adios, bed-sharing.

as you might recall, I became a big, vocal supporter of bed-sharing (or cosleeping) when L was just two months old {read more about that here}. it was so much easier for me, as a breastfeeding mama who believed (and i still do!) wholeheartedly in nursing on demand, to have L right in bed with me during the night. i woke more rested, as did L, and i grew more and more confident in my approach to mothering with each night of close snuggles and relaxed nursing. the closeness was intoxicating and beneficial for our bond as mother and son – i feel that in my bones.

Mama-L-Cosleeping

while i enjoyed my endless snuggles with L each and every night, Jord certainly took the brunt of the difficulties of a family bed; while i was the recipient of endless snuggles and closeness with our boy, Jord was always the one who was kicked, shoved to the edge of the bed, and alienated from both his wife and his son during the night. in short, while Jord understood and supported the benefits of cosleeping while i was nursing on demand, he had (very valid) concerns and objections.

thus, Jord and i have always had an ongoing dialogue about the benefits and struggles of bed-sharing as L has grown over the past nearly two (!!) years. at times, we have even made various attempts to transition L to his crib, using various tactics like cry-it-out, waiting for him to fall asleep in my arms and then laying him in the crib, utilizing a bedtime routine religiously, rocking him to sleep, and more. while our attempts to transition L into his crib worked with moderate success each time, no matter the time or the approach, moving L out of our bed always ended in failure.

Mama-L-Cosleeping

now that i have some distance from the last time we attempted a transition (it’s been since the holidays), i can look back without a lot of self-judgment and think: why did our plans to move L to his crib continuously fail? here’s my answer (albeit difficult to swallow): quite frankly, i was never quite ready to stop cosleeping, so at the earliest sign of struggle, i’d relent and bring L back into my arms at night.

until now, that is. L has officially been sleeping in “Lionel’s bed” since march 28 with resounding success.

L-Crib

so, what gives? why is the transition working now?

as L has grown bigger and longer over the past three months in particular, i have slowly grown more and more comfortable with the idea of L sleeping alone. he grew big enough to require his own pillow in our bed, which was a wake-up call for me; the crook of my elbow was no longer comfortable for him or for me. and, eventually, as he weaned from nursing and as he grew even more, he began to pull away a bit from his reliance on Mama to fall asleep. in turn, he developed an attachment to comfort items like his Sesame Street pillow, his green stuffed monkey named Gus, and his blanket.

while this was difficult for me at first, i began to understand his new-found attachment to items like Gus the monkey was just another sign of his independence, which had permeated every single part of his daily life and his daily activities since he took off walking – our boy has always been very independent. his trust in his own way of doing things was finally taking root in his sleeping habits, too. this made me feel proud, and helped me to feel, again, like we were doing something right with this whole family bed thing, because we waited until he was ready to transition out of our bed.

L-Baby-Crib

to put it more simply: i am convinced that waiting until L was ready to be on his own is what made me ready, too.

i feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to cosleep with L for so long, and to have a husband who, despite his extremely valid concerns for his own capacity for restful sleep, was consistently supportive of my need to be close to our child, both while nursing and after i started my “big-girl job.”

fast-forward to today: after just a short period of time, L’s transition has been quite painless. sure, we have had a few setbacks, particularly a spring storm that stirred up some loud and quite robust winds, but nothing can take away L’s pride in himself when he wakes up in the morning and says “Lionel’s bed!” as we pick him up out of his crib.

L-Park

one last thing: would i do it all again? knowing all i do, would i cosleep with L, or a future child, again? in my heart, i know the answer is yes, because for me, the benefits far outweighed the struggles. Jord might have a different answer, however, so i anticipate more and more discussions, should we ever find ourselves in that situation again. :)

have you ever coslept or bed-shared with your children? do you think you will? why or why not? did you have a difficult transition from a family bed to a crib/bed?

pssst: earlier in march, our family watched our nephew, Jaxsen, who is four months older than L, for a few days. Jaxsen is a devoted crib sleeper and goes to bed without a fuss, so we’re wondering if watching Jaxsen go to bed “like a big boy” (which is how we phrased it) influenced L to make his own transition. do you think there’s any truth to this idea?

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While momma’s away, the boys will play

In reviewing these videos, I’ve figured out that I’m using my new phone wrong for video. I’m such a noob.

So after I got off work, I went to L’s daycare to participate in family literacy night. The tots picked a book based on a bunch of fish that eat each other until the last one burps them all back up. The song which was playing the whole night its now in my head. However, I don’t know the fish book name or the lyrics. Anyway lets see some videos!

Playing with jello…Fish were stuck in the jello…

We did some fishing…

We painted as well…

Prepping for breakfast this morning…

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{checking in} #simplify2014: #powersheets – march/april report.

{click here to catch up on my journey using Lara Casey’s #powersheets: part I, part II, part III}

well, guys, i sort of sucked at this whole #powersheets thing in march/april. life certainly got in the way, and not the icky stuff of life, but the fun stuff. i laughed more with L this month than i have since i started work. i took more time this round with my husband to be alone, to be “us,” in a long, long time. and i definitely got some home improvement projects done, namely our master bedroom, which is coming along so nicely!

#lovehard #simplify2014

as a reminder, here are my five main goals for the year, based on my motto for 2014, #lovehard:

  1. i will #lovehard on L this year. i will work together with Jord to raise L into a joyful, polite, kind, and loving child that respects others and delights in making others happy.
  2. i will #lovehard on myself this year. i will take (and make) time to paint my toes, shower and style my hair, and do other acts of self-care. i will also invest in “me time” by prioritizing my writing this year, especially by attending Write: Doe Bay in April.
  3. i will #lovehard on my marriage in 2014. i will work hard to find fulfilling and new ways to show Jord my authentic love for him. i will work together with Jord to prioritize and budget for date nights and alone time with Jord.
  4. i will #lovehard on my family, friends and colleagues this year. i will give thanks for them and forgive their mistakes, their shortcomings and their judgments. i will show them God’s love and forgiveness through me and my actions.
  5. lastly, i will #lovehard on my relationship with God this year. i will strive to feel closer to and to foster a deeper relationship with God, as well as develop a deeper appreciation for the God who is masterful, who is loving, and who saves.

and here are the mini-goals (goals that support these larger goals above) that i took on for march/april:

  • repaint or refinish L’s big boy bed. we’re lucky enough to have inherited a twin-sized wooden bed from my mother’s childhood to use for L’s very first big boy bed. the wooden bed has been stained a medium brown color, and i’d like to investigate PolyShades (a product that John and Sherry of YHL recently used on their kitchen cabinets) to darken the stain up a bit.
  • have girl time with my best friend, Robin. i really want to steal away for an afternoon or evening and have some fun with my girl!
  • take four date nights with Jord. admittedly, this one is going to be my most difficult goal of this five weeks – not because i don’t want to spend time with Jord, but because home girl loves her weekends at home, not out and about! i am committed to trying my best, however, so that we can have some alone time and invest in our marriage.
  • work on forgiveness this month with one person in my life. this is sort of a personal goal or journey for me, so i won’t be sharing too much about it, but i am working hard this year to let go of long-held grudges and any residual anger or frustration over the mistakes of others, and i will be taking time this month to work on forgiveness and letting go.
  • finally, i want to again go to church at least twice this round, and i want to read the devotional book that i found last month, Richard Swenson’s Margin.

so, how’d i do?

  • repaint or refinish L’s big boy bed. nope, didn’t do this.
  • have girl time with my best friend, Robin. yup, did this – and we also had some girl time last night as well! we attended a production of Beauty & The Beast at a local theater :)
  • take four dates night with Jord. we took three!
  • work on forgiveness this month with one person in my life. i actually did quite well with this one – i said all that i needed to say, and i’ve been feeling much more positive and less burdened and bogged down, which is the best part!
  • go to church at least twice. we went once!
  • read Richard Swenson’s Margin, a devotional book. nope, i totally didn’t get this done. but i do have a plane ride ahead of me this week, as i head to Write: Doe Bay, so here’s to hoping that i can finish it up!

i’ll be back next week to share my goals for april/may!

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warby parker’s new collection.

as some of you may recall, i purchased a pair of frames from Warby Parker awhile ago, as seen in this photo from our family photo session with Larissa Lynn Photography (my sister-in-law’s business!):

Mama-L-November-2013

since then, i’ve been LOVING my frames – they are super cute {i love the vintage look}, and they are extremely durable, which, needless to say, is super important when little L is toddling about.

so today, i’m pleased to tell you about Warby Parker’s newest frames that are available for purchase, as a result of a collaboration with an awesome organization, Architecture for Humanity.

AFH + Warby Parker

here’s the gist of what A for H tries to do for communities: “For over 15 years, Architecture for Humanity has improved the livelihood of individuals and communities around the world through a global network of professionals who provide quality design and management services where these resources may otherwise be overlooked or out of reach.” in other words, Architecture for Humanity is doing important work for individuals and communities globally by providing resources to those in need. {to read more about A for H, click here!}

what’s really cool is that Warby Parker, who already donates a pair of glasses to a person in need with each Warby Parker frames purchase, is partnering with Architecture for Humanity on this collection, which means this: not only are your cool new Warby Parker frames providing a pair of glasses to someone out there who really needs them, but a portion of the proceeds also goes toward A for H’s great, important work worldwide, which is really important to us here at Our Family Roost. we love to make purchases that pay it forward in some way, and this is one way to do it that also benefits you, by giving you a gorgeous, streamlined, visually appealing set of frames to rock around town.

Warby Parker’s new two-some of frames include the Aslin and the Fowler, which retail for $145 – a steal!

first up: the Aslin, which comes in English Oak and Oak Barrel finishes for both men and women:

aslin-optical-english-oak-top

aslin-optical-oak-barrel-top

 

next up is the Fowler in Jet Silver finish, a killer vintage sunglasses look {also for both men and women} that i’d love to get my hands on:

fowler-optical-jet-silver-top

to purchase these frames, or to peruse their other chic (and cost-effective!) options, click over to Warby Parker’s eyeglasses and sunglasses page.

{this post was written and published at Warby Parker’s request; i was not compensated for this post in any way. all opinions are my own.}

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{master bedroom} a tour – phase I: halfway point.

hey hey: if you’ve missed any of our progress on the master bedroom, click here to view the layout of our room, check out the mood board for decorating our space, our reveal of our freshly painted walls, some fun accessories and paint updates, and how we’re approaching updates in our master bedroom.

personally, i wanted our master bedroom space to feel intentional in its design and to feel exuberant and vibrant in our use of moody indigo on the walls and fun pops of color elsewhere. and, like i said in my last post, we’re quite smitten with our space, despite the fact that phase I is not quite complete – we still have large-scale art, DIY rustic shelves, a chandelier and sconces to add.

but, i can’t wait any longer. so, today: a reveal.

here’s a shot of our seating area, complete with a yellow wooden chair (a $20 antique find), a grey throw (a handmade gift), a graphic navy and white pillow (a $7 find from Target), and a basket (mentioned here) turned end table (also from Target):

Master-Bedroom-Seating

Master-Bedroom-Seating

we love the lightness of the curtains (the Matilda line from IKEA, purchased way, way back when we were first married – they’ve held up so beautifully!) and the bronze, metallic sheen of the curtain rod (an Amazon find).

Master-Bedroom-Curtains-Wall

here’s a look at our dresser, which is from IKEA’s Hemnes line. we love the stability of the six-drawer Hemnes dresser, but i’ve long been coveting this beauty instead. and, exciting news: we are planning an IKEA trip to make this dresser ours very soon!

Master-Bedroom-Six-Drawer-Dresser

i love the addition of a tray (a clearance Target find) for my jewelry – i love feeling like every day, i can “shop” my jewelry and accessories. the pink jug (Target) is full of wine corks – we love a good red wine – and is also the perfect support for my costume jewelry necklaces. the glass “water” jug is also a clearance Target find that’s been spot-hopping around our house – first it was in the lower level family room, then it made its debut in our upstairs living area, and now it’s found a home in our master bedroom. the canvas says “i love you to the moon and back” and is a Hobby Lobby find.

Master-Bedroom-Dresser-Close-Up

here’s a look at the (fabulous!) gold bedside table (mentioned here; another Target purchase):

Master-Bedroom-Bedside-Table

Master-Bedroom-Bedside-Table

the lamp (also from Target’s Nate Berkus line – yes, i’m addicted to the bullseye) is in here temporarily until we install sconces. the elephant is a clearance Target find, and the clock is from World Market a few years ago.

and now…the bed (also from IKEA’s Hemnes line). the bed is my favorite part of room, mostly because i’m IN LOVE with our new linens:

Master-Bedroom-Bed

Master-Bedroom-Bed

after much searching, the shams (on clearance at $14.98 per sham! that’s insanely reasonable for shams – i’ve been on the hunt for what seems like forever) and the duvet cover came from West Elm. after this experience, i feel confident in saying that i’ll definitely be purchasing many more things from West Elm in the future – i loved everything that i received, and i love how soft and understated these linens look (and feel!) on our bed. they (almost) make me forget that i want to (eventually) replace our Hemnes bed with something lighter in color and softer in shape.

specifically, we chose the organic ikat ogee shams in blue sage and the jacquard leaf duvet in light pool from West Elm. the yellow throw pillows are from Hobby Lobby ($6 each on clearance!), and the taupe and white embellished pillow was a $15 Target purchase. the crocheted taupe blanket is a handmade gift from my sweet grandma!

one thing about the duvet: at $119, it wasn’t exactly cheap, but we needed something that would last us a good long while, and every duvet that we’ve purchased on the cheap, prior to this one (which have come mostly from IKEA and Overstock.com) has certainly shown its wear after just a few turns in the washer and dryer, which is, i’m sure you know, the last thing that a person wants when they’ve shelled out some sheckles for a new duvet. so far, we’re elated with the quality of this duvet cover, but we’ll keep you posted!

Master-Bedroom-Close-Up-Duvet

also: the taupe pillowcases are a temporary fix for now, at least until i am able to make some minor adjustments to them {to add some flair}, or until i track down some replacements that make my heart sing.

what kind of changes are you making around the house? do you tackle redecorating in phases, or do you jump in, head first?

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{master bedroom} dividing up the action steps.

hey hey: if you’ve missed any of our progress on the master bedroom, click here to view the layout of our room, check out the mood board for decorating our space, our reveal of our freshly painted walls, and some fun accessories and paint updates.

even though our listy mclisterson (which i really need to update – uffda!) just offers a big list of projects that we’d like to eventually complete in our home, many of our rooms have “phase I” and “phase II” updates planned. our master bedroom is no different, so i figured i would update all of you on the way we’re approaching our master bedroom updates.

phase I updates include mostly cosmetic changes, including paint, linens and accessories. we’ve completed many of the items on this list – in fact, i am about 2/3 of the way complete with the DIY sunburst mirror project, which i can’t wait to share once it’s complete!

phase one

- paint (indigo)

- accent/repaint tray ceiling

- add end table

- hang curtain rod and curtains

- add seating area in front of the window

- style nightstand and dresser

- purchase new duvet cover, shams, accent pillows

- DIY a sunburst mirror using wood shims (like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321157021981/)

- add large-scale art above the dresser (a Sharon Montrose animal print? like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321156454181/)

- build, hang and style Restoration Hardware imitation shelves near doorway (like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321156969864/)

- remove and Craigslist the ceiling fan; add a chandelier (like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/272749321155456934/)

- add sconces flanking the bed (like these: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321157132994/)

the next phase of our redecorating adventures involves more grand-scale updates, such as DIYing a new bed, purchasing a new dresser and DIYing a tufted, upholstered headboard. phase I allows us to make smaller updates to make our room feel more like “us” in the meantime while we save up our pennies for phase II.

phase two

- sell IKEA Hemnes bed, dresser and nightstand (to my brother!)

- DIY a bed (like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321157184166/)

- DIY a tufted, upholstered headboard (like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272749321156449440/)

- paint interior of closet a fun color (wine? emerald?) or add wallpaper/DIY a stenciled paint treatment

- add a closet organizational system?

we’re hoping to tackle phase II within the next year or two, once we amass a few more pennies. but, in the meantime, be on the look-out for some photos of our master bedroom (as it’s currently looking)! spoiler alert: we’re already quite smitten with the room.

what home improvements are you saving up for? how do you approach updating or redecorating your home?

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So that’s done, what’s next?

{Read Part I and Part II of this series!}

The build is completely done, and I am quite proud. It’s a great machine; it does everything I wanted it to do. Even still, I did learn a few things.

Two things I skimped on when building the system were the case and the power supply. I wasn’t interested in a spaceship-looking case that I could show off to all of my friends because it was so tricked out, so I just bought one that would house everything.

It certainly does that, but what I didn’t consider is that the inside of the case matters too, and this case was a bit hard to get a few pieces into. It also doesn’t take a ton of consideration for easy cable management. It’s not a huge deal, especially if you don’t mind the cords being tough to hide, or a couple spots of weird cord placement.. I paid $30 for mine, but if I could get what I wanted for $50-$60, I’d do it. But in some postmortem research, I’ve found that the case I’d want is probably closer to the $100-$120 range, and I’m okay saving $70+ and having to deal with cords every six months when I open it up.

Secondly, and this might be the spot I could have made a better decision: the power supply. The whole time, my only consideration was that the supply had a low fail rate (meaning that the power supply likely won’t fail in a matter of months and thus need to be replaced) and had enough power. I had no idea what the difference was between a power supply that was modular, semi-modular or not modular. Well, that difference is that my power supply has all the cords you could possibly need built in, whereas semi-modular power supplies remove some of the cords so you can just plug it in. Fully modular means that you can choose which cords you want plugged in and eliminate more than half of them.

This probably wouldn’t have cost me a whole lot more and would clean up my mess. I can’t really go back now, but when/if my power supply dies, I will be going with a fully modular power supply just for the sake of sanity.

Finally, what I need going forward: while ultimately, I don’t need anything going forward, as this machine should handle my needs for the next two or three years without anything at all, I can (and probably will) upgrade various pieces fairly easily.

My current list:

  1. Mechanical Keyboard – It’s the best keyboard you can buy, it feels amazing, and they make quiet ones.
  2. Professional Microphone – I enjoy podcasting and streaming myself playing video games; therefore, a real microphone would really increase the quality and production of my stuff.
  3. More Ram – At some point, I’ll double the Ram in my computer, but not yet.
  4. Back-up hard drive – Backups are good, and they’re even better when they’re automatic. I’d like to stick a hard drive in my box that just runs back-ups.
  5. New monitors – I have two hand-me-down monitors, which are quite nice. However, full HD ones that are the same size would be awesome, and probably a money-saver in power consumption.

Ultimately I’m super duper happy, very thankful that my wife put up with it, and I look forward to using my super system for years to come! Feel free to get in touch with me if you have specific questions about my build.

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master bedroom happenings: gold + more gold {and a little paint}

when we last left off on what’s happening in our master bedroom, we had just painted the walls a deep indigo color (which, let me say, we are LOVING – its moody color keeps our room darker so much longer in the morning!):

Master-Bedroom-Indigo

Master-Bedroom-Indigo

and, as i mentioned before when i presented the mood board for our master bedroom, i’m planning to bring in a collection of metallic items to bring some sheen to the room:

Mood-Pinterest-Board-Master-Bedroom

well, since i shared this mood board, a few items have hopped into my cart at Target (AKA my “happy” place). take a look!

first up: Target’s paint dipped basket, at $20.99, which i currently have turned upside down (!) and am using as a tiny table:

Target-Basket

the other item is not as new – in fact, i mentioned it back in this post of yore – but i’m so excited about it: this rocking iron wire side table in, you guessed it, GOLD, that i got for a steal at $39.99 at Target semi-recently:

Target-End-Table

i’m also in the process of DIYing a sunburst mirror from wood shims, using this awesome tutorial from Katie at Bower Power – hoping to share the fruits of that effort soon!

the last part of today’s update on the master bedroom involves paint…but not on the walls!

after painting the walls such a dark and moody color, i quickly realized that i wasn’t too crazy about the stark white color of the tray ceiling. so, after much debate with a lovely lady at our favorite local paint store, i’ve selected a slightly more warm color to bring up to the ceiling: Benjamin Moore’s Lacey Pearl. take a look:

Lacey-Pearl

of course, how this color shows up on your computer screen may differ a lot from the actual hue, but Lacey Pearl has been called “the world’s palest neutral grey.” it’s a step above one of my most favorite colors, BM’s Abalone, in the paint deck. {oh! speaking of paint decks, i totally bought my very first paint deck the other day, full of Benjamin Moore colors – it’s crazy how buying a paint deck can make you feel like such a grown-up!}

here’s a taste of what our refreshed ceiling looks like (and before you say it, i promise – it looks like a bigger difference in person!):

Master-Bedroom-Ceiling-Paint

now that the ceiling is painted, i can’t wait to bring in a new light fixture – maybe in May? i’ve been eyeing this one forever and ever – it’s from Young House Love’s line at Shades of Light.

also, after painting the ceiling, we also moved around the furniture in the bedroom, brought in a new (to us – it’s an antique!) chair and accessories galore, all of which i’m so excited to show you soon soon soon – stay tuned!

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Okay I built it, who’s coming?

{To read Part I of this series, click here.}

I learned how to build this PC by looking at videos online. If you search “New Egg Computer Build,” there’s a three-part series on how to build a machine. Watching and listening to this tutorial was a huge help in just seeing something done. However, the instruction book (THEY STILL EXIST!) from the mother board that I bought was also very detailed and helpful.

First things first: I unpacked my boxes to see what was inside, and I made sure I had all of my parts.

boxes

Second step was to open each individual box, read through the various instructions and lay out the parts on a flat surface.

case

From there, I built the computer outside of the box by basically plugging all the necessary pieces into the puzzle to test that it worked. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of this step, but the reason for doing this, is that mounting everything in the case is a huge pain in the rear, and you want to make sure everything works before you go down that road.

On the first go, I didn’t have one piece plugged in completely, so I had a scare right off the bat, but after doing it right, everything was aces!

From there you start taking your case apart, sticking different parts in there and threading the cord mess through the entire machine. This mess is quite hard to deal with, and now I understand a few things about cord management.

Here’s the not so finished product:

power on

Everything is in, everything is happy and everything works. I’m not done with cable management because I’m one cable short. I didn’t realize that my motherboard would only come with two cables, and I needed three. So for now, my CD/DVD player is not plugged in, because I have two hard drives.

The build is as follows:

8-core 4.0 Ghtz Processor (zoom x8!)
8 GB DDR3 1600 Ram
120 GB Solid State Drive (zoom!)
1 TB 7200 rpm harddrive (stuff holder!)
2 GB Geforce 760 Video Card (pretty!)
600 Watts of Power
Standard Case
Standard DVD/CD
Windows 8.1

I’m very happy with this build. So far, in just a week or two of use, I’ve been able to do EVERYTHING I’ve wanted to do, without sacrificing a dang thing. It’s such a fast machine – it’s really hard to explain.

close up

In my final post, I’ll discuss the things I would consider doing differently, things I can see myself upgrading, and other thoughts and considerations. Stick around for more!

nook

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mood {Pinterest} board: focal wall – L’s room

i’m a big fan of focal walls in kiddo rooms, especially when they look like this:

Kiddo-Rooms-Focal-Walls

focal walls can totally add some visual interest to a relatively blank (architecturally speaking) room. in this case, said architecturally blank space = little L’s room. so, i’ve started a new board on Pinterest devoted to all this focal walls!

as a reminder, here’s what L’s room looks like now:

L's-Room-Updated

i’d love to add some visual interest in the form of a focal wall to the wall that L’s gradient dresser is currently on; here’s a closer look at that wall:

Robbie-Jr-The-Rhino

DIY-Gradient-Dresser

wouldn’t something like the fun vinyl triangles or the sponge-painted triangles be stellar to add a little whimsy and architectural interest in his room? i love how imperfect both of these focal wall treatments can be, which is important for this busy mama!

what are your thoughts on focal walls? i tend to like them less when it’s just a different color of paint on one wall in a room – i like to add a bit of geometric or whimsical interest instead!

 

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