Probably the most uncreative title I’ve ever written for a blog post. But- to use my least favorite sentiment ever- it is what it is.
Our basement was one of the last things on our renovation list. There was a disgusting amount of dust and debris pushed through the old subfloors into the depths of the basement. It housed all our tools and paint from the reno once we moved in and it was probably a good home to a fair amount of spiders for a while.
We knew we would eventually get it cleaned up. Maybe put a fresh coat of dry lock on the walls, some paint on the floors- but as the baby stuff started to pile up (and then be outgrown so quickly) we knew that storage was not just a wish list item but a must have.
As usual, my Dad deserves the majority of the credit for this. He did the backbreaking (and head bonking) work of sweeping, power-washing, painting, etc. But once we had a clean slate, Jared and I spent many a night and nap time, assembling shelving and hauling all our bins and boxes from our guest room down three flights of stairs to the basement. There was also a handful of things left in my parent’s basement that finally came home to ours.
So don’t expect a HGTV-worthy reveal. This makeover wins in function not fashion. It’s a huge difference from feeling like you needed to wear work boots to trudge through your disgusting basement before to now moseying down in white socks to grab a roll of paper towels. And speaking of paper towels- woo hoo to bulk shopping again! Holy cow it’s so nice to be able to get the 5,000 pack of baby wipes from Costco and have a place that’s out of sight to store them.
OK, so here’s the basement way back in Spring of 2013 when Dad and Jared were taking measurements for the rennovation before we even moved in.
And if you notice the black and yellow post above- that was another genius suggestion by Dad. These lally columns are all over the basement and have nasty rusty schmutz all over them. Some are worse than others but while we were assembling all these shelves, we lost a couple of t-shirts to rubbing up against the rust. A cost-effective solution- rope!
We’re really, really happy with the space. It’s added so much to our everyday lives knowing that we have all of our things properly stored in a clean space and being able to access everything in sans knee high rubber boots! Did I mention a new subpump and dehumidifier are also contributing to our peace of mind?
Anywho, I know we’ve had more dramatic and definitely more beautiful room reveals, but to be honest, this is one of my favorites.
“Because design is a journey…”
This is how One Kings Lane explains their reason for being. If you haven’t heard of One Kings Lane, then we’re not friends. Kidding. Sort of. I love this site. Started by a couple of female entrepreneurs and offering top-brand, vintage, and designer items totally discounted (but for a limited time! shop now!) items, the site is perfect for design projects big and small.
After our very big project (aka the renovation of 2013) things certainly slowed down in terms of home design activities. And especially after a new baby, we’ve taken to tackling small projects only when time (and energy levels) allow. So when One Kings Lane approached me about their Tray Chic program I thought, “yes! perfect nap time project!”
For inspiration, I obviously checked out OKL’s tray video and realized that I’m queen of the trays! Seriously, I use trays in probably every room of the house. Some for form but most for function- like corralling items in drawers and in the pantry and my favorite tray in the kitchen that keeps our coffee maker, cream, and sugar bowl off our butcher block countertops.
But reading up on OKL’s ideas for decorating with trays and clicking through their amazing array of trays that’s updated daily with gorgeous new styles- it made me want to venture out and create something totally irrelevant to my new-momma lifestyle. Yup, momma just needed a stong dose of pretty. So that came in the form of a plastic tray from the dollar bin at Target and a can of chalkboard spraypaint.
A bunch of perky white daisies from my garden are perfect in a mason jar.
Add a hot cup of coffee with my morning blueberries and greek yogurt and this is just the most perfect breakfast in bed tray.
Of course that’s not exactly how this morning played out. I took some photos of my fabulous tray with a 6-month old wiggling around next to me on his playmat. Then I scarfed down the yogurt before he started getting fussy and it was off to the nursery for books and naps.
Momma returned to a cold cup of joe. But 30 seconds in the microwave and it was just right. I spent the next 2.5 minutes admiring my tray chic project… and then returned to reality. Off to wash bottles and put in a load of laundry!
But thanks One Kings Lane for the inspiration!
I’m sure I’m not the only blogger to post a beautiful Nursery Reveal with sweet artwork and perfectly pressed crib linens and then turn around four months later to see an actual lived in nursery with spit up on the carpet, curtains drawn, and toys strewn about.
I’d say I still keep a pretty tight ship when it comes to neatness but there are plenty of adjustments we’ve made now that an actual baby lives here.
For starters, we live on my cousin’s homemade quilt and the activity gym from my brother and sister-in-law. So that is just constantly set up right outside his closet door.
We installed this shelf not long after I posted the Nursery Reveal. It just made perfect sense in that space and I love seeing his little stuffed animals perched there when I walk by.
Then there’s the addition of this Eli stool. This is a family tradition that started when I was an itty bitty girl. My Dad made me a pine Julie stool that I could use to brush my teeth and hop up to my big girl bed. It was a simple stool but I used it for everything right up through high school! Now, my Dad uses the finest woods and gives them to our family members on their first birthday. Eli cut the line and got a beautiful cherry one last month!
And finally, there’s the dresser/changing table wall. I had to totally rearrange this wall once Eli started swinging his little arms around and actually wacked a frame. It didn’t come off the wall but I decided to hang all the frames much higher and hang a light little clothesline within reach. The photos can be swapped out whenever we want and I love that Eli can look at family members while he’s on the table.
To be honest, if I could do it all over again, I’d choose the lightest decor for above the dresser. It made me super nervous when Eli swung for the frame. I suppose it’s better than hanging things above the crib since we’ll always be standing at the dresser with him, but still- hindsight.
This is still my most favorite room in our whole house. It’s sweet and warm and filled with my little man’s toys and clothes. It makes me so happy to think of him growing up here. I hope he loves it as much as I do!
With spring comes spring cleaning and organizing and for us that tends to mean more house projects. So get excited! There may actually be some home improvement posts in this little blog’s future!
Today it’s a small one but a valuable one- the addition of a mudroom closet.
We got this mammoth beast from- where else? Good ol’ IKEA. I knew we wanted to get one PAX System closet for quite some time now but with so many options for drawers, shelves, and hooks on the inside, I wasn’t positive of the combination I wanted. So with Eli with Grammy, Gramps, Jared, and I popped over to IKEA to make our selections.
The woman in the closet section was super helpful. She hooked us up with a computer and I got to design away. With all the options on display, all I had to do was look around and see what kind of configuration we wanted.
And what did we end up with…
One shelf above the hanger bar (that you can’t even see in this photo) and another half shelf with four wire drawers. These are perfect for scarves, gloves, and hats. There’s a drawer for Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.
The hardware we chose was not IKEA. This is something we learned is key for not making your house seem like an IKEA showroom. We went with a really strong, heavy iron. It matches the anchor coat hangers we have.
The cabinet really does look built in since it’s the same 8 foot height as the wall behind it and tucked into a corner. Our mudroom has really turned into a perfectly functional space for us.
We even added this little message center that’s a chalkboard and a magnetic surface. It’s perfect for keeping info about Eli ready for Grammys or babysitters and walking in the door to those cute pics is almost as fun as seeing the little man himself!
Yeah, I know. My sweet little DIY blog has turned into the “Look at my Baby!” blog but so what?! He’s the reason we did our whole renovation in the first place. The reason we turned this house into a home.
But back to a little home improvement project…
Our second floor bathroom has had this little cubby behind the shower. It was always intended to have shelves but since we were gutting our whole first floor, a couple of shelves were low priority and needless to say, fell by the wayside.
Until that is, Momma realized we needed to make space for baby in our bathroom too.
Eli’s baby bathtub fits great on the countertop next to our bathroom sink. His head-to-toe wash and wash cloths and bath toys and lotion and that little ducky cup that rinses all the soap off his head… were ALL living in that cubby.
So Gramps worked his magic and installed some shelves!
Our little man finally has a beautiful room to call his own. And we (finally!) after one year of living in our house with that bedroom door closed, have a bright beautiful room to light up our second floor hallway!
The room is just as how I imagined it.
The neutral tones are so calming and sweet. Did you notice the faux brick on the back wall? It’s one of my favorite parts to the room. Such a big impact for such a small amount of effort. This is simply brick paneling from Lowes painted white. I love it!
Then there’s all the woodland touches. I couldn’t be happier with the collage over the dresser.
Remember the wood slice wall art I made?
We filled this little lamp with river rocks and couldn’t resist leaving these little knit booties on display!
The bunny mobile over the crib is so delicate and whimsical, it’s like a piece of art.
His little library is starting to take shape. These woodland board books are beautiful. I hope the little guy likes them as much as momma does.
And this adorable fox from our nephew Zeke watches over the nursery.
Little man is sure to be a stylish gentleman with an organized closet like this!
Completing this room is a huge step toward welcoming our little kiddo into our home. If only he knew what it once looked like!
Our woodland nursery will feature a collage of art in various forms above the dresser. I’ve been having way too much fun collecting and crafting the pieces for it. Though I’d like to save most for the big reveal next month, for now I’ll share this one project for our collage wall.
One log slice, Martha Stewart’s stick on stencils, a picture hanger, pencil, and Sharpie paint pen was all purchased at Michael’s for less than $30.
The stencils came in both large and small fonts so I positioned those and lightly sketched some cursive for variety.
There are a lot of different Sharpie paint pens but the ones that specifically say “good for wood” were perfect and didn’t bleed through the stencil at all.
And remember to fasten a picture hanger with small thin nails as to not splinter the log slice.
About $30 and 30 minutes was all it took to create some big inspiration for a tiny person!
Yes! It’s time for the long anticipated (at least for me) nursery design posts!
It’s not like I’ve needed this long to prepare… oh please! I’ve had my nursery design picked out since the biological clock started ticking. In fact, I think it’s absolutely hilarious when people tell us that we need to find out the sex of the baby so we’ll know what to paint the nursery. As if my color palette could ever include blue or pink. Bah! Those who know me know- if it ain’t a neutral, it ain’t going on my walls!
So now that I’ve offended all of you with your baby blue and pastel pink nurseries, let’s jump right into my ideas for our little peanut’s pad.
The theme (as you’ve probably concluded from the title of this post) is woodland and the color palette is whites, creams, grays, and tans. Everything really stemmed off of this IKEA crib and dresser that I’m in love with. It’s more of a grey-brown than it looks like in the photo below.
And it happens to match this IKEA dresser that will give us tons of storage and serve as a changing station. Does anyone buy changing tables anymore?
The last large piece of furniture will be this upholstered rocker with ottoman.
In terms of the room itself, the bedroom on the second floor was in bad shape. Similar to the master bedroom, we’ve pulled up the shag carpet, pulled down the drop ceiling, and plastered a new ceiling with can lighting and a ceiling fan. Other than that, my hard-working Dad has been patching and sanding the walls to the point where he’s practically plastered new walls! We’ll be putting bead-board in the closet to freshen it up and on one small exterior wall, we’re doing something really special. I’ll leave you in suspense on that… but I can assure you no tacky murals!
The walls will be the same Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois color that we used in the master bathroom. And fresh white trim will frame the windows and doors and brighten the baseboards and crown molding.
Now for the real fun- accessories! Again, neutrals, neutrals, neutrals with lots of faux bois and rustic touches. Woodland creatures like foxes, owls, deer, and bunnies will be the real childlike touches along with the wooden toys and books that will surely fill the room over time! Here’s an idea of the woodland decor…
Look, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby’s room that didn’t make me coo with motherly admiration. So no matter blue or pink, green or yellow, or decked out in the chicest of ivories, it’s the tenant that really steals the show. So yes little one, your mummy’s a design snob but she’s going to love you more than anything and can’t wait to show you your woodland nursery!
That’s the smell of progress, my friend. And maybe a little tree pollen. Any one else feeling the allergies? Ick!
But back to the progress… even during Fourth of July week, we got ourselves a new fence! Gone is the nasty red, falling down back fence. It’s been replaced with a lovely fresh, white, and most importantly- sturdy fence!
It now matches our fence on the right side of the yard and makes such an impact when you walk into our yard from the driveway (despite the big gaping pool pit).
I especially love the view from inside the house looking out our french doors. It’s so much cleaner to see the white from our kitchen and sun porch. I excitedly anticipate that view getting better and better with every bit of progress we make on this yard!