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
I’m long overdue on sharing updates in the girls’ room, so I thought I’d start by catching up with our initial plans for the space. I decided to finally get my butt in gear after finishing Ryan’s Nursery. I mean, it’s totally unfair for a newborn to have a 100% finished room of his own, while his 2 + 3 year old sisters have bare walls. Which they’ve made very evident, pinning up their artwork on said blank walls saying, “Look, Mommy! We have pictures too!”. Those girls know how to seriously break a Momma’s heart.
Prior to Lizzy moving in with Zoey, we had already made a few updates to the room, but some of them haven’t been working out so well. For instance, their yellow Ikea chest. As a birthday gift for Zoey last year, we actually gave this guy a completely new look on the inside, removing all the drawers, and installing a few small shelves and a clothing rod. We kept the exterior the same, so it still appears to be a chest of drawers. I’ll have to share the entire thing on the blog someday. It’s absolute princess dress-up heaven. Point of story – The chest now has a swing door, not drawers, and it doesn’t function as well between the two beds. We’re still shooting to keep it in the room, somewhere, just not as a bedside table.
You also may remember the gallery wall, which has been removed for quite some time now. What used to be a play kitchen beneath it, now lives a second bed, with curious toddler hands. This was pretty much taken down the night that Lizzy moved in. She’s been in the new bed for about six months now, and I don’t think art on the walls during bedtime would be totally distracting at this point, but it definitely can’t be anything fragile. I’m looking at you string heart and animal heads. Plus, most everything in that gallery wall was thrown together in an attempt to just have something, anything on the walls. This time, I’m hoping to make things more personal, and really incorporate the girls’ interests. It’s their room after all, so no holding back.
Alright, alright. Onto the mood board!
First up, color scheme. We’re switching a few things up, with new hot pinks and mints (nixing the red and orange), but keeping the yellows and pastel pinks from the previous direction we were headed in. Not a huge deal, doesn’t effect much, but it feels so fresh now! Plus, I’m a sucker for mixing in a cool color (mint) with warmer tones (pinks and yellows).
I’d envisioned white walls for the longest time, but on a whim I threw this minty color in as the background on Photoshop, and I was sold. The ceiling is getting an entire new look as well, if you’re remembering the coral paint. Covering the popcorn ceilings has been a long-term goal for all of the bedrooms, so we’re hoping to do a white wood plank ceiling of sorts. If not, maybe just drywall again? Also, yes, I realize that mint walls and a plank ceiling combination is the exact opposite or Ryan’s Nursery, ha!
1 • Ok, here’s the deal with the old headboard. Zoey and Lizzy mutually agreed (that’s a damn miracle in case you didn’t know) that they wanted their beds to be pink. I had already made Zoey a headboard, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t necessarily all that excited about making a second one of those. Easy, yes, if I hadn’t misplaced the curvy-shaped template to duplicate. I know, I could figure it out, but “PINK, MOM”. The thing is, I want the girls to be in love with this room. I want them to be proud of it. So, if they want pink headboards, what the heck. Let’s do this.
I sold the old one on Craigslist (for a profit, actually) so no harm. The new headboards are complete, they just need to be properly hung, and then I’ll share the hot pink and brass nailhead details in all their glory!
2 • An old house and unpredictable Cincy weather call for ceiling fans in the bedrooms. I’m loving the sleek design of this one, but haven’t quite pulled the trigger on anything. Hoping to find an affordable option, white, aesthetically pleasing (duh), and the real kicker – a flush-mount. It’s a rough search. The ceiling fan design world needs help.
3 • I haven’t done a large piece of art in our new house since this epic fail, so I’m declaring this makeover the time for it. I’d LOVE to get something huge over the girls’ beds, and I just keep coming back to this freaking awesome diy dinosaur engineer print. We visited the new dinosaur exhibit at King’s Island this summer and holy dinosaur obsession. The girls can’t get enough. They’d go nuts if I let them pick out their very own dinosaur to go over their beds. Or maybe some other animal? I don’t know, it really doesn’t get a whole lot cooler.
4 • I grabbed one of these industrial task lamps in yellow during a lighting sale a few months ago. It’s perfect for bedtime stories and the girls are just a little too excited that they can turn it on and off by themselves (it has a switch on the cord).
5 • I’m not going theme crazy in this room, I mostly just want to focus on whatever it is that currently has the girls fascinated. Right now, that means dinosaurs, outer space, monsters, and unicorns! These years are so much fun and I just want to embrace it. They’d loose it for this moon globe. I can see the endless late night talks with Daddy already.
6 • Last summer (yes, you heard me) I found an entire set of Campaign furniture on Craigslist. Chest, nightstands, bookcase, and desk.. For $200 dollars. People, you are killing me. Obviously, I bought it, and obviously, it’s been sitting in our garage since then. Ha. Next post, promise, I’ll share what we’ve done with the chest, along with the headboards. (chest source)
7 • I haven’t quite decided if this pointy unicorn is practical for preschoolers yet or not, but it’s a definite want. The girls would flip, and maybe I could hang it high enough out of reach (aka, eye-stabbage-level). I mean, gold glitter dipped horns. Come on.
8 • Last week Zoey and Lizzy learned how to use the tape dispenser themselves, and all of walls are open game for their art. It’s adorable. Really. Except for the paint that peels off the walls when the tape comes down. Not cool. I would love to give them a big space in their room to display crafts to their hearts content. Preferably, without the use of tape. I’m crazy for these cloud-shaped magnet boards. A big grouping of them would be so adorable. A handful of dinosaur magnets to really set things over the top on the cuteness scale. Clouds and dinosaurs tho? Maybe airplanes. Oh, screw it.
9 • They can’t read just yet, but when they can, hopefully they can appreciate this banner and the weirdness that we’ve instilled in them. Stay Weird little babies.
10 • I have no idea what to do with these tiny alphabet cards, but I so desperately want them displayed. Shadow box maybe? String banner? Ideas, anyone?
11 • Because space and monsters are cool right now. One. Two. Three.
13 • Last, but oh so certainly not least. We have big plans for a bookcase in the corner behind their bedroom door, like this one (scroll down after click). We’ve made some serious progress here, so I’m shooting to share an update here as well. Plus, Santa brought a pair of these fur bean bags last year, for the coziest little reading spot! Way to think ahead big man.
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!