Boys’ Rooms Tour

After a long hiatus I’m back! If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen this post:


In which I teased about a little bit of decorating that is ready to happen at the new nest. I also mentioned that I figured when painting eventually started at the new nest, I would be starting with small space like the powder room. But the boys have been talking about how “boring” their rooms are. Actually, they’ve told me how boring the whole house is. #brutallyhonest. And although we tried to make sure that their rooms seemed like home from Day One in the new nest (with success I think), I would tend to agree that its about time to give their rooms a bit of a personality boost.

To date all we’d really done in the boys’ rooms is install window coverings which were much needed for privacy and light management. And part of the delay in decorating was by design. I didn’t really want to be putting holes in the wall for shelves, prints etc. when I knew I’d be painting soon. But, I didn’t want to paint until we’d been in the house at least a year because the house would shift, and nail pops would happen etc.

There was never any doubt that I was going to paint the house eventually. The whole house was painted in flat paint. Its a bit of a nightmare for scuffs and dings (and fingerprints… ahem). And November of last year marked one whole year in the new nest for us, but of course, the holidays were upon us and I wasn’t ready to DIY or paint anything in December.

Harry's room 1

Harry’s room was pretty much a clone of what he had at the old house. Same bed, same bedding, same dresser and shelves. A bit more space to work with and some really cool angles in his room.


Harry's room 3

Harry's room 4

And although he had talked about wanting some changes to his room, he was chugging along rather happily with his room. But what really got this project going was Foster’s emerging, ongoing, undying love affair with dinosaurs, in which he wants to steal all of Harrison’s “stuff” and have a dinosaur room to call his own.

Foster dino

So for me this had a simple solution, swap out most of the dinosaur themed items from Harrison’s room and put them into Foster’s room and a few other things to personalize it for Foster. This also meant convincing Harrison to “let go” of those items and “sell” him on a new room. Luckily it didn’t take much persuading as he’s growing up too and could understand the idea of his brother loving dinosaurs more than he does now. It didn’t hurt that I told him he’d be getting new stuff and he could help me plan some of the items.

Meanwhile, Foster’s room had undergone some transformation since our move-in day. We moved him into a nursery.

Foster's nursery

Then he outgrew the crib (quickly!) which prompted a mini update to the room including firetruck bedding and a few accessories.


I figured red would be the colour that gave some continuity to the room once I was ready to actually decorate, but then he threw us a curve ball with this dinosaur stuff (although we should’ve seen it coming) and he declared that he didn’t want a red/firetruck room at all. He wanted dinosaurs!

So his room is currently a mix between firetrucks and his nursery. There’s red and green and blue, and his elephant lamp, and his animal banks… Fosters room 2

… and his nursery chair, and the ottoman,

Fosters room 5

Fosters room 3

but it is pretty clear that his walls are bare.

Fosters room 4

Isn’t it amazing how you can see things so clearly in photos that you miss in real life?

So, what’s next?

Well the paint is purchased and painting is definitely the first step. I decided that I’d keep the paint colour as it is, but give it another coat in eggshell finish to make it a bit more durable for the boys’ rooms. That’s easier for me – probably fewer coats – and also allows me to add colour and personality to the room in other ways. And hey! if Foster decides that he doesn’t like dinosaurs any more, I don’t have to worry about having a strange paint colour on the walls to work around. (Not that he’d get another makeover any time soon).

The boys are headed to my mom and dad’s for March Break this year, so I think that’s when most of the painting will get done. It turns out that when we’re home the boys are mostly in their rooms/sleeping so it is hard to disrupt their space and make it function for every day.

I’ve already purchased some new bedding for Harrison’s room, and I have some thoughts on how that room is going to turn out and the colour palette I want to use. I talked him out of a Pokemon room. #momwin

We have some dinosaur items that we’ve received as gifts over the years that never quite made it to Harrison’s room (this one or the old one) so I’m hoping to use those in Foster’s space.

I also had purchased some fabric for Harrison’s blue room, which never got used so I’m hoping to find a way to incorporate that into Foster’s room, as well as phasing out the nursery items by selling them on our neighbourhood buy and sell or on kijiji.

What are you up to?


The rest of the room

As you know we’ve been sprucing up the play room in our basement for the boys. Well, I’ve never shown you the rest of the very large room. So, come on down and let me show you around, because it’s next on my hit list.

come on down

You enter the basement from the hallway near our back door/mud room and the whole room is fully carpeted.

bathroom door

At the bottom of the stairs to the right is a 3-piece bathroom. If you turn to the right (to where you can see past the wall) you’ll see that we have our treadmill down here along with two storage closets. I’ve got plans for those closets down the line, but right now they store extra dishes and glassware, some games and other odds and ends.


The door that you see in the above picture leads to a cold storage area that runs behind the bathroom and is quite large.

desk area

Beyond the treadmill is our desk area. It is in desperate need of an organizing session. Nothing like having to move it around and paint to have an excuse to take everything out and start over!


But the main use for the space (besides the play room that’s nearby) is to watch TV and movies and entertain friends.

couch with TV

You can see the wires hanging down running to the TV and to the speakers. We have a project in mind for hiding those. If you follow me on Instagram you might’ve seen that a few weeks ago we picked up a big piece of that project. A 4-8 sheet of maple. More details to come soon! You might have also noticed the large patch below the TV. We had a little shelf mishap in which a shelf that was supporting our centre speaker jumped off the wall and left a few really nice holes. So we’re in the process of repairing those in preparation for paint the walls and our TV cord-hiding project.

couch with coffee table

You can see above the chair on the right (that first lived upstairs in the family room) that while we were filling holes we filled a few more from where our TV used to be. When we first moved in we had a different couch that made the room make more sense oriented differently. But this is definitely a better layout and we have the right pieces to make it work.


And here’s a closer shot of our fireplace. I love how large it is, but we’re not loving how it is just floating there on the wall. We’re undecided yet on what to do to help that situation but as our plans evolve we’ll keep you posted. There’s some stone on the mantle that we thought could work for facing. Our friends just did their fireplace in this stone and had some left over for us to test out. Turns out the colour of the stone that we love so much is almost a perfect match for the paint colour we chose. Sounds great, but we think it would actually be too close to look good.

The basement is large and it has taken as a long time to find a layout that we really like and that is really functional. That’s why after more than three years in the house we’re finally ready to take on this big guy. There’s the play room, the TV area, the “gym” and the office. And so many spaces need help. Where to start? The walls need hiding. The TV wires need hiding. The fireplace needs something. The office needs organizing. The window treatments have GOT to go!

But, one thing at a time. Painting’s up first. And now you’ve seen… the rest of the room. If you don’t get that reference you haven’t listened to enough talk radio. But don’t worry, that was really just for my dad, anyway.


Harrison’s big boy room

Hey everyone,

I mentioned a while ago, when I was pregnant with Foster, that the bedroom plan once baby arrived was to transition Harrison into our current guest room and keep the nursery as is for baby number two. I even considered how the nursery would be re-imagined if I was having a girl. And, before I did that I posted about what I was pinning for Harry’s big boy room for inspiration over on Pinterest.

Well after months of thinking and the baby actually arriving, we’re now nearing the point where we actually need/would like to move Harrison out of the nursery so that we can move Foster in.

I’m on maternity leave now, so the progress may be slow, but I’m hoping to get the painting done in June (now that I’ve decided on colour – wait and see) and then add the finishing touches once Harry is moved in.

So for today, here are some before photos of Harrison’s room so we’ll have a record of where we started.

This isn’t exactly what the guest room looked like…we did put pillow cases on the pillows, for example.

Harry's before 1

Harry's before 2

That valance has got to go! The large piece of wood you see in this shot is actually the Malm headboard from Ikea that goes with this bed. It doesn’t work in this room. It makes the bed too deep and just generally takes up too much space, so it’s on its side, waiting in the room for someone to answer my ad on Kijiji. If you’re local and know someone who wants it, let me know. 😉

Harry's before 3

I’ve got a project in mind for behind the door. Stay tuned to see if I can pull it off.

Harry's before 4

The “bedside table” that you see in the photo above is just the shelves that fit in the aforementioned Malm headboard.

So there you have it. A room that is lacking in personality that needs a few simple updates to make it perfect slumber spot for my busy boy.

Here’s what’s on my list of things to do:

  • Replace the duvet cover/bedding to coordinate with new colour scheme.
  • Paint the walls. Maybe stripes or an accent wall?
  • Replace the ceiling fan with a fun new fixture
  • Replace the wall sconce
  • Move one of the dressers from our master bedroom into Harrison’s room for added clothes storage and as a bedside table
  • Paint and customize the dresser
  • Add DIY and purchased art to the walls
  • Add book storage
  • Add more storage in general (not sure how or where I’m going to fit this in yet)
  • Organize the closet
  • Sew a personalized message on one of Harrison’s pillows
  • Sew and hang drapes

I guess we’ll see how it evolves and my plan changes as I start working on it.

I am trying to include Harrison in the process as much as possible so that he really feels like it’s his room. I’ll keep you posted on how that’s going. So far he likes talking about his big boy room, but has yet to complete a nap or any kind of sleep in there.

I’m not sure yet what will be tougher, all the work, or convincing Harry to move!