On meeting lifelong friends in bars and a budget bathroom update - kids edition

A friend and I were recently talking about how hard it was to meet guys in a bar when we were single. A conversation that is totally irrelevant these days but still – it was. When writing this post tonight, it dawned on me that's how I met her. It was probably our second week in the suburbs and Mike, Henry and I biked to the local brewery (our first of many trips). When we sat down we noticed a couple with a little girl about Henry's age. My heart leapt! She's a mom, I'm a mom. She likes beer, I like beer. She seems normal, I am mostly normal. An hour or so later we were exchanging numbers. Our wingmen (husbands) giving air fives (head nods). It was just like how I thought I'd meet someone at a bar but way better. This could be the start of a friendship and that was just what I needed. 

This friend (though she may not know, er, she will now) is one big reasons that I stepped out this year to start doing what I love. Mike gave me the real push I needed but I also think it helped to have someone else (that didn't have to love me unconditionally) to validate that I was pretty ok at my passion (there has got to be a better word for that). I am really thankful for this friend. She and her hubby are always game for a casual Saturday hang and have helped us in already countless situations. They are good, fun people and we are lucky to know them....and this WAS their bathroom.

Now what was going on in the 80's? I wish I could get in a time machine and ask some questions. This, the era of neon and mesh shirts. Was this really the best we could do? Apparently so because it's everywhere. Anyhow, my challenge was to transform it into a bright and cheery kids bathroom in a budget-friendly way. Gender neutral for their daughter and baby boy on the way. They had already updated the countertops with a nice granite and installed an undermount sink...easily a giant improvement. With this gray flecked counter in mind I got to work designing – I'll share sources at the end. 

We knew the only way to brighten the space would be to change the color of the cabinets. I chose Baltic Gray by Benjamin Moore and a nice light greish for the walls - Balboa Mist. With the gigantor mirror down I picked a pretty big round mirror for it's place – lights on either side. I gave a few tile options and did a little happy dance when they chose the octagon. I thought it would pair well with the pink tile in the shower that they weren't planning to remove anytime soon. Oil rubbed bronze fixtures and hardware because I have a real crush on it and I like the contrast.  

For decor, I started with that killer rug. The room needed some color and those tones didn't lean too far boy or girl. I was loving the Pillowfort stuff from Target and those oars were too darned cute. All of the sudden we sort of had an outdoorsy theme so I went with the owl and fox prints. As for the shower curtain, I chose a fun but not too kiddo geometric print. The bathroom will be for guests, too so I didn't want to pick Ninja Turtles...not that I would. Ever. Sorry, Henry. 

There was some consideration around refacing the cabinets but in the end painting them seemed like a perfectly good solution. My jaw dropped when I saw them for the first time. The entire room was lighter. The paint I chose for the walls ended up looking too close to the cabinet color so we quickly picked a different shade of white - Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore. 

The tile turned out awesome (my Birkenstock tan line, not so much) it's so fresh and pretty and the light gray grout just gives it a little more definition. 

They chose to place the lights over the mirror rather than one on each side. I love how it turned out.

The shower and eh hem, commode, are separate from the powder room. Considering it only has artificial light, the space feels tons brighter. I love the playfulness of the prints and the shower curtain and that pink on gray reminds me of my 10-speed when I was twelve in all the right ways. Pink and gray are back as far as I'm concerned.  

So there you have it – a bathroom update done on the moderately cheap. It helps when you have a handy husband for sure but still wouldn't have been crazy hiring it all out. It went from a boring 80's bathroom to a fun and cheery kids bathroom for roughly $2700. Baby boy is here (tiny and sweet) and I can already see shoving matches in front of the sink with big sister. That's love.

In closing, say hi to strangers. I mean don't be weird but be open. You never know what could come from it. You might just meet a really good friend and your next design project ;)

Sources: Tile / Faucet / Mirror / Lighting / Cabinet Paint / Wall Paint / Knobs / Shower Curtain / Prints / Oars / Rug

This baby boy is destined for adventure - a nursery project

In true form, I've been plotting another nursery for our home since we moved in. Pinks (maybe?) and creams and natural wood, oh my! I mean what else are we going to do with that fourth room? Welp, folks, this isn't that room but I was super excited to be asked to help a friend put together one for her baby-boy-to-be. Finally, a chance to make some nursery ideas come to life. Others I will save for us (if we're lucky enough for that to happen again and I can start to wrap my brain around how to take care of a baby and a toddler and stay sane...I'm scared).  

Sometimes I'm not really sure how I come up with the rooms that I do. A pillow? A piece of art? Even the littlest thing can set the tone. In this case, it happened that my friend already had a minty green on the walls and an existing crib and changing table in espresso. These were things she wanted to stay. Sometimes that can actually make my job easier. A blank canvas can be exciting but also a little daunting, while fixed objects can at least give a good starting point. 

With those things in place, I wanted a rug that offered a nice contrast to the walls and something that would also work with the dark wood of the furniture. The black and white Ikea rug checked off those boxes. At that point it was sort of a no-brainer to tie in the zebra print and well, why not a whole safari theme? My friends are outdoorsy and I'm willing to bet this kiddo will be on a camping trip by next summer. Maybe not a safari but a hike or a bike down the prairie path for sure. Either way, I think this will suit him just fine. 

Things are moving along nicely. Items are sourced (I'll share when I post after photos), mostly everything is ordered and we're nearing the big day. For me, that's styling day but I think my friend would consider delivery more of her "big day". Fair enough ;) Either way, this baby boy is going to love coming home. I know I'm excited to meet him!

No boys allowed - a girl's room in the making

It's been early mornings this week mood boarding for my cutest client yet. She's moving out of her nursery to make room for a baby brother on the way and moving up to a big girl bed in the process. I'm excited about this space for a few reasons...

1. I envision many a slumber party here. Wall to wall sleeping bags and high pitched squealing. Oh the memories. 

2. It's a chance to introduce a color that isn't gray or a shade of white. We're going Serene Breeze from Benjamin Moore. I'm not opposed to pink but it's pretty standard for a girl's room and it doesn't have to be. Using a minty green will allow us to add pops of pink that say girlie without going overboard. 

3. She has some great existing pieces to work with like a similar green trunk and an old school desk. My two year old client really has an eye for vintage ;) 

Mood boards are fun but the best part is seeing it all come together. I can't wait to show you how it turns out. Oh and check out the source list below if you're interested in any of these pieces for your little one or for yourself. I would buy half of these things for my own room and wouldn't be embarrassed in the slightest that I'm approaching forty and I shop at Land of Nod. Their stuff is just that good!

Sources: 1. Window panels - Land of Nod 2. Rug - Land of Nod 3. Trunk - vintage 4. Comforter - Pillowfort (Target) 5. Night stand - Land of Nod 6. Rocking chair - Land of Nod 7. Paint - Serene Breeze - Benjamin Moore 8. Lamp - Land of Nod 9. Ledge shelves - Ikea 10. Dresser - Megmade 11. DIY shelfing - Home Depot 12. School desk - vintage 13. Basket - serrv 14. Teepee - Land of Nod 15. Sheepskin rug - Overstock