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{mood board} boys’ playroom + reading nook.

when we last discussed our family room, we revealed our most dramatic change in this space to date: a fresh coat of paint. if you missed it, take a look below {the paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Woodland White}:


in short, we looooooooove how much brighter and more open this space feels now that the dark, dark walls are gone-zo. and, we can’t wait to add a few more things to this level of our home to continue to reflect what we love to do as a family and how we need our home to work for us.

after living with the space since we purchased our home in august 2013, one of the big priorities on this level of our home became creating a dedicated space in which the boys can just be boys and play their hearts out. namely, we needed this space to house a few big toy items, including L’s play kitchen {which we gave to him for his first birthday}, a kid-size table + chairs {which you can see in the picture above}, a few sports-related toys, such as the Little Tikes basketball hoop pictured above, which lives inside our home during the long {LONG} winter months, and the Thomas the Train table that the boys’ uncle so generously gifted the boys for Christmas. we also have a car rug that L likes to vroom his cars on and a few other miscellaneous items that we needed more space to house that our upstairs living room allows. so, the idea of a playroom area was born.

but, since L is such a voracious reader {like his English-teacher Mama}, we knew that we also needed a space where we could cuddle up as a family and read a book {L’s current favorites are Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and a Mickey Mouse “i-spy” type of book}. and after seeing many an adorable kids’ reading nook on Pinterest, including this one, which is from Lay Baby Lay, i was convinced: our playroom needed a reading nook, too.

since we want this space to be multi-functional {and since it is so large and open}, we want the play space to reflect our boys’ changing interests yet still fit in with our overall aesthetic preferences when it comes to home decor. so, to this end, i’ve created a little mood board to illustrate our hopes and plans for the space:


a few details:

* we’re SO delighted that Tiny Prints agreed to collaborate with us on personalizing reading nook space for our sweet boys! {click here to see our boys’ shared bedroom, on which Tiny Prints also collaborated with us!} specifically, i customized three of Tiny Prints’ personalized pillows for the boys’ reading nook to cozy up that space and provide a bit of whimsy. they arrived last week, and they are perfect – i can’t wait to show you the finished reading nook space soon!

* like many of you, i’m totally inspired by Pinterest, and i found the idea of painting a little “house” on the wall from here. i’m still trying to narrow down a paint color for this treatment – i want to do something bright and fun! – but i can’t wait to tackle this charming {and inexpensive – it can be done with just a bit of paint!} project.

* my Mom gave us an {adorable!} white kids’ bench that was originally part of a kids’ store installation but was no longer needed. i want to customize this piece with some rope detailing on the legs of the bench to give it a bit of a rustic touch. a little hot glue should do the trick!

* i’m on the hunt for a large {i’m envisioning an 8′ x 10′ size} area rug to help to ground and bring some color to the playroom + reading nook space. much like Katie over at Bower Power, i want something durable yet comfortable for little knees. while we’re still saving up our pennies and trying to track down just the right rug, lately i’m LOVING this from Rugs USA.

* when we were still renting, we purchased a television stand from Target {it’s no longer sold, but it’s similar to this one in black}. it’s made of wood and is still in great shape, but when we purchased a larger television on Black Friday in 2013, we needed a bigger piece to hold the television, so this piece has been in storage for awhile, awaiting a new use. then, when Q was born, we quickly realized the need for a diaper-changing center on the lower level of our home {in addition to the one in our master bedroom upstairs}. thus, this great piece of furniture is getting a new life! it’s the perfect height for a changing table, and the drawer is divided into three sections, which make it ideal for holding two different sizes of diapers {one for L and one for Q} and wipes, as well as a few burp cloths and swaddle blankets. plus, the glass-door storage underneath is perfect for additional book and toy storage! we’ve had this piece out in the playroom space for approximately three months now, and so far, L’s been very kind when opening and shutting the glass doors to access toys and books, but we’ll keep you posted.

* i framed a few of these fantastic Penguin book cover postcards that i received for Christmas – i was inspired by this project from Design Mom!

* i purchased a dreamcatcher for the boys on my return visit to Write: Doe Bay {recap coming!} from this fantastic lady; for your very own dreamcatcher, contact her here!

be sure to stick around – i’m on spring break from my teaching job this week {yes, i returned to work – maternity leave is over! more on that later…}, so i hope to get a few of these projects accomplished!

{mood board} a haven for baby in our bedroom.

as i mentioned here, Baby Boy will be spending the first part of his life in our master bedroom, for a variety of reasons, the main one being that we don’t want to disturb L’s sleeping patterns {we’ll try as hard as possible to avoid doing so, anyway}. i also will be breastfeeding {click here and here to read more about my experience nursing L}, so having Baby Boy close by during the night will certainly ease that process. while we bed-shared with L, we wanted to try to avoid doing that this time, since our bed is SO much more comfortable with just two of us in it {a well-rested parent = nirvana}.

so, with all of that in mind, i started planning a little “haven” in our master bedroom for Baby Boy. after my mom gifted us a Moses basket and stand, the design process became much more clear. here’s a taste of the little space that we’re hoping to create for Baby Boy in the next seven-and-a-half {!!} weeks:


Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

1. This adorable snail pillow is already in my possession, and I chose a kelly green color with a natural background – it’s so adorable! i’ve ordered twice from this shop, and all of my goodies have been delightful!

2. This photo, as well as item no. 6 at the bottom of the inspiration board, are the first images that i came across when looking for a “haven” in Mama and Daddy’s room. i love how different they are, and i love how each of the spaces are full of personality, which, to me, is what a baby/kiddo space should be!

3. i mentioned here that i had finally decided on a piece of movable, non-permanent storage for baby items in our room. without further ado, i’d like to introduce…the IKEA Raskog! many a blogger are professed fans of this utility cart {just one Pinterest search will reveal this}, and i can’t wait to put this puppy to use in our bedroom. picture it full of adorable cloth diapers {more on that in a little bit} and other baby necessities!

4. i originally purchased this rug for the boys’ shared bedroom, but after arranging the furniture in their room, i didn’t feel as though it would pack as much punch in their small space. so, to our bedroom it goes! i can’t wait to see it paired up with our bedding and the moody indigo color of our walls!

5. this fabric is not pink. I REPEAT: THIS FABRIC IS NOT PINK. it’s actually a white fabric base with ivory arrow head pattern on top, and this is what Baby Boy’s bedding for the Moses basket will be made of. my Mom is sewing a liner and a few sheets for the basket, and she’s also sewing a changing pad cover out of this fabric. i chose this because it’s neutral {meaning that it fits with our decor in our master bedroom – i didn’t want anything that would compete with the patterns that we already have going on in the room} and because it’s geometric, but subtle, which is a look that i’m really, really digging lately.

6. as i said above when discussing photo no. 2, i love, love, LOVE the personal touches of this little baby nook! i hope to echo some of that in our baby’s haven as well.

7. i couldn’t resist showcasing a picture of a Fuzzibunz cloth diaper, of which we have many in our stash. we hope to add some BumGenius cloth diapers to our collection as well in the near future, but aren’t these so adorable?! we loved them with L until he was about 18 months old {then he became a heavy wetter}, so we’re hoping that they work for Baby Boy for quite some time, too.

8. like the photo above, the Moses basket that my Mom gave to us is natural in color, and she is repainting the stand white {specifically in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, my favorite white/cream}. the baby’s bedding will not be elephant-themed, as shown in the photo, but will feature the fabric pictured above {see no. 5}. again, i promise: the fabric is NOT pink – the picture is misleading!

*one feature of the nook that isn’t pictured is an adorable canvas sign {which hails from Hobby Lobby} that says “i love you to the moon and back,” which you’ve seen before in this photo of yore from our master bedroom {and uffda, we owe you an updated tour of our bedroom – i’ll get on that!}:


we plan to bring that canvas back in and hang it above where the Moses basket will sit {most of the time, at least}.

apart from the items pictured above, i can’t wait to add some personal touches {such as some Lionel art and possibly a few framed baby photos of Jord and i, of L, and of Baby Boy himself, after he’s born} that will remain a surprise until we do the big reveal. once we finish up the last remaining to-do’s on the boys’ shared bedroom, we’ll get started on the baby’s haven – i can’t wait! you know i’ll keep you posted :)

{TWO} boys + {ONE} bedroom = love.

as i mentioned here and here, sweet L and baby boy no. 2 {who has a name, but it’s a secret until he’s born!} will share a bedroom for the next two to three years. our home has two bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom downstairs, and until L is ready to be on his own downstairs {i’m aiming for ages 5-6, although i’m sure he’ll be ready before then}, our sweet boys will share a bedroom.

as soon as we learned that we were expecting baby no. 2, i began adding image after image to my Pinterest board for shared kiddo rooms {follow along here}. i was confident that regardless of whether baby Gillis no. 2 was a boy or a girl, we could make a shared bedroom work, at least for a year or two {until privacy and/or modesty becomes an issue for kiddo(s) of different genders}. but, when we learned that our babe on the way is another boy, it made the process of conceptualizing and executing a shared bedroom even easier, especially for the long-term.

after many a look back at my Feedly {side note: i LOVE this blog reader} and my Pinterest boards {i used to have a secret “Baby No. 2” board that i was pinning to like mad before we revealed that we were expecting}, i devised an overall plan/theme for the room: a woodland adventure.

as you may recall, when we first moved in, we repainted L’s room in a cozy mint blue color {Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue}. i definitely wanted that color to stick around, as it’s such a beautiful neutral that contrasts so richly with our dark woodwork. after some brainstorming, i added pops of orange to the mix, as well as white, grey and black for accent colors.

here’s what i’m using as an inspiration board of sorts; let’s call it Pinspiration, since i do all of my dreaming and room planning for our home on Pinterest these days:


a few explanations:

– the mint tree image and the orange and white arrow images in the right corner above will be featured as baby no. 2’s crib bedding, which is currently being crafted with love by this Etsy seller.

– we purchased the warehouse light at a steal {$29 bucks!} from Home Depot; it’s this one. i can’t wait to hang it after the ceiling is repainted!

– the image of the aqua color on the white chair {from here} is my inspiration for L’s little rocking chair, which my parents are painting white; i plan to run a little stripe of orange across the bottom of the rungs for some visual interest!

– the image at the bottom left {from here} is really my inspiration for the room; L will have a white-painted wooden bed, and his comforter is a mix of white and grey and is geometric in style. i love the collection of colorful, woodland-inspired pillows on the bed as well! we will also be incorporating triangle decals onto the walls in either black or grey, as well as artwork like the Explore, Explore print above {from here}.

a note: please visit my Pinterest board {Our Home – Lionel and Baby’s Shared Bedroom} for the sources of all of these images.

as of now, here’s what we have left in terms of the boys’ shared bedroom:

1. take down the ceiling fan.

2. paint the ceiling {my Mom is tackling this for us soon – it will be in the same color as our master bedroom ceiling, which is Benjamin Moore’s Lacey Pearl}.

3. hang the warehouse light fixture.

4. install DIY custom shelving flanking the window in the room {two wooden shelves – stained grey – on each side of the window, hung with hefty, exposed black brackets}.

5. order two monogram pillows and a metal photo print, courtesy of Tiny Prints.

6. order the rug {pictured above on the left side of the inspiration board, from Urban Outfitters}, as well as a few knick-knacks for the boys’ shelves that i’ve been coveting on Etsy. :)

7. print and frame some custom artwork that i made for the boys’ room, as well as a piece of printable artwork that i purchased from Etsy {my Dad is helping out with this}.

8. pick up the repainted bed frame and the repainted rocking chairs from my parents’ house.

9. hang the curtain rod + curtains, hang the artwork, dress the beds – really, this is the time to decorate our hearts out!

i plan to showcase the boys’ shared bedroom to all of you sometime in November, so stay tuned! {of course, i will likely conceal any name-revealing items, like the letter on baby’s monogrammed pillow, until baby no. 2 actually joins us in December…we don’t want to give away the secret!} :)

one of my most favorite photographers, Kara of Creative Kindling {who photographed many important moments in our lives, including our engagement, wedding, maternity and newborn photos of L, and will also be shooting newborn photos of baby no. 2 for us!}, will be taking photos of the room for me to share – i can’t wait to see how she captures our boys’ shared bedroom.

thanks for following along!

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:


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:


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:



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!


Mood (Pinterest) Board: Master Bedroom.

After much brainstorming and a TON of pinning, I’m so excited to share my vision for our master bedroom with you!

As a reminder, here’s what our bedroom looked like when we moved in:



We basically dumped our bedroom furniture (IKEA’s Hemnes bed, dresser and nightstand in black-brown finish) in the room and haven’t tweaked the arrangement or adding any decor since move-in day, so we are definitely ready to show this room some long overdue love.

If you’ve been following along with my pins on Pinterest (and if not, for shame!), you may have seen that I’ve (finally!) selected a paint color for our bedroom – indigo!

Initially, I was nervous to go a bit dark in our bedroom, but I was so, so inspired by this quote (and the whole article, really!) in Lonny:

Using a dark wall color in a small room is a trick that many interior designers use to create a sense of depth…When using a dark color in a small room, be sure to balance it with light-catching materials like mirrors, mirrored furniture, and metallics, and incorporate table or floor lamps to ensure that the room has a warm glow.

And we plan to do just that!

Specifically, after many Pinterest searches for the *perfect* indigo paint color, I landed on Martha Stewart’s Gabardine. A few weeks ago (yes, that’s how slowly things move around here sometimes!), I painted a large square section to test the color on our bedroom walls, and I love the look of it; I’m obsessed with the moodiness of this color! I plan to paint the bedroom over President’s Day weekend in just a few weeks (yay for long weekends – a perk of working in education!). It’ll be my first experience with tinted primer, too; since our walls are a light shade of taupe, and since we will be painting the walls considerably darker, tinted primer is a must. So, stick around – it’s sure to be an adventure!

But, the purpose of today’s post is to show you all a mood board of sorts for our master bedroom. I call it a mood board of sorts because really, I’m giving you all a glimpse of my Master Bedroom board on Pinterest.

Take a look:


Here’s a breakdown of the projects that we have on deck:
– prime and paint the walls indigo
– accent the tray ceiling with a paint treatment
– purchase/build a simple bed frame; sell Hemnes bed and nightstand (to my brother!)
– DIY a tufted, upholstered headboard (fabric color: caramel!), using this tutorial from Little Green Notebook’s Jenny Komenda
– hang white, breezy linen curtains
– bring in metallic items, like a gold bedside table (I picked one up from Target on clearance!), a mirror (perhaps a DIY sunburst mirror?), a chandelier, and sconces
– bring in art, accessories, throw pillows (I found two for $12 on clearance at Hobby Lobby this week!) and throw blankets/quilts
– add new knobs and paint the top of our Hemnes dresser gold

I can’t wait to get started!