We had a beautiful autumn weekend. Don’t you love how golden and dappled the light is in the fall?
Here we go! Let’s show you around this joint!
I’m starting with the kids’ bedroom. Sorry if you think that’s lame. But I’m hoping this room will undergo some big changes soon (before Christmas) so I’m starting here. Maybe starting at the front door would make more sense… Meh. Whatever.
Here’s how I’m gonna’ do this: show you the room first, then give you an idea of what I am doing, plan to do or dream of doing “some day”. So dream with me, eh?
As you may remember from my planning, there will be two kids’ bedrooms - a boys’ room and a girl’s room. But after an emotional summer for my kids, and a much later than planned transition into our house, we decided to keep M and L together for now. I think the plan is to have them in their own rooms by Christmas. ish. (I’ve learned that in any year a new baby is born you need to add a lot of “ish” to your timeline.)
The plan long-term is to have two single beds in there for the two boys. When Baby E moves in, though, he’ll obviously have his crib for a while.
Like most of the rooms, this room has a big beautiful big window, which I love (and wouldn’t trade). But it has it comes with its challenges. For example, bunk beds would cover part of the window if we tried to squeeze them in there. Thus, the low single beds.
The window also obviously lets in tons of great light, which I love. But this is not what you’re going for in the napping stage of life with Little People. So this room is the only one that had its window treatment up before we moved in. I used Jenny’s (second) tutorial for making a roman shade out of mini blinds.
I was scared of trying it, but it ended up not being too hard. It helped that I decided to do an outside mount roman shade (for style, and for light-blocking purposes). This reduced the need for straight sewing and exact measuring - my two biggest weaknesses with sewing. The shade works reasonably well, but the window is really big (5 feet across) and the cheapy blinds I got from Walmart aren’t super strong/well made. I used a heavy material (a drop cloth, actually), and so it’s a little clunky to pull the blind up. But it works, and I’m happy with it. I still plan to create a simple matching pelmet box over where the blind is mounted, which will finish it off nicely, I think.
Now, I’ve just shown you four pictures of the same wall. You know why?
Bam! Here’s the other wall. Thrilling, I know.
Yes, this is a small room. But, a.) I like small rooms for kids because I want to keep the room mostly for sleeping and dressing (and maybe I’m a really mean mom, perhaps?), and b.) This room has THIS:
That, right there, is a walk-in closet in my kids’ room. It goes way back and has a big bank of built-in shelves too. It wasn’t on my radar for what I wanted in a house, but the floor plan we worked from had it already… and why would you argue with that? So because of the big closet it means that beds are all you really need in the bedroom area, which is pretty nice.
This will be the boys’ room (likely), and the look will be sort of “preppy hunting lodge”. (You know, cuz’ THAT’s a thing.) I’m going for a bit of a Ralph Lauren/Tommy Smythe vibe with the decorating.
- I have some very cool art to hang, and I can’t wait to show you soon.
- Some swing-arm sconces (plug in) are slated to go on either side of the window.
- I have an antique dresser (not the one pictured in the mood board above, but rather a much-less-precious one). I’ve painted the dresser a dark green and my dad put in metal drawer slides. I just have to line the drawers and decide whether I’m spray painting the hardware or not, and it should be ready to go.
- I’m going to upholster those headboards (post to follow). I splurged and went with that great navy plaid that I wanted.
- I bought some great grey ticking stripe sheets sets at Target (you can see it on my son’s bed, right), but need to sew a bit more bedding (throw pillow covers and a duvet cover, which is nearly done). I’m also hunting for some good wool blankets, preferably tartan.
- I have some shelves to go up the wall beside the door to hold storybooks (similar to the picture ledges I used in our condo nursery).
- Beyond that it’s all little accessories and organization.
- For this room I don’t have much in the way of long-term plans. It’s a pretty straight-forward little box. And long-term changes will depend on the preferences and needs of the boys living there. I would, however, like to change the light fixture at one point. For now it’s a plain little flush mount. But no rush on that one.
In my goal to establish the kids’ rooms before Baby #3 arrives, I’ve been collecting some bits and pieces along the way. Here are a few of the goodies:
For Little L:
(Please take a moment and appreciate the background carpet and wallpaper in this picture. :) That’s the old house on the farm that we store stuff in.)
I’ve hoped and dreamed of an upholstered French headboard for-EVER. So the fact that this sweet little one came up for sale on UsedRegina right when we were ready for it, for a good price, from the sweetest lady I’ve ever met buying used stuff? Golden. So excited for this beauty. It’ll get a coat of warm white spray paint, and some upholstery.
I’ve already got the fabric I’ll use to upholster the headboard - a pretty floral from Waverly.
And more fabric! The key to the whole room - yellow polka dot for the drapes. L loves polka dots. Also, I love hearing her say “polka dot”. (Or should I say “poh-ta dot”?)
Literally as I wrote the post on art for the kids, I purchased these botanicals off Etsy, from a great little shop called Early Bird Sale. They arrived super fast and are in immaculate condition. I think they’re perfect, and just hope I can find the right frames…
I got this dresser for a steal, and it’s totally the style I was looking for. But to get it for the price I did, I had to commit to buying it before I saw it in person, since the seller brought it in from out of town. Truth be told I’m not sure the drawers are ready for everyday use. I’ll do what I can and get my dad to look at them.
If it does go in L’s room it’ll be painted either a creamy white, or perhaps a paler hue of the sea foamy/minty colour from the headboard fabric. AND I have the sweetest little glass knobs that I bought on clearance from Anthropologie ages ago that will be perfect.
If it doesn’t go in L’s room I have a few other ideas of places throughout the house were it could go as a little bureau/console-type deal. We’ll see. And if it doesn’t go in L’s room I have a crazy idea that I’ll have to mull over for a while… Maybe this spindled etagere?
I’m thinking it could be sweet painted yellow or mint green (or maybe white) with baskets on the lower shelves for folded clothes (the closet in the room is a good size, so I wouldn’t need a ton), and the upper shelves for books and display? It could be super cute. And my little L could totally get her inner stylist going at an early age. OR it could be a major magnet for clutter and knick-knacks and drive me crazy. Plus, I don’t even own this piece. It’s sitting over at the old house, and I’d have to check with Grandma… but it may be an option.
And for the Boys:
This dresser. It’s so good. Sturdy old antique with a lovely wood tone, and just right lines. I’ve already detached the mirror since that makes it too feminine, I think, and because this will sit beneath their window. It needs a bit of polish on the edges, but I’m debating - maybe I should keep the patina, since two little boys are bound to rough it up some more? Hmmm… maybe this dresser won’t last long in their room, now that I think about it… ;)
A CHANGE PAD?
I snagged this large shallow basket from Urban Barn on clearance. I plan on making a little pillow to put inside and I’ll use it atop the dresser for a change pad. Can you see it? No? Trust me. I’m 94% sure it’ll be awesome. ;)
THE BEST NIGHTLIGHT EVER
This globe is something we’ve had for months now, but I don’t think I’ve shared it on the blog. I’ve wanted a globe with a light in it for ages. Mostly because of my warm-fuzzy love of the movie While You Were Sleeping. I had been scouring ebay and Etsy for illuminated globes for a while, but never bought one because I wasn’t down for paying 100+ dollars plus shipping. Finally on a whim I checked UsedRegina, and lo and behold - this perfect one for $15! Wahoo!
It gives the just-right glow to be a nightlight, but can be displayed prominently too.
Also, Little M loves it, and has a remarkable ability to remember the names and locations of countries, which is fun. Though I’ll need to purchase a current map soon so that he’s not learning about Burma and the USSR.
I’ve mentioned this painting before. It’s a vintage paint-by-numbers. I love the colours and I love the kitsch. And it was cheap, which is also what I wanted. It’ll hopefully be a collection of vintage-vibe art in the boys’ room.
And that’s what I’ve got so far! I’m so excited to bring everything all together… One day.
I know some of you are itching for details about the house coming, and even moreso for some interior stuff, but I really want to document the basement.
While the trips to Warman to see our house were so fun, it was the ground breaking that made it real for me. About a month ago they dug our basement and I’ve never been so excited about dirt and cement before.
How many times over the years had I looked out over that field and squinted my eyes to imagine seeing our home there? And now it had finally begun.
My dear husband literally got greyer hair over the course of that week, though. It had been Saskatchewan’s snowiest winter on record. (And when Saskatchewan breaks snowfall records, we’re talking A LOT of snow.) It just kept falling, and falling, and falling, well into the end of April. And it was cold too. There were predictions of flooding of epic proportions. Not exactly what you want to hear when you have a house scheduled to come in mid-June, and need your basement dug stat.
But God knew. And even though the cold winter chill lingered far longer than any of us thought we could bear, beneath it all the snow slowly and efficiently melted into the ground meaning that there was, in fact, no flooding where we lived. The basement could go ahead, but we needed it dug NOW.
Fortunately my father-in-law’s close friend, Roy, owns an excavation company and they were ready to jump in as soon as they could. And Sean’s friend, Matt, works for a basement and foundation company that was able to get to us in a timely manner. (In fact, maybe so timely that the RM and the building permits were playing a bit of catch-up.)
So, like I said, between flood-watch, excavation, building permits, inspections, last-minute revisions of the drawings, mortgage stuff, foundation pouring, utility applications… etc. etc. (all while finishing tax season and beginning seeding) Sean’s hair actually got greyer over the course of a week. Poor guy.
But it happened. God took care of the details. Some key people stepped in and got things done. My smart, capable husband worked things out.
And we got to celebrate.
We thought the excavation would be on the Saturday, but Sean got a call on Tuesday that they could start that day. After working in the morning I whipped up a picnic lunch, rushed to the farm, and we waited and watched for the “digger” to break ground.
It was 27 degrees celsius that day. Super hot for May. But there were still piles of snow left on the ground. Oh, Saskatchewan. A memorable day, indeed.
The excavation was done that day, and when we went out for supper that night with friends, Sean received a call asking if the basement crew could start the next day. Um… yeah!
The basement guys worked really efficiently, and before we knew it we were looking at footings.
We took a lot of walks to go visit our basement.
We couldn’t wait to put all of the pieces together and see our house there.
As I’ve let the design plans for the kids’ rooms simmer in my brain, I’ve been surfing Etsy for art that might work for their rooms. I’ll have to hit up some used book stores and thrift stores before ordering anything online, since much of what I’m looking at is vintage bookplates and posters. I like the vintage route for art since it is affordable, beautiful, unique, and adds so much character.
For L’s room I already have the Month by Month prints from Sarah Jane Studios. I bought the little notecards long before I even had kids because I loved them so much. So I’ll definitely be putting these in her room somewhere.
I also want to play with florals in her room - because where else can you do this with abandon than in a little girl’s room? I often call her “Sweet Pea” so I’ve been on the hunt for vintage seed packets or books or illustrations of sweet peas, like this one:
Or perhaps a botanical print like this one:
And wouldn’t those yellow sweet peas look lovely paired with these little yellow butterflies?
(Both prints from Early Bird Sale)
She also adores animals, and has a particular affinity for puppies (one of her first words) so I’ve been searching out dog breed illustrations like these:
For the boys’ room vintage maps are such an easy go-to for art. They’re interesting, beautiful, educational, and still pretty neutral.
M has some ideas of his own, though. He’d really like some superhero pictures in his room. And though he’s never watched anything Avengers-related, he’s obsessed with them and has a few toys and colouring books with them. I kind of cringe at the thought of something character based being featured, but this minimalistic poster is pretty cool:
Though I’m not sure he’d find that sufficient. Another route I’ve considered is framing vintage comic books. (Though it’s quite the hunt finding one that looks cool, features his favourite characters, yet is without anything scary or any scantily clad women on it! Sheesh.)
One item I’m totally kicking myself over not purchasing is this 1921 Canadian flag. My kids really like flags, and they might find it cool that pre-1960’s our Canadian flag was actually different. This flag is linen, it’s cool, it’s patriotic, it’s historical, it’s beautiful - what a treasure! But I waited, and it sold, and I can’t find anything like it online (for a decent price). Darn. Seriously kicking myself.
This old bookplate is pretty cool, but given its age it’s missing a lot of provinces and actually has the old Saskatchewan flag, which may annoy M or confuse my kids as they learn. So I’m not sold on it. And really I just want that old linen flag.
I obviously won’t be getting all of this, but the hunting sure is fun…. We’ll see what I end up with!
M is already scheming great plans for “when we live on the farm” - riding his bike, getting a dog, driving a dirt bike, buying a horse. Whoa, there, Little Buddy. (I told him no dog until this new Baby’s bigger, dirt bike riding can wait until he’s 5, and a horse when he can pay for it. I’m a bit of a dream crusher some days.) But I love his excitement. My kids are going to embrace farm life completely, and I’m delighted.
One of his favourite things to dream about is our garden. He’s “helped” my parents with their gardens in the past, and he and I have done a few potted plants, but we’ve never had a yard for planting anything. He can’t wait until we can grow our own. He’ll pick up our copy of Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman and we’ll draw up lists of all the fruits and vegetables we’ll grow.
I’ve told him we won’t have a garden this summer. I’ll be super pregnant and trying to set up the house. Also, our yard will likely be a bit of a muddy mess from the basement excavation. And Sean and I aren’t ready yet to sit down and seriously plan out our yard - financially or mentally. I told him we could start our compost, though, and that seems to appease him. (Thank you, Curious George for making my three-year-old stoked about composting.) In the mean time, we’ll just keep dreaming.
Here are a few pictures I’ve collected so far:
(Home of Kathryn Windley, Photograph by Mikkel Vang for Country Living)
If our yard is still a mess next summer, I’ll likely opt for some container gardening to start out. (image from Martha Stewart)
I like the simplicity and symmetry of these raised wooden beds… maybe not that many when we first get started! (And we’ll need some kind of fence to keep dogs or stray cattle, pigs, goats, bunnies, donkeys, ducks, etc. out of the gardens. Seriously. My sisters-in-law could start a veritable petting zoo!) (Home of Neko Case, Photograph by Bjorn Wallander for Country Living)
We’ve gone twice now to visit our house in-process up at Warman Homes. What a cool, strange experience! As I opened a door or walked through a hall I tried to convince myself: I will be doing this thousands more times! This is MY house! Crazy. After years of waiting and dreaming it’s pretty surreal. Little moments of praise to God around every corner.
The first time we went it was just us and the kids.
Little M has pretty much wrapped his brain around the whole idea now (This is our house. This is my room. A big truck is going to move it to the farm. We will live there soon.) And it was really fun to see him get excited.
We visited on a Saturday and there were tools all over the place (duh.) But no workers. M wanted to know: “Where are the workers! Why are they not working on our house!?” Be very afraid of that kid if he’s ever your boss some day. ;)
Little L was also super excited. Maybe she sort of understands. Maybe she was feeding off of our excitement. But mostly it’s just a super great place for hide-and-go-seek.
I loved being there and seeing for myself how light and bright the house was! (After 10 years of living in apartments or basement suites you can never have too much sunshine!)
On the first visit I was thrilled to see some of the light fixtures installed. I had picked them from pictures and descriptions online, and had my fingers crossed that the finishes would look right and the scale would work. I was really happy when I saw them in person. (Obviously that chandelier will be lowered after the house is moved.)
On our second visit a bunch of Sean’s family came with us, which was really fun. By that time our kitchen cabinetry was installed. Seeing our kitchen was definitely a moment of complete disbelief. ”No way is this my kitchen.” I could probably fit all 5 of our first kitchens into that kitchen and pantry area.
That island alone would take up the majority of our condo kitchen. (Kidding. Mostly.)
And most of all, what hit me over these visits is how perfect the timing is. God knew all along. All that waiting and pining for this - and now is the right time. Now, after we know much better what we want and need in a house. Now, when we can share this adventure with our young children. Now, when we’re at this time in our lives and marriage. Now, when we’ve seen His faithfulness and been stretched in our trust, and contentment, and maturity, and perspective about what really matters in life. Now, when we still have so many years of living ahead of us. Now, when we are so overwhelmingly struck with what a massive blessing this is. Now’s the time.
I mentioned awhile ago that I’ve been dreaming of the design schemes for the bedrooms in the new house. For the most part I’m trying to reign myself in when it comes to decorating plans. I know that:
A. You should live in a house first. Let it inspire your direction for colours, furniture placement, etc.
B. “Brand new house.” Unfortunately those words don’t leave piles of extra cash lying around for decorating purchases.
C. Shortly after our move-in we will be welcoming Baby #3. I don’t know about you, but having a newborn eliminates me from productivity at anything for roughly 6 months minimum. (Hint: Expect blogging hiatus.)
But it’s also really hard not to get all excited. And a part of me would really like to establish some “done-ness” in the kids’ rooms over the summer so that it really feels like home for them. (And I discovered that this actually matters to my son, who has lamented how much he misses his old room in the condo the entire time we’ve had our temporary stay at The Pink House.)
So with some consultation (and a few veto decisions on my part. Sorry, kiddos), we’ve come up with the colour directions for their rooms.
I want it to feel like a yellow room without screaming YELLOW! This is hard to do. The trick to success with yellow (and red, in my opinion): no yellow walls, just accents of yellow. Keep the walls neutral. So the yellow polka dot fabric will be the drapes - providing the major sense that the room is yellow. It’s a nice buttery soft yellow, which is hard to find (most yellows I found were a more lemony hue or more golden.) L also asked for “boo and geen” in her room, so the warm aqua blue background on the floral with green, yellow and pink in the flowers is a lovely pairing and provides the vintage feel I want. I’m thinking the floral may end up as a headboard. With two patterns as bold as this being featured in large areas any other fabrics will likely be more neutral - yellow, cream or white solids, or small scale stripes or gingham.
I knew from the start I wanted yellow - it’s sort of my colour for Little L. Her name means “light”, and her disposition is usually so cheerful and humourous that yellow’s always been the colour I associate with her.
Some other gorgeous yellow fabrics I considered (but eliminated, largely due to cost)…
Isn’t this one so incredibly beautiful, yet understated? I’m still tempted to use it somewhere else in the house, but at $30/yard I’m not sure I can do it.
I knew I wanted a floral and that I wanted yellow. So this one also tempted me.
I reeeally love this large scale floral. It has the prettiness of a floral, but a not-too-girly colour scheme. And it pairs well with the polka dot. But it was $10 more than the floral I chose and had a more limited palette to work with.
For the Boy room M and I were in definite agreement that the main colour would be his favourite, “dark blue”. Navy is my go-to colour, and is a colour I’ve always associated with M. (OK. I realize I sound crazy colour coding my children. It’s how my brain works. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?!) But we aren’t exactly in agreement on the accent colour. He also loves orange, but I felt it would turn the room too modern, and good orange fabrics are hard to find. He also offered red for consideration - which I’m still open to - but didn’t want the room to turn too nautical (which I feel red might do). My sister-in-law recently decorated my sweet little nephew’s room with a nautical feel and I LOVE it (I’d love to show you some time), so I don’t want to be too copycat. Plus I’m really liking the way this deep spruce green looks in the mix. And I may or may not have already decided that green is the next baby’s favourite colour. ;)
M loves plaid (I find it so funny that a 3.5 year old has a favourite pattern) and I want a mix of fairly low key (not too graphic) patterns - stripes, plaids, herringbone, etc. Sort of what you’d see with mens’ suits. That navy ticking will likely be the roman shade and I would love to see that navy and white plaid on a headboard. We’ll see.
So that’s where I’m headed! Whaddya’ think? Anyone else colour-code their children? Man, that makes me sound super type-A and controlling. Really, I’m not. I’m not! At least 57% of the time. ;)
(Photograph from BHG.com)
I’m holding back quite a bit on the decorating plan for the house. Though I have some specific ideas of what I want the rooms to look like, I’m working on the foundational layers of the building process first, and won’t make any major decorating moves (or purchases or projects) until after we’ve moved into the house.
But the other day my dear little boy lamented to me once again that he missed our condo. He has an impeccable memory for a three-year-old, and can be really sweet and sentimental. But I was surprised that he still felt that way. I asked him, specifically, what he missed. ”My room” he said, “I like the way my room was.”
Since we’ve been in the Pink House (the house owned by our church) I haven’t done a lot with their room. There’s a big clunky double bed in there, and an old wooden rocking chair. Plus we jammed in the change table/dresser and the crib. I did hang a few pictures on 3M command hooks, and did hang the drapes from their old room, but it still feels pretty dreary. And certainly not like home for him.
And so, with my heart strings pulled, the kids’ room made it to the top of my priority list for decorating. How wonderful it would be for that room to feel finished and homey right away when we settle in! So I’ve been pinning away and looking for the inspiration I need for their room. They’ll share a room again (though some of the adorable girls’ rooms I’ve come across have me rethinking that slightly…) and I definitely want matching twin beds. I’d love old brass beds, or painted wooden beds, but my second-hand hunting has not been fruitful as of yet, so we may end up with cheap IKEA beds and DIY upholstered headboards.
You can see some themes running through my pictures: pale neutral walls, with lots of room for displaying the colourful things kids love (books, toys, momentos). A definite vintage vibe. A sort of raw, natural feel. Eclectic art.
Speaking of eclectic art, I just found this cool vintage paint-by-numbers painting on Kijiji… I may just have to pick that one up!
A new frame and this could be a great jumping-off point for the room.
I’m getting excited - kids’ rooms are my favourite to decorate! Let the dreaming begin…
I love Easter. To me, I think creating our own Easter traditions with my children may be more important than Christmas traditions. Part of it is a faith thing, for sure. I want the message of Easter to resonate in my children’s hearts. I want them to rejoice at the arrival of King Jesus in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. I want them to feel the sorrow of the cross on Good Friday. I want them to marvel and delight in the power of the Great Overcomer on Easter Sunday, and praise our risen Lord! But I also just love the celebration of Spring, new life, and the end of Winter that Easter brings too. There are many things I’d love to do with my kids to celebrate Easter in the years to come, but I don’t want to “wait until they’re older” either.
Little M and I have been reading in his storybook Bible the stories of Easter week, and learning a couple new songs. And this week we decorated eggs. There is no way that this could not be a gong show with a toddler. (Unless maybe you have girls. I don’t know.)
I considered draining the raw egg from the shells so the the eggs wouldn’t be wasted, but knew they’d be too fragile to be handled. So I hard boiled them. You can’t really see it in the picture, but those things are shattered and cracked and pretty gross.
Last year, when he was one, we just dyed them. This year I wanted something easy to make them more interesting so we used mini rubber bands to create some criss-crossed lines.
They turned out pretty well, and Little M was SO excited. He wants to make more. And we just may, considering I had to throw these out today during his nap because he’s manhandled them so many times. Ah well. Good Easter memories made.
Sometimes in icy cold mornings, when we stay in our p.j.’s and Baby L naps nicely, Little M and I pull out the pencil crayons. (Side note: it makes me proud when I ask what he wants to draw with and he says he wants white paper and pencil crayons…)
I usually end up taking requests as to what to draw (and usually end up sketching basketballs, triangles, and Buzz Lightyear). But one morning he was content to work on his own, and I was free to create whatever I liked.
I’ve been working on a gallery wall in the master bedroom and there was one larger area to fill. I needed a gap filler for the spot. I wanted to make something colourful and a bit more fun to juxtapose against some of the other art nearby.
I decided to do a geometric, deconstructed zig-zag look (inspired by this AMAZING Etsy artist, whose art I still want to purchase). I felt like I was in grade 3 art class again. It’s very relaxing to have no rules sometimes when you draw.
And I love the way its modern, playful vibe plays against the vintage portrait of the Royals I bought on UsdRegina a while back. Pretty good for a gap-filler.