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!

 

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Shared Room Update

Writing this post after a good nights sleep. A night of sleep without a toddler foot in my ribs. A night of sleep without a tiny arm landing on my face. A night of sleep where I got to lay comfortably in any position my little heart desired. No numb arms, no body parts hanging off the bed, no rolling over and silently praying I don’t wake someone up.

The reason for this awesome nights sleep?!

The kids’ room is finally done and they are both sleeping…wait for it….IN THEIR OWN BEDS!! (high fives self!)

I decided before Bowen was even born that the kids would share a room for a while. How long? I don’t know yet, but right now they are both doing really good sharing and seem to enjoy having the other one near by. I enjoy having all of the diapers and little clothes and toys (and messes) all in one room. I also really like getting to keep our guest room for now. It’s nice to have a room clean and ready for guest at any given time.

I posted earlier about the ceiling in the kids’ room needing to be addressed. We thought long and hard (two years) about what we could cover it with. There were a surprising amount of options out there. We wanted something cheap, easy to apply, and of course, I wanted something that looked cool and fit in with our farmhouse. I loved the way rustic wood covered ceilings looked but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Also this house is old, like a hundred years old, so the walls and floors and ceilings are not even close to being perfectly square. I knew that cutting pieces of wood to fit would be a nightmare and I wanted something easy to work with.

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So….I ended up using faux wood peel and stick vinyl. The price was right and the look was right. We started with just a few to experiment and see how it looked and if it would even work. Right away, we loved how it looked and we also quickly realized that the sticky backside of the tiles were not enough to fight gravity and stay on the ceiling. We tried different adhesives, but ultimately the only thing that really kept the tiles up was a nail gun and brad nails. Is this a project I would recommend for everyone? No. So I won’t be doing a tutorial on it right now. Only time will tell if it was worth it or not. Since our ceiling was covered in paper (i.e. no texture), and in horrible shape, we felt we really didn’t have anything to lose with trying this. I will say that the tiles themselves were really easy to work with. (I’m already trying to think of other projects I can use them on) They were light and easy to score and cut to size. We love how it turned out and are crossing our fingers that it holds up well for a long time.

Here is what the room looked like before…

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I ended up painting that gray wall to match the other three walls. With the ceiling being significantly darker, I wanted to lighten up the rest of the room as much as possible. We also switched out Hollis’ queen size bed for a trundle/daybed that my parents gave us. It gives the kids so much more room for play space and the trundle rolls out an pops up to match up with the other mattress to make a king size bed. It’s really versatile and Hollis loves it. shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com IMG_0903

I also added some simple, black and white artwork. (More on that soon.) And I ended up painting the curtain rods from gold to black to brink out the black pom-pom trim on the curtains.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I also switched out the gray shelves and gold brackets. I tried to tie in the rustic “wood” ceiling with some rustic wood shelves and painted the brackets black. It was fun to add some special things for Bowen like daddy’s red tractors,  a sailboat Brian and I bought years ago that’s followed us from house to house, and of course, his outfit he wore home from the hospital.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I needed another shelf for the room, but I wanted something that wasn’t too matchy-matchy with the other shelves. I immediately thought of this green one I found in the attic a while back. I loved the shade of green and that it was already rustic looking. The corbels on the shelf don’t match (one’s a closed circle and one is open) and there are like 20 holes in the front of it where I assume people have drove nails through it to hang since I couldn’t find any other trace of hanging hardware. I love all the quirky-ness of it and I love that it an be used in the house again. shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

I added two large D-rings on the back to hang it. I love these things! shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com  It’s perfect for Hollis’ special little things too and adds some nice color to the room.  shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com shared kids room update // thegoldbrickroad.com

 

So that’s it for now. I really like how it turned out. It fits in more with the modern farmhouse look I’ve been going with lately.  I think I can officially cross this room off my to-do list…at least for a while!

UGH…That Ceiling

Before we even moved into this house, I knew I was going to have to address the ceiling in Hollis’ room eventually. I’ve been dreading it, clearly, since we’ve lived here over 2 years and I haven’t touched it yet….

My only diy experience with ceilings, is painting them. I hate painting ceilings. A lot. However,  I wish all this ceiling needed was a fresh coat of paint, but it needs much, much more.

(Sorry for the dark pictures, but I had to turn the shadows on so you could see the cracks!)

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Our house is 100+ years old, so we are very used to cracks in the ceilings and walls from settling. And if this was drywall or plaster, I could just fill in those cracks with spackle and call it a day. BUT, this ceiling is covered in paper and the cracks have been taped up and papered over time and time again. I have no idea what is under the paper, and I’m too scared to find out!

We thought about drywalling and texturing the ceiling, but we would eventually end up with cracks in it too over time. I think our best option is to find something to cover the ceiling with. We have ceiling tiles in 3 rooms in the house, so that’s definitely an option. I’ve also been searching ideas on Pinterest for other ideas and found a ton of paneled and wood planked ceilings. I love the look so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent hours, HOURS, looking at these wood planked ceilings. There are so many and they are all so lovely. I think the rustic look will fit in so well in our old farmhouse. I’m hoping it will tie in with the wood trim and add some texture and warmth. And best of all, I don’t have to paint it!

 

 

 

Fave Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

My kid is OBSESSED with being outside. I love that she would rather be outside digging in the dirt than sitting in front of the t.v., BUT Mama can only play with rocks and sticks so long before I want to poke that stick straight into my eye. So I’m on a hunt for some new outdoor toys that we can play with this Summer. We have plans to buy or build a playground of some sort later on, but I want a few things the kids can play with now while they are little.

Favorite Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

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  1. T-Ball Set My child loves hitting things so this is basically right up her alley . I love that it teaches her hand-eye coordination and helps develop fine motor skills. It also breaks down and hangs on the wall for easy storage.
  2. Garden Tools We have some cheap, plastic versions of these already. And they get used ALL the time. Hollis loves to dig around in the garden with them so much that I’m not sure they will last long enough for little brother to get to use them. I really like these nicer, heavier duty ones. Plus they look just like the ones I use!
  3.  Garden Table We are in the throws of the terrible twos…but my toddler is also in a phase where she wants to be doing whatever mommy is doing. Since my time outside is usually spent working on the garden, I think she would love having a gardening table of her own. Throw some dirt in there and she would be in heaven.
  4. Sidewalk Chalk Paint I spend a lot of time repeating the words, “STAY OUT OF MOMMY’S PAINT” while working on projects. It would be so great to head outside and just let my little monster go to town and paint up the sidewalk.
  5. Froggy Toss and Grip  Another good activity for practicing hand-eye coordination. Hollis can throw a ball pretty good, but she hasn’t quite mastered catching. She seems to think every game with a ball is dodgeball.  I think this would be great practice before trying a ball and glove and safe for her and her brother to play together when he is old enough.
  6. Splash Pad So we have a little, above ground pool, but it’s too deep for the little ones to do much other than sit in a floatie right now. I like the idea of playing in the sprinkler, but hate how muddy and grassy we get. I love that we (me, toddler, baby) can all sit on this and enjoy splashing around in the water together.

What are your little ones favorite outdoor toys and activities?

DIY: Rustic Farmhouse Shelves

We’ve been living here on the farm for two years now. That’s so crazy to me. I love how peaceful and serene it is. I love having cows for neighbors. But the best thing about living on a farm is when we find cool, old stuff.

And by we, I mean my husband usually. He gets to work out in the fields and pastures and explore the old buildings on the farm. He brings all kinds of cool things home. His latest find was this piece of old wood siding. I told him I needed some wood for shelves I wanted to make in the bathroom and Voila! he brought this gem to me.

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I immediately loved the hole in it and all the marks and roughness of it. I hosed down about a half-inch of dirt and grime off of it and then cut it to the size I needed. The board was 7″ deep which was perfect for my small shelves. I cut 2, 30″ long pieces from it.

IMG_3160.JPGAfter I had them cut, I got out the power sander and went to town. I wanted to keep all of the ruggedness, but take off the grime that I couldn’t wash off. I also wanted to smooth out anything that might snag something or give someone a splinter. Then I gave them 3 coats of a clear Minwax Polyacrylic stain in a satin finish.

I have had these box shelves in the bathroom above the toilet pretty much since we moved in. They were fine for a bit of decoration, but they felt small and insignificant. I really wanted to add something more substantial and have room to put out things like towels and wash cloths for guests.

IMG_3165I went with simple, black metal brackets. I love how rugged the edges are and that you can see all the knots and grooves in the wood. The clear stain really helped seal everything and show off the imperfections that we loved so much.

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The black hardware really added some nice contrast to the blue and white bathroom. I added some more black accessories to tie things together. I also spray painted the hooks on the towel rack black to match. I took down our brushed nickel hand towel ring and replaced it with one of the big, black metal hooks I found in one of the closets to add some more of the farmhouse feel.

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I like that the shelves are deep enough to set out towels for guests, but don’t protrude too far into the narrow bathroom. And all the black accents help tie in the shower curtain which kind of felt a little out-of-place before.

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So that’s it. I’m kind of obsessed with these guys. Can’t wait to see what Brian brings home from the farm next!

 

 

 

One Proud Mom

I’ve only had a few Mother’s Days of my own, but I swear with each one I get weepier and weepier. I think about my babies, I think about their birth, their milestones, their future graduation from med school…the future tropical, private island they will buy me in appreciation for all the dirty diapers I’ve changed and times I’ve been thrown up on….just kidding. A mom can dream though, right?

Right now Mother’s Day around here is just another day. A day full of diapers and laundry and fetching fruit snacks, but I look forward to the days of homemade cards and macaroni necklaces.  Every day as a mother of little ones, you deal with crying and the highs and lows of the day, searching for moments of quiet and trying not to focus on the dirty dishes piling up. But through all that work and feeling exhausted, you see those little faces and are filled with joy like no other. Celebrating mom’s is important, but celebrating the little ones that make you a mom is also important.

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(photo credit: Lynnie Lou Photography)

 

This year I got to celebrate with my newest little one. We also got to celebrate his baptism.

Bowen Newborn PicsWe had a party before hand at our house. The weather was perfect and the company was good. Bowen is so lucky to have so many people who love and care about him. 0507161009a0507161007I can’t believe his baptism is already here and gone. He is growing so fast. He has been the best addition to our little family and I can’t picture life without him. I just love him so much.

And I better stop before the weeping starts up again…

 

 

 

Garden Table

My days are quite chaotic lately with a 2 year old and 2 month old. I’ve learned if I want to get anything done, that morning is my best bet. I can almost guarantee a nap from Bowen around 10am, (and now that I’ve typed that and shouted it out on the interwebs, he will probably never do it again…) so while he’s napping, Hollis and I head out to the yard to work in our garden. The weather is so perfect that time of day, it’s not super hot and Hollis gets to run around and work up an appetite for lunch. It’s our favorite time of day.

I especially love our new garden table.  I showed Brian some pics that I had pinned of garden beds I was thinking of making and he volunteered to build me one. I was planning on helping and taking process photos for the blog, but he and his dad built it in one afternoon and didn’t think to take any pics because, you know…they are not bloggers. So this isn’t a typical DIY post, but you can still see the outcome and get an idea of how they built it.

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The whole thing is 30″ x 60″ and 40″ tall. Brian used 4″ x 4″ posts for the legs and 2″ x 12″ boards for the sides. We also bought some durable window screening to lay across the bottom and allow water to drain. They used 2″ x 4″ boards for support underneath the screen and also across the legs for support.

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We used pre-treated wood, but we still need to paint or stain everything so it will last longer. IMG_3148

We still have our garden from last year where we planted potatoes, asparagus, okra, zucchini and squash. So in our table we planted some brussel sprouts, chives, green onions, cilantro, rosemary, carrots and one eggplant just to see how it does. So far everything is doing really well. Our brussel sprouts have quadrupled in size in just a couple of weeks. I love that I don’t have to bend over and break my back pulling weeds and the rabbits can’t reach my green goods.

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I also planted some Zinia’s  and Mums in my pots to try to keep bugs away….we’ll see if it works!

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Brian and I have had really good luck planting tomatoes in pots. Last year we tried them in the ground in our garden and they did okay, but not nearly as well as when we pot them. So this year we decided to stick with what works for us and went back to planting them in large plastic tubs, I’ve got Roma’s in a tub on one side of the table and cherry tomatoes in a tub on the other side.

I know it’s still early, but so far I’m LOVING my garden table. The size is much more manageable for me than our large ground garden. It doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. Maybe next year I can talk Brian into building me a second one….:)