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
We shared a glimpse into a newly decorated space of our home on Instagram ages ago, and I’m finally feeling ready to call this space mostly done and share it today on the blog. I hesitated for so long because although the exterior appeared to be finished, there wasn’t a whole lot going on function-wise inside the actual piece. Let’s just have a look. Our new(ish) entryway!
If we back up a bit, here’s where we’d left off last.
We had added a simple wall treatment and grasscloth wallpaper to help brighten up the space, and we even laid out a few plans as far as what we wanted to see happen in the future of the room – all of which were nixed after having my design breakdown. Whomp, whomp. So the space just sat, while we figured out our home’s new direction and could come up with a cohesive plan. Which I was okay with, since the last thing I wanted to do was come up with a quick fix that I’d tire of months down the road.
And then I had my breakthrough. As I was wasting endless hours sorting through other people’s crap on Craigslist, as I do, I stumbled on this guy.
Had I not just spent weeks gushing over Emily Henderson’s new design for Bri Emery, featuring this very same modular shelving unit? Yes, yes I believe that I had. Of course, $225 is a pretty big chunk of change, especially for something used on Craigslist, so we headed over to just check it out. Aka – me trapping Ricky in this stranger’s basement until he caved under my sales pitch. Well, luckily, he thought it was “pretty cool” (a 100% yes in man terms), and we both happily took this guy apart and brought him home with us the very same day.
Update: We later learned that similar pieces like these go for thousands of dollars on Ebay. Score.
What do I love about it? Please, let me count the ways. For starters, it’s the epitome of everything I desired in this post. It’s modular, meaning that all the cabinets, drawers and shelves are interchangeable, so it can be completely taken apart and reassembled into countless combinations. It’s a design lover’s dream piece. Kind of like, you get all the amazing flexibility of a newly designed furniture piece, except it’s vintage and beautiful and one of kind. And also, I love it.
It’s a little hard to see in the pics, but although it definitely had a very loving previous owner (I wanted everything in their house), it had seen it’s fair share of wear as well. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure that I began removing hardware for cleaning and sanding it down for a new coat of stain the second we pulled into our driveway. No, I don’t have a single picture of that process, but it was nothing exciting or different than any other sanding/staining process that we’ve been through, so I won’t bore you with details. In fact, the stain was even a custom color we had made (I was trying to tone down the super orange tones that it naturally possessed), so I’ve got nothing for you. And the blogger award goes to.. Ha.
Now, reassembled, in the house, and styled months later, we have this:
God, I love it.
When it came time to style it, I tried to really embrace a new color scheme that I’ve been wanting to work towards for our home, with bright yellows, mints, and hot pinks. Clearly, I took some notes from Emily’s design (who wouldn’t), on both the colors and the styling itself. Without feeling that I need to completely defend myself from critics, I guess I just want to make one part clear before I have people jumping my case. The girl is amazing. I love her work, which is so obviously inspiring me on this new design journey, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I figure, as long as I can continue to separate what I actually LOVE and what speaks to me from what I just appreciate as really good design that I don’t necessarily want in my home, then there’s no reason not to be inspired and embrace what someone else has already somewhat done.
I mean, I couldn’t be happier with the results. And that’s what matters right?
Now, as I mentioned, the reason I hesitated so long to share was (ok, mostly because I went on blogger hiatus, but also..) that I hadn’t yet figured out how to make it a functioning piece. Yes, it was pretty, but how do we make it work? I mean really WORK hard for our family? This piece is packed with storage options and there was no way I was going to let that go to waste. We lived with it for some time and did some serious reevaluating of all the problem areas we have in our home (a lot), before deciding on our solutions.
Now, it serves as:
• A Convenient Entryway Landing Spot - keys and sunglasses all get dropped into the yellow egg crate, phones and chargers live in the glossy teal box when not in use, and un-read magazines now have a nice home on the magazine shelf. This won’t always be our main entrance to the house, but for now, we have to make do. Someday, maybe we’ll actually be able to fit a car into our garage and enter through a mudroom that isn’t half-finished and completely non-functioning to the point that I close the door and avoid it at all costs. Someday.
• A Makeshift Office Area - No, typically I do not sit here to use the laptop, but it’s a nice cubby to hold it when not in use, as well as a few office related supplies (haven’t added those yet), since we don’t currently have a desk area anywhere else in the home. I’m thinking a few simple desk organizers in here to hold small notebooks, pens, etc. would be enough. Sidenote – we attempted to match the stain inside this cabinet to the rest of the piece with multiple failures before finally resorting to a coat of white paint. I apologize in advance to all the paint on wood haters out there. I tried.
• File central - We have long needed an easily accessible place to store frequently used files that aren’t kept in our other file safe. I’m crazy obsessed with this solution. It has transformed our lives having everything so organized and at hand. We were able to fit four of these inexpensive file boxes in there, containing anything from our paid bills, medical records, school paperwork, pet info, electronic manuals, etc. You know, the fun stuff. We actually only filled half of the space, so we have plenty of room to grow. Hopefully, not with more bills.
• Printer & paper storage - The lower portion of this side we’re using to store our printer, paper, and printer accessories. It’s probably a little strange for most people to have these things in the entryway, but our home is by no means huge and our entryway just happens to be right in the heart of the home. It’s pretty much the same room as both the living room and kitchen, where we spend most of time, and since we don’t have an office, this makes sense for us. What didn’t make sense was trekking back to the master bedroom, where it was previously stored in a bookcase, every time we printed something. Probably not a forever solution, but for now, it’s working just fine. Also, can I say how much joy these pink paper trays bring every time I open the doors?
• Stationary and Bills - The three drawers on the lower righthand side of the unit are still developing, but I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to stay. Most of our bills are paid online at this point, with very little actual paper to be managed, but the little bills-related supplies that we do have is kept in the top drawer, along with some stationary supplies, and our household binders. A work in progress for sure, but it’s nice to finally have a place for them to call home. I didn’t photograph the other two drawers, also still coming along, but one is holding all of my camera supplies – batteries, lenses, tripod, etc. and the second is storing my Silhoutte Cameo and it’s accessories. Speaking of which, I really need to master that thing and use it to it’s potential.
• Barware Storage - Umm, because what good office/entryway doesn’t have wine? Again, this doesn’t work for everyone, but this side of the shelving unit is maybe two feet from our kitchen’s refrigerator and island. It’s the perfect location, sort of casual like a bar cart could be, located near the living space as well, and it cleared up an entire cabinet in the kitchen by moving all the glassware. We keep a larger wine rack in the pantry, plus a wine cooler in the island, so I really have no idea how those bottles even got in there. Just keeping it easily attainable from anywhere in the house I suppose. Kidding. I’m Preggers. Anyway, if you’re looking for bar-related goods, this is where you’d find them.
Two other small updates that we made in this area of the house that you may have noticed are the addition of a storm door (which explains the open front door in the other pics) and a few coats hooks. Most days, we now keep the wood front door open and the sunlight just pours in. It’s fabulous. Natural sunlight = key to my heart. We’re still planning to make a few tweaks to the storm door come spring time, so we’ll share our progress in that area as we go.
We moved a few things around in the living room, no wait, everything in the living room (more on that soon enough), and the placement of the previous mason jar coat rack just wasn’t making sense anymore. Relocation to the laundry room maybe? Instead, this new wall space that would easily be concealed behind the open door was a great landing for three of these coat and hat hooks.
While this single wall may be small in scale to all the other space in our home, it’s easily my favorite space to date and it serves as such an inspiration as I work to bring the other rooms up to date.
Because this disaster that we call a dining room is a fine example of that happening…
When we first moved into our house, just over a year ago, we knew that all of the bedroom closets needed some work. Custom closet organizers are crazy expensive, so we also knew that it’d likely be something that we’d DIY when it came time. Well, it’s now officially way past time.
All three bedroom closets are in constant state of chaos and bursting at the seams. We’ve done our best to work with what the house came with by keeping things as organized as possible, and purging clothes that the girls have outgrown, but when it came down to it, the current closet systems just weren’t utilizing the space to their best ability. Specifically, Zoey’s closet.
Clothes are piling up, toys are piling up, random things that don’t below are piling up. But, the most obvious problem in Zoey’s closet is the dead space. Talk about a waste. And with Lizzy well on her way to the age at which the girls will begin sharing a room, we have no wasted space to spare.
Not only does this space serve as clothes storage, it also functions as toy storage. The girls will have some toy storage beneath their beds, but the room isn’t huge, so that’s about it. We knew we had to make this closet work hard.
I ran through a few of my favorite inspirational photos and landed on the idea of using the lower portion of the closet for toy bins and the upper sections for clothing. After pricing out a few options, we decided to buy most of the inner workings in-store and to spruce them up with a “custom built-in” feel by framing everything in. We picked up one of Closetmaid’s 9-cube organizers for the bottom half and Ricky worked his magic.
(just ignore the wire rack above it, we hadn’t taken it down yet)
Next up, clothes storage. I always find that a mix of open and closed storage in closets works best, so we opted to use a few sliding wire bins to serve as drawers, with a rod above for hanging shirts. Ikea’s Komplement wire baskets (in 39″x13″) came close enough to the closet size that we could easily build out the sides of the closet to accommodate the drawer slides. The bins are perfect for pants, shorts, pajamas, and the smaller undergarment pieces. One basket really would have been sufficient for Zoey, but we chose to do two so Lizzy would have room down the road.
We topped these pieces with a sheet of wood as well to create a space that would serve as a little tabletop, just beneath the hanging clothes area. A small white trim piece disguises the unfinished edges.
We filled all the nail holes with a little wood putty, gave everything a fresh coat of white paint, and added the hanging rod above, as well as an extra shelf at the very top.
Looking so much better right?
Be still my heart.
We tossed in a few of Closetmaid’s Fabric Drawers (Pink. Red. Yellow. Orange.) in the bottom cubicle for toys and lined the wire baskets above with the same Watercolor Meadow fabric used in other areas of the room. The “liners” are really more of just faux fronts. I used a few leftover cardboard pieces, cut them to size, and wrapped them with spray adhesive and fabric. Voala.
I used the same technique on the bottom of the drawers too, just to give clothes a nice landing spot. Nothing super pretty, but it works, and it’s hidden beneath the clothes anyway
And moving up, we’re still playing around with styling, this isn’t going to cut it, but it’s a cute place for Zoey to display a few of things of her own. A little dish picked up at Target on clearance last year for jewelry (she has her ears pierced and is wildly obsessed with bracelets), a small flower vase that has yet to be filled, a few sentimental snow globes, and some other decorative accessories.
The wooden serving tray is corralling a few pairs of shoes (most live in the mudroom).
And as if this post isn’t long enough, let’s talk about the outside of the closet. I’d always envisioned a curtain to serve as the closet “door”, but the more we lived with the curtains in Lizzy’s nursery I realized how much I missed being able to actually close the doors. I loved the look of Ikea’s Hasvik high gloss white sliding doors, especially up against all the color going on inside.
This way, it can be a nice little surprise when we open the door, or easily hidden away if the color gets overwhelming. Win, win.
Ricky installed the track that came with the door directly to the wall, and it functions just like a barn door. Except, beautiful, beautiful high gloss white. Yum. The door has several safety locking features, so no worries about the door sliding off the rail, or even the kids pulling it off the wall from the bottom. This thing isn’t going anywhere. The door sits out just a tad from the wall, which works out perfectly with the adjacent wall art. The door just slides right over it.
A few other things to note:
- The door can only be purchased in a two pack, so we’re holding on to the other to use in Lizzy’s room some day, we’ll just need to get our hands on another track.
- And one small issue we ran into was the way the door hung. Since it’s meant to slide on a top and bottom rail, and we’re only using a top, the bottom tends to cling to the wall. We’ve since installed a pair of casters to the inside of the door, just at the bottom, that gently glide along the wall and keep the door standing perfectly vertical. I’ll catch you guys up on that as soon as I can photograph it to better explain.
Now, because you guys know I’m a sucker for a good before and after, let’s get these babies side-by-side
Oh yes. Yes, yes, YES.
Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets excited over a organized closet…
Yesterday we played catch-up with a few quick updates we’ve been planning around here, and today I’m back to share our progress. Our first step in giving the entryway a mini makeover was attacking a wall treatment. As I mentioned in the past, our main goal here was to lighten this side of the room. The last time we shared the entry it was looking like this…
However, in real time, after moving the office to the bedroom we’ve been living with this:
Even after lightening the photo quite a bit you can still see how dark, not to mention uninviting, the space is. And please ignore the random collection of pieces. Pretty much every single thing in this photo is a temporary filler and will go elsewhere as we find replacements.
To ensure that the end result would in fact be significantly lighter, we started by framing out and painting the lower two-thirds of the wall in a bright off-white (a custom match to our Ikea Adel cabinets in the kitchen/dining room).
Ricky just used a few basic 1×3′s to make the frame, the same size boards as used on the craftsman door trim around the front door. It really helps the space feel as one, like it was always there, and brings so much character to the room. I always felt like the pallet wall, opposite the entry wall, was really heavy in the room and pulled your eyes directly to that side of the room. This new feature is definitely helping to balance that out. The pallet wall was another reason we opted not to do the typical board and batten within the frame. We felt like all the horizontal pallet boards mixed with vertical board and batten slats would just be too much for the room. So glad we recognized that before it was too late.
And BAM, instantly brighter.
I’ll have to share a picture looking from the front door into the kitchen area, it’s so light and airy. I’m LOVING coming home to this new space.
Now, for the upper half. We played around with the idea of installing a gray grasscloth wallpaper above the chair rail for quite some time before settling on an option. I looked into buying it online, and even ordered a few samples, but all of the options seemed really dark and heavy. Then I remembered reading about Kate purchasing gray grasscloth wallpaper from Lowe’s. I flipped through their books with no luck, but what I did find was their selection of in-stock wallpapers. They didn’t have any gray grasscloth, but what I did find was Allen & Roth’s Grasscloth in Beige. You can probably guess what this painting-fool was about to do
At just $20 per roll and at my immediate disposal, I didn’t even question whether or not to give this project a try (most other grasscloths were only available by the double roll, costing $60+ and had to be custom ordered). I made sure to cut out a small sample of the wallpaper and paint it before wasting any time with the entire roll, and left it up on the wall for a few hours to decide if the color was a go. Which, for anyone curious, we chose to paint the grasscloth one shade lighter than our existing BM-Gray Husky wall color, with Ben Moore’s Silver Chains.
The paper was pre-pasted so I didn’t have to mess with any crazy wallpaper glues either. Hanging was crazy easy, coming from a girl who has never wallpapered or witnessed the process. I just simply cut the paper to size, submerged it in water, and smoothed it out on the wall. I picked up one of those wallpaper water trays to dunk the paper in, which was manageable with smaller strips, but if you’re looking to wallpaper an entire wall (floor to ceiling) I might suggest using a spray bottle to midst the paper instead.
In older homes the walls are never straight, so I was pretty much banking on a fight if I tried to precut the paper before hanging. Instead, I just left an extra half inch or so on both top and bottom and then cut the paper with an x-acto knife once it was snug on the wall. I found that using the smoothing tool to hold the paper in place, while I made each cut, kept the paper from sliding around or snagging.
Even with the beige color, I was already loving the look.
The seams were a little more noticeable that I had hoped for, but no worries, the paint takes care of them! From a distance they blended in quite well anyway.
I allowed the wallpaper to set up for a few days before tackling the painting phase, which is not really a “phase” at all since I painted the grasscloth exactly the way I would have any other wall surface. Bonus – it covered in one thin coat!
I’ll admit, it did lose some of the texture, which could have been assumed since we were covering the variation of colors with one solid color, but it still has plenty close up!
Form farther away, it blends perfectly with the other walls
I know, it doesn’t even look like wallpaper. Which, I kind of love. It’s a nice little surprise when you get closer up!
Here’s a very boring, and very poorly staged version of what we’re planning for the space. Of course, the mirror needs to be hung, we’ll be replacing the console with a dresser, adding a few accessories, hanging a couple coat hooks, and we might swap out the chair. We’ll see
We’ve almost wrapped up the mudroom lockers (I know, I’m jumping around on projects like a crazy person. Sorry, get used to it.), so maybe we could squeeze in DIY’ing a dresser for this space sometime relatively soon. That is, if we finish up Zoey’s closet this week. Whhhat? I know. We’re nuts. Why do we do this to ourselves? We’ll be sharing more deets later this week