You may recall in this post where I updated you on Chace’s ‘Big Boy Room’ progress, that I had another project in the works for this big blank space of wall…
It all started when Chace got this awesome ‘card’ with one of the gifts from his 3rd birthday – a little multi-jointed robot (who also happened to fit his bedroom colour palette perfectly AND play off the robot art I created in his closet nook).
Then I began adding some little foam ‘bumpers’ to the back of robot so that he sat elevated slightly. These are also from my scrapbooking supplies. They are simple to use since they are sticky on both sides of the foam. You apply one to your surface, and one to your ‘subject’ and this is what you get!
The cool thing about this is that the robots hands, feet and antenae are free to move since I didn’t need to add any there. That way Chace can manipulate them if he wants to play with it. Interactive art ;)!
How about you? Ever start a project only to revise it every second step? Ever made art of out of something that wasn’t? Found any old school projects
shoved lovingly stored under the bed that came in handy when least expected?
I thought it was high time I offered you all a ‘Big Boy Room’ update before my little guy outgrows it! Ha. Kidding. That won’t happen for some time (thankfully)!
For those of you following along, you may recall my grand master plan for turning Chace’s nursery into a room fit for a growing toddler that I shared back at the beginning of the year. I’ve been slowly picking away at it since, and now there are only minimal things left to do before it is complete. Luckily all the big items are done so time to share!
From the doorway, the room looks like this:
The cute owl bedding is what inspired the whole ‘scheme’ – that and trying to use as many things as I could from the nursery – dressers, shelves and curtains. The furniture was white and ‘birch’ toned so those few elements were my jumping off point. And of course I wanted to be able to do all of this on a pretty tight budget (enter Ikea).
I got the bed off of Craigslist but it is this one from Ikea. However, mine wasn’t $179 for just the frame, it was $60 for the frame AND slats!
I’d also like to add art above the bed but don’t want anything heavy that could fall down and hurt my little sleeping angel so would like to put up these sweet clouds from Umbra. I love how they play off the owl and trees and think they will look great on the blue wall.
I’d also like to add a little area rug for cute 3-year-old feet as they get out of bed and have found these two that fit the bill. Not sure which I will go with but will decide based on which one looks better with the bedding in person. I hope it’s the round one as that is my fave. Both are from Ikea.
Recently we got this little table and chair also from Ikea here and here for some hardcore colouring/crafting/block building/car playing sessions. Chace loves it and I do too. I really wanted his room to have ‘zones’ – and being a pretty basic/smallish room that was a bit of a task!
Behind that you can see a glimpse of the toy storage station that we brought in. Also from Ikea (are we seeing a theme here)? All of these are from the Trofast line that they carry. The nice thing about this product line is that it is so versatile. You can literally build to suit to fit your own specific needs.
Yes. I made labels. So what? Sue me… or make fun of me. Your choice. Chace likes ’em.
Above the toy storage are the two shelves that Chace had back in his nursery – moved over and refreshed with more toddler friendly things.
I already had this frame but loved how it tied together the ‘birch’ and ‘white’ furniture elements of the room into one thing. Plus these frames are free standing and chunky – light but still masculine.
Chace loves pointing to this and saying “Daddy and Chace with Elmo shirt!”
Looking at the room from over by the window, it looks like this.
The only change I’ve made to the nook since I blogged about it is the addition of the soccer bean bag chair – before it had some pillows from our bed as a stand-in. My coworker gave me the bean bag chair as her sons had outgrown it –
SCORE GOOOAAALLL! Daddy is a soccer goalie so very fitting.
There is one shelf at the very top of the closet which I’ve yet to add some storage bins too (not shown in the picture above but you can see it in the one before that).
Opposite to the books, the other corner of the closet has a little chalkboard which I shared here. (This picture is from that post which is why you see one of the ‘stand-in’ pillows in the foreground.)
And last but not least, the other wall looks like this – oh how we can’t WAIT to get rid of the change table… baby steps-breathe-baby steps (potty training isn’t going so well).
See that blank wall? Well I have an idea for that which I’m currently working on and will share very soon!
So that’s it. Only a few things left to do but almost there – and a loooong way from his nursery (you can see some old photos of that here if interested).
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts :).
UPDATE: the special project I was working on for that blank wall is now complete and can be found here!
This past weekend we entertained some guests from England (Chef Kev’s Aunt and her husband) and it inspired me to do a casual country bouquet as a centrepiece.
To start, I went to my local garden centre and picked out $20 worth of the blooms I wanted. No filler, no branches of leaves, no fuss, just straight pretty blooms. I don’t mind that (filler etc.) for certain arrangements but really wanted to create a contemporary take on the traditonal ‘english garden’ as a nod to our guests :). So no room for extra fluff here.
I chose (from left) a soft green viburnum, pink peonies, and white and pink dahlias.
Here’s a neat little design tip that may be of interest. I learned it when I was in design school (I’m a Graphic Designer) but find it comes in very helpful for pretty much anything visual…
Things look better in ‘threes’. And along that same thought, odd numbers.
For example, this bouquet looks like a collection of random blooms. But break it down and it is purposefully made up of a combination of the following ‘three’ and ‘odd numbered’ elements:
– 3 viburnums
– 3 peonies
– 5 dahlias (odd number)
= 11 blooms total (odd number)
Look a litle closer and you may also notice that those 11 blooms are made up of 3 colours – green, pink and white.
Now let’s get to arranging these little pretties!
First up I chose my vase. I picked a simple one that wasn’t too tall since it was being used as a centrepiece. It’s kind of important that the guests can talk to each other rather than a large bouquet that they can’t see past. Ha. This vase had a nice wide opening which fit in with the vision I had in mind.
I taped off a grid – done simply with regular scotch tape – as I did here. The grid offers some structure and support (so your flowers don’t flop over) and allows you to plan out placement a bit easier.
I cut each bloom before placing it in the vase. It’s a good idea to always cut (at an angle) above any spots where a new shoot or branch would come out. I was told once that fresh water can get up the stalk faster/easier by bypassing this ‘intersection.
I started placing my flowers in, beginning with the viburnum.
See how the flowers are trying to flop over? I placed all of my blooms in the middle four sections of the grid since they are large and wanted to ‘hang loose’. Keeping them towards the centre ensured that when they did naturally flop down, they ended up where I wanted them (grazing the edge of the vase) and not hanging down over the sides.
The dahlia’s went in next.
Again, I kept all of these in the centre four quadrants.
As I trimmed the peonies to add in, I noticed a few petals that had begun to turn. It’s okay to remove them, and actually a good idea. Even if a petal is on it’s way out, it’s taking vital water away from the rest of the bloom so don’t feel bad removing the offenders.
In went the peonies and I was done!
Peonies open really fast so even though I made this the day before our guests came, that ‘ball’ of a peony was open wide and gorgeous by the time we had dinner they day after I arranged this.
getting up in this dahlia’s face…
And some face-time with my favourite flower – the peony.
This arrangement was simple, fun to make and (in my opinon) beautiful!
Entertained any overseas guests lately? Used it as a (good) excuse to buy flowers? I did. Guilty. But in a good way.
Cheerio. Chip Chip.
Mommy (me): Okay Chacey, now remember, it’s a secret. This is a special project for Daddy. It’s Father’s Day tomorrow.
Chace (my 3 year old): okay mommy (excited giggle).
Kevin (Chef Kev) – from the hallway: Send Chace out, I want to give him a kiss goodbye. Heading out to do some errands…
Mommy: Ssssh, don’t tell Daddy. Let me wipe the paint off your hands first.
< door open and close as he goes to Daddy >
Daddy: Bye buddy. Are you having fun doing your special secret project?
Chace: Yes Daddy. I painting. I PAINTING ROCKS!
< Daddy laughter >
Aaand there it is.
Want to be let in on a little secret? Chace made Daddy a special rock for Father’s Day.
I bet you can’t tell that he painted it himself? Well he did. But mommy might have helped with the tag and string tying.
We had so much fun that he made one for Papa (my dad) and Pop-pops (Kevin’s dad) too!
The idea was set in motion after reading this over on one of my favourite blogs – and Chace put his own spin on it… with a bit of help from Mommy.
First up I lightly sprayed the tops of the rocks white. I didn’t coat them entirely as I wanted some of the rock to still show through but thought the white would be a nice base colour. In the end I don’t think I really needed this step though.
Once those dried, Chace and Mommy went into seclusion and the real fun began. I had thought that sticking to a colour palette for each rock would be good idea so that it didn’t just become a sea of swampy brown on each rock. Mix a bunch of colours together and that is what you get… So, started with the idea of an orange rock, a green rock and a blue one. Chace chose which colour and which rock Daddy, Papa and Pop-pops would get. The fourth rock was there as back up incase we messed up or I needed to show him what to do.
But nope. My kid is a pro and got straight to work.
There it is – the tongue out. Concentration at it’s cutest.
This was serious bidness. Brushes needed to be rinsed and wiped between each colour…
Sidenote: How cute are those P.J.’s? They are surfboards but for some reason Chace thought they were popcicles.
And then we had our three rocks painted.
So Chace moved onto the fourth and said he wanted to do it for himself.
And went to town…
I didn’t bother policing any paint mixing because paint + 3 year old = what’s the point.
But then I noticed it made some pretty funky art in it’s own right.
Speaking of artists, my little Picasso was having a great time being neat and tidy.
And yes, that is blurry black paint on his nose and lip.
Assessing the situation once he finished his rock, Chace decided that Daddy, Papa and Pop-pop’s rocks needing some revisiting.
“more paint mommy, more paint”
Satisfied with his rockin’ (ha. get it?) creations Chace started helping Mommy clean up.
And the finished trio looked like this! I wrapped coloured string around each and tied a simple knot. No girly bows for Daddy! Mommy made a tag, cut it down and punched a hole for the string. Chace was so proud. And so he should be. Mommy is too.
The rocks were a big hit. And Chace’s little boulder was just as successful.
So what about you? Any budding artist stories? Rock painting? Spilled secrets? Dish. You know Chace would have (worst secret keeper ever). But he’s adorable so forgiven before he even opened his mouth.
Happy (belated) Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.
Chace has a pretty awesome Dad and now Daddy has the rock to prove it.
Okay, so I kind of love shoes… I mean who doesn’t right? I don’t think I quite qualify in the fetish mode category… but I’d definitley be considered a connoiseur.
What I don’t love however, are ugly shoe racks. Or piles of shoes in the middle of the floor as you walk into the house. Or piles in the garage right in front of the door (ahem.cough.ChefKev.cough)… but that’s for another post.
As you enter our house from the garage you open into a small hallway that leads to our rec room. To the right are stairs that go to our main floor (where the main entrance is) but to the left is a (rather large) bathroom. Since the rec room is carpeted and I don’t want to track dirt on it, my shoes end up getting removed as I enter and side-kick-shuffled (patented move) into the tiled bathroom.
Obviously we needed a shoe storage solution here.
Let me show you where my shoes live NOW (hint: it’s the big yellow dresser).
Allow me to back up and fill you in on how this ray of sunshine entered my life.
As I mentioned earlier, this bathroom is quite large. It’s actually outfitted with plumbing for a bath to go along that back wall but as the fourth bathroom in our house, and being located off the rec room, it just didn’t make sense to have a tub there.
I had always wanted to get something to go in that space (wasn’t quite sure what) but the project just never made it to the top of the priority list.
Enter Craigslist and their FREE Classified section.
I saw this and (believe it or not) I had a vision…
Yes, it was straight from the 80’s (hello, Mrs. Max Headroom is calling and she wants her dresser back), had chawesome pulls and knobs and was wearing 25 years of scuffs, dings, dirt and dog chewing, oh, and the front of one drawer had fallen off… but I could see it… SHOE STORAGE THAT I COULD TURN INTO SOMETHING PRETTY!
And so it was mine. For zero dollars.
What a pretty flower.
Funny side note – my mom called me the other day and said when I got my first desk for doing homework the first thing I said was “I’m going to change those knobs!” Ha. I guess somethings never change… but taste sure does. Apparently my dad was highly unimpressed with the cost of the ones I chose as a replacement. And yes, they had painted flowers on them.
But back to this.
I did a lot of research in deciding how to make over this piece. I’ll explain my process below.
First up was to patch the dog chewed corner. To do this use some wood filler. Start by applying a layer, letting it dry and then applying another layer and so on until it builds up to the level of the surface you are working with. Then you sand and contour the filler to match your existing drawer. My dad did this part (thanks Dad) as he had taken the drawer to fix the broken front (he had the clamps and wood glue needed). So no pictures of these last two steps but here is one of the rebuilt corner before priming.
Next up I sanded the whole dresser. The key here is to LIGHTLY sand with the lowest grit paper you can. Since the dresser has a veneer finish you want to take off the sheen without sanding down to the particle board. This step is uber-important. Of if you are italian, uber-importantico.
Next was the priming step. I chose Kilz from Home Depot. You can see it here on the left.
Apply both your primer and paint with a mohair mini roller. I didn’t use a brush at all for this project. The mohair roller is key – do not use foam. A mini mohair roller holds and distributes your paint evenly and really gets it into your lighty sanded surface. It’s basically a small version of a good quality wall roller. Anyone who has used a foam roller for a project like this will know what I’m talking about. A foam roller will just push your paint around on your surface. Slicky McSlickerson.
Now the fun part – paint! The colour I chose is Benjamin Moore “Sun Kissed Yellow”. I had seen other dressers done in yellow during my blogland and Pinterest travels and loved the graphic punch they add to a space. For my small and windowless room I thought this colour would look great.
The paint I chose was Benjamin Moore Advance paint in a high gloss finish (seen above next to the primer). My research said this was the product for the job so I took note. It lived up to expectations and dries to a strong finish, is self levelling, easy to work with and very durable, but one thing that surprised me was how thin it was. You absolutely need to use a primer with before this product and may even want to tint it.
After some drying time and knob installation we were done. I may or may not have bought the wrong amount of knobs and had to back and get more. Seriously. It’s only 12. Not a high number to count to. Ridiculous.
You can see how the damaged corner turned out below. For reference it is the bottom left corner of the bottom left drawer in the photo above.
The thing that really drew me to this dresser was that the top two drawers were divided in to six quadrants with bevel detail between each section.
For the knobs and pulls I chose some that I thought would look good (found at Home Depot here and here). I chose this style because I like that it was a nod to the traditional but was going to be used on a piece that had been given a modern glossy yellow twist.
Since these were the front runner after my searching, I actually had a photo of them on my phone for a few months (shows how long this took me to do). One day while in the bathroom I noticed something about the existing taps. Ummm… match much?
It was knob fate.
Here is a different view of the room where you can see how the dresser fits into the space.
See the towel reflection? I picked those for my birthday back in March. Obviously I was planning on getting to this… just took awhile.
I love the layering of the charcoal and white chevron inspired towel paired with the bright yellow and crisp white.
One of my favourite parts of this project is that now I have a drop zone for my jewellery when I come home from work.
And of course, a new home for my shoes!
So there we have it!
What about you? Refinish any Craigslist finds recently? Did it take you months or is that just me? Hopefully you weren’t carrying around photos of knobs on your phone like I was. Um, dresser knobs people. That came out really wrong.