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?



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: Honeymoon edition

Putting more holes in the walls and dressing up our family room this time.

branch of love

This candle holder moved with us from our first house and we just never put it up when we moved. We bought this on our honeymoon so it has a special place in my heart and I think being in the family room is just the perfect spot for it.

leaves of love

The little candles give a little ambiance to the room. I love that the leaves and branches ties in to the DIY art that I made a little while ago. Turns out this room is shaping up to have a tree/leaf theme. Hopefully each candle represents a decade of love that’s instore for us. (Too mushy? Too bad.)

sneak peek

Oooh… sneak peek at our Christmas decorations!

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.

Fall Mantle

I’m not usually one to decorate for the seasons – except for Christmas, of course. Besides the odd thing here or there for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc. or decorating for a specific party (Super Bowl etc) I don’t usually change our home’s decor that much.

I mean, who am I kidding, I’m still trying to just get it decorated at all. But there’s something about the fall that makes me want to look inside and spruce things up. Its like another chance at spring cleaning, only its fall decorating. Its at this time of year that I want our home to feel the coziest, and most welcoming. So, I got the urge to change up our mantle for the fall.

A Simple Fall Mantle - to london with love

I wanted to use mostly things we already had around the house and it took me about 10 minutes to do.

Fall Mantle

The black lanterns on the left we’ve had since our wedding (we put them in the garden and lit candles after dark). If you don’t have lanterns you could easily gather twigs and branches from your yard and place them in a couple of similar vases.

The mirror I’ve had since the spring. Its a HomeSense find that I thought might go above our bed, but it’s too big. It was one of those I-better-take-it-home-with-me-now, too-good-to-pass-up purchases. I loved it and the price was right, so even though I didn’t know the measurement of the height above our headboard I took a chance. For $24.99 I figured if it didn’t fit there I’d find a place for it somewhere else. It’ll find a home somewhere  in the house after this mantle. Maybe still in our bedroom? If you don’t have a sunburst mirror,  you could replace it with a mirror of a different shape, or a clock.

The leafy swag (best seen in the first photo) I’ve also had for ages. I used to hang it on or above our door in the fall, but this seemed like a good spot for it this year. You could quickly and easily recreate this look with Dollar Store stems, or with a long, low basket.

Autumn Essentials freebie

The Autumn Essentials print is a freebie from Jones Design Company. You can download it here. I just popped it into a Ribba frame from Ikea that we already had. I can’t wait for her Winter or Holiday print. I’m not sure which it’ll be, but I’m sure I’ll find a spot for it in our house.

Fall Mantle Peas

I already had the candle on display, so I just propped it up with a few books with spines in colours I liked (Hunger Games, Silos, Politics and Turf Wars, and Treasure Island) and poured some split peas in the vase to add a little bit of green. You could easily recreate this even without a candle with coffee beans, candy corn or unpopped popcorn, acorns, or pine cones.

Fall Mantle left

That chair is calling my name!

The twins have arrived

And in fact, you can even snuggle with these twins, but they’re not of the baby variety. But that doesn’t make me want to hug and kiss them and coo over them any less. Is that weird?

Back in mid-July I ordered a pair of chairs on Joss & Main.

When I first saw them I liked the look of them, and to my surprise, Roland agreed. We do our best not to bring anything into the house that the other doesn’t completely agree on so I was so glad that he liked the chairs too. So, with his “ok”, I googled around to see if I could find them anywhere else  to find out if the price was good, better or best and, if possible, to read some reviews.

I was able to find the chairs on Overstock and Amazon, and the reviews were positive overall, so from there we were go for ordering.

I had them shipped to my mom and she visited on the weekend and was kind enough to deliver the twins.

the twins

I love how they look in the room. They add some much-needed seating, and look great with our sofa. They are tailored and comfy and just the right size for the space.

chair detail

And the best part was how much of a deal they were. We paid $350 for both chairs including tax! That’s less than today’s Overstock price for just one chair! I couldn’t pass up this steal, and I’m so glad I didn’t.

The room is really starting to come together now. I’d like to add some side tables, and maybe a lamp for reading in the chair on the left. I also need to figure out some toy storage (see bottom left corner of the first photo – that’s a cardboard box holding toys). We need more “stuff” on the walls, too. But for now I’m just glad we don’t have to all stuff into the couch when we have company over.