Baby Boy Nursery Reveal!

We’re still waiting on baby boy’s arrival but as of yesterday, his nursery is finished and ready!

This was the first time I’ve really been able to go for it with decorating a nursery space. With my previous pregnancies, we chose to be surprised with the baby’s sex at birth so this is the first time we’ve ever known in advance. We also feel confident that this is our final baby so there’s no need to try to keep things somewhat neutral for the future. It was really fun for me to get to plan and design a nursery with a specific little boy in mind and I’m so happy with how it turned out. My goal was to create a soothing place for lots of baby snuggles, late-night feeding sessions, and (hopefully!) restful nights for our sweet boy. I wanted a blend of graphic prints and organic elements in earth tones that mimic the gorgeous woods you can see right outside his window. [And speaking of window – this room only has one window, never gets in the direct path of the sun, and is always a little moody and dim. I love it in person, but it does make it challenging to photograph well – the room isn’t quite as dark as these photos make it seem!]

Obviously, the main focus of a nursery is the crib. I’ve had the same Ikea crib for all my babies and it has served us so well. I’ve also used this little cloud mobile in all three nurseries (although not always above the crib) and I love how sweet and whimsical it is! The dinosaur sheet was a clearance find from back when LJ was still using the crib, but I never actually used it for LJ. It wasn’t exactly what I was envisioning for this nursery, but it’s hard to argue for buying new when you have a nice option on hand already and I’m satisfied with this choice.

I decided to forgo one large print above the crib and instead create a gallery wall, specifically choosing to center it on the wall instead of over the crib. I wanted a collected look so I pulled together some digital download prints, a maternity photo, the baby’s sonogram, and a simple dried fern in a variety of frames, some new and some thrifted.

The chair we had in here previously was a handmedown La-z-boy from Justin’s grandma with a slipcover over it. It is comfortable and worked just fine, but when I spotted this dark mustard colored recliner with a grid pattern in a local thrift store, I just couldn’t resist! I knew it would be perfect in this room and I was right. The only downfall is that it doesn’t rock, but we are currently brainstorming solutions for finding a way to make it rock.

I asked Justin to create a few little book ledges for baby’s book collection and he made three for me following the same process as the ones we made in our secret nook. They turned out great and all of baby’s books fit!

I kept the same dresser from Vi’s nursery, but decided to re-paint it in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore and swap out the gold drawer pulls for matte black ones. I did a little mirror switcheroo and moved the round gold one that used to hang here into the kids’ room and brought in the black oval one from the kids’ room.

I had the giraffe-patterned changing pad cover from LJ’s nursery and I think its colors and whimsical pattern translated well to this nursery. A little basket full of diapers, wipes, and ointments and we have ourselves a changing station!

I enjoyed spending time on some of the little details throughout the room as well – repainting the little side table we thrifted a decade ago, hanging plaid blackout curtains high and wide, finding vintage brass wall planters on Etsy for a unique touch, filling a basket full of soft baby blankets. Throughout this room renovation, we’ve painted the window and updated trim, replaced the thin baseboards with a chunkier version, upgraded the old worn carpet with this soft greige, and installed a new matte black ceiling fan. I painted the doors and Justin re-installed them with new matte black hinges and handles. I painted the ceiling Sherwin Williams Shoji White and painted wooden outlet covers – it’s the little things that really finish off a room!

Now the only thing we need is one sweet baby boy to enjoy this room!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog in Eggshell

Ceiling Color: Sherwin Williams Shoji White in Flat

Crib – no longer sold (similar here)

Crib Sheet

Cloud Mobile

Curtain Rod

Plaid Blackout Curtains

Faux String of Pearls

Diaper Pail

Changing Pad

Sound Machine

Black Oval Mirror

Ceiling Fan

Prints: Rainbow, Black and White Rabbits, Oak Tree

Gold Frame with Mat

Black Frame with Mat

Monitor

Door Hinges

Door Handles

Everything else is either vintage, thrifted, old, or was a DIY project!

How we made a DIY Umbrella Stand (with built-in storage!)

When we first looked at this house as potential buyers, we weren’t quite sure what to think of the pond. We never specifically looked for a property with water and had no experience with maintaining a pond; however, one step out onto the patio looking out onto the water and we were hooked. We knew this could be a very special place for our family and now three years later, we absolutely love it and are out there all the time. The previous owners created a small beach area along the edge of the water and installed a little wooden deck beside it. This has become my favorite spot to lounge and read a book while watching the kids play in the sand and swim. The one thing it was missing was an option for shade and this year I decided it was high time to come up with a solution – and we did!

We looked at weighted umbrella stands, but most options would’ve cost around $500 and we weren’t even confident what we chose wouldn’t tip over since the deck is not near anything to block a strong wind. Instead, we came up with a DIY version that not only looks much cuter (in my humble opinion haha) but is sturdier and MUCH less expensive. Granted, we used a lot of scrap wood and supplies we already had, but this version cost us right around $200. Today I’m sharing all the details with how we did it step-by-step. Here we go!

Materials

Umbrella Stand

16″ x 16″ outdoor planter

-umbrella – I used this one

-4×4 wood for filler (optional)

-level

concrete mix + water

-5 gallon bucket

-large stirring stick (we used an old broom handle)

-spade

-large piece of cardboard (we used the box the planter came in)

-box cutter

Tabletop

-3/4 inch plywood

-1 x 1/2 inch slats of wood (I used pine)

-black spray paint

-wood stain

-wood glue

-nail gun + 1 inch nails

spar urethane spray paint

-other tools used: table saw, miter saw, jigsaw

Umbrella Stand Directions

I wanted something that felt streamlined and modern so I bought this planter off of Amazon for the base of the stand. Justin took an old wooden 4×4 post we had in our scrap wood pile and cut it down to create a filler border around the inside edge. This is not a necessary step, but he did it to reduce the amount of concrete used and the overall weight of the finished product.

We plugged the hole at the bottom with the plastic gasket that came with the planter and moved the whole thing around outside until we found level ground.

Justin poured the concrete mix into a bucket and added water according to the directions, using an old broom handle to stir the mix.

Once the concrete mix had reached the desired consistency, he poured it into the planter and used a small spade to smooth the top flat.

Justin ended up using about 1 1/3 bags of concrete. I think one bag would have been sufficient if your umbrella is going to be near a house or other structure that would help to block wind, but since ours is out on a deck with no windbreak around it, we wanted a little extra stability.

Then it was time for the most meticulous part – getting the umbrella stand perfectly in place. This can be done solo but was easier with two people, as one of us used a tape measure from side to side in each direction to find the exact center while the other carefully set the pole in place, then we used the level to make sure it wasn’t crooked. We also stepped back and visually confirmed with one another from all angles that the pole looked straight up and down. We really took our time with this step and it was well worth it!

Once we were fully satisfied that the pole was not crooked, I took a piece of cardboard from the box the planter arrived in and used a box cutter to cut an “x” in the center. I slid the hole made by the x down over the pole and it created a kind of holder to keep the pole from moving in the wind. We weighted it down with some scrap wood and shovels and left it to dry and set for about 36 hours.

Our original plan was to stop here and fill the top half of the planter with soil and flowers, which I think would’ve been lovely! But before we could do it, we actually used the umbrella over the weekend when friends came to visit and we quickly realized that the base made an awesome catch-all spot for sunscreen, books, phones, etc. I was immediately inspired and came up with a vision for a removable tabletop that allowed us to access the storage underneath.

Tabletop Directions

Once I explained my vision to Justin, he was excited to jump right in. He used his table saw and miter saw to cut down a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to size (in two pieces) to fit inside the planter.

He then used a jigsaw to cut a small notch on the edge of each piece of plywood for the umbrella pole to fit through.

Tip: Justin spent a lot of time on these first two steps measuring and re-measuring to make sure the pieces would fit as flush to the inside edges of the planter as possible. We’re not including dimensions, because every planter and umbrella will be slightly different and it’s important to measure your own to make sure it fits well!

Once the pieces were cut to size I spray painted each one black.

I wanted slats for the tabletop, but rather than buy new wood, we had leftover pine 1×5’s from the DIY clothing rack I made last year and Justin took one and ripped it down into one inch wide strips. He cut them to length so that they would hang over the edge of the plywood by a half inch and I tested a few stains from my stash before landing on Varathane’s Golden Oak.

Justin applied a small bead of wood glue to the back of each piece, then used a nail gun and one inch nails to secure each slat in place (he used a thin piece of scrap plywood in between each one to evenly space them out). This is one step where I didn’t communicate my vision with Justin well and I wish we would’ve spaced the nail holes differently, but honestly, it’s fine and doesn’t bother me too much!

He used the jigsaw again to cut a notch in the top slats that matched the one in the plywood underneath and I stained that little notch as well.

Since this is going to be outside, I sprayed several light coats of clear spar urethane over everything to give it a good protective coat. We let it dry overnight and then we installed it in the planter.

I am in LOVE with how this turned out – it honestly looks like it was always meant to be this way! I love that Justin took the extra time to make sure the slats were cut and spaced in a way that created an equal amount of space around the edge all the way around. It looks so good!

The top lifts off easily to provide plenty of storage underneath – it’s so nice to have a shaded place to store things out of the way!

Here’s a close-up of how the top looks in place. The plywood goes all the way to the edge inside and the slats keep it in place with a half inch overhang.

I have to give a huge shoutout to Justin here. This umbrella stand was my vision, as was the design of the tabletop, and he worked to execute my vision perfectly! I am so thrilled with how it turned out.

Ultimately, there is still a lot of work to do here. The deck actually needs completely replaced (boards are warping and breaking off) and we have plans to expand it to accommodate more people. For now though, this is such a nice little spot to hang out and enjoy and I’m thrilled that we now have the option for shade. In fact, it’s calling to my eight-month-pregnant self and I think I’ll spend some time out there today!

New Carpet in Kids’ Bedrooms

Last Wednesday, we had carpet installed in both the nursery and LJ and Vi’s shared room and I absolutely love it!

I went into carpet shopping with a pretty specific idea in mind of what I wanted: a warm greige color in a lower pile that still felt soft and had a subtle hint of pattern. I found a Stainmaster style called SOS Shore Line and it seemed perfect except for one small issue . . . there were no samples available to take home and see in my own space. I tentatively made the decision in my head, but came back another day with a baseboard sample to try and envision if the tones of the colors work together (I know paint colors can absolutely change, but I tend to like muted, mid-tone warm colors for bedrooms so this strategy at least gave me a little help with the vision). I settled on the color Shoreline and placed the order. It took about a month between placing the order and getting the call from installation services to set up an install date.

Last week I shared a list of the things I hoped to accomplish before the carpet got installed and I’m happy to report that I finished everything just in time! I was able to touch up all the walls and finish painting the ceilings so everything feels extra fresh.

I definitely breathed a big sigh of relief after seeing the carpet in the space because I do think the color works really well in both rooms. I love the subtle linear pattern – it’s just enough for a bit of visual interest but not too much to be distracting. The pile is low enough that we can add a rug on top if we want, but the carpet is soft enough that it’s not necessary to do that unless we want to for aesthetic reasons. The true test of softness happened when the kids got to check it out – they both give it two thumbs up!

It’s truly amazing to me what a difference a change in carpet makes. The old carpet was 20+ years old and had been well-used over the years; we know stains and wear and tear come with just living in a space and that’s totally okay, but it was definitely time for a replacement. It feels like a fresh start for both rooms and feels so good to walk into a room that we’ve been able to address top to bottom!

Next on my list is replacing the baseboards in each room with a thicker version, and then I just have a few more finishing touches in each room before calling them good for now. At this point, my deadline for these rooms is August 10 – baby’s due date – but I’d love to wrap them both up in the next couple of weeks.

Plans to Refresh our Outdoor Space

Justin and I have always loved to entertain, and having a home that worked for hosting friends and family was a big priority for us when we were house shopping. A big part of the reason we fell in love with our current home was the large entertaining space in our basement, which leads to a walk-out patio and pond – our main hangout spot in the summer! It’s been so fun to host friends and family all throughout the year, but we especially love the warm weather months and taking advantage of our outdoor space.

This year, we’ve been slow to get our patio set up but this weekend we finally have some time and I’m itching to start getting things set up. In the past, we’ve just set up a patio table and chairs (which we snagged off Craigslist six years ago) and a small sectional. There is also a small wooden deck down by the pond where we have two lounge chairs next to the sandy beach area. We have plans for a full revamp of our outdoor space in the future, but for this year we’re focused on small, manageable steps to refresh things and make it feel a little more special.

I think it’s important to note that we don’t subscribe to the notion that things have to be perfect to host. We’ve had countless gatherings at our house prior to this – things haven’t looked perfect and our patio hasn’t been 100% the way we’ve wanted but we still invited people over and made some amazing memories. We even just had people over last night despite the fact that our sectional is still not even set up. While we’re excited to make some changes to the space, we’ve also enjoyed this area every step along the way!

That being said, here are some things we hope to do as soon as possible:

Add sand to beach area

Our beach area was looking pretty washed out, so Justin already spent a Saturday getting a couple truckloads of new sand for the beach area.

We were both impressed with how much that improved both the feel of the beach and our kids’ overall enjoyment of it. We also didn’t realize how inexpensive sand is, particularly if you are willing to pick it up and haul it yourself. We’re likely going to get another truckload or two to add a bit more to the beach and the shallowest end of the pond.

DIY an Umbrella Stand for the Deck

There’s a small wooden deck right next to the beach where we have two lounge chairs. There are a few warped boards on the edge I’d like to fix if we can, and I’d also like to add some shade.

I don’t want a permanent canopy, because sometimes we want sun, but I want the option for shade when needed. I bought an umbrella a few days ago and Justin dug out an old umbrella stand the previous owners left behind in our shed. It was SO nice to have shade – Vi even fell asleep two days in a row in the shade while LJ kept swimming and playing! – but the umbrella stand was not sturdy enough to withstand the wind. As you can see in the corner of the picture, we had to weigh it down with some rocks and even then, I had to hold on to it when the wind picked up.

We could spend $400-500 dollars on a large umbrella and stand that would work better against the wind, or I could DIY a solution using the old umbrella stand and $89 umbrella I already bought. It’s probably not shocking to you that I’m going with the DIY version! My plan is to build a planter large enough to fit the base of the umbrella stand, use some concrete mix in the bottom to secure the stand and provide sufficient weight, and then fill the top with soil and plant some flowers around the umbrella. I think it will work – finger’s crossed!

Set up Patio Furniture (with new touches)

We have our table and chairs set up, but we haven’t spend time setting up our sectional yet. This normally tucks into the little corner of our house shown below, and this year, I want to add in an outdoor rug and some small end tables to make it a little cozier and more functional. One thing we already did was have the house powerwashed, which made a huge difference already!

Paint the Porch Ceiling?

I’m debating painting the porch ceiling this year (thinking of going with black!) but that might be a bigger project to save for sometime in the future. We’ll see!

Planter Boxes + String Lights

In our last house, we used barrels with concrete mix in the bottom to secure large posts to hang string lights. I could only find one picture of how we set this up, but we loved how cozy it made the space and want to do something similar at this house.

I’m thinking we might try to DIY the actual planter boxes this time instead of buy barrels. On top of the concrete, we’ll fill with soil and plant flowers like we did at the last house – it adds such a special little touch!

I kind of expect this project to be an “if you give Sarah a paintbrush” situation where I get started and things spiral haha, but this is the list I’m starting out with. We have a lot of plans for hosting this summer so I’m excited to get this patio ready!

Carpet is Coming (but I have some things to do first!)

We’re back from our beach vacation and it was such a blast! We made some great memories and had so many fun experiences as a family. For as much fun as we had, it’s also good to be back in our own house and get back to our normal routines. And I for one am ready to jump back in to some house projects!

One big thing that is finally happening this week is new carpet will be installed in both of the kid bedrooms! Our entire house is in need of new flooring and it was a goal of mine for 2022 to get started on replacing. We decided to start with the nursery and kids’ shared bedroom because these two rooms will have the same carpet and they’re the smallest rooms, making these rooms the least expensive option to start with. The carpet in these rooms is currently worn down with various stains throughout so I’m very ready for a fresh look. I’m just a little bit nervous because the carpet I liked the best in store did not have any take-home sample option and I had to make the decision based on the tiny sample in store without actually seeing it in the space – fingers crossed it looks like I imagine it will! Can you guess which one I went with?

Before the new carpet gets installed (in two days!), there are a few things I would like to accomplish in the rooms. Here’s a look at what needs to happen first:

Take down closet shelving

Have you ever put something on a to-do list that you’ve just finished, for the sole purpose of being able to cross something off right away? That’s what I’m doing here ha! I worked on clearing out the closets yesterday and Justin took down the shelving units so this task is already complete!

The previous owners had created their own shelving units in the closets, and while they have worked fine for the past 3 years, they are not what I want long-term. We have plans to reconfigure the closets eventually to better maximize their efficiency for our needs, not to mention we may possibly be adding a bathroom off the nursery someday (nothing concrete, just a dream at this point!) which would completely change the door/orientation of that closet. Suffice to say – the shelving was always temporary for us. The previous owners installed the shelving first, and then the carpet around it, which meant the carpet was installed around the shelving. To avoid cutting the carpet around shelving we don’t plan to keep long term, it needed to come down now.

See the notch in the carpet where the shelving used to be? That’s exactly what we didn’t want, so I’m glad the shelves are down!

Patch and re-paint the old mirror anchor holes

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I shopped my house for mirror options for above the nursery dresser and came up with three choices: the same simple, gold round mirror that previously hung there, a smaller gold mirror with a fun organic leaf border, or the black oval mirror from the kids’ shared bedroom. I finally settled on the black oval and swapped the round gold one into the kids’ bedroom instead. I’m really happy with the swap, but due to the different shapes, we couldn’t use the old anchor holes to hang them in their new locations. Justin patched the old anchor hole in the nursery last night but I still need to sand and paint it, and we also need to do the same thing in the kids’ shared room.

Touch up ceiling paint

Both ceilings need touch ups – in the nursery, I need some touch ups around the edges and in the kids’ room, I need to paint around the new fan, since the base on the new fan is smaller than the old one. The problem is, we painted the ceiling a couple years ago and I didn’t take note of what paint we used! So I’m not sure if I’ll be able to match it or if I’ll have to just re-paint entirely but either way, it needs to happen before the new carpet!

Address the “accent” wall

Oy. The accent wall in the kids’ room. For so long, it was just a boring white wall. Then I decided to add a fun wallpaper and was so excited for it – until we discovered the scale they sent was all wrong and the pattern was actually half the size I wanted. I’ve been in this limbo of “should I go with the smaller scale pattern, should I keep looking for another pattern, or should I just paint my own unique pattern on the walls for now?” I’m still not sure which direction this is going to go, but I need to at last touch up the wall. I painted the trim and the baseboards and was NOT careful about getting paint on the walls because I thought there was going to be wallpaper covering it. Well…now that that is on pause, it just looks terribly messy. I need to re-paint neatly around the trim so it at least looks nice for the time being! It would also be nice if I could get the doors painted in each room, but I can also take them out of the rooms and paint them elsewhere if need be so that’s going to be the last priority.

Looking at this list, it’s not too terribly long BUT did I mention I only have two days to accomplish these things? The carpet installer comes Wednesday morning so I’ve got to get to it!

One Year Later: How has the kitchen held up?

It’s been just over one year since I finished up our kitchen renovation so today I wanted to chat a little bit about how everything has held up, where I need some touch-ups, and what small detail I still need to address.

The kitchen is truly the heart of our home, but when we first moved in, it didn’t really reflect our family well. I still dream of a full kitchen remodel, complete with a different layout, but a relatively inexpensive Phase One renovation (coming in right around $1000, not counting the new fridge we had to buy when our old one died) has made a HUGE difference in the meantime.

I still absolutely love so many things about this kitchen. I love the barstools – the wood brings in warmth to the space, they’re comfortable, and easy for the kids to climb up and down. I love the light fixture above the island – it’s about 100x better than the fluorescent light that was there previously! I recently took all the globes off and cleaned the whole fixture since it does collect some dust and it’s looking particularly shiny and new again.

I still love the color of the cabinets and how the blue-green-gray chameleon color plays off the warm tones in the black quartz countertops (which I didn’t originally like but now I think they work well with the other changes in the space!) I love the repurposed bead board backsplash, the warm white walls, the updated can lighting – this room still makes me smile everyday! Even though I know a different layout will work better for our family and we will change things up in the future, this kitchen fits us right now and I know I’ll even be a bit sad to eventually see it go.

So now that it’s been over a year, how has this renovation held up? Let’s chat!

Cabinets

You might notice that every photo makes the cabinet color look slightly different – that’s not an editing trick! This is a true chameleon color and it changes depending on lighting, time of day, and angle of your view. I still love the color (SW Link Gray) and it has mostly held up well on the cabinets. I think choosing a higher-quality paint really made a big difference in this space that gets a ton of traffic and use.

That being said, there are a few cabinets that need touching up around the knobs. These are the most-frequently used cabinets (trash can, silverware, plates and bowls) and over time, the constant friction of fingers and/or nails around the knobs has worn away the paint. Our trash can and silverware drawers (pictured below) are particularly bad because our kids also use these two cabinets and they’re not especially gentle users, ha!

Luckily, this is a super easy fix. Today, I’m going to go through and quick touch up these spots with a roller and they’ll look good as new! The rest of the cabinets have held up well and still look great.

Backsplash

One of my favorite updates to this space was removing the old tile backsplash and replacing it with the bead board paneling that we ripped out of our office. We painted it SW Agreeable Gray and it looks so great in its new home. Bonus that it was free! 😉

There are just a few little spots that need touching up, and again, it’s in the most frequently used space: behind the sink and drying rack. Since this spot is a major player in our daily kitchen use, it obviously gets a ton of use and over time, small nicks in the paint have occurred. Again, it’s an easy fix and today I’ll be going over those spots with a roller and get it back to looking fresh.

Also with the backsplash, I’m going to run another bead of clear acrylic latex caulk along the seam between the bead board and the counter to reinforce the waterproofing behind the sink. We have had no issues over the past year, but I want to keep it that way so I plan to just re-caulk once a year or so in this spot to keep things waterproof.

The Vent

This kitchen may look finished, but it’s actually part of the 95% club. In other words, I got 95% of the way done, hit a point of exhaustion, and didn’t finish the last thing I needed to do to actually make it finished. And that thing is…the vent.

Above the kids’ craft area is a vent that had been painted the same brown color as the walls. I meant to paint this the same color as the white walls (SW Alabaster) but it just . . . never happened. And now it’s been over a year and I am sick and tired of staring at it and thinking “I really need to get that painted” so today is the day! I am going to check this off the list and get this kitchen DONE!

A few other small things I’m going to do in the kitchen today:

  1. Paint a second coat underneath the cabinet in the kids’ craft area. I was running low on paint when I first did the cabinets, and this was the very last one I painted. I went sparingly on the underside to conserve paint but I have a small sample jar now and I’m going to give it a good second coat so it looks nicer.
  2. Do some thrifting for a different utensil crock. The orange has been fun, but it’s time for something that works better in the space. I might not find one today, but if not it’s going to be on my list of top things to look for in future thrifting trips.
  3. Remove the bits of black paint that got on the window while painting. Another small detail that I didn’t take time to address the first time – when I painted the window sashes black, a small bit got on the sides of the window. Since it’s latex paint, it’s easy to take a baby wipe and just scrape it off but I haven’t taken the time to do it. Today is the day to get it done!
  4. Tighten up the screws on the barstools. These counter stools were a great find and overall I’ve been pleased with them. They clean easily, still look great, and were a really great price point. That being said, over time, the screws do loosen a bit and the chairs can get wobbly. Probably once every 2-3 months I go through and just re-tighten any loose screws and they’re sturdy once again. It’s not ideal, but it only takes 10-15 minutes and it was honestly worth it to have no other complaints about the chairs and be happy with the price point.

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Trim + Backsplash Color: Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

Window Color: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

Cabinet Color: Sherwin Williams Link Gray

Light Fixture

Counter Stools 

LED Recessed Lights 

Kitchen Rug (similar here)

Home Tour 2022

It’s officially been three years since we’ve moved into our house, and every year I like to share a little tour of the home with a look at each space. Each year, we complete projects and make the home feel more and more like us and it’s so fun to see how things change over time. Some spaces are now updated, some are in progress, some are still looking more or less the same that they did when we moved in. To see our previous home tours, you can click the links here for the 2020 tour and 2021 tour.

I say this every year, but it’s worth mentioning again: during these tours, I certainly clean my house so it’s looking its best, but I also try to keep it true to the way we really live. I don’t move furniture in or out of a room (although I am always tempted to move our exercise bike ha!) I don’t style shelves differently or take things off my fridge. This is what our home really looks like in the way we live here!

Basement

Guest Bedroom

While our big renovation of this space happened in late 2019/early 2020, this room got a few more upgrades this past year with a new bed, fresh bedding, a faux wallpapered look (which isn’t quite finished yet!), and swapped out nightstands. Justin and I are hoping to replace the carpet later this year as well and then I think I’ll probably stop tinkering in here for a while.

Guest Bathroom

No major changes here, but I did remove a decorative tray that used to hold the soap dispenser, a candle, and faux succulent to free up some counter space for guests and added two gold canisters on the ledge for cotton balls and q-tips.

Entertaining Space

No major changes here either since last year but we do have plans to update the carpet (it’s in really bad shape throughout the entire basement) and I still need to update the window trim.

Basement Kitchen

Mudroom/Storage Room

While most rooms in our home have (in my opinion) only improved over the years, this is one that has steadily gotten worse and worse. Yikes! It really needs a major overhaul and in fact, we’ve talked about totally changing its function and making it into a home gym space. I’d love to see this space look completely revamped in our 2023 home tour – fingers crossed!

Main Floor

Laundry

This was a space I tackled in fall 2021 and I am thrilled with how it turned out! It’s such a cheery little spot now and it really does make laundry feel a little bit less like a chore.

Full Bathroom

Powder Room

Still unchanged from the day we moved in! At this point, I’ve decided to wait on major changes to this room until we re-do the flooring throughout the entire main floor, which I would love to see happen in the next year or two.

Home Office

Easily my favorite room in the entire house! This was well worth all the effort that we put in way back in fall 2020.

Dining Room

Kitchen

Revamping our kitchen for about $1000 last spring took me from itching to do a big, expensive gut remodel to being perfectly content with this space as is for several years while we plan and save for that big remodel. It just feels fresh and reflects our family so much better now! I do a lot of Phase One updates around here but I think this one has been my favorite so far.

Playroom

With each passing year, the playroom changes – not because the room itself has many differences, but because the toys change with my kids’ evolving interests. Right now, the hot-ticket items that get played with the most are the dress-up clothes (Vi), the train table that is now constantly covered with Lego creations (LJ) and the play kitchen (both).

Living Room

Sigh. One of these years, I’ll finally address this room (there’s so much potential!) For now, this works well for life with toddlers.

Secret Nook

Foyer

Over a year has gone by with this two-tone double entry look. It does bother me, but apparently not enough to have hired a painter to get the second level finished, ha! Maybe this will get completed before next year’s home tour? At this point, it’s a toss up.

At least the stairway to the basement is finished!

Top Floor

Primary Bedroom

One of the biggest transformations that happened over the past year was with Justin and my bedroom. It went from a boring blank slate to a colorful and moody retreat! I am so happy with it!

Primary Bathroom

Kids’ Shared Room

Earlier this year we moved Vi and LJ into the same room and it’s been so fun creating a sweet little shared space for them. Even Scout is a fan!

Kids’ Bathroom

Nursery

This room is my current project and is very much a work-in-progress, but I’m excited for the changes so far and can’t wait until we have a snuggly baby enjoying this space too!

And that’s a wrap on our home! Three years in, and we’re feeling super grateful to get to call this place ours. I love making it into a comfortable, beautiful space for our family, but most of all, I just love living life with my people here. This house has been good to us and we’re enjoying it every step of the way.

ORC Week Four: Curtains, Artwork, and a $0 DIY frame!

Another week of the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge is complete and I made some more progress in the nursery!

First, I updated the window by ripping off the old window trim, painting the window itself Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, and installing a chunkier window trim like we’re slowly doing to all the windows in the house. I painted the window trim Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog to match the walls for a monochromatic look. and installed a new curtain rod and room darkening curtains.

I love the curtains so much! They’re not marketed as blackout but they work as blackout so I decided to nix blinds for this room. It’s a double win because the room only has one window and doesn’t get direct sunlight so this helps maximize the natural light!

I also started adding in some artwork. I downloaded this gorgeous print as a digital download from Juniper Print Shop – the colors are absolutely perfect for the nursery and I thought it would being a nice organic feel to balance the grid print of the curtains. I like that it doesn’t feel like a traditional nursery print – it elevates the room from feeling too baby-ish and then in the future it will translate well to another part of the house when it’s no longer needed in the nursery. I had it printed through Mpix; the quality is awesome and you have to look really closely to tell it’s a print!

I wanted a substantial size and chose to have it printed in 18″ x 24″. Getting a large size in a quality paper and finish meant the print itself was a splurge so I wanted to save on the frame. Large frames can be pricey so I challenged myself to create a really simple DIY frame by only using materials I already had on hand.

Materials

digital download print

-large piece of cardboard (flat, no creases)

spray adhesive

gorilla glue

gold spray paint

Drydex nail hole filler

-scrap pieces of window trim

-tools used: scissors, miter saw; clamps

I cut the cardboard down so there was about 2″ overhang on all four sides of the print (my cardboard piece wasn’t quite wide enough to accommodate the full width of trim all the way around, so there was a little trim overhang, which you can’t see in the finished product). I used the spray adhesive to spray all over the back of the print and pressed it down onto the cardboard, making sure the print was pressed flat and smooth and there were no air bubbles.

As we update all the window trim in our house, we save the old trim and remove the nails so we can use the trim as scrap wood. I took four pieces of old window trim and used the miter saw to cut them down to size for each side of the frame (what length you cut to depends on how much you want the frame to cover the edge of the print). I cut each end to a 45 degree angle and did a dry fit of the pieces to make sure it looked good. I used nail hole filler to fill in any nail holes showing.

Then I sprayed a few light coats of my favorite gold spray paint on each piece of trim.

Once the pieces had dried, I used the spray adhesive again to attach the trim to each side of the cardboard around the print.

There were two trim pieces that had a slight warp, so I added a few daps of gorilla glue on the back for an extra strong hold and that worked well!

There was one small corner that didn’t quite come together flush, so I used the nail hole filler to close the gap, taped off the print with another piece of cardboard, and spray painted over the dried nail hole filler.

I used picture hanging strips to attach the back of the frame to the wall and voila – a beautiful frame that cost me $0!

We’re halfway through the ORC and I have several things left to do: update the nursery dresser/changing table, install book shelves, install thicker baseboards, and possibly add planking to the ceiling. We also are going to be installing new carpet, although I don’t anticipate that will happen before the challenge is over since it’s about a 6-8 week timeframe right now. The room is coming together slowly but surely!

Be sure to check out all the other ORC projects happening here!

The Wallpaper Decisions Continue

A few weeks ago, I posted about the issue we ran into while installing wallpaper in the kids’ shared bedroom – the wallpaper was accidentally sent to us at 2x the scale and we only received half of the pattern.

I do want to give a thumbs up to Spoonflower’s customer service. I was initially very frustrated by the situation but they got back to me the same day and were very helpful with looking into the issue. I received a full refund for my initial purchase and a complimentary sample in the correct pattern scale (I asked about just getting the second half of the pattern in the larger scale, but they were unable to do that). It was my first time using this company but despite the setback, I feel the experience has been a good one overall. I just received the second sample a few days ago and taped it up to the wall to compare:

My initial thoughts are: I do prefer the larger scale. It feels bold and different and extra fun. That being said, I don’t hate the smaller scale. It’s still whimsical and unique! I do wonder if it would feel too busy over the whole wall, but we’re only doing one wall and there is a door, a mirror, and a dresser on that wall so the pattern will be broken up a bit.

Another thing I want to consider is the look of the installed wallpaper. Justin and I both remarked on how easily the installation was, but we were disappointed to see that the wallpaper bubbled up in the days following install.

I have smoothed it down repeatedly, and the bubbles continue to reappear. We did start in the corner with the worst section of wall (our walls aren’t textured, but the previous owners just didn’t paint very carefully on this side and it wasn’t super smooth) so we’re wondering if the paper would stay better on other parts of the wall. I’m uninterested in shelling out money if it’s not going to stick flat to the wall though.

I think what I’m going to do is take some of the original paper they sent us and install it over other a couple small sections of the wall to see if the bubbling up occurs elsewhere. If it’s going to be an issue throughout, my decision is easy and we will not be purchasing the wallpaper. If it is just in the one section in the corner (which will be behind a door most of the time), I think I can live with that. If we don’t end up purchasing the wallpaper, I think I’ll just use different colors of paint to create a fun little pattern on the wall. We’ll see!

What would you choose if you were in my shoes here? Go with the smaller scale wallpaper or keep looking for another option (or just paint a pattern)?

ORC Week Three: Curtain Choices + Plans for the Window

I took a complete break from projects over the weekend, which was a wonderful time of gathering with my family and celebrating Easter (my favorite holiday!) I didn’t make any progress on the nursery but I did get some deliveries over the past week that have me excited to dive back in!

Curtains

The blackout curtains I ordered have arrived! I ordered them in two colors because I wanted to see them both in the space before deciding. They’re the same pattern and color palette, but the use of the colors in each makes one panel lighter and one panel darker. I wanted to incorporate some warm earthy browns in the room and I think this will be a great way to do it!

In addition to the curtains, the curtain rod arrived. It’s the same rod I’ve used in the our primary bedroom and kids’ shared bedroom – I got it in gold this time which I think will look great against the green wall color.

Artwork

I ordered two digital download prints from Juniper Print Shop and had them printed at MPix – they just arrived two days ago and I’m in love! I think the bunny print is so darling for a little boy’s nursery and the landscape print is what originally inspired the color palette for the whole room! I had it printed at an 18″ x 24″ size which feels so substantial and will really help elevate the room. It was worth the investment because even when this room is no longer a nursery, I know it’s a print that I’ll use in my home for years to come.

What’s Next

It’s time to address the window. I will be painting the window itself black (specifically, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black) and removing the old window trim. I’ll update the trim just like we’ve done in other rooms (click here for the tutorial) and then hang the curtain rod, choose a curtain, and install the blackout blind as well. It’s going to totally change the feel of the room!

I actually also have a plan for the old window trim too. Hint: it involves the artwork prints I just got . . .

Be sure to follow along on Instagram for real-time updates, and you can also check out all other One Room Challenge participants here.