Boys’ Rooms Tour

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

instagram-paint-cans

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.

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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.

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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?

New Nest House Tour – Second Floor

It’s time for Part Two of the tour of the new house. Come on up!

Foyer and Stairs

From the top of the stairs there’s a hallway to the right that leads to all the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

hallway

The closed double doors you see above lead to the walk-in linen closet. At the very top of the stairs on the right (the partial door you see above on the right) leads to our guest bedroom.

Guest Room

A guest bedroom was high on our list of “wants” when searching for and then planning our new house. Since all of our family live out of town, we wanted to have a space for them when they come to visit (hint-hint). We have already put this room to good use and it has been so nice to offer our friends and family who visit, a place of their own in our home. (I hope they enjoyed it too!) And we don’t have to offer them blow up mattresses in make-shift “bedrooms” any more.

Guest Room Ensuite

The guest room also has its own ensuite – again to give our guests a space of their own when visiting. No need to subject them to the boys’ bad aim, or the ring of dirt they seem to leave in the bathtub every.single.time.

Next up I’ll show you around what I’ve been calling “boy zone”.

boy zone 1

Open door leading into Harry’s room. Closed door leads into Foster’s room.

boy zone 2

Door to Foster’s room.

boy zone 3

Looking out of “boy zone” into the hallway towards the guest bedroom.

When we were first planning the house I thought this space was kind of wasted, but based on the design plan the space couldn’t really be attributed to either boy’s room or it would make the doorways extremely awkward. Our builder also pointed out that this division helps to give some separation to “boy zone” (the bedrooms) and will help with sound dampening as well. And now that we have it, I really love it. I think it’s unique and gives our boys a little extra shared space, and I have so many ideas about how we’re going to make this area special and functional for the boys.

Foster's Room

Foster’s room is the one at the front of the house and it gets beautiful sunlight in the afternoon and evening. The door you see above leads from Foster’s room into the boys’ shared bathroom.

Boy's Bathroom

From each bedroom the boys enter into this common sink area. I really wanted to do something fun and special for the boys’ bathroom so we opted for the green cabinets, and a single trough sink with two faucets. I LOVE how it turned out. (Also the door you see above leads into Harry’s room and is the only peek into his room that we have from before the move).

Boy's Shower Room

From the sink area, the boys then have a tub/toilet area that can be closed off from the sink area. Which I think will be really great as they get older and want some privacy. The separation will allow them to both use different parts of the bathroom at once.

Master Bedroom

And our master bedroom is at the back of the house and our large window makes use of our great views. We often see deer out in the field behind our house in the mornings or at dusk and the sunrises are incredible. If you were standing at the window looking out and turned right you could see into our master ensuite.

Master Bathroom

We decided to go with classic white for the cabinets and the countertops are a white quartz with just a hint of sparkle to give it a bit of elegance. We also upgraded to a kitchen height cabinet in our bathroom instead of standard height since both husbandman and I are relatively tall. It was well worth it.

Master Bathroom Shower

Our walk-in shower is insanely large. What else can I say?

Master Bathroom Tub

And this tub is just awesome. It faces the window (the reflection of which you can see in the shower photo above, and the first bathroom photo) and it looks out on the field and the green space behind our yard. I specifically asked for the window to be large and low so that I could take advantage of the view while in the tub.

So there you have it! A tour of our 2nd floor four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

If you’re catching up, check out these posts: New Nest – The Plan, New Nest – Exterior Tour, New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

Now that you’ve seen the plan and the outside of the house, it’s time to show you around the inside. These photos were taken right before we moved in. I thought I’d give you the “clean slate” tour.

Since our move in November we’ve added lots of love and chaos (and furniture, of course) and I’ll show you some updated shots in another post. We haven’t done much decorating yet as we’re just living in the space and trying to figure out how we want the space to flow and what we need/want for each space. That list is getting longer and more specific every day, and the boys are begging me to decorate their rooms, so I suspect I’ll be busy this fall with adding some touches to the house that will make it feel even more like home. And what better time than fall than to cozy up the house?!

Foyer from stairs

Foyer and Stairs

The powder room is behind the door pictured above.

Family Room and Coffered Ceiling

The coffered ceilings in the family room is definitely the best bang for our buck item we put in the new house. LOVE!

Kitchen View 2

As you saw in the plan post we decided on a very open floor plan, particularly because we like entertaining (and also for keeping an eye on the kiddos). Hopefully you can see in these photos that though it is quite open, the spaces have some distinct separations. Like how the kitchen can’t be seen from the front door, and the dining room is tucked in the corner of the house – close to the kitchen but out of the way for a little dining privacy.

Kitchen View 1

Kitchen View 3

Kitchen sink

quartz close up

cabinets close up

Kitchen and Family Room

Hallway

Butler's Pantry

Dining Room

Most of our finishes were selected from our builder’s selections so I don’t have specific details on all the items in the house, like the floors or doors. But here are some of the big items:

Paint colour: Sherwin Williams Repose Grey

Kitchen countertops: Caesarstone Bianco Drift

Kitchen sink: Kohler

All the light fixtures except the dining room: Canarm

Dining room light fixture: The Bay – Renwil Perugia

New Nest – Exterior Tour

I hope you guys liked the sneak peek at our new nest plans and some of the interior spaces. Before I take you inside for a house tour, I thought I’d start by showing you around the exterior of the house just like you were pulling up to our house for a visit.

Also if you follow along on Instagram you know that in late July and early August we had a patio project on the go, so it seems appropriate to show you this newly completed project that I teased on Instagram and that has made such a difference to the whole look of the house and the function we get from it.

But first, let me show you what the house was looking like when we moved in.

Eaglecrest with driveway

Our house is new craftsman in style and the exterior reflects that. We didn’t go wild with colour choices and tried to stick with browns and greys. Choosing exterior colours was extremely nerve-wracking. The samples to choose from are quite small (especially when you consider the size of the house) and there weren’t any other houses in previous neighbourhoods that we felt got it exactly right (for us), so we had to select “blind” in a way. And once you’ve selected you just have to wait for them to start putting it on the house and hope and pray that you love it because there’s no going back now.

When we moved in last fall we put the patio at the top of our wish list for projects come springtime. We use our bbq year-round and the boys need to run around so we knew we’d want to make use of our backyard (and have access) as soon as possible.

First up, our lawn was installed right before the May long weekend. And boy did that make a difference to how the yard looked. We only had to stay off it for 3 weeks. #kidscantwaitthatlong

new grass

 

yard looking left

 

sprinkler

Don’t let those photos fool you. It looked extremely green in the spring in the few weeks after we got sod… and then we had one of the hottest, driest summers on record.

In terms of planning the yard we knew that building our dream yard would be more than a one year project. Being able to budget and save up year over year was the main reason, but also because it’ll give us a bit more time to live in the house (and the yard) and decide what’s most important to us, and how we use the space.  We asked the designer to show us a plan of our yard that would offer us all of the wants/needs for our yard all at once so that we could see the big picture and not make any hard to undo “mistakes” that we’d be kicking ourselves over later. Once we had the big picture then we’d consider how much we wanted to bite off at a time. For example, we didn’t want to put in a patio this year that the designer would tell us would get in the way of a future pool or fire pit next year or beyond.

Our BIG wish list included:

  • Large kid-friendly stairs leading out from the patio doors,
  • A large patio that could accommodate grilling, dining and lounging,
  • Low-maintenance gardens
  • A pool
  • A hot tub
  • A fire pit
  • A walkway from our driveway around the side of our house to the backyard
  • A fence (especially required if we put in a pool)

I’m guessing that like many home plans the yard will evolve as our family grows and will constantly be a work in progress.

We really want our backyard to be a place we can spend our summers entertaining, enjoying the natural surroundings of our yard, play with the kids and eat as many meals as possible al fresco.

So this summer we tackled  “phase one” which included front gardens, gardens on the right side of the house, and stairs from the patio doors and a stone patio spanning the width of the house and some some additional planting. We also included some lighting in the gardens and on the stairs.

Before work started the yard was already starting to look pretty crispy, despite our best efforts to water it on our watering day.

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Back Before

Pathetic Stairs 2

Those are some seriously sad-looking stairs.

It only took about two and a half weeks to complete the project (12 working days in all).

Front After

The birch tree in the front makes such a huge difference inside and outside the house. From inside you can see the green leaves through the transom above the front door and it makes our house feel so much more finished. #crazybutitstrue

Side Front After

Side garden

We’re told our side yard is almost no maintenance. This is the side of the house we decided we wouldn’t use at all as a means to get to the back of the yard. The other side of the house makes the most sense, so we decided to simply use up the whole space with garden so that we don’t have to mow it or maintain it much, but it still looks nice.

Back After

Back After 2

The day I took these After photos was extremely bright and a lot of the photos of the patio itself and the patio stones got really washed out. I’ll try to take some new photos on a dimmer day so you can get a sense of the colour. The in-progress photo below does a so-so job but in reality it is much darker grey than these photos suggest.

patio

Already, less than one month later, we have enjoyed so many meals on the patio, and more than a few glasses of wine on the patio after the kids have been tucked in.

Next up patio furniture to fill up the space. The dining set we have fits in the space better than we expected but we’re putting an 8-seater on our patio wish list and keeping an eye out for some end of season deals.

 

 

New Nest – The plan

Now that the Notchwood house has had some closure on the blog (and IRL), it is time to move on and show you what had been taking up so much of our time last year and was (at least somewhat) the reason for me being away from the blog for so long.

We moved into our “new nest”, as I’ve been calling it, in November 2016 and construction took about 5 1/2 months to complete. But before anyone dug a hole or built a wall, we had to have a plan. It took us nearly a month of going back and forth with our builder before we settled on our final product.

What we started with was actually a plan of the builder’s model home. It was called The Station House (which you can find here). And to be honest the first time I walked through it, I didn’t love it. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight. I mean, it was a beautiful home and I thought the builder had made nice design choices for finishes (flooring, backsplash etc.) and structural elements (like countertops and cabinets etc.) but, the plan just seemed to me like there was a lot of wasted space.

The angle of the kitchen/upstairs hallway leaves some large empty corners that are unused space behind a bunch of drywall. And one large space that I knew we could reclaim was the two-storey great room. I’m too practical to give up all that usable living space on the second floor! And one of the major must-haves for our new home was that the house needed four bedrooms and the original plan only had three.

Kitchen no appliances

But what I did like, and husbandman specifically pointed this about the model as well, is that the design isn’t one you see every day. It certainly isn’t your traditional centre-hall plan. And it’s not the more modern take on that which foregoes a formal living room and has a large open kitchen and great room along the back of the house. The Station House Plan was interesting – the angles made it interesting. And as far as new-builds go that was a huge selling point for me.

In our city, there’s still quite a bit of new-home construction going on (though my friend/realtor would probably tell you it has slowed down in recent years). But what we found when we went in search of a builder was pretty much the same house. Sure, there were quirks and unique elements of each house, but they were mostly built from the same mould.

So the uniqueness of The Station House one was enough to convince me that it was a workable starting point for our dream home. Here’s what we came up with.

Main Floor - New NestOn the main floor we didn’t depart from the overall design too much, with one major exception. We flipped the orientation of the kitchen in the middle of the house and pointed the open part of the kitchen towards the long room in the plan. This allowed us to have one large family/great room, and steal some space from the room on the other side for the kitchen and family room. The former two-storey great room became our dining room (with a room above it).

That so-called simple change, did mean we had to do some re-arranging of a few other spaces, like moving the powder room to the front of the house, which required widening the house ever so slightly. We also gained a butler’s pantry with this “move”. And in our final plan we also extended the kitchen length a little to gain a bit more counter and cabinet space on both sides of the kitchen.

mudroom

Second Floor - New Nest

The second floor we changed pretty dramatically. We went through about 4 versions of our 2nd storey before we decided it was just right. We kept the angled hallway, but since we gained lots of space by closing off the Great Room of the original plan, we had more room to work with. There were 2 main guiding principles that we were working towards as we created the changes upstairs. The first was that I was hoping to give the boys a shared “Jack and Jill” (or Jack and Jack in this case) bathroom. And, secondly, since we had selected our lot and it had a pretty nice view (from the rear of the house) I wanted to save those views for the rooms that would get the most use, ie: one of the three main bedrooms. In the end, the Master Bedroom and Ensuite got the “suite” views, and that was an okay plan with us!

Foster's nursery

I think I’ll put together a full post about how we came up with the plan and the reasons we made (or had to make) some choices, so that if you’re building or planning to build (or even renovating) you’ll learn from some of our experiences.

Eaglecrest with driveway

I’ll be working on putting together a house tour (or maybe room by room depending on what I can muster) but I hope these photos and the plans give you a little sneak peek of what our new nest looks like.

We haven’t done much decorating or designing yet as we get settled in to the new house and figure out just how we’re living in and using the spaces. And this summer we’ve taken our projects outside. If you follow me on instagram you’ll know that the past few weeks have been all about #projectpatio, so I’m hoping to share the backyard transformation with you soon too! We’ve been working on the design and details since March, so it’s been amazing to see it all transform in a matter of weeks!

Can’t wait to show you!

 

High/Low

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

high

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

low

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!