our home {Gabriel’s new big boy room}

First of all, I’m having a hard time figuring out how my little babe is a in a big boy room. Slow down, you crazy child! This growing up thing goes quickly. Although, it’s days like today, when a migraine starts to kick my butt, that I’m happy he’s a little independent! I can give him some goldfish crackers (or the whole bag), turn on a movie (or 2) and close my eyes. You realize how much you take your vision for granted when it starts to fade!

Gabe’s been in his big boy bed since January. It was his 3rd birthday present from my parents (lovingly known as Bada and Boom). I’ve slowly puttered around in his room, tweaking things here and there. There haven’t been any major changes from his nursery, but it’s still been a fun little project. I like this room better, but it might be because we have such fun sitting in his big bed and telling bedtime stories as a family! Sweet memories are being made in this space!

In case you haven’t seen this post, I thought I’d show you what his room looked like when we moved in..

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The walls were yellow, ripped apart, and drawn on. But there was such potential!

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My Mom is amazing and found a Jenny Lind style bed for Gabriel. It was what I dreamed of for his room. Can you believe it was $80? Solid wood. Absolutely amazing. And then she got some Annie’s Chalk paint to refinish it. We used French Linen and finished it with the clear wax. I absolutely love his bed.

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It’s a beautiful bed! Right now, I have his backup sheets on the bed. Usually, this time of year, he has adorable doggie flannel sheets that were part of his birthday present. But they’re currently needing to be washed. It makes life so much easier to have two pairs of sheets. Though Gabriel’s a little sad to not sleep with the doggies.

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I got this dresser on Craig’s List for $20 and refinished it (thanks Uncle Carl and Aunt Irene for the Christmas gift)! I like the clean lines and the size is perfect for his room, but it can hold a lot of clothes. I like that it doesn’t actually have any handles. You can kind of tell that the drawer fronts are angled, so you reach under the bottom to slide the drawers out. The wall hanging is a tapestry I found at a thrift store. The trees are actually Christmas decorations!

 

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My Mom gave us the charming paint by number pictures a couple years ago. I love them and so does Gabriel. The mobile is something I found, spray painted gold, and hung old picture of my Dad, grandmother and aunt from! The old photographs are so sweet. The angel was mine as a child.

 

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We keep Gabe’s little suitcase under the dresser. He loves his truck suitcase. Also a gift from my Mom and Dad.

 

 

 

 

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As a child, my Grandpa gave me Shel Silverstein books. I loved them. I was thrilled to find ‘Falling Up’ at the thrift store and used the pages as art in Gabe’s room. We really enjoy looking at the pages, reading the poems and playing I-spy with the illustrations. The bench is from our wedding and the basket holds some books and toys that Gabriel can pick from and take into his bed at nap time. Yes, he loves the story Madeline and has parts of it memorized!

 

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I have double sided tape on the back of the pages, but also used Washi tape to secure some of the edges.

 

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The mobile with the old photographs. The photo in the middle is of my Dad and my Aunt Jan! So sweet!

 

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And this is my Dad and dearest Gran. Precious.

 

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I used more washi tape with the photos, and on the backs of some used left over pages from the Shel Silverstein book.

 

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Back to his bed. His nightstand is an old crate. I found the old piece of wood in the outbuilding and painted the alphabet on it. It was there in his nursery, too.

 

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We found these cloud cut outs in the outbuilding when we moved in. I painted them white and hung them over his crib. When we moved his bed in, I was so happy that they were still perfect where they were on the wall. I didn’t have to move them! I added to stars when we moved his big bed in. They are little wooden star cut outs that you can find at Michaels. I spray painted them gold and used tiny sewing pins to hold them to the wall!

And there is Gabriel’s big boy room! I’m so happy with how it turned out. You can put together a special space without having to spend lots of money! I hope you enjoyed the tour!

(The wall color is Martha Stewart Plumage. I was inspired by Young House Love’s guest room. The white paint on the dresser is Parchment White by Glidden, also inspired by Young House Love! It’s my go-to white paint for furniture!)

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the evolution of a room.

I’m about to share some alarming photographs. But I think they’re interesting.. or at least fun for me to look back at. They are also a self esteem booster for you, my lovely readers. If you’re feeling discouraged by your house keeping abilities, like you’re always drowning in a sea of dirty clothes, these photos should give you some encouragement. For some reason, the only pictures I have of the stages of our room involves an explosion of clothes. I’m not sure why that is. I always keep up with laundry and immediately fold and put clothes away when they come out of the dryer. It’s so unlike me to have any clothes laying out. I do the laundry daily. Not bi-weekly.

Our home needed a little bit, no, a lot, of TLC when we moved in. Here’s a picture of our room shortly after move-in day…

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What you’re unable to see in this picture is just how dirty the walls were.

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January 2012. Clothes explosion. The first time I painted the room, shortly after moving in, I went for a pale blue/green color. While it was a lovely color, it wasn’t me. It felt cold. And just wasn’t right.

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January 2013. I mean really. This is bad. I painted the room a creamy white over the summer. The bed moved to a different wall. Different furniture was moved in and painted black. And then in January (when this photo was taken) I painted a very wide white stripe behind the headboard, trying to give the room a focal point. Didn’t really work. In my defense of this chaos, the room was extra torn apart from painting. This was also the time I got the urge to go through all our clothes and give bag-fulls away. So you’re seeing the aftermath of me ripping the closet and dressers apart. It always looks (so much) worse before it gets (a little bit) better!

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February 2013, the room was looking like this. You can vaguely see the wide white stripe behind the bed. Overall pretty boring. I wasn’t feeling really motivated to do anything else. You could call it a design rut.

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And this is what it looks like today. We built a shelf over our bed last weekend and it does so much for the room. I’m still experimenting with an artwork arrangement up there, and have some diy art in mind, but for now I’m quite happy with it. It feels cozy. I also stained the headboard a bit darker and sealed it with wax. It has a lovely matte finish now and feels so soft.

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I swapped out our nightstands. I stacked 2 apples crates, and painted them white (the same white as the wide stripe and the shelf). They’re more substantial and practical (more space and an extra shelf), compared to our previous single crate nightstands (that now live stacked in the hallway right outside our room).

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I grabbed a bunch of art from around the house to put on the shelf. I want to add some black frames to it. It needs a little bit of tweaking, but I do love that shelf. So does Tristan. Even though he cracked his head on the corner yesterday morning. Ouch.

So there it is… the evolution of our room. It’s gone through many phases, and I’m sure will change more. Hopefully I’ll get more pictures of different angles soon! Is your room the last place that gets any attention? I seem to spend time decorating and arranging other rooms, but seem to neglect our room. No more! I do love how our room is now. And I’m pretty sure I sleep better in it, too. Have a great weekend, friends!

To see how we made our headboard, check out this post.

diy {burlap coffee sack art}

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If you’re ever in a thrift store and see burlap coffee sacks, buy them. Don’t think about it. Don’t inspect them. Run as quickly as you can to where they are and grab them. I wouldn’t even judge you if you pushed people out of the way (unless you’re pushing me, in which case, we might fight)! Then tuck them securely under your arm as you walk around the rest of the store with the a big smile on your face, while everything else you see pales in comparison. You have just found the ultimate thrifting treasure.

I scored some amazing burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store a while ago. So when I tell you what to do when you find some, I speak from experience. The time I found those coffee sacks was my best thrifting adventure ever. You’ve heard of a runner’s high, right? Well, find some burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store and you’ll experience a thrifting high. (It’s either that or the odor coming from the old upholstered sofa you’re standing beside.) You might think I’m being a bit dramatic. But let me remind you that we’re talking about burlap coffee sacks!

When you bring them home, you’ll want to display them proudly for everyone to see. There are a couple ways to do this. 

First, you can just grab some tiny silver sewing pins and tack the burlap right to your wall. I like to use 8 pins- one in each corner and then one in the middle on each side. This holds it nice and securely to the wall and looks just so lovely. I did this in our kitchen, beside my peg board pot rack.

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In our kitchen, beside the pot rack. You might notice this area looks a little different than when I posted about the pot rack here

If you want to get really fancy shmancy and give your burlap a proper dressing, find a big giant frame. Paint it nice and white (or leave it unpainted if it’s pretty). And then use your staple gun to attach the burlap to the back of the frame. You might have to trim the burlap, unless you just happen to find a frame that’s the perfect size.

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Burlap coffee sack art in the bathroom? Why not! This is in the downstairs/guest bath, hanging above some complimentary toiletry items for any guests (I need to restock). 5 star bed and breakfast right here.

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And this is in our living room. It’s the wall behind the TV. The framed burlap is a feed sack, not a coffee sack, but still great. I also have a framed rice bag, too. I intentionally hung the pictures very close to each other, to hide the breaker box that is behind that rice bag and floral picture (that my Grandma painted). 

You could also take your burlap coffee sack and stretch it around a canvas or canvas stretchers and use your staple gun to secure it on the back. This gives it a nice, crisp rectangular shape and looks lovely sitting on top of a dresser.

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This is another feed bag, stretched around a canvas, sitting on top of Tristan’s dresser. And I have his boutonniere from our wedding pinned to the burlap.

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Another wall in our living room. Another feed/fertilizer burlap sack stretched over canvas stretchers. I haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet. Eventually. I have tea lights in those mason jars (that won’t get lit until I hang the burlap)! (I found the feed/fertilizer sacks in my closet at my parents’ house. Thanks Mom!)

There are so many other things you can do with these things. Make a (itchy but so cute) pillow. Recover a chair seat. Make a curtain. Make a table runner. Make a giant floor cushion. Moral of the story: burlap coffee sacks are basically another form of gold.

Perhaps you haven’t hit the thrifting jackpot and can’t get your hands on any burlap coffee sacks. Fear not. You can make a knock off pretty easily!

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I made this last year, before my best thrifting adventure when I scored the coffee sacks. You can buy burlap by the yard at Walmart! This burlap was leftover from our wedding.

1. Cut a rectangle to whatever size you when. Then hem the edges to keep it from fraying.

2. This is a pattern that you see on many coffee sacks. I made a template of the ‘single leaf’ and the ‘double leaf’. Then I traced them over and over on the burlap with a marker. I just added a little tail to the bottom single leaf, then free handed the circles at the bottom.

3. Take regular craft paint and fill in the ‘leaves’ and circles! Make sure you have something behind the burlap because the paint goes through very easily.

4. If you have any letter stencils, you can also add some fun lettering to your art.

And just like that, you have your very own burlap coffee sack art. You know, until you hit the thrifting jackpot!

I’ve called a couple different coffee shops to see if they have any burlap sacks they were getting rid of. Unfortunately, most coffee shops now get their coffee in vacuum sealed bags. So I have yet to find a shop that has any burlap sacks. Maybe you’d have better luck at smaller, local coffee shops.

What do you think? Would you or have you decorated with burlap coffee sacks? Have a great Tuesday! I’d love to see you burlap art if you make any!

can you guess what we did for our Saturday project?

I’m so excited to share our Saturday afternoon project with you, but it’s not quite photo ready yet. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some photos that inspired me. I’ll share more details this coming week, but until then, here’s some inspiration. Can you guess what we did?!

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Did you do any fun projects this weekend?!

diy {guitar hooks}

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I used to get mad every time I cleaned up the office/craft room/guest room because there were 3 clunky guitar cases with no place to go. I’d grumble and shove them under the futon or in a corner. I know, such a big problem and inconvenience. A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on the sofa staring at a blank white wall and wondering what, if anything, I should hang on it. And then it came to me. The guitars!

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For around $5, we have 3 guitars hanging beautifully on the wall, not shoved in corners and under futons. And since they’re out in such easy access, they get played more frequently, too!

What You Need:

Tool Hooks. They’re just ‘U’ shaped hooks. They’d usually be used to hang shovels etc. in a shed. I found them at Walmart. Less than $2 a piece. One per guitar. (The ones Home Depot had were too small for the neck of a guitar, so make sure you get ones big enough to hold the guitar).

A board. I had a 52″ board that was going to be a shelf, but never used. It was the perfect size for the 3 guitars. (I painted the board white to blend in with the wall).

2 screws to attach the board to the wall (directly into the studs so you don’t have to use anchors).

A drill.

A level or just a good eye.

A husband who does all the work while you watch ‘The Office’.

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What You Do:

1. Decide where you want the guitars to hang. Then hang the board on the wall. Tristan centered it on the wall and screwed directly into the studs.

2. Since we were hanging 3 guitars, we knew the middle hook needed to be centered on the board. Tristan predrilled a hole for the hook and then twisted it in. We figured out how far apart we wanted the guitars to hang, and then he predrilled 2 more holes for the other hooks, and twisted them in.

3. Then hang the guitars and smile.

(I very lightly covered the screws that hold the board to the wall with some putty and then painted over them. Tristan assures me that we’ll still be able to unscrew the board from the wall when the time comes. It does look nicer and more seamless to hide the screw heads. If you want to get fancy, you could always sink the heads in a bit and then use those screw head cover sticker things to disguise them).

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And there you have it! A display that’s both pretty and functional… and cheap! Any guitar players out there? How do you store your guitars?

diy {how to hide a painted line that isn’t crisp}… and my office is partly black!

How’s that for a wordy title?!

I’ve started seeing a trend every time my sweet friend, Jill, comes over. After each visit (or sometimes during), I end up painting something black. Last week it was my whole kitchen. This week it was a section of the guest room/office/craft room. When Tristan came home and noticed something else fell victim to my black wall crush, I blamed Jill (sorry Jill)! But let’s be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. Just like with spray painting, it’s a rare occasion when I get an idea to paint a wall (or piece of furniture) and I’m actually able to stop myself.

So the other day, while Gabe was napping (and I should have been doing laundry), I decided to pull apart my workspace and paint around it. I pinned this image a while ago and it kept creeping into my mind. It was my inspiration.

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I mean, does that place just exude productivity or what?! I bet the person that works there gets a lot done.

I wanted my desk area to be painted similarly. I decided how much of the wall should be black, got my painters tape out and taped off the bottom portion of the wall. And in true gotta-get-this-done-no-time-to-measure form, I just eyeballed it to get a level line. I actually downloaded a level app on my iPhone, but when I couldn’t figure out how to use it in 5 seconds I deleted it. Patience is a virtue I might need to work on! Luckily, I’ve been honing my eyeballing skills for some years now, and I’m happy to report that the line is not slanted.

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This is what I was working with. Looks messy, right? You should have seen it the day before. I had literally emptied the entire closet and every drawer in the room so I could get really organized. And then I took 8 boxes to Goodwill. Much like painting, when I get the urge to purge, there’s not much that can stop me. Well, a bum back can stop me. So I’m thankful for a husband who can lift those 8 boxes into the car. Kuddos to me for remembering to take a before picture.

I decided I wanted the black to come 3/4 up the clipboards that hang above the shelf. So I made a mark on the wall while everything was hanging up, then took it all down and used that marking as a guide for where to put the tape.

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Extra kuddos for taking a process picture. You can also sort of see that I taped off the wall to the right of the window. I decided not to paint that wall, though.

It didn’t take long at all to paint this. When you’re painting with tape, remember to pull your brush away from the tape. You don’t want to push paint under the tape.

So once it was dry enough (more accurately, once I couldn’t wait any longer) I pulled the tape back. And was bummed to find this…

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Womp womp wooooomp. So much for a crisp line. The whole thing wasn’t this bad, but none of it was crisp. I thought about taking leftover wall paint and trying to touch it up, but that would’ve taken forever, been really tedious, and still wouldn’t give a perfectly crisp line.

So I decided to use some cotton clotheslines I had laying around and hide it, while also adding a little embellishment and texture! I thought about hot-glueing it to the wall, but I wasn’t sure if that would be easy to remove. So I opted for tiny, silver, sewing pins instead. They leave such minuscule holes in the wall and aren’t noticeable at all.

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This is the cotton clothesline I used. I’m pretty sure you can find it at Walmart. $3 for 100 yards or something crazy. Make sure you get the cotton kind, and not the nylon kind. It’s prettier.

I wrapped the end in some clear tape, then cut it on the tape. I thought this would keep it from unraveling. Then I just started tacking it to the wall, along the un-crisp tape line. I put a pin maybe every foot or so. Except at the corner. I put more around there to get the right angle.

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You can’t really see the rope from far away, unless you know it’s there or you’re looking for it.

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But once you get a little closer, it looks simply lovely! I love the added detail and texture.

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Isn’t it a nice touch? I’m quite glad the line wasn’t crisp because I’m not sure I would have thought to do this otherwise. And I just realized that one of the pictures I have on the clipboards has a photo of a room with a similar paint job! I must like this look.

And there you go! An unexpected mistake added a lovely detail to my new partially black workspace! If you ever pull back tape and are bummed to find an un-crisp line… fear not! I love finding creative solutions and this one might be a favorite.

a corner of our new living room.

Who enjoyed a late-in-the-season snow this week? We got FOURTEEN inches! The last big snow we had was the year Gabriel was born. 2009. So this was the first snow he’s gotten to enjoy. And boy did he enjoy it. We went sledding in the afternoon and then over to our friends house for a ‘snow party’. We played in the snow some more and then had a potluck dinner or sorts and, of course, hot chocolate. Snow parties. A new tradition!

Last week we switched our living room and dining room. I don’t know why we waited so long to do this. It works so much better this way! I’m slowly but surely putting the rooms back together. The built in bookcase is now in the living room. It’s one of my favorite features of this home. I love built-ins, but think they’re kind of intimidating to style. It can be hard to get a pulled together, cohesive look when you have so much space to fill! Since we don’t have enough books to fill up the whole thing, I pulled other random objects/baskets/crates from around the house to fill up the shelves. Through trial and error, I’m quite happy with how it turned out! And best part- I spent $0. Since I tend to approach projects like a hurricane (I barrel in and rip things apart in the process of getting it done) I didn’t take any before or process pictures. There’s just no time to pause and take a picture! It always takes a bit of time to recover from the hurricane and put things back together. We’re in that recovery stage right now! But I thought I’d share a little corner of our new living room. The oversized chair by the fire is my favorite. And if I’m really cold, I scoot the black chair really close to the fire and huddle over it, usually sipping something warm.

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I love sitting in the big chair, because I can gaze right into my new black kitchen. It makes me smile. Who knew black could be such a happy color. Kitchen pictures to come soon.

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So there’s peak at a corner of our living room. I have about 27 other projects going on right now. I’m excited to share some of them here! And maybe, if I can pause the hurricane, I’ll take some before and process pictures to share!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!