A Big Boy Room - for my big boys!

Baby #3 is arriving at the end of July and I know that it will turn our world upside down. I wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible for my boys. The plan is for Harrison and Asher to share a room and for the baby to move into our nursery. I wanted the boys to be settled before the baby arrived. 

Here's the thing you should know about my view on kids rooms. I don't believe that a kid's room needs to feel like a kid's room. I'm not interested in clowns, dinosaurs, or monkeys. I want to create spaces for kids to grow into; and one that I like too!

The Boys' Room

Who: My boys, Harrison 4, and Asher 2 1/2

What: Their big boy room formerly our old office/guest bedroom. 

When: Spring 2018

When we started renovating this room before having kids, I had a guess that this would eventually be a kid's room - but I knew that the design I chose would work as a guest room or home office.

The room was in a sorry state when we started. Thin strips of oak covered the 100-year fir floors. The walls were made of plaster, and filled with lath and 100's of sounds of sawdust, hiding plenty of illegal knob and tube wiring. We had to take it down to the studs; for a small room we ended up taking thousands of pounds of debris. 

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I started with the bones of the room and a plan. I knew I wanted a dark colour on the walls, which would be balanced by the amazing light that showers in through a large window. Bedrooms should feel cozy at night, and dark walls do just that! I also knew that I wanted white wainscoting to balance out the dark walls.  This was a bit of a budget buster but it is worth hiring a carpenter to get the detail right!

As in most old houses, the room is small and we had no closets. I decided to build in two Ikea Pax wardrobes into each corner and put a desk in between. It created the built in look that made sense for the era of our house and maximised our space.

Here's the plan for the room:

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I had a colour scheme in mind - Hermes orange, Navy and Chocolate brown with hits of brass metal.

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DIY: I wanted to have a shelf in the room to display keepsakes and the boys' art.

I had my eye on these gorgeous brackets from Anthropologie for hardware, but I didn’t want to break the bank with the shelf, and I wanted a length that would fit perfectly between the two closets.

For this, I purchased a length of unfinished wood from Home Depot for a steal and after staining it with 3 coats it was the right colour. I finished it with one coat of mini wax to seal it. 

The shelf houses some of the boys' artwork, and I used a few of my fav antique hand-painted lithographs that I sourced on a recent buying trip to the UK.

Beds: The space is small but I needed to fit two single beds and a side table. I didn’t want to close in the room so I chose open metal framed beds. They keep the space open and are super durable - pretty much indestructible!

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The result is a beautiful, practical, fresh space for my big boys that is not short of carefully-chosen details!

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Here are a some of the items I used for the decor:

Laundry Rooms Can Be Pretty Too!

When you think "laundry room" -  your mind might go to the dingy dark corner of the basement, the closet that contains a stacked washer and dryer, or the boring and bland room that is just never organized. 

This is about how we to took a boring room to beautiful. It almost makes doing laundry fun!

One of our regular design clients asked us to dream up a pretty laundry room with an e-design she could follow on her own. E-design can be ideal for little jobs with limited construction and this one is a perfect example of how a vision can become a design reality.

This home was a newly built home so the room started with great bones but lacked character. When you are building a home it is hard to splurge on a laundry room with a long list of expenses.

Our client asked us to:

  • Pretty up a room that is usually not too pretty.
  • Make it feminine!
  • Use wallpaper
  • Work with existing cabinetry and counters.

This is the room we started with:

 

With every e-design we begin with a suggested floor plan, 3D drawing and moodboard. It helps paint a picture for our client. 

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The wall cabinet was not yet mounted, so we opted to mount it in the middle of the wall which then allowed open shelving on one side, and a much needed bar for hanging clothes on the other.

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With some relatively easy fixes like a new faucet, pretty hardware, and stunning, self adhesive wallpaper, the space was transformed to somewhere you actually want to be!

Since the laundry room was on the top floor, in the same hallway as the bedrooms,  we wanted to be sure that even if the door was open, the view was pleasing to the eye. We think we accomplished that goal. What do you think?

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Birds of a feather

Maybe its the buds on the tree reminding me that spring has finally come knocking but lately everything I source has strong natural elements.

If you ask me to source wallpaper today I guarantee I will show you a menagerie complete with peacocks, flamingos and chickadees. 

Images Via: Architectural Digest, Designer Susan Simonpietri, Caitlin Wilson Design, Style Me Pretty and  Luxe Interiors & Design.

It's not just me the trend is everywhere - like they say: Birds of a feather flock together. 

Splurge vs. Save: Lighting

In our line of work we are always working with varying budgets- some large, some small. The nice thing about working in difference price ranges is that we get to source from so many great suppliers... and trust us, there are tons of lighting suppliers out there.

During the redecorating process,  people often like to pick where they want to spend the "big bucks" - often times that’s on pieces that get the most use like a sofa or table, and want to save in the lighting department. Luckily, there are so many affordable lighting options that still have the wow factor.

Check out our roundup of some gorgeous comparable lights at both SPLURGE and SAVE price points! 

Pendants:

Semi Flush Mounts:

 

We love that in both options you get that hit of brass!   

We love that in both options you get that hit of brass!

 

Sconces:

These lights are so similar... and check out the incredible savings!

These lights are so similar... and check out the incredible savings!

Chandeliers:

Chandeliers can vary immensely in price. Here's an example of two similar fixtures (style-wise) that have more than a $3,000 price difference between the two. $3,000!!!!!

Chandeliers can vary immensely in price. Here's an example of two similar fixtures (style-wise) that have more than a $3,000 price difference between the two. $3,000!!!!!

Sputnik:

The Classic Sputnik from Lucent Light Shop also comes in other finishes at different price points.

The Classic Sputnik from Lucent Light Shop also comes in other finishes at different price points.

3 Light Vanity Sconce:

A little bit different in terms of look, but   a     lot   different in terms of price!

A little bit different in terms of look, but a lot different in terms of price!

There you have it! Lighting comes in all shapes, sizes, styles, and price points. The best advice we have before making a lighting purchase is to look around. If you do your research, you are bound to find lots of great options, big budget or small!

Our Nursery E-Design Giveaway

Remember when we launched our nursery and kids room e-designs? Well, we gave away an e-design to a lucky winner and we can finally share it with you!

Designing spaces for parents and little ones to enjoy is one of my favorite things to do.  I spend so many hours in my nursery and oldest son’s room reading books, rocking them to sleep, and wrestling them into clothes. Since the space is so heavily used,  it’s important that it makes me and the boys happy, and that it functions well for all of us.

Scope of work:

Our client was waiting for the arrival of her second baby, a little girl. Since she already had a crib, change table and chair from her first baby, the focus for us was on the décor. Her first was a boy and this time the room needed to work for a little lady!

Design directive: Modern and Feminine

Budget: Around $1000

Colour Scheme: Monochrome + Pink

Here is the final result! With e-designs we give the clients options of items to choose from.

Whether you have hardwood or carpet, I love layering a rug in the space. When little ones will be crawling about the space I’m looking for a few things:

The hand – does it feel soft? Would it be soft enough for baby knees to crawl on it?

Functionality – Babies are known to make a mess or two, can the rug easily be cleaned?

My fav rug at the moment is from Jaipur Living, it is 100% cotton and reversible. Plus the price point is really budget friendly, a 5x8 is $225! It would be lovely in a modern nursery! 

Don’t forget the artwork! Children take in more than you can imagine. Here is shopping list we provided, including some adorable art! How cute are the baby animals from Minted?!

In the end, the client loved the design and is going for the gorgeous modern floral wall covering from Anewall (our personal favourite!) We can’t wait to see photos of the finished room!

Interested in getting a nursery e-design for yourself? Start here! Cherry on top? Each nursery e-design comes with a $25 gift card to Baby Plum!