Monday, 10 September 2012

Underwater Pirate Paradise

My two oldest boys share a bedroom. Always have. They're only a year-and-a-half apart in age and the absolute best of friends. We've asked if they'd like their own rooms and they flat-out rejected the idea.

So when it came time to decorate, we needed to come up with something that would appeal to both boys (not hard, since they have virtually all the same likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies) and could also grow with them a bit - young enough to appeal to Middle Child who's just turned six and old enough to grow with our eldest who's almost eight.

There's a bit of a pirate obsession in our house these days that started with our first family vacation to Walt Disney World. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, pirate-themed the way only Disney can do it.

Caribbean Beach Resort, pirate suite, pirate bed, pirate bedroom, Walt Disney WorldThe suites are every little boy's dream - pirate ships for beds (complete with masts and flags and a steering wheel and covered in a blanket made of gold dubloons), stacked treasure chests instead of dressers, a powder keg for the fridge, and a treasure map carved into the table. The pool is a Spanish fortress, the splash pad's a shipwrecked pirate ship, the playground's on a "lost island" with cannons hidden in the forests and the restaurants are housed around a cobblestoned square in Old Port Royale.

We've gone back every year. Same resort, same trip. We all loved it that much.

Walt Disney World, The Pirates League, pirate make-up, pirate costumes
One year, the boys joined the Magic Kingdom's Pirates League - a secret hideout where they were given pirate makeovers complete with skeleton make-up, eye patch, earring, sword and sheath, were sworn in as members of the pirate crew, and marched through Adventureland in a pirate parade.

So a pirate theme it is. But I rather thought waking to an enormous skull-and-crossbones or a poster of Captain Jack might be a little scary - especially for Middle Child, prone to waking with nightmares as it is.

kid's bedroom, boy's bedroom, under the sea, ocean theme, fish theme, pirate themeSo I painted the walls ocean blue - the most perfect little-boys-room Caribbean Sea blue - and hung a series of oversized watercolours-on-fabric of fish and sea creatures across the largest wall. Sheets and comfortors are sea blue, and a brightly-coloured fish-shaped area rug sits in front of each bed. Those Ikea "leaves" are cradled over each headboard and on their dressers sit their fishtanks - goldfish in one, fighting fish in the other. An entire wall is devoted to their pirate memorabilia, and they each have a pirate's treasure chest next to their bed for their special treasures. Voila - Under the Sea.

As the kids get older, we can move out some of the younger "fishy" elements and bring in some more big-kid piratey things, but for now they love it and it's the perfect cozy little place to sleep.
Or play pirates.

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