A Painted House

Archive for the ‘Room Reveals’ Category





James’ room was the first room to get a makeover after our move (see: Room Reveal: James’ Room) and is one of my favorites in our house.   Not too long ago our little boy transitioned from a toddler bed to a big boy bed and so his room underwent its second revision in eighteen months.

Oh, how I loved James’ airplane themed bedding.  One of the biggest arguements I hear against buying baby bedding sets is that they’re so expensive and you don’t use them for very long.  And it’s true, they are crazy expensive.  As in, some people pay more for them than they do in deductible to actually give birth to the baby.  So when we were picking out a set for our firstborn’s nursery I deliberately chose one which was more Little Boy and less Baby.  I was determined even then that with a $180 pricetag, I’d use that sucker for more than the first year of my kid’s life.

Here are some snapshots of James’ teeny tiny nursery in our first home.  Sigh, sniff, nostalgia.



Gosh, I loved that little room even if it had no storage and barely any floor space.  When we moved in to our current house we kept the same motif, subtracted the crib and changing table, and added a cutey little toddler bed.  Again with the sighing and sniffing.

As the crib bedding still fit his toddler bed, nothing really changed except adding the moulding treatment on the feature wall.  (Which had nothing to do with his age and everything to do with my love for moulding treatments.)


So several months ago my big kid outgrew his toddler bed and it was time to change things up again.  The first step was to prepare his new Big Kid Bed.  We’d had this fantastically orange wood headboard in storage for years:

It was Travis’ when he was a boy and came with the entire set of bedrom furniture we’ve been refinishing one piece at a time over the years. (The dresser shown above was part of that set too, refinished to a dark cherry color.)  Rather than strip/sand/stain/seal this particular piece I decided to paint it white.  A little room rearranging placed it up against the feature wall and I love, LOVE how the white pops off of the color.



The bedding was not a cheap find…..but when you pre-determined your colors with an extremely labor-intensive feature wall and your theme from a pre-purchased bedding set, you have limited options.  So when you find a set that a) matches your existing color scheme and b) fits the airplane theme but ratchets the age level up a notch, you just buy it.  It was still less than half of the cost of the nursery bedding. I really love the vintage airplanes because they will carry the theme all the way through elementary age.  Plus oh.my.word. the comforter and sham are the softest, squishiest, comfiest fabric ever.


So back to that nursery bedding set.  It came with sheets, comforter, bumper, crib skirt, and window valance.  I was determined to use as much of it as I could and part of that was repurposing the crib sheets into pillow cases.  We had two sheets that matched the set so I cut off the elastic edging, sewed them into pillow cases, and now James has two that coordinate with his new bedding and are super soft from years of washing.


The crib bedskirt was repurposed into the new bed’s bedskirt.  Because crib skirts are four-sided and a twin bed only has three sides showing, I was able to cut the skirt apart and piece each of the four sides together into one long strip.  I then tucked it under the box spring and it just barely made it all the way around his new bed.

Next up, every big kid room needs a night stand.  This beauty just happened to be free on the side of the road:

I know, I can’t imagine why, right?  It was a garage sale leftover and it seems no one wanted it despite it’s insultingly low price of $3.00.  I’m never too proud to stop and pick up something free if it has potential, a trait which annoys the junk out of intrigues my husband .   I thought those little cubbies underneath were darling!

The table had a big hole in the top where I’m guessing a lamp pole used to be, but that was pretty easily fixed by plugging the hole, spackling over it, and sanding it down.  Once the whole thing was spray painted a semi-gloss white you can’t even see where it used to be!


And there you have the main players in your big kid room: new bedding, big bed, and night table:

The dresser and rocker stayed, though we removed the footstool.  The curtains remain from the original bedding set, along with the blackout panels I made years ago when James started waking with the sun.  Not cool, kid.

The quilt from his nursery bedding stayed as a wall hanging, as again, it’s more boyish than babyish.

The frames are new and started out looking like this:

They were $1.00 each at a garage sale.  I discarded the old artwork and painted the frames a white semi-gloss.  For the artwork I cut squares of fabric and several of the appliques from the crib bumper and framed them.

The rest of the crib bumper was cut up and sewn into pillows.  I just whacked them off at the right length, stuffed a little more padding down inside, and sewed the ends closed.  I stitched leftover cording from the bumper into the ends of my new pillows so they look finished.  I made two, one that sits on his rocker and the other tucked into the back of his nightstand.

The little end table next to the rocker is a square chest and was a garage sale find years ago.  I originally had plans to paint it and cover the rattan panels with fabric but for now it does just fine.  James loves that he has a treasure chest in his room!

The bookshelf display got a little makeover as well, adding a mirror salvaged from my Mom’s house, a framed drawing of James sketched by my Dad, and two wooden puzzles made and given to him by my grandfather.

The final change to James’ room is the one he found far and away, most exciting.  Anyone who knows my boy knows he has an obsession with ceiling fans.  And “obsession” is probably stating it far too lightly.   So much so that he has a “favorite fan”……which just happens to be the fan hung in the master bedroom at our old house, and under which my boy spent hours napping and playing in his first two years of life.  That same fan was on display at Menards for years and every time we went there James would ask to go visit his “favorite fan”.  So when Menards discontinued it and took it off display last year we had one crestfallen little boy.  Enter Daddy to the rescue….Travis ordered this ugly favorite silver ceiling fan online and then earned Daddy of the Year award by installing it in James’ bedroom.   Oh my, if you could have seen the elation on that boy’s face.   Daddy is his hero.

MY favorite part of James’ updated room is the saying above his door.  It was gifted to him by my Mom and truer words have never been spoken.


There you have it…..from nursery to big kid room.  May we not redo this room again until he’s old enough to pick out something hideous more mature for himself!

This post has been a long time coming.   And not just in the sense that I’ve gotten horribly behind in blogging my projects, though that remains true.  I have about 52 others to photograph and share as well.  But let’s start with the kitchen because it’s new and shiny and my current favorite.  I know you shouldn’t play favorites with your children and your rooms, but there it is.

So. When we bought this house the kitchen was one of the two rooms in which we planned on investing some money in updates (the other was the bathroom).   Here are some shots of the kitchen from the real estate listing:

Now don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a cute periwinkle girl’s room like everyone else but that’s a rather violent shade of purple for a kitchen, no?  Thankfully they repainted the kitchen to a much more neutral (albeit boring) shade before we moved in.

Here’s a shot of the new paint color, during our second showing:

So much better.  I’ll take Bland Beige over Electric Smurf any day of the week.  Sadly there was no painting those blueish-purple countertops. Believe me, I considered it – after all, I Paint Things White right?  So while we a) figured out what we wanted instead and b) waited until the budget allowed, we lived with the blue.  Embraced the blue, even.  And I decorated other rooms for 18 months because the color scheme I settled on was black, white, and green, and one cannot have a green kitchen when one has blue countertops.  Unless it’s Easter and pastel eggs abound, and then it looks right for a day.  So 18 months went by and I’m not about to pretend I was sad on the day those babies made their way to the ReStore.

But that’s not to say I didn’t start working on what projects I could and making decorating decisions with the big picture in mind.  Here is the kitchen right after we moved in:

See that white fridge back there?  Yeah, it came with the house and only made it six months.  The day before they finished working on remodeling the master bathroom it petered out.  Of course it did.  So with the future plan in mind, the unexpected Step 1: Buy a new fridge.  We bought a black one.

Step 2: Stalk Craig’s List for months and months and sweetly ask your husband to drive your hugely pregnant self all over town gathering furniture to fill the space.  This is a BIG kitchen.  We had a table and chairs that were in sad shape and too small for the space so I began the quest to find a larger, round table.  You can see its transformation here.  That big empty space on the right was filled with the Craig’s List Hutch.

Step 3: Drive yourself off-the-cliff crazy trying to pick the right paint color.  Collect paint chips from every store in town.  Lay them all out in grids.  Finally narrow it down to three and tack them up on the wall.  Pick one.  Stare at it for a while weeks then second guess yourself.  Start over.  Pick two new options and get sample sizes.  Paint samples up on the wall and finally decide on a color.

Step 4: Paint the kitchen including those cramped little spaces where you end up standing on the stove and telling your toddler to never, ever stand on the stove.  Also, remember why you didn’t do this while pregnant.  Realize quickly that because you had the Valspar paint color mixed as a color match instead of in the original brand, the shade isn’t right.  And only you will notice but still, you will notice.  Everysingletime you walk into the kitchen.  Which is about 300 times per day.

Step 5: Have the color mixed in the more expensive correct brand of paint and repaint the kitchen.  Thank the Heavens that it’s the right shade this time.

Step 6: Hire your favorite contractor to come rip up your kitchen.

Step 7: Pick out sparkly new black granite counters and then live without any for a week while waiting for the new counters to be fitted.  Almost set something down on the island that is not there 4000 times.

Step 8: Rejoice when the install is done and new construction is finished.  Stare at your brand new countertops and pretty, pretty island.  So pretty.  Realize it was worth the wait.

Step 9: Buy barstools for the new island.  And then sweet talk your husband into cutting them down a bit because at their original height you’d have to have three-inch thighs to fit under the bar top and that’s just discouraging.

Step 10: Spend entirely too much time playing with your new cabinet and desk, getting everything off of your kitchen counters.  Ahhhhhh.

Step 11: It’s time for curtains so the neighbors can stop watching you have dinner and judging you for serving your child chicken nuggets AGAIN.  Square your shoulders and take on your sewing machine to make lined curtains out of the fabric you purchased six months ago and have been avoiding eye contact with ever since.  Feel tremendous relief when they turn out just as you’d hoped and you don’t have to rip out seventeen miles of stitching.  Not that that’s ever happened.

Feel cheeky because you purposefully mixed patterns like those Real Designers do.  Love, love, love.

Step 12: Use the scraps to piece together a valance for above the kitchen window.  Make it ruffly so no one can see how you can’t sew straight.

Step 13: Add more patterned fabric to the room because you have a small addiction to bold, graphic patterns.  Buy inexpensive white IKEA chair pads and two different IKEA fabrics.  Feel disproportionately proud when you manage to sew covers that fit AND tuft them with upholstered buttons, all without cursing or bleeding.  BEAM with pride.

Let’s take a break in our programming for a Before and After comparison:

Step 14: Feel in love with your kitchen every time you walk into the room.  Enjoy cooking for and visiting with your family and friends even more than you did before.  Spend most of your day in this, the center of your home.  Thank God that He gave you such a space.

Step 15: Feel extremely gratful that no other room in your house requires so extensive an overhaul trickling out over eighteen months.  The end.


I’m linking this post to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After party!


I’ve finished another room!  It happens to be the smallest room in the house, but a room nonetheless.  The main level half bath is just off the foyer, so it’s one of the first spaces you see when you enter our house.   (Welcome to our home!  Aaaaand here’s our bathroom.)  So I wanted it to be decorated as much as any other room.  Here is where we started:

Builder’s grade oversized mirror, yellowy beige walls, no accessories of any kind.  Then when shopping at TJ Maxx with a Christmas gift card, I happened upon this bathroom rug.  My color scheme was born!

I also bought this matching hand towel….how cute are those little embroidered butterflies?

Here come the Befores and Afters!

I wanted the paint color to be dramatic, since it’s a small space.  So I matched the darkest gray in the rug to a Pittsburgh Paints color called Gibraltar Gray.

The builder’s grade mirror had to go.  After some searching I found this lovely brassy mirror on 66% off clearance at Hobby Lobby. It was originally $89.99 and I paid $29.99.  I gave it a coat of Adhesion Primer and then several coats of white and an accent color from Dutch Boy called College Park Green (though it’s actually an aqua, not green at all).

Before and After:

Remember this?  I told you it was destined for a makeover but I bet you never guessed it was meant for a bathroom!

Here it is now, repurposed as a magazine rack.

This bathroom is tiny and I was having trouble finding a solution for the magazines my husband piles in there that didn’t take up most of the floor space.  (Confession: I totally switched out most of his magazines for mine for these photos because, well, his are ugly.)  So I came up with the idea of a hanging magazine rack and put it on Travis’ To Do list.  Then I spotted whatever this thing is (Any guesses what it’s original use was?  I can’t come up with any) for $3.00 at Goodwill and I knew I could make it work.  Without having to wait six months for Travis to have time to make me one.  Patient I am not.  The best part is how little space it takes up in the room – look at that low profile!

For accessories I mostly “shopped the house”.   The vase on the vanity came with some flowers my sister sent me on my first Mother’s Day.  I kept it because I loved the color…and lo and behold it’s a perfect match.  The faux hydrangeas came from Hobby Lobby.

The little shelf used to be in our guest bath at the Whitehall house.  Now it displays tea cups from a set I pilfered from my friend Emily’s garage sale pile.  The color is perfect and you can’t beat the price!

It also holds an aqua glass pitcher that was a gift from one Shelly Alley several years ago and a little creamer I found at Goodwill.

So should you come visit me you might find 75% of my house somewhere on the spectrum of Unfinished, but my potty will be pretty!  The end.


Alternate Title:  Potty Talk

I live in this house with a husband, a toddler boy, and an infant; there are soooo many ways I could go with that alternate title.  But I don’t think in my first week on the new blog I need to develop a reputation as the girl who talks in depth about baby poop.  Or (thus far unsuccessful) potty training.  Or my husband’s penchant for reading trivia books in the bathroom and using toilet paper squares as his bookmarks.  But I digress.

For now we’ll go with the master bathroom remodel instead, mkay?  Fair warning: there are twenty-eight pictures in this post.  Yes, twenty-eight.  Just consider it one per day that our house was a construction zone.  (Hint: you can click on any picture to see a bigger version.)

When we bought our house we planned for a master bedroom and bathroom remodel within the first few months after the move.  The master rooms were the only part of the house we didn’t love for long-term living and we knew that with a baby coming, if we didn’t start the project right away then it wouldn’t happen.   So four months after we moved in we hired a contractor on recommendation and moved ourselves into the spare bedroom. (Which, incidentally, is setup with twin beds.  Yup, we were Ricky-and-Lucy-ing it for an entire month.  Turns out when you’re eight months pregnant and getting out of bed every hour to pee sets off seismic activity, seperate beds isn’t that bad of an idea.)

Our contractor had originally estimated the project length at two weeks which we knew was waaay optimistic.  Especially as he is basically a one-man operation with only one assistant whose job it was to haul stuff up and down the stairs.  But his bid on the project was also only half that of all the others because he does everything himself instead of sub-contracting it all out, so we mentally planned for three weeks, and went with it.  Many, many hours of comparison shopping and planning, one extremely expensive afternoon at Lowe’s, and one delivery truck later, we were ready.  Behold, a bathroom in boxes:

You’ll remember that before the renovation our bedroom and bathroom looked like this:

Master Bedroom 8.24 (2)

Master Bedroom 8.24 (5)

There were small his and hers closets on the left and right, forming a small hallway into the attached bath :

I have plenty of before pictures from the bathroom as well, but we’ll save those for comparison shots with the afters.  I love me some good before and after shots.

Our big plan was to remove the two small closets and allocate half the space to the new bathroom layout and half to the bedroom.  The tiny fifth bedroom next door (yes, there were five bedrooms on our second floor, hate me) would then become the master walk-in closet via a new doorway.  It wasn’t a legal bedroom anyway, as it had no closet of its own.  Follow me?

Day One of the renovation was SUPER EXCITING.  Tons of pounding and sawing and lots of the old and ugly being carted out to the dumpster.  At the end of the second day it looked like this:

And by the end of Day 2 we were well on our way to new walls:

Day 5 gave us those new walls!

And then it got really boring and I stopped taking pictures.  Lots of wiring and plumbing and duct work and such.  So let’s skip ahead three more weeks (yes, it took a full four weeks before he finished, and then only because the Hugely Pregnant Woman threatened that if he didn’t finish up soon he would be driving her to the hospital in his truck when she went into labor), and see some befores and afters!

Before: single sink, standard builder’s grade wall mirror and faucet fixture, and no over head lights.

After, double bowl vanity with new brushed nickel faucets, individual portrait mirrors, dark mahogany stained vanity, and overhead lighting.


The new custom counter is a granite remnant.  We tried and tried and TRIED to find an off-the-shelf five-foot stone counter for the vanity in the subtle mix of browns and blacks.  Turns out you can only buy that particular pattern for single bowl vanities, not double.  So off to the granite remnant show room we went and within ten minutes had picked out this beauty.  As an added bonus we were able to have it cut to the full seven-foot length of the new room, which gave us the built-in look and a cubbyhole for a hamper (Bed, Bath & Beyond).

Before: no step into the garden tub, white tile, and chrome builder’s faucet with “crystal” nobs.

After: a customized step leading up to the jacuzzi tub with brushed nickel fixtures.

The subway tiles were cut by our contractor.  We looked FOREVER for tile that we a) liked, b) wasn’t too red or too yellow, and c) came in both 12×12 and 6×6 options for the floor pattern.  And of course when we found it, it didn’t come with a subway tile option.  I really wanted a subway tile around the tub so our contractor used his wet saw and cut 12×12 pieces down to subway tile size.  Which is why he is awesome.

Before: Single stall shower with no lighting and chrome single towel rack (which means one of us always had a damp towel draped over something else – gross).

After: double-head shower with new lighting.  Shower curtain came from Wal-Mart, double-rod towel rack, hand grip, and shower rod came from Menards.

Before:  One window, faux tile laminate floor.

After: Two windows, tile floor laid in pattern I saw in a Menards display. I took a picture with my phone and handed a printout to our contractor. 🙂  The rugs came from Wal-Mart and incorporate our light shade of blue, a darker blue, and the chocolate brown of the dark woodwork and granite.

What you can’t see is that we replaced the regular door which swung inward with a six panel pocket door, to maximize the open space.

So that’s it for the big changes!  Now let’s talk about some of the details.  The paint color took two attempts.  I wanted something a very, very pale blue.  Like almost a neutral with just a hint of blue so that the fixtures and tile were the showcase, not the walls.  The first color I chose looked really pale on the strip….and like a smurf on the wall.  Gah.  So back to Sherwin Williams I went with a paint chip that looked practially white on the strip, and was the perfect shade of barely-there robin’s egg blue on the walls.

The corner shelves came from Menards.  They balance the heaviness of the mirrors on the left side of the vanity.

The portrait mirrors came from Menards in the home decor section:

A closeup shot of the brown/black granite and faucets:

The tile detail on the tub:

We almost didn’t have him put in the glass tile accent, but I’m so glad we did.  It highlights the shape of the corner tub and new step, and pulls all the colors from the granite counter into the other side of the room.  And since we bought it in 12×12 sections and had him cut it down, it wasn’t an expensive addition.

The final piece (so far) were the window treatments.  I  wanted something solid in color because we already have a lot going on with pattern in the room, and I didn’t want them to be white.  The window wall needed some visual “weight” to balance the rest of the room.  I happened upon these roman shades at The  Christmas Tree Shop (LOVE that store) and they were an exact match to the darkest blue in the rug, with just a hint of z damask pattern.  Score!

All that remains is to find something for the walls above the potty and tub.  I’m finding it difficult to find large-scale artwork appropriate for a bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the generic botanicals or geometric prints you can find in any home store, I want my wall decor to have some kind of meaning, and any classic art with people in it is out… I think I’d feel like I was being watched while in the potty. 🙂

The other half of the renovation was the bedroom/closet.  But you’ll have to wait for those pictures, as those rooms have been basically untouched since the construction was completed.  At some point I’ll get to the projects and save for the purchases necessary to make them reveal-worthy.  Until then, this will have to do!

I suddenly have the urge to go sit in the hot tub.  Just like we have almost every night since it was installed. 😉

 Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 20, 2010.

Remember waaaay back three months ago when we moved in, the very first decor-related thing we did was to redecorate the laundry room out of necessity?   No?  See:  this post.  And remember how I’ve been promising you ever since that I’d show you pictures when it was done?  The thing holding up this post is apparently impossible to find: a yard of fabric that incorporates all three colors in my new laundry room.  One.single.yard.  But it seems I’ve chosen a color combination that which is growing in popularity these days, has not yet reached the fabric designers of the world.  So then I went to scrapbook paper as an alternative…..only to strike out there, too.

So I give up, I’m calling it done.  Should said fabric or decorative paper ever appear on a retail shelf or online, I’ll come back and show you were I want to use it.  In the mean time, the laundry room:

Here’s where we started. Builder’s grade honey-colored cabinets, wire shelf, empty spot where the new washer and dryer would live….

DSC_0029 (2) DSC_0031 (2)

….empty white corner where the tallest, largest cabinet known to mankind was sitting and white wall behind it where they didn’t paint.  I wish I’d remembered to take a picture before we took out the huge cabinet so you could see how imposing this thing was.  Oh, and four different tries at matching the beige walls with the paint left in the basement.  Awesome.

DSC_0030 (2)   

P.S.  It’s hard to take good pictures in a teeny room with no windows. I stood in the garage for most of these shots.  Anyway.

Here’s where we ended up:



First I painted the walls Sherwin Williams’ Optimistic Yellow and the cabinets SW’s Passive grey.  Travis built me a new shelf that ran the whole length of the room.  Next I asked Travis to build me in a shelf unit on the right side, where the cabinet used to be.  The final touch was crown moulding on the top, all painted to look like one custom piece:

DSC_0058 (2) DSC_0085

I wasn’t happy with the grey color at first, as it read blue-ish to me next to the yellow.  Makes sense, as blue and yellow are complimentary colors, but it was not the look I was going for.  I figured out that the problem was the old cabinet nobs, which were brushed nickel.  Up next to that steely color, my cabinets were reading blue.  I found these guys with their cute grey detail at Menards for $2.50 each, and problem solved!


I accessorized it with black and white items and photos.  The white basket on the ledge has clothes pins it and the black box contains dryer sheets.  The wall shelves have a white birdhouse left over from a floral arrangement I received when James was born, a B&W photo of Travis and I at the beach, and a glass jar of sand from my 21st birthday on the Jersey Shore. 


On the little bit of floor space between the washer and the wall, I keep two trash cans.  One for dryer lint and used fabric softener sheets and the other to hold items to be washed with the next load.  I didn’t see the sense in carting dirty socks and kitchen towels up to the second floor laundry baskets when they’d just have to come back down again. 


The coat rack was hanging on the opposite wall  next to the garage when we moved in.  However I didn’t like hanging purses and coats there because it often obstructed the garage door opening and took up valuable space in a small room.  So I moved it to the opposite wall for hanging damp items that won’t be immediately washed: swimsuits, dish rags, clothes that have recently been puked on and rinsed out (oh wait, that’s probably just our house).

There you have it, our new laundry room!   I like that it has its own sassy little personality instead of just being a pass-through on the way to the garage.  Guess it probably helps that laundry is my favorite chore!

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 25, 2010.

James’ room was the first bedroom in the new house to get a makeover, mostly because it’s the only room in which I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  It, like six other rooms in our house, was painted blue.

This is James’ room in the listing.  I love how we’ve taken a break from the pale perriwinkle color in every other bedroom to substitue in a SHOCKING NEON alternative.  In a shiny paint, no less.  This room was formerly occupied by a little girl.

Bedroom 3 (1)

And here it is now:

James' Room 8.24 (4)

(Yes, I fully see the irony that the one bedroom we’ve redone, we painted….blue.)

Bedroom 3 (2)  James' Room 8.24 (12)

Some of you may remember James’ wall of squares in the old house.  I really loved the look and decided to recreate it in this house.  But I wanted to take it up a notch and conceived this ridiculous idea to add crown moulding all around the room and then frame out each square in white cove moulding to give it an architectural element.

James' Room 8.24 (3)

My husband just shook his head and started calculating dimensions.  Love that man.

James' Room 8.24 (9)   James' Room 8.24 (10)

That project was what took so long to finish this room.  Planning, buying, cutting, installing, caulking, painting…..it was a lot of work.  But I LOVE how it turned out, the colors and contrast with the white just pops off of the wall.  We also added a beadboard ceiling fan which you can’t see in the photos.

I painted this sad little bench, which was all of $.25 at a garage sale last summer.  Travis thought I was absolutely nuts for bringing it home.  But it’s darling as a side table for his rocking chair (see above photo) and holds his favorite bedtime books in easy reach.  For a quarter!

Garage Sale Finds

I still need to add some wall art, but for the most part, my big boy’s room is finished!

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  September 13, 2010.

The play room is done!  And I L-O-V-E it. 

It’s a good thing my husband loves me because all three rooms we’ve tackled in this house have involved power tools, patience, and many, many steps to complete.  None of which I’m particularly skilled at all by myself.  Equally impressive is that I tend to “design” a room concept all in my head, in its entirety, before he even knows that it’s our next project.  So while I see what I want the room to look like in my head before we start, right down to the details, he only has my descriptions and littany of requests to work from.  And so far all three have ended up looking exactly like my mental picture thanks to his careful questioning and patiently waiting for me to just.make.up.my.mind about stuff.  Anyway, it’s finished and I want to just sit in there and stare at it because it makes me so happy.  It’s a good thing I get about 15 requests per day to, “Mama to play in the playroom with James?  OK!” 

So here’s a reminder of where we started:

Play Room 6.14 (4)

After a bit of organization:

Play Room 6.14 (6)

And what it really looked like on any given day:

Play Room 7.14 (1)

* Shiver *

Once we found out we were having a second boy, and thus won’t be needing to accommodate little girl toys anytime soon, I decided to go all-out boy in this room. The idea for the color scheme started with this:

Play Room 9.10 (15) (2)

That’s one of James’ blocks.  The little dots are actually purple, though I had intended to go with grey instead.  And then while searching for baby bedding online I came across this fabric from Target:

Product Image DwellStudio® for Target® Space Crib Set

The PLAY artwork was made by cutting the crib sheet into four rectangles and then stretching it over foam board, found in the kids artwork section of Wal-Mart for $2.59 per sheet.  I cut each sheet in half and hot glued the two pieces together to make a thicker surface.

Play Room 9.10 (7) (2)

Play Room 9.10 (20) (2)

 I bought the oversized letters at Hobby Lobby for $1.17 each and painted them with brown craft paint left over from some other project.  Travis cut the same white moulding as the chalkboard to make custom frames for them and then attached them to the wall with his nail gun.

Play Room 9.10 (14) (2)

The next step was to put up chair railing as the divider between the two colors, and finally Travis put up crown moulding to finish off the ceilings.  This is what took most of the time, as I had to paint the moulding, wait for him to have time to cut and install it, caulk all the nail holes, and touch up the paint.  But it looks awesome.

I recycled the white curtians that used to hang in our orange bedroom by re-threading them with new ribbon in the blue, green, and brown:

DSC_0239   Play Room 9.10 (18) (2) Play Room 9.10 (13) (2)

The little matching toy box I bought at a garage sale for $3.  I removed the ball decals on the front, patched the holes, and gave the outside a fresh coat of paint.  The top took several coats of green to cover up that wierd playing field/score board thingy.  I cut extra fabric from the crib sheet to size and replaced the red plastic “netting”.  How it’s a storage space for balls, stuffed animals, and other ungainly toys that have the audacity not to fit into the new storage unit.


 Play Room 9.10 (9) (2)

This storage unit, which makes me so happy it’s ridiculous. 

Play Room 9.10 (1) (2)

The unit itself was on sale at Menards for $30 and the baskets were at Target for around $6 each.  I love that there are designated baskets for Cars and Trucks, Play Food, Instruments and Noise Makers, and Trains.  Sure beats our previous system of Rubbermaid totes overflowing with a mishmash of toys.

My final purchase for the play room was a table and chairs.  I wanted a place where James and his friends can sit for snacks, to color, or to do puzzles.  I also had a very small budget.  I looked all over for a cute, affordable set and everything was stinkin’ expensive or the wrong shape or came with cartoon characters all over it.  I’m not into cartoon characters.  Then a friend and I took a road trip to IKEA.  They had an all-white wooden child’s table and chairs set that would have run me $63……and they also had white end tables for $7.99 and green plastic stools for $6.99.

Play Room 9.10 (16) (2)

I give you my (washable!) $29 table and chairs set.  That right there was worth the trip.

And thus, the play room is finished.  It looks exactly like the finished product I saw in my head and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Play Room 9.10 (2) (2)   

It makes me happy to be in there.

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  November 21, 2010.


Since we’re still waiting on the baby (repeating to myself: Iwillbepatient, Iwillbepatient, I.will.be.patient.), let’s look at some pictures of his room!  I finished the (next to) last detail yesterday when I hung his curtains.  The last detail is his name, which is waiting until after his arrival.  So here we go,with some befores and afters.

These are the photos from the listing:

Bedroom 2 (1)

Bedroom 2 (2)

And now:

Nursery 11.21 (12)

Nursery 11.21 (3)

Nursery 11.21 (8)

We started off by painting one wall in Sherwin Williams’ Creamy, an oatmeal color, and the other three in SW’s Melange Green.  It took me for-ev-er to pick the right shade of limey, leafy, not-too-bright green that matched the set but didn’t clash with the seven other green colors in his quilt and curtains.

The tree mural was inspired by a photo I found online of an expensive vinyl wall cling.  There was just no way I was paying $80 for it, plus I wasn’t sure I could even get it in the right colors.  So I printed off a picture as a reference, created a stencil for the leaves from a clipart football and Photoshop, sketched the design up on the wall, and went to town with some paint.  Did you know that you can get 7 oz. sample sizes of custom color paint at Lowes for $2.94 each?  Now you do!  I got one each in red, orange, dark green, and brown and used just a fraction of each sample jar.  The light green is the same as the wall color on the other three walls.

Nursery 11.21 (18)

Nursery 11.21 (19)

Yes, it took eleventy-seven coats of paint on each and every leaf.  But I think it was worth it.

His bedding:

Nursery 11.21 (1)

I wanted something drastically different than James’ geometric airplane and helicopter room and hoped to find something where the main color was green instead of blue.  My other requirement was that it be more “boy” and not “baby”.   The only reason I justify spending the money on a matching set is because it can grow with the kid well into the toddler/young boy stage. We happend upon this set on super duper clearance at Babies R Us and I  immediately loved the colors and the organic theme.

The wall art was purely a lucky find.  I was in the wooden letters aisle of Hobby Lobby picking up the letters for the baby’s name and happened upon these adorable wooden animals that were in the perfect colors for our room.  I framed some matching scrapbook paper, stuck the animals to the outside of the frames with foam tape for some dimension, and voila!  Each one cost $1.99, I already had the frames and the paper, so this is a $6 arrangement:

Nursery 11.21 (14)

Nursery 11.21 (16)

The end table started out looking like this:

End Table Before (1)

It was a whopping $4.95 at St. Vincent de Paul several months ago, and I couldn’t pass it up.  I had a feeling I’d find a place for it and sure enough, the ahem, “woodsy” aesthetic ended up being just perfect for our animal themed room.

After a few coats of leftover mural paint, it turned into this:

Nursery 11.21 (17)

Price breakdown:

  • The bedding set was $70 including the extra window valance.
  • The end table was $5 and the white tray was $6.
  • The tab curtains are from IKEA and were $30 for both sets.
  • The rocker glider came from Craig’s List and was $40.
  • The dresser was a garage sale find that my friend Emily was sweet enough to lend me the cash for on short notice earlier this summer, and was $50.
  • His name letters that aren’t up yet were $6.
  • Crown moulding was about $50.
  • Crib was a gift, made by my Dad when James was born.
  • Paint (with tons left over but I’ll count it all anyways) $60
  • Total for the room:  $317

Now COME ON, Peep, we’re ready!

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