Mini Room Update: Hollis’ Room

I’m currently waiting (Impatiently) for some goodies for Bo’s nursery. So while I wait, I thought I’d do a little update on Hollis’ room which she now has all to herself again. She’s pretty psyched to have her room back and a somewhat safe place to hide her things that she doesn’t want little brother to slobber on…I get it kid. I do.

Not a whole lot has changed in her room, I didn’t paint or anything crazy like that. The biggest change for her was that we moved her twin size trundle-bed to Bowen’s room and moved the mammoth queen sleigh bed to her room. Her room is quite a bit larger than his, so it just made more sense for it to be in her room and it’s a really nice, comfy bed that we don’t want to part with yet. She loves it so far and she still has plenty of room to play with her dollhouse and other toys. Other than that, all I really did was take out Bo’s things and add in a few more girly things of Hollis’.

Here is how it looked while the kids shared…I have to admit, I miss it this way a little bit.

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And here it is now that it’s all Hollis’.

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You may recognize this display shelf from a previous post. We were using it as a simple dollhouse for Hollis when she was younger, but now that she is a bit older, I’ve decided to entrust her with my old dollhouse…(insert nervous face emoji here). So now we are using it to display all of her favorite little things. I hung it low enough for her to reach everything and high enough for little brother to NOT reach everything. 🙂

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Hollis is obsessed with this dollhouse, as was I. I still may be. It’s just so dang cute. Everything in it is from when I was a kid. So to say it’s old and fragile is an understatement.

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I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’m really glad I painted everything neutral the last time we updated the room. Her toys and accessories have so much color (PINK.) that I just really don’t miss color on the walls. Hopefully it will stay this way, and this clean, for a while!

 

 

From Beach to Farmhouse

When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.

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Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.

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I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.

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I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(

 

To Fill, or Not To Fill

I feel like I’ve been MIA for a while in blogland, but my baby Bo is getting in four teeth…at the same time. Poor little babe. He’s a tough little guy, but I’m not as tough. He’s been waking up every 2 hours at night for the last month and I’m feeling the lack of sleep. I’m in full on mombie (that’s mom + zombie for those that don’t know) mode and doing super productive things like pouring orange juice in my coffee instead of creamer…

But I digress…I’m actually here to talk about filling up those large empty, or awkward walls in the house.

Our old farmhouse is the opposite of open concept. I know Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of open concept homes where you can see from the front door all the way to the back door. But I have to say, I love that in our house when the playroom looks like a bomb went off in it, I can just pull close the big pocket doors and pretend that the little playroom fairies are behind the door cleaning away while I sit in the living room sipping my oversized glass of Cabernet. Don’t get wrong, there is a good flow, but the rooms in our house are all pretty much separate which makes for a lot of walls to fill up!

Here are a few ways I like to fill up the walls…

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When hanging things on the wall, I like to mix things up. I like hanging simple objects like a rustic, old window. I like the dimension and texture it brings to the room while still being really simple. I also like a small shelf or two where I can easily change things out by just leaning pictures on it, and using small decor that can be rotated out with the seasons or whenever the urge strikes. file_007

Plants in fun containers on the wall are also a new fave of mine. I love a good pop of green and try to incorporate a plant or two…or ten in all the rooms in our house. I feel like they bring a lot of life and energy to a space.

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And of course there is paint. If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know I love to paint. Like really love it. I used a lovely shade of pink and some painters tape to fill a wall in the playroom with a “playhouse” for Hollis.

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Again, I used some rustic shelves for Bo’s side of the kid’s room. I just love the versatility of it. I can swap things out as he grows and his interests change. I also like to hang things around the shelves to add more interest and create a little “mini gallery wall”.

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I have to say there is just something that really speaks to me about a simple picture hung on a large, empty wall. I struggled with what to hang on Hollis’ side of the kid’s room. I really didn’t want to mimic the other side of the room and have it feel too matchy-matchy. I finally decided to make my own graphic onto two matching frames I had. I love how simple it is, yet it really stands out when it is the only thing on the wall.

I am currently trying to figure out what to do with the large wall space that runs along the staircase. It is such an awkward space to fill! I’ve been looking all over for inspiration. One of my go-to sources of inspiration is Wayfair.com. There is a whole post on decorating a large wall.   It’s a great place to get some ideas when you are stuck on a space or if you just like to look at pretty decor pictures. I especially love the idea of using statement piece, like one of these beautiful starburst mirrors!

 

Color So Nice, I Had To Use It Twice

Welp, I painted the bathroom.

The bathroom did not need to be painted. It was a perfectly fine shade of mint green. It was light and bright. Yet I painted it anyway.

I just couldn’t help myself. I love this color so much! I recently painted the office (Muted Ebony by Valspar) and as soon as I put it on the walls, I knew it needed to go up in another room too. First I thought of the entry way, because I have the urge to change things up in there. And I thought the darker color would hide some of the marks and things on the walls that seem to inevitably happen in the entry way. But then, I decided it would look so great in the upstairs bathroom. And I was right.

I have a lot of black and white going on in the bathroom already along with some warm wood tones. The mint green on the walls was fine…but just fine. Not too exciting. Things were just starting to feel a little blah. So I thought I would shake things up and do a two-tone wall with dark gray on the bottom and a bright white on the top to keep things from getting too dark in there.

Here is a look at the before.

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This room only has one window, but it gets great light in here so I knew the dark, dark gray wouldn’t make the room too dark. I think if I had taken the gray all the way up the walls, it would’ve been a tad too dark.

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It was a spur of the moment decision to paint, but I’m really happy with the result. It feels so much more pulled together in here now and I love how my plants pop off the gray and white!

 

Toning Down The Crazy

It has been a while since I’ve talked about the kid’s playroom. I thought I would give a little update on the little changes I’ve made. Now that Bowen is six (almost 7 months) old and can sit up and move around a little bit, he is really getting into toys. He is no longer content with sitting in one spot, he is ready to move around and explore…and get into as many of sisters toys as possible.

Up until now, Hollis has had the whole playroom to herself. It’s filled to the brim with baby dolls, princesses, and dress up clothes and accessories. I have been slowly moving some of her things out and finding a home for them in her bedroom or the toy closet, which she agreed to pretty quickly after I explained that they will be safe from little brother and his slobber. I’ve been replacing those things with some more toys that Bo might be interested in.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this.

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I tried out this scalloped, two-tone wall to add a little playfulness to the room. I liked it at first, but it started to feel a little too crazy after a while as well as the colorful curtains. So I decided to tone it back a bit. I did still really like the two-tone neutral walls so I kept those, but chose to ditch the scallop. I also switched out the curtains for a more neutral option.

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I added our old futon back into the space, because let’s face it, Mama needs a place to sit and supervise in the playroom. It’s also great for napping toddlers and movie watching.

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I tried to add some little nooks in the corners of the room. One nook is Hollis’s “house”. She loves to hideaway in the nooks and read books or play with toys and it’s nice that the kids can separate and escape each other when needed while still playing in the same space.

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That nice straight line makes me so happy. It feels calmer in here even at the most chaotic of times. There is so much color in the room from the toys and furniture, the walls really needed to be calmed down bit. I’m so grateful we have this room, I don’t know what we’d do without it!

 

 

Office Space

It’s still a work in progress, but I just wanted to take a moment and note that there is PAINT ON THE WALLS!

I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone over two years without painting the paneling in the office. It is literally the first room you see when you walk into the house as it is directly across from the front door. You also get a good view of it from the playroom and the kitchen, which are the two rooms I spend the most time in. And now that it is painted, and painted such a lovely color, I find myself admiring it from every viewpoint.

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Originally there was a door on that doorway in the pic above, but we ended up taking it off because it really closed off the house. With it off we have a much better flow and even though the first floor is not ‘open concept’, each room does open up to the next and creates a circular pathway. I pulled the desk away from the wall and added some much needed seating to create a walkway.

Also, how great are these retro office chairs?! We scored three of them…for FREE. They are from our bank and were sitting in the basement unused. We asked about them and offered to buy them if they were ever for sale and they ended up giving us these three (the other one is currently in our bedroom)! I plan re-upholstering them some day, but I kind of like them as-is right now and they are super comfy.File_003(1).jpeg

 

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Moving the desk away from wall was also necessary because of the lighting in here. There is a small chandelier in the center of the room. With the desk up against the wall, we weren’t getting much light on the desk. All the light was falling behind the desk on our back  which made it really hard to read any papers or anything on the desk. Now with the light directly over the desk, it is much easier to see in here. We would like to replace the light one day too as soon as we find something we really like.

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I hung some IKEA Grundtal shelves we had in storage. The two metal storage units are actually one unit that can be stacked on top of one another. It was a Craigslist find.  I unstacked it because we needed more surface area in here for the printer and things that need to be filed away. It works great for Brian because he can store all of is catalogues and price sheets and everything is easy to see and grab.

I still have a lot of organizing to do in here and I also have the closet to organize. I think cleaning out the closet will make a huge difference, but it is such a daunting task that I keep putting off…It’s still on the to-do list, it’s just at the very, very bottom of it. I’m really weird about organizing things. I will put it off and put it off and then one day I’ll wake up and it is ALL I can think about until I just hammer it out. Is anyone else like that? Basically it just won’t get done until I’m in the mood.

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So that’s it for now. I still have lots to do, but I’m so happy there is paint on the walls finally. And I am so in love with this dark gray. I have already started painting it in another room, which if you follow me on Instagram, you already know about. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@thegoldbrickroad)….you should!

Inspirado: Office

Some rooms I search endlessly for inspiration and design ideas. I usually go back and forth and change my mind a hundred times. Other rooms I know exactly what I want to do with zero hesitation.

The office is one of the few rooms that I knew exactly what I wanted to do from the moment we moved in. And yet, I haven’t touched it since we got here. We use our office…a lot. My husband runs his business out of there and I get so overwhelmed with the thought of organizing everything.

Now that the rest of the house is somewhat in order, I really have no excuse to put it off anymore. Since Brian does use the office the most, I want to cater to him a little more than the rest of us. He could care less what it looks like, he just wants it to be functional. Which I totally get….BUT I need it to look nice too. It is literally the first room of our house you see when you walk in thanks to it’s location across from the entry way.

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Here is a pic of the office right after we moved in. Sadly it still looks a lot like this. It has acted as a catch-all for a long time. The first act of business is to remove anything that doesn’t really NEED to be in the room. We have had the treadmill in here for a little over a year and it never got used….like ever. So it has since been moved to the living room to try to motivate us to use it more. It also housed the dog kennel for a long time so it needs to move elsewhere too. The other issue is a lack of surface space. Everything gets piled onto the desk because it is the only place to set things down and then it turns into a big ‘ol pile of stress. We also need seating for other people for meetings or when I’m in there helping Brian.  Here are some visuals so you can see what direction I’m heading in.

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Right now are we are working with only one desk, but we both agree that this t-shape configuration is the ultimate set-up. I would love to each have our own workspace and a place for the kids to work on homework or crafts. This will happen someday….someday.

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Love this dark gray. It is masculine, but something I can totally live with too. There is so much clutter and paperwork floating around the office so I definitely like a nice neutral backdrop.

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I like the idea of filing cabinets doing double duty as both necessary storage AND holding up the desk. I also really like the way they are finished to fit in with the décor.

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Lastly, I would love a small command center. We need a place to sort the mail and keep it from ending up on the office desk in a big pile. Our calendar gets a lot of use. Brian goes out of town for work fairly often so I need it to keep track of when he’s going to be gone. I use it to plan dinners for the week. And I absolutely need it to write down doctor appointments and things like that because my brain just cannot be trusted.

Office To-Do List:

  • paint the paneling (obviously)
  • hang shelves
  • organize the office closet (it’s full and I don’t even know what’s in it!)
  • better utilize the storage we have
  • build/buy a multi-person desk (need to get rid of the current desk first to make room)
  • make a command center (calendar, mail box, cork board, etc.)
  • new light fixture

I probably won’t get to all of this stuff right away, but I will getting started on some of it. (Which will be a huge improvement from blatantly ignoring it all!) Paint is first on my list. I can’t believe I’ve gone this whole time without painting it yet!