Sunday, February 27, 2011

nursery update part 2

What was I saying about a gender neutral nursery? Um...yeah. Once you find out the gender of your sweet boo, you want to completely indulge in all things boy/girl. I have completely changed my color scheme and pattern. Boogie seems to like it.

Our sweet friend came over to help "build" the crib, as my adorable husband put it. (It had twelve pre-drilled holes for screws.)

This is how it has looked for weeks. Yikes.

 Enter Mom to the rescue. She came in and removed all excess items and lovingly packed them into her storage for our next garage sale. We bought hundreds of dollars in fabrics that she took home with her in bags. They will soon debut in the room as beautiful draperies, quilts, pillows, bumper pad, bedskirt, and changing pad covers. God I love that woman.

 He will not need this chair very often, because he will be so well-behaved. We are counting on him taking after me. ;-)

 Sweet outfits, care of the grandmothers, just waiting.

 Remember that shelf that was in the room before? Here it is in the closet as an alternative to a chest of drawers. We have six more small baskets on order to fill those other two shelves. The closet in this room is quite large. I predict he will hide out in here with Gizmo. They're going to be best friends.

Here is a close-up of what will be the drapery fabric. It looks just like one of my husband's favorite shirts, which I happen to love. Those baskets are filled with vintage wooden toys donated by my mother-in-law.

 Of course, this room is nowhere near complete. We have big plans over Spring Break. There is still painting to be done, draperies to be installed, and I'm on a quest for the perfect rug to give some definition to what will be my little nursing nook. Oh yeah, and I need a glider, side table...

Here's to our sweet baby boy and a great weekend!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

small projects that went a long way

Here are some fun before and after pictures I found in some computer files I had on hand. These are just some small projects that we've taken on over the years.

This was our third house that we bought. There was this great little den off the kitchen that had been recently painted and recarpeted. It was fine the way it was, but I wasn't a fan of the paneled walls and everything all beige.

We painted all the trim white, as well as painted the brick fireplace white. Then my mom and I hung grasscloth wallpaper over the paneling. Everyone says wallpaper is such a no-no, but if done right, it can really add some texture to a room. I also painted the inside of the bookshelves blue to add a punch of color, and we added a chunkier crown-molding. We left the carpet, because it was so clean and new, but covered it with a wool rug to break up the space a bit. This total project cost us about $1200.

 This was the fireplace in our first house. The tile hearth had been painted black. It never crossed my mind that there might be something better hiding underneath all that glossy black.

It was pretty the way it was, but one day, after a chipping the paint accidentally with the vacuum cleaner, I discovered there was a beautiful original checkerboard pattern hiding underneath! I immediately ran out the door to the local hardware store and bought paint stripper. I did this in one day. I love the vintage color combo of the peach and tan. I didn't care that it we didn't have an single peach thing in our house, it was original. And original is always better. Cost of this project: $8!

 In that same house, we had a little galley kitchen that had some awful-looking cracked white tile on the floor. After about a year, we saved up a $1000 and had all the tiles ripped up, then a layer of linoleum ripped up. We took it all the way down to the original pine floor and refinished it.

It was a huge mess for about 3 weeks. Dust everywhere!

But in the end, I loved it! And we gained about an inch and a half of space from floor to ceiling. It was still very rustic-looking. The pine floor was not in perfect condition. But again, it was original. And I loved that the old floor was seeing the light of day for the first time since the early fifties.

Small projects can make a big impact. I think one small project a year is a great way to keep your space current, fun to live in, and always improving.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

nursery update

We plan on finding out the gender of this little one next Tuesday, but boy or girl, this baby will have toile in its life. Toile is in every room of my house. I love it. I love all versions of it. And I found the perfect baby version. The bumper pad and quilt will be the printed toile linen you see here. And the drapes will be the adorable gingham, to avoid it looking too mature.

The paint color will be striped in tan, antique white, wedgewood gray, and chocolate brown.

For the furniture, I'm going with the classic Jenny Lind style crib. I love it's spindly look. Newer cribs are just so gigantic (and ridiculously overpriced). I like the vintage feel of the Jenny Lind. I went back and forth over whether or not to do white or cherry. White just seems a bit girly, and since this is supposed to be a gender neutral nursery, I figured the cherry might be a safer bet. In the end, after much online shopping, I found one at for $179 and $2.95 shipping. Perfect!

Please ignore hokey bedding. Baby Smith will have none of that! Which brings me to another nursery decor issue. I have a real problem with characters. No cartoon animals, no Disney princesses, no refereces to "Mommy" and "Daddy" on clothing. (i.e., "If you think I'm cute, you should see my mommy"-type outfits). This is a very touchy subject, and one can come off terribly misunderstood. I do not mean for it to sound as tooky as it does. I'm just trying to shelter this child from the evil marketing schemes of the Western world.

I realize baby clothes and bedding are just the tip of the iceberg in this matter. No Dora the Explorer (I'd rather them learn French than Spanish anyway), no Bob the Builder, no Thomas the Train, the list goes on. Then you get into the whole subject of food items that go along with the evil marketing scheme. We will drive past McDonald's without anyone pointing out the window in a fit to pull in the drive-thru. We will not go see the scary-looking Easter bunny at the mall.

Am I terrible? This is one of those I-am-a-naive-new-mom things isn't it. I'd love to hear feedback. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated!