Harrison’s Room – The Plan

Well it is March Break and the boys are at Nana and Poppa’s for a week of fun, so it is about time that I show you what I have in store for their rooms while they’re away.

Foster’s room will end up looking a lot like  Harrison’s “big boy” room in our previous house, with a few additions, and obviously a different shape and size. So let’s talk about Harrison’s room.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had found bedding for Harrison’s room and it was on sale at The Bay (now on clearance!)so I snagged it up while I could. He’s really into hockey right now, so I’m going to try to incorporate that into the room with some temporary and/or inexpensive accents and I’m planning a pretty neutral palette in the hopes that the room will be able to grow with him for a long time.

Curtains have been a sticking point for me. As you can see, there’s two options on the board above. I really like the rugby stripe because I think it’ll keep the room looking youthful, but those ones are from Pottery Barn Kids and are $109 USD per panel! I was hoping to find something at a lower price point. The other option I found at Urban Barn and they’re a bit more formal and grown-up and still also $79 per panel. So… I continue to hunt for a bargain. Maybe the decor gods will be with me when I hit up HomeSense.

I ordered the Stripes around the Cube Bins in yellow from Land of Nod and am not-so patiently awaiting their arrival. I have ordered these before in different colours and they fit perfectly in the Ikea Kallax (and formerly Expedit) shelving that has a home in each of the boys’ rooms. The hockey pillow is from Target.

A while back I picked up some white wire shelves/bins that I found at HomeSense to begin to corral some of the books/paper that is now coming into Harrison’s room from school. I think that’ll be great for beside his bed.

The first step is to paint the rooms in an eggshell finish (which I talked about back here), so that we can start to put furniture back, hang curtains and put art and decor on the wall and un-boring the rooms once and for all!

I have one lingering design/function question for all of you. I was thinking about putting a desk in Harrison’s room. What do you think? Do your school-aged kids have a desk in their room? Or do they do work/homework elsewhere in the house? Do you think a desk in a bedroom would just capture clutter? Let me know what you would do.



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?


Jumping right back in to share an update for a project that I’m working on at the new house. We’re about to host our first legit house guests in our new guest room next week. We managed to move some furniture around (and we even bought ourselves a new bed) but the guest room is one that was lacking items to make it “live-able”. We’re in a bit of a race to get this room together. One of the first things on my list was to get some new bedding for the room.

I want to keep the room light and airy feeling and somewhat neutral so guests feel relaxed, but also so that I can throw in a pop of colour or some accents as the mood strikes me. And I recently came across some bedding that I really loved. But the price… not so much.

Zara home pleated bedding


Beautiful and simple, with a little detail to make it not so plain. So, needless to say I was on the hunt for a more wallet-conscious alternative. And lo and behold, Ikea had the answer to my bedding dreams.

alvine-stra-duvet-cover ikea


Save $100? Count me in! The Ikea version was an easy choice once I found it, and not to mention, the Ikea set comes with two pillow cases. If you’re on the hunt for some bedding along these lines I found a few more on my search.

I really like this one from Urban Barn, this one from West Elm, and a slightly different take also at West Elm.

What about you? Got any projects on the go with a very looming deadline? Shopping for bedding? Show me your finds!

Something to show for it

On my trip to Ikea last week it was primarily to pick up the “missing” basket for the Expedit in the play room (and to check out a bed – more on that another day). I may have found a few other goodies. Isn’t that always the way?

So without further ado, here ya go!

Harrison helped me pick out this runner. I spotted them while he was playing in the play kitchen for the 10th time. There were a few to choose from, but he really liked the numbers, and I thought the colours were great, so I brought it home with me.


Harry has been enjoying hopping from one number to the next and we are helping him learn to count by tens so this runner is perfect for that too. As you can see I also did remember to pick up what I went for. The fifth basket has found its way to its new home.

basket angle

And last week during my busy week that had nothing to show for it I also made a trip to HomeSense and found a great sign that’s perfect for the play room.

mom rules

I’ve seen many DIY versions of these types of signs, but the price was so good I couldn’t pass it up. At only $24.99 I couldn’t beat it. I could barely get a canvas that size for that price.

mom rules angle

I actually picked up a few more things at Ikea for this space that I’ll have to show you later. I picked up a big drum shade for the light fixture, but picked up the wrong fixture at the store. It’ll be going back and replaced before I can put up the shade. And I snagged a solution for displaying art made by the boys. As soon as it goes up I’ll be posting about it.

So there you have it, the play room is coming along nicely, I think.

play room progress

As you can see the chalkboard is getting lots of use!

Here’s an updated play room to-do list:

  • Get another basket for that fifth spot on the second row next time I’m at Ikea
  • I’d like to replace the white open baskets (that you see overflowing with stuffed animals) and get a large basket to store stuffies and hard toys that don’t fit into one of the cubbies
  • Add a reading nook with some chairs. Maybe make some bean bag chairs myself? (That would be a test of my sewing skills!)
  • Add art to the space and a place to include the boys artwork
  • Add labels to the bins and baskets so that the boys know which bin to look in when they’re taking toys out and definitely so they know where to put them back!
  • Change the light fixture. Husbandman wants something that looks like a spaceship. We’ll see.
  • Maybe include a table or an easel for doing artwork in the space?


This weekend was another cold one so indoor projects and pj time was on the list. We crossed off an item that has been bugging me for ages! We finally hung the gallery wall in Harrison’s room.

The wall above the Expedit was definitely bare and in need of some “juhj” (juhj: technical design term for somethin’-somethin’)


The blank space was definitely crying out for some juhj.

gallery wide

I bought this White Gallery In A Box set from Pottery Barn Kids a little while ago when they were having a sale (it must’ve been a big sale, because I just saw the price!) I’m so glad the frames are finally up on the wall.

gallery close up

As you can see, we added our own items to the gallery as well by including the “H” that moved from the nursery into Harry’s big boy room, and the plaque that I have plans for too. You might also notice that not all the frames are occupied yet, and that’s because I hadn’t fully decided on the arrangement until installation time and I didn’t want to print the wrong size or orientation of photo for the wall.

newborn photo

rawr means i love you

I knew I wanted to include the photo of Harrison from his newborn shoot, and also the dinosaur print that I created for his room. Having those two items pre-set helped to limit the number of arrangement possibilities. Thank goodness!

side view

Now that the wall has been framed I can start flipping through old photos and try to narrow down which ones to print out for the honour of making it to the wall. Big thanks to husbandman for being so handy.

Deck the walls

‘Tis the season for hosting friends and family, and I’ve made it my mission to get more up on our walls before this weekend when we host our annual open house. All this week I’ll be sharing a few corners of the house that we’ve spruced up by putting some holes in the walls. Uhh… and then hanging stuff off of them.

Nothing like a deadline and putting it out there on the interwebs to get you motivated, right?

So let’s start with our foyer. After I painted the tone on tone stripes, it was finally time to add something to that wall.

Foyer nook

I picked up this set at Target (and I can’t find it online anymore) but I think it’s still available in store. It is from the Threshold line, was reasonably priced, and came with everything you need. Even the frames. We centred the ledges vertically between the stripes and then just overlapped them at a rate that looked good. Read: we eyeballed it.

The frames are double matted so that you can insert a 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10 (un-matted) photo.

I decided to start off by putting our last two Christmas cards in the frames.

double frames

I’ve also added a candle that we’ve had for ages, a couple pine cones, and a few Christmas balls and called it festive enough.

christmas card 2013

christmas card 2012

I love that the photos show how our family has transformed this year from three to four. I might just keep adding our cards over the years.

So there you have it. This little nook is looking so much more finished now!

Bathroom Finale Finally

Happy Monday! I’m back with the final wrap up of our master bathroom renovation, and a proper before and after picture.

bathroom before and after

That orange and grey room seems like a distant memory.


The vanity is the Modo by Lukx in espresso. I love the modern looks. The original vision for the bathroom started with a wall-hung vanity, so I’m glad we found one that we both liked. This vanity also has a hidden drawer, so even though it looks like it has a single drawer, when you pull the drawer open there’s a shallow top drawer that adds an extra layer of storage.


The toilet is the Kohler Cimarron. We sourced most of our major fixtures like the toilet, vanity, faucets and shower base and doors through a local company called Emco (in Guelph for local people), but the toilet is also available at Lowe’s where we spotted it first. Kinda funny to think how much you can like a toilet, but I really like this toilet.


tiled niche

The shower tiles are 4 x 16″ white subway tiles, the floors are grey 12 x 24″ tiles and the accent tile is a combination of glass and marble. All of our tiles were sourced and purchased through a local company called Rich-Craft Interiors. It was recommended to us by our contractor, and I was very pleased. They have a huge selection, and were extremely helpful in selecting tiles and suggesting options.

sink faucet

shower faucet

Sink hardware is the Moen Method in chrome.

The shower hardware is the Moen 90 degree  in chrome, and we had our plumbers place the shower head extra high because we are both pretty tall.

doorway to beauty

The glass doors are the Novara by Fleurco, and our shower base is a 60x 40″ acrylic base. It is truly amazing how big those extra few inches of depth make the shower feel. It was such a good decision to go with our gut and put in a large shower base. The space would’ve otherwise gone unused  (space between the toilet and the shower) and having the extra space in the shower seems so luxurious. Knowing that we would be installing glass doors helped me visualize that the space wouldn’t feel cramped. In fact, the shower seems like another room entirely and the bathroom as a whole just seems so much bigger!

vanity floor and paint

The paint is Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore. I wanted something soft and serene for the bathroom, but something that wasn’t too close to the colour in our bedroom  – Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore. Palladian Blue has a bit more green in it. I’d call it very beach-y. And I love it! I had originally selected a colour in the paint store that I liked that I thought would work, then I found out it was on the same swatch as Ocean Air, so I knew I had to switch it up. (I guess I like what I like!) All the trim and casing are Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

The baskets you see here are Threshold from Target.

So there you have it! I think I’ve covered it all. If you have any questions just let me know. We still need to add a towel bar and a towel hook for when we step out of the shower. I’d also like to add some art or a shelf above the toilet. I’ll have to see what jumps out at me while I’m shopping. For now, I’m just basking in the glow of our bright and airy bathroom. Weird? Ya… it sounds weird, but whatever, I’ll call it bathroom bliss.