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?

Notchwood – The Final Chapter

At the beginning of the year I mentioned, kinda off-hand that we sold our second home. And I even showed a few photos from the updates we did to the (now old) house.

I thought that a nice way to wrap up that house with a bow and for a little closure and posterity’s sake I’d share with you some parting shots of our second home.

Notchwood- foyer

The main entrance of our house – the foyer. We painted in here, replaced the light fixtures, painted tone-on-tone stripes for an accent wall, and put up some decorative shelves.

Notchwood- Living RoomThis room was basically unchanged the whole time we were here. Our “formal” living room was never really used – except for epic dance parties and when we used it as a guest room for visitors.

Notchwood-dining room

Always loved our dining room. The only somewhat DIY that we did in here was replace the light fixture with the one from our kitchen  after we found a new light for our eat-in kitchen. Did some sewing projects here and shared some delicious meals with friends and family.




Refinished the kitchen table and chairs and repainted the walls, and replaced the light fixture but otherwise this kitchen was already renovated when we moved in.


Lots of transformations and updates in this room. New furniture, new paint, new floors, new curtains and a new rug before we left.

Notchwood-master bedroom

Our master bedroom had its fair share of updates too. New paint, new furniture and bedding, new drapes and some bedside table makeovers. And no room in this house had more of a transformation than our master bedroom ensuite.

Notchwood-master ensuite

All new everything.

Notchwood-Harry's room

Harry’s room was transformed from our guest room once we had made enough people to fill all of our bedrooms. I’m so happy with how this room turned out even though there was still more I wanted to do to it. This room had a new coat of paint, and was the room that kicked off the new trim colour throughout the house. Our DIY dresser still lives in Harry’s new room. One of my favourite projects. And so easy!


So many happy memories in this nursery.



And finally the basement that was one of the last big projects that we tackled by sprucing it up with some paint and making the boys’ playroom a lot more functional and organized.


The playroom project in that house is another one that I was so happy with. I’m hoping to create a similar space for the boys in the new house.

So that’s it! That’s the grand tour of our second home. I have so many great memories of our time in that house – from decorating the nursery and bringing home both boys, many happy meals (and McHappy meals), and hosting friends and family and watching the boys run around in the yard and out to the park. It was such a good house and we’re happy it has found another great family.

PS: All of these amazing photos of the house were taken by the talented Ryan at First Look. So if you’re in need of real estate photography give him a call.


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!

A Place to Play

The January Cure has ended and I’ve made some great progress on creating a better more functional, and fun space for the boys to play.

Let’s remember what it looked like when I started.

Playroom before

It was a hot mess!

And now that I’ve put in a little elbow grease and had some help from Roland’s muscles:

play room overview after

A much better use of the space. I can’t believe how much bigger it looks now. I’m not kidding you those pictures are taken from about the same spot in the room!

going up

Going vertical with the shelving was definitely a game changer for this space. We gained so much storage by using the Expedit that we already had in use in another spot in the house. The Expedit isn’t as deep as the previous storage/media cabinet that we had so it takes up even less floor space, and obviously goes about four times higher too.

baskets and bins

On the bottom shelf I used stackable bins with lids that snap closed to sort Harrison’s toys by type. (I found them at Costco) He has train tracks, train accessories, Duplo, all of his Chuck the Truck cars and their Twist Tracks, and one bin for his larger cars and hard toys. I wanted the bins to be on the bottom shelf so that Harrison could easily reach them by himself and because they tend to be heavier I didn’t want him to have to lift them down. The closed bins work great too because Foster can’t get in at the small parts.

On the next shelf I used Ikea baskets (I need to pick up one more next time I’m there) to corral lots of Foster’s toys like soft toys, hard musical toys, stuffies, and one for balls. When Foster is playing here I can just grab a basket and place on its side on the floor and Foster loves to rifle through it and find the toys he wants to play with.

Obviously a selection of books was necessary too. We have lots more books but we read in every corner of the house so they’re really spread out!

Puzzles and larger items are stored up higher and the CD player is within Harrison’s reach and is right near the outlet, but well out of reach for Foster even when he gets to pulling himself up on anything and everything.

I just love how much new-found space we have. There’s lots of room to grow as we’re not using many of the shelves for anything but “display” right now.

Shelving plus wall colour

This photo best shows the new wall colour I chose for the space. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. It complements the Sea Star really nicely and is a nice light colour. If you scroll back up to the first two pictures you can see the golden yellow colour that is currently covering the rest of the walls in the basement. When I get around to it, painting the rest will make a big difference to the overall space in the basement.

chalkboard wall

I’m happy to report that the chalkboard wall is still a hit. Harrison loves to draw me pictures and loves choosing from his new selection of colourful chalk.

chalk close up

I couldn’t resist trying out a little chalk lettering to christen the chalkboard. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it!

play room overview after

So that’s how far I’ve gotten after devoting a good chunk of time to it over the month of January.

Of course, there’s still a few things I’d like to do to the space.

  • 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?

I’m sure the list and the space will evolve as the boys grow and the way we use the space changes.

So, what do you think? I think it’s a pretty happy place to hang out.

Chalk it up to a trend

I don’t know if you’ve heard but painting something with chalkboard paint is kinda “in” right now. I’m about the last person on the planet to jump on this trendy train but I did it and I’m so glad I finally did.

I’ve added a chalkboard wall to the play area and I love it already.

This isn’t going to be much of a tutorial but just an update on the progress I’m making in the boys play room.

I taped off a section of the newly-painted wall (you can see a better view of the new colour below) that is centred in the alcove and followed the instructions on the can. I cut in around the edges with a short handled brush and then used a roller on the rest. It was a very quick job, but required two coats.

Then, as per the directions, I let it be for three days. So we waited not so patiently.

The next step was to “condition” the surface by rubbing a piece of chalk over the entire surface and dry rubbing it off. And I was so excited that the three days were up that I forgot to take a picture of the wall after two coats of chalkboard paint. (I used this one from Home Depot) Foster was on hand to help me out with this step. Here’s a picture of the wall half conditioned.

Foster helping me out

half conditioned

You realize just how uneven your walls are when you rub a piece of chalk on it.

close up

Once it was fully covered it was looking like this.

fully conditioned

Then, all I did was take a rag and wipe it all off. And then vacuum up all the dust.

final dry off

Foster approves! (Woah! Did that photo make you dizzy? Sorry… I didn’t bother getting the tripod out.)

I need to wait a full week before using a wet rag to wipe it off, but it’s ready to write on for now. I showed Harrison last night and he loves it. He wanted to practice his letters right away. So we played a bit before dinner. I’ll need to pick up some new colours, because he was a bit disappointed with my lack of selection (only white).

What do you think? Have you jumped on the chalkboard train yet? What creative things have you painted in chalkboard paint? I’ve seen everything from kids tables to fridges.

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.