Category Archives: House projects

Playroom refresh + indoor toddler fun

We used some of our time off over the holidays to tackle our extra bedroom and convert it into a brighter space that works better for living with two kids in a 1.5-story, nearly 100-year-old home.

I didn’t think to snap “before” photos, so use your imagination. The guest room was formerly painted a dark indigo with a queen bed, chair and cedar chest taking up the majority of the space, and a Blues Brothers poster on the wall from Joe’s bachelor days. Here it is now:

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The art on the west wall is a piece by Joe’s Uncle Mike LaVelle that we received as a wedding gift. It gives me a happy, peaceful feeling and Eileen loves staring at it.

To turn the space into a playroom/guestroom, we painted the walls Prairie Sky by Behr and swapped out the queen for an IKEA Hemnes daybed that expands into a king for when we have company, and conveniently hides a traffic-jam full of plastic vehicles as well as bedding.

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(We donated our queen to the USCRI refugee resettlement program. Learn more about that here.) Joe updated the ceiling fan with more contemporary glass sconces and a coat of white spray paint. We added toy storage on either side of the bed, and brought in the easel and little desk and chair.

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On the east wall, we hung the chicken wire bulletin board Joe made for me awhile back. I think it’s perfect for tacking up birth announcements and kid art. And on the north wall, we hung the embroidered alphabet blanket my Aunt Mary Lee made for Eileen. Her stitching is so impressive!

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I unearthed and hung curtains I sewed for our upstairs that we had swapped out awhile ago, and the (slightly uneven thanks to an unfortunate trip in the dryer) sheers were already in the room. Now we’re just missing a rug and some throw pillows, which I’ll probably D.I.Y. later, maybe once I get my hands on some Roam collection fabric.

We’re definitely loving the extra room to snuggle and play.

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Speaking of, I’ve included a few of our favorite indoor activities lately after the jump…

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Filed under At home, Family Fun, House projects

Hammer time

I’m typing this tonight because I probably won’t be able to lift my arms tomorrow, after today’s experience volunteering alongside a few co-workers at Habitat for Humanity. I hammered, caulked, measured, drilled and even got to use a router to cut some window openings. It was hard work, but our crew ended up completing six of the wall frames.

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It’s pretty incredible to think that a family will make some of their most treasured memories in a home that I helped to build. When we did our remodel, the contractors framed out the space, so it was interesting to acquire a new skill. Now I’m itching to work on another length of our fence and then frame out a little play house for Emmett! I bet we could even find a sweet working window in the Habitat ReStore.

This was actually my second workshop-y thing I did this week. Friday night, Joe and I decided we would do a quick craft together, inspired by a frame idea I saw on Going Home to Roost. We already had the materials on hand and had been struggling to find a more traditional frame to fit the oddly-shaped buffalo print Joe picked up for $3 at his work prop sale.

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Gotta love a project that costs nothing, takes about an hour (including drying time) and makes a big impact. I also love that we made this while drinking Moscow Mules and used drying time as an excuse to tidy our nightmare of a basement.

Between this little project and my Habitat time, I feel like building stuff this summer. Andrea turned me on to Ana White, an Alaskan mom who apparently posts amazing DIY woodworking plans. I’ve got big plans for you, miter saw.

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Filed under At home, House projects, Side projects

Emmett’s room on AT

Eeep! I’ve been reading Apartment Therapy since forever and after documenting our dormer renovation and posting the finished nursery pictures, I decided to submit our project to the site. It’s up today as “Emmett’s Raise-the-Roof-Room.”

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If you’re new to the blog and interested in seeing more of the process, I’ve included some posts in chronological order below. Special thanks to Matt Coen for letting us know the dormer addition was do-able, and to Woodland Fair, our contractors. Adjusting to life with a newborn has been a lot easier with such a pretty space to hang out in.

The room is definitely getting more lived-in now that Emmett is home, but the setup is working out great!

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Trying to decide what to name your little bundle? AT posted a roundup of 100 “stylish names” based on kids names from rooms they’ve posted on the site.

P.S. The lovely Marissa from The Moon and the Honey announced she and her husband are expecting a baby in February. She always puts together the best nursery inspiration boards – can’t wait to see tiny Kephart’s space take shape!

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Filed under At home, House projects