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?
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!
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…