When we moved into our current home, we set up a temporary basket in Zoey’s room for storing books. Two years later, we now have an overflowing basket and two very frustrated little girls, trying to squeeze books in and out of it.
Their room has an awkward little corner, directly behind the door, where we’d previously hung a few hooks for coats and bags. It worked, but it definitely wasn’t making the most of the space. We could do better. I pinned this clever corner bookcase, two years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’ve finally built something similar!
We took some cues from our inspiration, and then put a few twists of our own on it, like the rounded dowel rods vs square, and doubling them up on each shelf. I wanted to make sure it could accommodate smaller books too, since the girls still have a few of those hanging around. Plus, the books will just get smaller again as they grow older. So, the idea is for this to work for many years to come.
Ricky built the entire piece in the garage, and them installed it, fully assembled, which was really gratifying to watch. Blank corner to instant, awesome bookcase corner (why can’t all project be like that?).
After a lot of wood putty, I painted it to match the future trim (ha), Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound, in semi-gloss. Harmony ftw – pretty much my go-to paint for anything inside that can’t be aired out. And if you haven’t already noticed from the taped up rosin paper, I chose to bring out the spray gun on this project, because, you know, tight corners, limited time, (must save all patience for children) type things. We’re fans of the Wagner Flexio 590 (link contains affiliate), in case anyone is interested.
Loading it up with books was definitely my idea of a good time. Very Christmas morning-esque. It’s also been really fun to rediscover many of the forgotten books from the bottom of the pile.
AND, amazing extra bonus – for some reason, the girls are now excellent about putting away their books when they’re finished. We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m really hoping it’s the new norm!
Last November we celebrated Zoey’s third birthday, and naturally, as we now come up on her fourth birthday, I’m finally blogging about. For most holidays we’re pretty low-key on gifts for the kids, nothing overly complicated, but birthdays we try to step it up a notch. (Really, this means I come up with ideas and Ricky kindly builds them, like a play kitchen, train table, play tent, etc.)
With Zoey’s ever-growing collection of dress-up clothes, it couldn’t have been more evident what to make her. Some of you may remember the Ikea Ombre Chest?
Well, the exterior was still in great shape, but we thought the interior could use a fun new makeover. Here she is now!
Ricky removed the interior drawer glides, whipped up a simple cubbie area for baskets, and installed a tiny clothing rod for dresses galore. Wood putty, prime, paint, and we have a whole new look!
As for the door itself, we wanted to the exterior to appear the same, so Ricky separated the drawer fronts and reattached them to one another using a few 1×3′s. Easy peasy. The entire door hangs on a trio of new hinges.
The baskets hold all of the accessories - tiaras, magical wands, jewelry, etc. You know, the necessary princess attire.
While a few packs of small hangers clip up the dresses.
Honestly, I don’t even know how our dress-up collection got to this point. I swear just yesterday I was pregnant with Zoey, and now we have backpacks and sports gear and questions about everything, and it’s all just moving entirely too fast. Anyway. Start to finish.
A year later and the girls are still getting so much use out of this project. Because princess dresses count as normal, everyday clothes, right?
When I first began playing around with a new design for the girls room, I wanted them to be as involved as possible. So, I asked them what they wanted. Let me lead this by saying that there are maybe five total items that I was planning to have stay in the room, one of them being Zoey’s headboard. I’d just need to duplicate it for Lizzy. Well, as I mentioned in the initial plans, their first idea was to change that.
This was my first time using nailhead trim, so this trim kit ( in french natural) made it a lot less intimidating. Totally doable for any beginner.
You also may notice that we painted the once gray walls. The new color is Sherwin Wiliam’s Lighter Mint, which reads as a completely different color than the first time we used on Ryan’s ceiling. Instead of the warm and muted mint that we had in the nursery, here we have a light and fresh mint.
It’s subtle and yet, so much fun against the hot pink. Actually, it almost looks white in these photos, which is 100% the result of my lacking photography skills.
I mentioned in our plans that I’d scored a campaign dresser on Craigslist last summer. Well, here she is, all dolled up in a fresh coat of white paint and clean hardware.
I can’t get enough of the campaign hardware and the nailhead trim playing off each other.
So, clearly there’s a lot to still do here. Address the blank walls, the ceiling, lighting, and let’s not forget that I neglected to even show you the other half of the room.. there’s a reason for that
Finally, we are calling this room 100% complete (!!). Little Ryan arrived a few weeks early, following a prior few weeks of me on bed rest, so I’ll go ahead and blame those two things on the hold up. Although, that is unlikely. More likely? Game of Thrones + Orange is the New Black having slightly swayed my priorities. Either way.
Last time we touched base, the “construction” phase, as we’d called it, had just been wrapped up. Wood plank walls, craftsman door/window moldings, a newly drywalled ceiling, and fresh paint throughout. Read more about that process here. We moved onto the really good stuff, furniture + diy projects, and eventually lighting, window treatments, accessories, and so on. Let’s dive in!
Welcome to Ryan’s Nursery!
Many of the pieces came straight from the original mood board that I first shared, but there are plenty of new selections that can all be sourced at the bottom of this post!
Gah. That dresser. We found it for $60 on Craigslist and I gave it a complete makeover. Fresh cobalt paint, new hardware, and decorative fretwork panels on the top drawers. It’s easily in my top five favorite elements in the room.
I am constantly reminded of all the love that we’ve tried to inject into this space. Hopefully, that’ll be the feeling Ryan gets as he grows older as well. We’ve always been fans of tackling projects ourselves, big and small, but there’s just something about this room that feels so handmade to us. I love it.
Design-wise, Ryan’s nursery has been a big game changer for me. It’s a new reminder, when it comes to the rest of our home, to prioritize including pieces that carry emotional weight. Memories, personal pieces, family photos, etc. That seems silly, but it’s not always been at the top of the list for me when styling a space. More often, it’s about making things pretty and functional. There’s something so amazing about a room that feels lived in, like it has a life of it’s own. Anyway, another lesson learned.
One of the biggest regrets that I’ve had in past makeovers, is the absence of old and new pieces. Not this time! While plenty of purchases were made from big box stores, we also bought everywhere from local thrift stores and flea markets to vintage pieces from Ebay + Craigslist + Etsy! It’s such a good mix, I can’t get enough.
There’s somewhat of a theme going on here, although it could be hard to pick up on if you weren’t paying close attention. I know. Themes. Not in my wildest dreams. But this is one I can get on board with. It’s sort of a whimsical, woodsy + nature meets tribal + hard industrial. That’s not a thing, but I’m going with it.
And with our third kid, we finally got the whole organization thing down pat. Not only is this room ready for baby, it’s ready for toddler + preschooler + more. Similar to what we just gave the girls (read more about that here), Ryan’s closet is also customized to the nines.
So, there we have it, Ryan’s nursery!
Interested in where we purchased something? This is for you! Otherwise, any questions can be left in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!
The nursery is moving right along, and thankfully so, considering our little guy is due to arrive in just over a month now. Last time I’d checked in, I’d shared a mood board illustrating our plans for the space, looking something like this:
The past week or so, Ricky has been chipping away at the first phase of the room, what we’ve been calling the “construction” phase. For us, this meant covering the existing popcorn ceiling with new smooth drywall, adding horizontal wood planks to all the walls, trimming out the window and closet opening, re-installing baseboards, adding crown molding, and finally, painting all of it. Easy enough, right? I have to credit most of this to Ricky, although, I was able to jump in with some relief on all the painting.
Here’s the most recent shot of the room, that I’d shared with you guys after whipping up a quick book display (Lizzy still occupying the room at the time):
When Lizzy moved into a shared room with Zoey we emptied out most of the items, but the rest has now found it’s way into the dining room, garage, and anywhere else we could temporarily squeeze things in. That’s also been fun. Changing table in the narrow hallway for a few weeks, why not?
Once completely cleared, Ricky laid down rosin paper to protect the floors and taped off the closet with a plastic barrier (it was filled with nursery items).
First up was new drywall on the ceiling. The decision to cover our inherited popcorn ceilings was something we’ve always wanted to do. They were poorly done and super distracting in the space. Plus, the rest of the home has all smooth ceilings, so eventually covering the bedrooms to match was in the plans since day one. What we didn’t anticipate were popcorn ceilings that had been painted – aka, scraping them smooth was not an option. Although we have different plans for the other bedrooms, in here, we opted to just go over them with a thin new layer of drywall. Quite the delay time-wise, but worth every minute in the end.
As for the planked walls, we followed this tutorial almost to-a-tee, so I won’t go into the details (just follow the link for an in-depth walk-through). However, we made one exception when it came to the corners of the room, by skipping out on the vertical trim pieces. Instead, a quick sweep of caulk prior to painting seemed to cover any gaps where the boards met.
Because each wall in this room is about 11′ long and the wood only came in 8′ lengths, we were a little worried about seam placement. We went with a simple pattern to keep things consistent, but were pleasantly surprised at how well the joints vanished after painting. In fact, if they’d been bothersome enough, we probably could’ve eliminated them completely with a little wood putty. You can barely see in the photo above, seams about 2′ off the corner at every other board (just along the wall without the door).
Once the wood planks were up, Ricky re-installed the baseboards, hung crown molding, and installed craftsman-style trim to match the door on the window and closet opening (check out this post for a full tutorial on how we did that).
And finally, I painted. Everything.
SW-Snowbound on all the walls and trim (a bright, but not stark, white) and SW-Lighter Mint on the ceiling (a pale mint with a touch of blue).
I’m crazy in love with the ceiling color. We wanted something really subtle. I love a bold ceiling, but in this space, we just wanted a hint of mint to compliment the brighter colors we’ll be using elsewhere. It’s noticeable when you enter the room, definitely, but I think once we add the cobalt blue dresser, it’ll read as more of an accent color than the star of the room.
You can already see below how well it picks up on the aqua floor baskets from the mood board.
Sneak peak at a few accessories in the closet.
Here you can really see how well the caulk worked to join the boards together at the corners.
I was a little fearful that adding the wood planks to all the walls might make the room feel even smaller than it is, or that all the crazy horizontal lines going on would get distracting, but I’ve found quite the opposite. I think the bright white makes more of an impact than the actual wood itself, opening up the room even more.
And I’m head-over-heels for the contrast against the floor.
I was also always under the impression that I loved the craftsman trim and the crown moldings throughout the rest of our home because their bright white color popped against our gray walls – not the case. The white on white has me begging for more here:
I still need to do a few touch ups around the window, as well as empty the closet and give it a fresh coat of paint, but for the most part, we’re moving onto the fun stuff!
I painted the crib last month, so that just needs to be reassembled. I’m working on the dresser as we speak (!) and the arm chair has been making itself right at home in our living room for weeks. Lighting, rug, curtains – all in the works! Closing in on the industrial pipe bookshelves