Last August we decided to give the boys their own bedrooms, and I began my months-long quest to personalize their rooms and make them perfectly true to who they are as two unique little boys. And though I'm happy with both of their rooms, I'm especially proud of how Jaden's is taking shape. I've really been able to have my way with his as he has not really desired to give me any input, whereas Brandon has been quite bossy and particular with his own room. :) Yes, those boys of mine couldn't be more different!
Both rooms are still a work in progress, and I have a few special items left to fill Jaden's that are still on order or are waiting for his birthday at the end of the month, but its at least to the place now where I wanted to share. Jaden's room used to be my home office, and the room really looks quite different now. Actually, this room first started out as Brandon's nursery before he moved into Jaden's old room which they shared for several years. Funny how in seven years of living here, this room has served three different purposes!
What I like so much about this room now is how true it is to Jaden and how special and unique most of its belongings are. When I set out for a vintage-inspired, somewhat rustic sports motif, I knew I wouldn't be able to find most of what I wanted on the shelves of Target. I knew I would have to take my time and that it would be a work in progress. I started with some basics of what I already had. His gray and white bedding, tan-colored walls, baseball and football accent pillows and a few items already on hand between our house and my parents'.
Without further adieu, a close-up look at Jaden's space and the special items that made it all take shape.
These real antique football shoulder pads were gifted to my dad years ago from my mom to go in his Panther Pit room in their basement. Since they are moving in a month or two, they were looking to downsize a lot of their belongings, and I jumped at the chance to make these a center piece of Jaden's room. The shoulder pads hold the UNI basketball personally autographed by Coach Jake and the entire team during a private practice that Jaden was welcomed to attend at the start of the season last year.
The helmet hanging from his bed post was Papa Tim's actual helmet that he wore when he played high school football. The scratch marks on this helmet are real, tell a lot of stories, I'm sure, and it's a very special item - one Jaden will appreciate more and more as his years go on.
This rustic UNI wooden sign hanging above the foot of his bed was the first item I bought during the moving of the bedrooms - a piece that I found in a cute little shop downtown while strolling our Main St. stores on a late summer Saturday. I was so excited to find a UNI item that fit my rustic vision.
This little chalkboard was found in the Target dollar bins, and Cody drew up a real football play on it. Easy, inexpensive, yet personalized.
The most recent wall hanging was a Christmas gift. For months, I looked for the perfect piece to hang above the head of his bed, and I eventually found what I wanted when browsing a shop on Etsy. A lady out of the northwest made this Michael Jordan sign personally for me, and it not only fits his room, but is perfect for Jaden and the stage of life he's in right now. He's a sports nut, a budding athlete, and also his own worst critic out on the playing field. This quote will suit him now and for the years of competition and life to come. Not to mention, he's a Michael Jordan fan just like his mama was. I couldn't be happier to have found this for him.
His Tampa Bay Bucs pillow was a gift from his Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob a few years ago. He and his daddy are huge Bucs fans, but it's nearly impossible to find any Tampa Bay stuff in Iowa. This Bucs pillow came from the heart of Bucs country and was shipped with love from family.
A few other items that made this space special. The 'J' hanging above his bed fit my rustic vision, the white lights wrapped around his bed posts for ambiance are left over from Uncle James and Aunt Cassi's wedding, and his gray canvas crate is filled with his favorite books like Goosebumps and Captain Underpants, as well as special sports magazines - like the NFL draft magazine that featured a page on David Johnson and the Sports Illustrated that had our beloved UNI basketball players on the cover.
And the furniture item that finally made this room pop and took me until January 2nd to find - this locker-inspired red night stand. It matches everything perfectly, stores a lot of his bedside items like his Nintendo DS, Pokémon cards, complete collection of NFL football player cards and his Bible, and it just looks really good up against his gray bedding and the other pops of red throughout his room.
His room is cozy, personalized, filled with meaningful memorabilia - and functional. Now that he's getting older, we don't need space for a lot of toys, but we're able to fit in here what we need to. His foosball table stores perfectly under his bed, his nice balls that we don't want to store in the garage go nicely in his white wired basket, and his dresser and nightstand have just enough room for his framed football and team pictures.
And as I mentioned earlier, there are a few pieces left that aren't included yet. He's receiving an action photo of David Johnson in his Arizona Cardinals uniform - personally signed by David himself - for his birthday. I'm working on designing a sports poster to hang on his wall - with all of Jaden's own football action photos of himself and his teammates from this past flag football season, and I have one more sports print I'm ordering from Etsy that incorporates one of my favorite Bible verses across the image.
It's a room fit for Jaden, and it's been a labor of love for me. He can grow with this room, and it can grow with him. A room perfect for reflecting and appreciating past memories, and a room perfect for creating and incorporating new ones.