhood art; alphabet chalkboard: garage sale; doll carriage: my neighbor snagged from a free pile.

The art.

The “M” and “R” images by Molly Meng. Every piece is unique with a found letter and a typed list of words that begin with the letter. And, each typed page includes one “R is for Ruby” and “M is for Margot.”


Butterfly mount purchased at a shop in San Francisco called 826 Valencia; Coconut Doll I bought in Tijuana (more like it here); Photograph by Patricia Thornton;


And that’s their room! Here’s a sweet picture with a salty backstory:

Margot had just fought like a wild cat over a leotard and with one feral swipe, bloodied Ruby’s lip. She felt really bad and made this painting as an apology.

Up next: bathroom! Oh yes.

:: :: ::

previous tours:

home tour: sunroom 
the fence: zen hen

24 Responses to home tour: the girls’ room

  1. paige says:

    Yay! Molly Meng made the blog! So happy about that. And I can’t believe I haven’t been to your new home yet. I still picture you all in cozy little urban blue. Let’s make a date with an airplane soon. Love the tour. Your creative use of space. And you.

  2. Tammy says:

    Ha..my daughter’s easel is also currently squished in her room…and it just isn’t working. I have some major space issues since moving/downsizing last summer. I love the old school desks, what a great idea. Can I ask you what you do with all of their drawings/pictures/paintings? I have an overwhelming stack, especially since she started pre-school this year..which has also fueled the creative craftiness! Some has already met with my recycling bin, but there is still SO much.

  3. Jaim says:

    I love this! It’s so warm and cozy and just plain awesome! Would you like to come to my house and feng-shu it up, I’m so bad at it.

    Hope you guys are enjoying some snow..we’re headed back to your side soon and I’m so looking forward to the drippy, dropy snow covered trees.


  4. sian says:

    ahhhh I love love LOVE their room! Great work Mama x

  5. Trbholt says:

    I have seen the “fun” they have in their sweet little habitat …I know the care & thought you put into your home, for that matter pretty much everything you do….I love you for that Burb!
    xoxo, Mom

  6. Britta says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. So, so beautiful and airy!

  8. Lovely. My kids’ room is my favorite room in our house. And we are much the same: homemade and thrifted stuff, objects of beauty. Most of our furniture is handed-down, all (or almost all) of our art was made by family–my step-dad was a sculptor, my grandma a painter, my dad’s a photographer and my step-mom’s a fiber artist. I can’t complain. We make our fair share of stuff ourselves (my husband made most of our lamps…etc.). I LOVE it that way. If a thing doesn’t have beauty or meaning, I don’t want it in my house. Or…I’ll accept a used one until the *perfect* thing lands in my path (i.e. our sofa–it was free, it’s very comfortable, it just happens to be ugly; we use a blanket to cover it for now). I LOVE your home tours and can’t wait to see more. I should do the same as we moved here over a year ago, did a bunch of remo and nobody has really seen any before/after shots. Hmmm. I’ll put it on the list. Thanks again!

  9. Jorie says:

    I love that almost everything in that room is repurposed! It’s perfect! My husband is an environmental engineer raised by two wonderful hippie parents. We do as best we can to find things for our home that are repurposed but its difficult to find “good” things! Kudos to you! The girls look like they love their room!

    • dig dig says:

      It takes time, right? I know not everyone loves that wait as it means living with half-functioning stuff for a while. But, me? I love it. and it fits my budget. I love the hunt, the wait and the thrill when I find the perfect thing (that I often didn’t even know I was looking for!) at the right price.

  10. Maria says:

    I love the spirit of your home. I love the colour, the art, the quilts, the happy girls. I especially love Alice in almost all of the pictures. There she is. posing on the clean wood floors. There she is, laying on the new throw rug. There she is, my favourite, sprawled on the paint stained old rug, in a newly painted room, while Ruby eats an ice pop…just to be with the family she loves. Chills!
    Beautiful home, beautiful family, most beautiful mama!

    • dig dig says:

      Awe, I love that too! She is a big part of our lives for sure. And she likes it in front of the camera, often wagging herself front and center. :)

  11. Amy says:

    Love the room and the artwork.
    But just a question… did the black stuff totally come off? I thought I saw some lines? Is it sticky? Will you have to refinish the floors?
    I will never understand the past years where covering hardwood was the thing to do…

    • dig dig says:

      It did totally come off. It wasn’t sticky; it was more spongey and rubbery. It had been painted on. Eventually the floors will need refinishing but, oh, there is a LONG list ahead of that task!

      I read somewhere that in the 60s you had to carpet your home to get FHA loan approval. So, everyone did it! Crazy indeed.

  12. Beautiful! I love the way you position the art of the walls. I always feel the need for everything to be very squared up and have more trouble making organic arrangements like that.

    I just started a little room by room house tour on my blog, too, after having the same thought. If I wait till it’s perfect, it never will happen! I am working on fixing up my daughters room now and your space is full of inspiration! Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. Claire says:

    Gorgeousness abounds! What a pretty, light, special room!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Terrific to see how this room (continues) to evolve. Kind of like life, right?

    Wonderful to see such beautiful artwork, including one of Andy’s from childhood. Molly Meng’s prints are simple yet brimming with detail. And that toy pram. Damn. Great snag.

  15. Carol-Anne says:

    I found you through GOMI (you’re a SOMI) and have spent this entire cold, Canadian winter weekend reading back through your archives, from the very beginning! It was like reading a good book, written by a friend I’ve never met. Looking forward to continuing to follow your family’s journeys. What a lovely bunch you all are!

  16. Evan says:

    Thank you thank you thank you… I have been waiting for the tour. I love how your girls room is beautiful but not overdone and is so used and usable.

  17. Lisa says:

    I love this room. What a wonderful space for those girls to grow and learn in. I also try to fill our home with meaningful and handmade items, though I admit that I sometimes become impatient and have plenty of “filler” spaces for now. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to get working on my girls’ rooms!

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