Chicago interiors

One Room Challenge Week 6: Baby room reveal!

Hi guys! It's the final week of the One Room Challenge by Calling It Home and I'm happy to say I (we) made it out alive – with a new baby room, to boot! What's basically been a storage room for almost two years is now an actual functioning place in our home and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

Days (weeks!) would go by when we would truly forget this room existed. Our reminders came by way of not so subtle hints from the moms in our lives. Everyone was more interested in what we would do with that space than us. We were loving the family of three arrangement. It was fun! It was (mostly) easy! And then it just sort of happens, doesn't it? That feeling like, "what if?" It's scary to think how you'll love another little human as much as you do your first but given the joy Henry gives us (along with sheer frustration at times) you kind of get why everyone in the suburbs has like five (kind of). 

So here it is! Just like the rest of our home, a good mix of clean lines and modern but with a healthy amount of vintage and of course plant life to make it feel welcoming and warm. 

While the mint green is where the room design began (actually Lido Green by Benjamin Moore), the dresser/changing table was also a starting point. I once volunteered at a charity-run resale shop in my single days and of course I spent the majority of time picking out pieces to take home with me. I've been hoarding that mother ever since. 

With a wood tone dresser, I wanted a contrast for the crib so we went with this white, simple guy from Ikea. Word of advice to my former self... NEVER spend money on a fancy crib when your kid will probably just go all Bucky Beaver on it. I'm smarter now and a $99 crib will do just fine. 

The hanging pots are making everyone crazy that comes into the room. I feel like I might need to lock the door for fear they might disappear. Everyone is real into them. As am I. I purchased them on a whim at HomeGoods (the way everything is purchased at HomeGoods) having no idea where I would put them. If I had to think of something else for that wall now I couldn't. They're perfect.

I went with a simple gray geometric pattern for the crib sheet and the pillows are a mix of Goodwill, Minted Home and Target. Is it just our Goodwill that gets the overstock of Target? I will take that location to the grave. The modern quilt an is oldie but goodie from my mom. I love how perfect the colors are in the room. 

We swiped Henry's glider from his room (big boy room update coming soon!) and the table is from a new store to our area called Kirkland's. It's not really my aesthetic but I do enjoy this table which is sadly now discontinued. The striped chenille rug is from Land of Nod. Do they ever disappoint??

When the sun goes down, the lighting in this room is truly a challenge. There's no overhead lighting and as much as I wanted to do a chandelier or at least a flush mount, I also wanted this project to be easy. The brass floor lamp (Threshold) is sleek and adds some much needed metal to the room. To block light during the day, I installed a simple cordless Roman shade from Overstock which is blackout for maximum napping capacity.

The best part about styling a kid's room is that you don't really need any fancy accessories when you have toys. I love the color Henry's old toys bring to this room and this wall specifically. I also heart those knob wall hooks – functional and so cute. And that cardi? A gift from a friend that I can't wait to reuse this time around.

I showed off the wall hanging project last week but, isn't it just the best statement piece? This room would not be the same without it and it was such a fun project to collaborate on with my mom. Throw in a lidded boho basket for a hamper and a floor pillow and you've got yourself a pretty stylish lil' nursery! 

Thanks for following along all of these weeks. It's been so fun to see the space transform so quickly and I love that I have it all documented. Our home has been such an evolution since we moved in just under two years ago and I'm pleased to say all of the major interior stuff is complete! Every room in our house now has our stamp on it and it truly feels like home. 

Check out more exciting room reveals on the One Room Challenge link up. You won't be disappointed. Oh! And thank you @lindseykayphotography for making the room look extra cool <3

Shopping sources: Bookshelves / Wall hooks / Dresser (vintage) / Wall sconces / Wallhanging (mom) / Wire basket / Moses basket / Floor lamp / Rug / Glider / Side table (similar) / Crib / Sun pillowMoon print / Moon & teepee canvas / Hanging planters (HomeGoods) / Sheets / Floor pillow / Paint / Roman shade / Hamper (similar)

One Room Challenge Week 5: Mother and daughter collab

Another week down for the One Room Challenge by Calling It Home and since I was so productive early on, this week was mostly full of fun stuff like room styling and not so fun stuff like organizing Henry's old baby clothes. It's been so rainy here so what better way to spend the days than to sort through a basement of tiny baby things and stock the room for those first few months. There was a lot of oohing and ahhing as I went through the old 0-3 month onesies that are so cute I could cry. It's crazy to think I'll be dressing a teensy delicate thing again soon. Crazy and a little frightening, I'll be honest. 

One thing I wanted to share this week is a pretty cool project my mom and I have been cooking up. I've been really into the modern quilt wall hangings that pop up in my feed now and then. Since my mom is a very skilled quilter, I thought it might be fun to collaborate on one as the sort of piece de resistance in the baby room. She didn't take much convincing given it was for a grandbaby ;)

To start, I taped out the area on the wall that I wanted to cover. Next, I sketched up some ideas on graph paper to show scale. Each square representing two inches with the goal of creating a wallhanging that measured roughly 26 x 36 inches. After mostly drawing up ideas that resembled the flags of unknown countries, I landed on the one in the middle there. Four colors, nice and simple with the stitching to contrast the color of each block.

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My mom then directed me to a site with a lot of solid color fabrics which are not common in the quilting world... modern quilts apparently have some trailblazing to do. I found some fun colors that mimicked the scheme of the room which I laid out on a page to see how they would work together. 

Once we found the fabric and the thread, she got to work piecing it all together. She is speedy. Here it is step by step... hand pieced, pinned up and mostly quilted. This would take me a year. I might get my creativity from my mom but I have no patience for this sort of thing. I just want to see results so much faster than that. 

Once it was all quilted together we decided it would look nice with a border on it. I went with a black patterned fabric that's a little playful. This is also the backing of the quilt if you were to flip it over. And check out how we alternated the color of the thread... it's all in the details ;)

Last, she added a place at the top for the quilt to be hung. First it was a sleeve in the back to put a dowel through but I wanted the dowel to be more obvious so she added the tabs which I love. Any way to incorporate more natural wood into the space helps to make it feel that much warmer. 

And there it is in it's rightful place, exactly as I envisioned it. It was so fun to dream up an idea and see it come to life. Thanks, mom for the hard work. Not only does it make the room but it's sentimental because it's from you. 

Thanks for checking in, guys. Next up is getting this space photographed and ready for the reveal. I'm so excited to show it off! See you in a week! Be sure to check out other room transformations in the One Room Challenge link up, too! 

One Room Challenge Week 4: Furniture, layout and I did DIY thing

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Another week down for the One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home and I'm pretty pleased with the progress. To think in two weeks we'll have a completed baby room for a little guy that won't be here until September. That has to be some sort of record for preparedness. 

For impact, here again is the before of this room...

With painting complete, this past week I enlisted Mike's help for some of the furniture assembly. I went with the very basic Gulliver crib from Ikea in white. It looks fresh in the space while also a nice contrast to the midcentury dresser on the opposing wall. I'm still playing around with the bedding and of course pillows that will only be thrown to the side for the mother-loving fear of SIDS... but I can't help myself, the room will just not be complete without them (even on the ground).

The bookshelves are from Land of Nod. I like the storage they provide in a kind of a toy box/bookshelf hybrid. So much styling to do there. The side table is a nice solid piece that I scored for under $50 and works perfectly with the modern vibe. I also installed an affordable blackout Roman shade which is double duty pretty and functional (and so necessary).

For layout, I went with the crib placement on the farthest wall from our bedroom. It's better for everyone that way. I know myself and I'll run over for any sudden sound otherwise – ruining sleep for baby and selves. I mean it's another six feet away so it's not like I moved his crib to the basement but it might help a little. 

Other than furniture and layout, I did a little thing that may not seem too impressive for the more seasoned DIYer but since I'm not I'm a little pleased with myself...

This house is old and the doors are flat panel with probably original brass hardware. I don't have a problem with them – they speak to the simplicity of our home. We weren't drawn to this place for it's wow-factor character but to it's clean lines and seriously well considered layout. There is literally no better way to arrange the space in our home (trust me, I've spent hours thinking about it). Kudos to whoever designed and built probably a half million of them. So, despite being ok with the doors, they really did need some love. Exhibit A: The hinges. Original brass-turned-yuck. I've been semi-irritated with them since we moved in but the thought of taking down every door and putting on new hardware did not seem likely. And then one day I was at a friend's place and saw her husband just take one off a door (still hanging) and replace it with a new one. DUH! So simple! So I finally decided to try it out in our house starting here. 

Since I still like the old basic brass doorknobs we have, I bought new brass hinges at under $2 each to match.

It really was simple. Take one off, replace it with a new one and repeat. $6 a door plus a few new coats of paint and you have some pretty (be they basic) updated doors. If you were in the room they may not stand out but trust me, you would have noticed the grungy old ones. I took Mike into the room tonight and he may or may not have "oohed" ;)

And that was my week 4, folks. No, it's not the most labor intensive space to transform but at 22 weeks pregnant with a toddler and a business, I'm ok with it. In the end it, it will match the overall feel of the rest of our place and will be such a sweet little space to bring our boy home to. And speaking of... here he is at 21 weeks! Isn't technology amaaazing you guys? We're already so in love. 

Thanks for checking in! Next week I'll talk about the wallhanging I designed that my mom is probably hand-quilting as I type. It's by far going to be my favorite part of the room. Stay tuned and in the meantime, go see the other transformations happening on the One Room Challenge link up. Cheers!

The mother of all bookcases

When a friend asks you to style the bookcases of her impeccably designed condo you first drool over every detail of the space while your jaw drops at the size of said bookcase project and then you just get to work because you already said yes and here goes nothing. I truly wish I had more advice about bookshelf styling but other than taking everything off the surface and just going for it section by section, I don't really know how it comes together. It just does. Ok – there is some thought in this process which I'll share as you read along. 

Here is the view from this room (sometimes my heart truly aches for city life) and also some really fuzzy before photos to show progress. Nothing beats a project that comes with it's own measurements and really bad before photos to make you look good. 

So this was more than just a bookshelf, it was a library, really – shelves on every. single. wall. They use it as their family/media room.

My main goal was to honor their style by using personal mementos (pictures, books, etc.) and then bring in some cool objects to fill in the rest while trying extra, extra hard to not overwhelm the space with a lot of stuff. Easier said than done in a room full of shelves. You have to fill them but there's definitely a balance to strike. The key is to not go crazy with the amount of things on one shelf. And some shelves just need one thing only. Also, don't go crazy with small things. You really need to balance small objects with large ones or it can look junky fast. If I'm starting from scratch I might try to stick to a color palate but for this room, I prefer the pops of color here and there to liven up the space. And coincidentally, the pieces I chose go really well with the paintings which was kind of dumb luck but I'll take it. 

When I'm shopping around, I'm looking for interesting shapes and sizes of things and also that everything will work well together. I'm loving all of the natural decor out there right now. Lots of wood, stones, hides, metals. I stuck mostly to that theme while I was perusing my typical go-to places (Target, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, CB2 – you can spend a lot of cash on decor objects but I truly don't understand why you would when there's so much good stuff out there for less.) My personal favorites are the burl wood boxes from CB2 and the sort of weird giant wood chain I found at HomeGoods. I need these for myself ;) 

Books were mostly from their personal collection. They have tons of art books which made my job super easy. You can't go wrong with a giant Andy Warhol book now can you? I did use some filler books and I've mentioned this before but my secret is Goodwill. I stockpile pretty books for occasions such as this. Taking into consideration how the book looks but also the title and topic when I can. Another tip – take the dust jackets off. The bindings are always far better looking than the jackets. So yeah, I arrange little piles of books at my local Goodwill to see if they'll look cool stacked up – you have your weird things and I have mine. At least the result is pretty. 

This room is multi-purpose because it's not only the family room but also the play room. To make it feel more cohesive I swapped plastic bins for pretty baskets and used them throughout the rest of the room for additional storage, too. These seagrass lovelies come in a bunch of sizes from Target and half the price of Pottery Barn... seriously guys, shop around (or get a stylist that does ;). As a side note, I did a fool's errand and rearranged these kids books. I do this in Henry's room, too. Why? I cannot help myself.  

So, three hours later there you have it (plus a bonus shot of some really pretty art). I'm super happy with how this space turned out. I bought a lot of stuff for this project and I'm very pleased that it all worked together so nicely in addition to their existing things. I love how the photos honor their family and the room just feels cool and fun... just like them. Don't you just want to get cozy on that sofa with a glass of rose and read about Andy Warhol. I know I do ;)

Do you have a built-in or a bookshelf that you're struggling to style? I can help!