Hi all! I know I said that I'd be sharing our office next, but after waiting literally MONTHS for my darling husband (hi dearest!) to clear off his desk so I'm not mortified to take photos, I've given up and am moving on (for the time being).
Instead, I'm going to share C's big girl room, which I finished right around her first birthday.
Why redecorate her room, you might ask? Well, two reasons: 1) I was irrationally annoyed by how trendy the pompom lantern I made was, and 2) I wanted her room to fit her personality, and this is a very adventurous little girl. I wanted to create a "big girl room" for her that was her size - everything within her reach - and that had a theme befitting a tiny explorer.
Ironically, the room was inspired by a rug I bought from Ikea that we no longer have - Elvis Purrsley peed on it and ruined it (I love him, but he can be obnoxious, that cat). I always wanted a rug with roads on it for my matchbox cars when I was a kid, so when I found the super affordable ($15!) rug, I had to buy it. But it didn't match the rest of her room! What to do?
Over time, the perfect theme came to mind - a city. And when I thought about creating a little reading nook for her, I decided to create a park-themed reading area in a modern city.
How about a little tour?
This is the view from the door. The hot air balloons are made by Travels Light, and were a gift from my friend Reichel over at Copy Cat Chic (she bought them for her daughter's gorgeous nursery and didn't end up using them!). I think they look perfect above C's crib. And because I don't want you guys to think I've got it all together (as if you thought that anyway, ha!), here's the full disclosure: I was totally planning to DIY hot air balloons using paper mâché, but the project was really frustrating and I gave up. I'm glad I did - these are so much better!
Here's a view of the "park" reading nook. I love these LOVA leaf canopies from IKEA, and I've been surprised that more people online aren't using them in their kids' rooms. Sitting under them makes you feel like you're in a secret spot - they're awesome!
Underneath, she has "grass" (two little rugs, also from IKEA) and a cushy place to hang out. My mom made the big gumdrop pillows; you may recognize the one in the back from her original nursery, and the two new ones are made with tree fabric to fit the park theme. The pattern is Amy Butler's Gum Drop Pillows, if you're curious.
C also has three pillows with Stinkerpants animals on them - a deer, a squirrel and a skunk.
Here are a few close-ups of the reading nook. The bookshelves were taken from a post on Ohdeedoh - those are IKEA spice racks - $3 each! I love a good - and cheap - idea!
Next we move over to the changing table area. There's not much on the changing table itself, because C likes to throw things (haha). All of her changing supplies (wipes, etc) are in the bookshelf next to the dresser.
Over her changing area are two wooden biplanes with a special purpose. I am super proud of this idea - it was a stroke of genius in the dead of the night. ;) I needed a place to hang her barrettes - so I created little banners for these planes (thick floral wire inside white ribbon), and clipped her barrettes on them.
The planes are hung using fishing wire, which you can barely see when you're in the room. The planes themselves are actually part of a plane mobile, which I bought at a toy store in Berkeley.
Here's her Expedit, now filled out with more toys and fun stuff than the last time you saw it. ;)
A few more photos of some of the details...
The shelves on the wall are RIBBA photo shelves (from IKEA, of course). Behind them, I painted clouds directly on the wall (I was inspired by these shelves, but wanted something a little more handmade looking). Her original nursery included a lot of artwork, and I was sad that a photo wall didn't exactly fit in with the new theme - it looked weird floating in the "sky." There were a couple of pieces of artwork that I really wanted to display, though, so I put them on the shelves.
Here, the "Springtime" print, which is one of three I scanned from one of Y's favorite baby books.
And, the wish tree print, which Y and I spent a lot of time filling out and means a lot to us.
I also have toys and books from Y's and my childhood in C's room...
My grandfather (who C was named after) gave me this Felix the cat stuffed animal, for example:
And a little shadow box I made using the onesie she wore when she came home from the hospital (and various other "the day you were born" knick-knacks):
More of the artwork I couldn't part with (this one I drew for C with all of her animals) from the original nursery, plus my childhood toys & a toy left over from her circus birthday party:
There you have it! I am happy to say that C really seems to enjoy her room, especially the little reading nook. It's a lot of fun to watch her play!Comment
Our living room is kind of weird. It has an awesome marble fireplace, but it's not in the center of the room, meaning everything felt a little bit lopsided. We had a hard time figuring out how to position our furniture and where to put the television. We spent a bunch of time moving furniture in our minds and trying to figure out what kind of couch we'd need to fit the space right.
Ultimately, we decided to hire a professional to mount the television on top of the fireplace. We've gotten some strange looks from people, but we are super happy with how it looks.
Before photos...this is the living room as viewed from the hallway. The sliding door leads to a (very dirty) balcony, and the door on the left is the office. Overall, it was very WHITE, and it had ZERO overhead lighting. Our main changes were paint color, lighting and crown moulding (which is everywhere but the bathrooms in the house, but seems to make a lot of impact in this room).
This railing is a logistical nightmare to baby-proof. To be honest, we're still a little clueless. Thus far our ideas include giant pieces of plexiglass, or a LOT of bubble wrap. ;)
View of the dining room from the living room:
After, same view. We think the TV looks pretty slick. ;) Another big thing we did was have speakers mounted into the walls and ceiling. This was Y's idea, and I'm so glad we did it. Baby proofing is much easier now that we don't have to worry about speaker cables, and it looks great.
We bought the coffee table and bookshelves on Craigslist a few years ago. Allegedly they were overstock from Crate & Barrel, but they aren't very good quality, so I'm not sure if I buy it. ;) The fireplace set is also from Craigslist (what a find! It's super modern looking). The couch is custom made. Now, before you go thinking we have oodles of money, get this: the couch was cheaper than everything we found at Macy's. We had it custom-made from Home Plate Furnishings, and it cost $899. Not bad for a couch, huh?! The accent chairs are from World Market, and the rug is from Macy's. The rug has been a royal pain in my tuchas. As much as I love it, it bunches everywhere, even after I nailed it - yes, NAILED IT - to the floor. Stupid thing. That's what you get for not wanting to spend $3k on a rug, I guess. Note our Aimée Hoover painting of Lulu in its new home, too!
These walls are our second shade of gray (the first was in the hallway). My easel (which isn't used nearly as often now) and our second card catalog are in the corner. This card catalog is used for Stinkerpants' business samples and craft supplies.
That's it for the living room! Next stop is the office!Comment
This is kind of a boring one, but it's part of the house, right? And I love looking at the interiors of people's houses, kitchens included. So here ya go!
Sadly, this blurry mess is the only "before" photo I have of the kitchen:
This is the view of the dining room, from inside the kitchen:
The corner of the dining room, which overlooks the living room.
The main things we changed were wall color and lighting. My father-in-law insisted that we needed recessed lighting in the kitchen, and we are SO glad we listened to him. We also had a pantry-in-the-form-of-a-huge-cupboard installed for our food - so happy about that, too!
The installation of the pantry:
Dining room, after:
The dining room table is from Cost Plus World Market, which we bought a few years ago when Y worked for them and we got a great discount. ;) The photos on the wall are old photos of Oakland, which I found by googling "old photos of Oakland" (haha). The prints on the left are our Laws of the Land and Bill of Rights. We also had to get a new chandelier, because the previous owners ran off with whatever was hanging there before (if you'll remember, this condo was a foreclosure). The chandelier is from Lamps Plus.
We went a little wild with the color in the kitchen. We had a really hard time with this one (and the bathrooms) because the color of the granite is a greenish-brown and looks really sick unless it's with the right color. My Father-in-Law couldn't believe we'd chosen nine colors for our house (including two different shades of gray), but even he had to admit it looked great when it was finished!
I didn't have anywhere to store my cookbooks, so we installed an industrial looking shelf from Ikea and mounted an Ikea magnetic strip underneath for my Cuisinart blades. So handy! The painting above it is the first painting I ever did, which was when I was in college. I wanted a painting I'd seen in Bed Bath & Beyond, but I couldn't afford it, so I reproduced it myself from an image I found on Google. I would never do this now (I believe all artists deserve to be paid for what they do!), but at the time I just really wanted something bright and happy in the kitchen and I had no money. Thank you to Will Rafuse for making such happy art for the kitchen, and I'm sorry that my 18 year-old self janked your artwork.
So that's it for the kitchen and dining room! Next stop, the living room.Comment
Last we left off, I'd just shown you the entry, with my favorite wallpaper of all time. Right around the corner is the hallway, which leads to the living room, kitchen and office. Not too much to see here except a dirty floor and white walls, right?
Before I show you the after photos, I have to warn you that I am not one of those people who thinks displaying photos of themselves is weird. I don't think it's strange to hang your wedding photos, and I don't think it's a shrine to ourselves. Those are our memories, and looking at them brings me joy every day. Now, that being said, here is our hallway:
The same wall, from the other direction (kitchen on the left, living room on the right). These are mostly our engagement and wedding photos (where else will you have such gorgeous photos of your parents dancing, I ask you?!), plus the newborn photos of Chuck. Mixed in are a few pictures of our pets and our travels.
The opposite wall:
The section furthest from the camera is our Moo Card photo collage from our roadtrip, which I blogged about a couple of years ago. The section closest to the camera has a few more wedding/engagement/newborn photos, plus a series of iphone photos of Charlie after she was first born. The two square shadow boxes have trinkets from our engagement and wedding; I'm not much for keeping "stuff" around, so this was a fun way to display a few items without having them clutter up our living space.
So yeah - needless to say, I have no problem displaying photos of ourselves. We had a kickass wedding photographer, and I don't open our wedding album. I love being able to enjoy these photos on a daily basis.
What's your opinion? Do you display your wedding photos, or do you feel weird about it, like you'd be creating a shrine to yourselves?Comment
Sometime in 2009 I got the itch to start redecorating. Unfortunately, our apartment wasn't exactly conducive to redecorating: it was small and we had a crap-ton of stuff to fit in it (our bedroom was split into an office/bedroom and our living room was split into a living room/dining room). I started dreaming about having a house to decorate, but didn't think I'd get the chance anytime soon.
When Y and I bought our first home - a condo in Oakland - during the very peak of my pregnancy-related nesting, I was thrilled. As it turns out, I really, really love interior design, and decorating our home has been one of my all-time favorite projects. I just recently finished taking photos of everything, so I thought I'd share before & after pictures with you guys. '
I've already shown you Charlie's nursery (my favorite room in the house), so now I'll go back to the beginning (quite literally): the entry. Although that might seem like a boring area, it was actually my pet project and I love how it turned out!
Okay, so first, the before photos. As a bit of a background, the condo is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in our ideal neighborhood. The only way we could afford something like this was because it was a foreclosure, and even then we were very, very lucky. The only thing on our wish list that we didn't get was a back yard, and for the neighborhood, I am happy to sacrifice that. But I digress. My point is this: this place was not in good condition when we bought it. Here are the before photos:
Yes, that is a random door in the entry way. Well, not exactly random; it's the door to our bedroom. These are the sorts of things you deal with when you buy a foreclosure.
And now for the afters!
The first thing you'll notice is the wallpaper (I hope). I have been coveting this wallpaper (Julia Rothman's Daydream) ever since I saw a post about it on Apartment Therapy in 2009. Although I loved the dark blue that they featured, this room gets very little natural light (none at all if the bedroom doors are closed). I chose the lightest version, then matched the paint for underneath the chair rail. For some reason, I've always wanted to do a wallpaper-on-the-top-paint-on-the-bottom-chair-rail-thing. I love it.
This project was one of the most expensive things we did in the house, and I didn't intend it that way. I thought I needed two rolls of wallpaper; in fact, I thought that would be more than enough. Uh, no. As it turns out, I suck at measuring for wallpaper, and ended up having to order two more rolls! This is very expensive wallpaper, but I'd already started the project and couldn't exactly leave it half-done.
Check out the wallpaper (and all it's many colors) here at Design Public. You can order it directly from the company that prints it, but I found their customer service to be sorely lacking, and Design Public was fantastic.
My one piece of advice about wallpaper is this: HIRE SOMEONE. Seriously. Worth every penny. The woman we hired did an excellent job lining up the design, and if I'd contacted her before I bought the wallpaper, she would have told me I needed twice as much.
Another detail that I love is our mezuzah by Michal Negrin, which I got in Israel. It's flashy (haha).
The little entry table was my grandmother's, as is the sculpture (she was an artist of many media). That plant is called a "Cast Iron" plant. We needed greenery, but I figured anything we got would have to be fake to survive in a dark corner - not so! This guy is doing just fine.
From the other direction, it's my card catalog (one of two)! It's very, very happy in its new home. I went a little apeshit with the organization - everything from ear plugs to screwdrivers is organized in there. Love. On top is a really cool old sewing box I found at an antiques show.
That's it for the entry! Next comes the Hallway.Comment
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