The Boys’ Shared Room: Navy, Gray & Rugby Stripes

We moved Thomas and Peter into a shared room the day after Pete turned 2. I shared my inspiration for the boys’ room a month and a half ago, so I’m back with the current final reveal. Here’s what the room looked like when it was just Tom’s room. Peter will move out of the crib sometime this year (no rush, baby boy!) and at that point we’ll have to figure out a new bed situation, so the goal was to make due mostly with what we had and simplify the room so that when it’s time to get rid of the crib, we have some wiggle room to make more changes if needed. So this is a “for now reveal” of the boys’ shared room.

gray owl boys room

boys shared room

 

I bought a new, lower bookshelf to act as a bedside table between the two beds. I hunted for a long time for a vintage piece on wheels to no avail. Finally, I was about to buy an IKEA 4×4 Kallax shelf and put it on casters, when I discovered that Target sells copies in a “wood” finish that I like a lot more than IKEA’s, and in a lot more size configurations. Love that Target and their knock-offs. The lighter wood tone is the direction I was hoping to go with the room anyway. My style has changed a lot since I bought the trundle bed for Thomas 4 years ago – I like a more collected look now – a little modern, a little vintage, far less traditional than I used to be, and their future beds will likely not be espresso – metal or painted, or who knows!?. I like that I have some time to decide on that.  We put the shelf on casters so we can wheel it out of the way to pull out the trundle bed when Nell wants to bunk with her brothers.

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I bought two of these trunk baskets to house the boys’ “treasures”. The texture is a nice addition to the room, the gray wood tone helps to tie in the new bookshelf, and Thomas is a bit of a “collector” and having a place for all of his stuffies so they’re not overflowing onto the floor was necessary.

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So that’s that. It was an easy and inexpensive re-do, and works really well for the boys for this stage of our lives. No telling what the room will look like in a year when Pete’s out of the crib, but this is the boys’ room for now!

Room Sources:

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Bed: Similar to Pottery Barn Elliot Bed

Crib: Similar to Pottery Barn Kendall Crib

Trunks: IKEA

Bookshelf: Threshold by Target (casters added)

“Brave” Canvas: Hobby Lobby

Inspiration for the Boys’ Room

In preparation for Quattro’s arrival, we’re getting Thomas and Peter ready to share a room. Thomas is so excited about the idea of sharing a room with Peter. When reality hits, I have a feeling it’s going to be quite the adjustment. And sleep-personality wise, it probably would be a better fit to put Nell and Peter in the same room. But this is what we’re doing for now. No guarantees that it won’t change. Because I like to change things up over here, anyway. Long term, I kind of predict that Peter and Quattro (who at the rate of progress we’re making on boys’ names over here will probably end up actually being named Quattro…) will share a room, as they’ll be closer in age than Tom and Pete. But who knows. We’ll see how personalities emerge over the next few years. For the forseeable future, Tom and Pete will share Thomas’s current room.

 

boys shared room inspiratoin

The overall feel of the room is going to stay the same – we just have to squeeze a lot more into the space and do it in a way that looks good. The boys’ rooms have always played off of each other, so moving them together will not be too tough. I still love the navy blue rugby stripe duvet cover (from Pottery Barn Kids) that we bought for Thomas when he was still an only child and his orange star sheets. Peter received a navy rugby stripe and orange star crib sheet as his “needs” for Christmas. Tom’s bed and Pete’s crib are stylistically similar (similar to the current Elliott bed and Kendall crib but purchased many years ago and no longer made by the retailers I purchased them from), so that will work well. Tom’s bed is not what I would pick if I were shopping today, and when Peter’s out of the crib I may re-think the bed situation all together, but for now, the furniture remains.

We’ll likely have to lose the bookcase that’s currently in Tom’s room. I’m okay with this. If we are able to make it work in the room, I will likely give it a little makeover to reduce the amount of dark espresso wood in the room. As I was dreaming up a plan for the boys’ room at the end of the summer, I envisioned metal beds. But, switching out the beds now isn’t practical as our bed needs will definitely evolve over the next few years – who knows how long Pete will last in the crib (but I learned after springing Nell from her crib at a little over 2 that I shouldn’t mess with a good thing, so he’ll be crib-bound as long as he stays in there safely!), and who will share which rooms long term?  So, I envision lightening the room up with a different bookcase that can double as a night table between the two beds, and adding in a mix of metal to help the room feel a little more fresh.

With the boys sharing, we’ll definitely need more storage, so I’m planning to put trunks at the end of each of their beds for their stuffies. I’d love to do some industrial-inspired wall shelves if we have room for artwork and containing the treasures of an almost 6 and 2 year old. All of the artwork in the inspiration above is already in either Tom’s or Pete’s rooms, but we’ll pull it all together for an eclectic mix that suits both of them.

So, that’s my vision for Tom and Pete’s shared room. A lot of what actually happens will depend on how things work out when we start moving things around – measurements only tell me so much, I have to play with the furniture placement before I can commit! Thomas thinks it would be best if Peter moved in when he was two (all that maturity that two brings, you know), so he’s decided that moving day will be March 6th. Nice to have a kid who plans like I do. As soon as I have the boys together, I’ll start thinking about tweaking Peter’s room for Quattro. It will stay mostly the same, but I think every baby deserves a little bit of a refresh.

Nell’s Big Girl Room

I just posted that I’m not really blogging anymore, but then I was clearing out the camera card before our vacation and realized I had pictures of Nell’s room that I could share. The shelves in her room aren’t styled (and probably never will be), but you all can overlook that, right? Last time I showed you Nell’s room, I had a 3 year old (enough said) a 1 year old and a colicky, refluxy 1 month old who screamed 20 hours a day. I can’t believe I pulled that blog post together. 16 months later, I have a sweet, helpful 5 year old; 3 year old (still enough said) and a wild 17 month old.  And I’ve given up on “pulling” any kind of blog post together. So how ’bout some quick pics and a few words here and there instead?

I bought a Jenny Lind bed off of Craigslist last month, and that was the impetus I needed to get Nell’s room whipped into shape. The bed was in great shape and I decided to keep it walnut – I love an old piece of furniture in every room, and I love a little bit of real wood tone in every room, too. With the bed came a vanity. It was in really bad shape and needed to be refinished, and I didn’t really like it. So I figured I’d chalk paint it and if still I didn’t like it, I’d sell it. And what color did I paint it? Raspberry pink.  Remember when I said there’d be no pink just because I had a girl? Yep. Feel free to laugh at me. I’ve embraced pink. The mirror on the vanity bounces light around her room nicely, and Nell loves her “pink desk” – she calls it a desk, and I don’t think my three year old needs to know anything about makeup and vanities, so we’re rolling with it.

raspberry and navy girl's room

painted jenny lind

My approach to decorating kids’ rooms is similar to my approach to the rest of my house – I keep the walls and bigger elements neutral and pretty classic and always include an antique or two (usually in their natural wood tones) in each room and then I have fun with the less expensive pieces. I don’t do theme rooms for kids in the sense that they have a theme comforter, themed artwork, and decals on the wall, but I bring their personality into the rooms in colors and the occasional art piece. Nell LOVES pink – I tolerate it. So, she has a quilt with some raspberry in it – a more tolerable shade of pink for me, but the quilt has lots of other colors that we played up throughout the room. The navy especially helps balance the raspberry for me, and ties Nell’s room in nicely to the rest of the house.  Nell’s bed and furniture are all old and I tend to like more of a mix of old and new in furniture, so I made sure that the patterns in her room were bright and colorful and modern to help keep her room from feeling heavy. Bright white roman shades on her windows also look clean and tailored and keep the feel of the room light.

 

navy raspberry and mint girl's room

 

 

window seat in girl's room

Confession: I never actually sewed the cover for Nell’s window seat, just wrapped the fabric around it – as you can see in the photo above. It’s on my list of things to get to this Fall.

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So, that’s our Nell’s room. It’s one of my favorite rooms in our house. It’s also the only room in the house that has any pink in it. I must be going soft :) . Tom’s room is my current project – I’m updating his gallery shelves and tweaking the layout a bit to be more functional for our kindergartner. Unbelievable.

Styling an Entryway Bench

We’ve been in our home for almost two years now, which is almost impossible to believe! Our living room is the first room you see when you walk through the door, and we’ve played around with a lot of different arrangements for it, but I think we’ve finally found a system that works for us. The room is part entryway – that’s just inevitable – but that doesn’t mean that it has to look like a dumping ground! I added a sweet, cottage bench from Sauder furniture to the living room, styled it, and have an awesome entryway that doubles as extra seating at a party. Sauder invited me to be a part of their “Put Together” Design Challenge and Lookbook, and I jumped at the chance to style a piece of furniture to make it uniquely me!

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DIY Boxwood Wreath

Last week while the kiddos were napping, I whipped up a wreath for Spring for our front door. I’d been on the hunt for a great wreath that would take me from St. Patrick’s Day to Fall. I had a cute Valentine’s Wreath on the door for Valentine’s, but I really don’t want to store a wreath or door hanger for every holiday. So I was on the hunt for a season-less wreath – specifically boxwood that didn’t cost an arm and a leg – but couldn’t find one. Then, I stumbled across this tutorial on Pinterest for a 15 minute, $15 boxwood lookalike wreath and decided I could do it.

DIY Boxwood Wreath Our Hobby Lobby just moved and the day I went to the new store they had no grapevine wreath forms and no greenery out, so I went to Michael’s where I spent $30 instead of the tutorial’s $15, but it was a day when sometimes just being done with errands is worth an extra $15. And I did come away with actual faux Boxwood greenery instead of a lookalike, which Hobby Lobby doesn’t carry, so I was happy. The process was simple (and detailed in the tutorial linked above), but basically you stretch out the boxwood garland and use floral wire to wire it to the wreath form every few inches. I followed her easy bow tutorial, too, and in 15 minutes I had a wreath that will last me through the summer.

simple diy boxwood wreath

I love the greenery it adds to our navy blue door. We’re embarking on a big landscaping overhaul this Spring – we have the plans and will be planting this month or next, weather depending. But, I’m excited to add some greenery and life to the outside of our house – our exterior paint and lighting upgrades (the exact lights Joanna Gaines used on a house a couple weeks ago on Fixer Upper – I was patting myself on the back for picking them out on my own a full year before that episode aired) last Spring got us started in the right direction, and now it’s time to amp up our little cottage’s curb appeal even more. Can’t wait to see how our front yard takes shape this Spring and Summer!

A Gallery Display in Thomas’s Room

A year ago, I was scrambling to get Thomas and Nell’s rooms “finished” after moving in before Peter’s arrival. We worked with what we had, not wanting to spend a ton with a new baby on the way. So, a year has gone by, and there are a few things that just weren’t working in the kids rooms. So, I’m taking it one room at a time, getting things in working order, adding finishing touches and just giving the rooms a little new life for Spring. Thomas’s room is the first up. I’m excited to share pictures with you soon of his space soon, but we rearranged his furniture last week, I ordered him new sheets for his bed, am on the hunt for a solution for his windows, and am now focusing on getting something up on the walls.

 

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Our House at Christmas: 2014

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve had a lot of fun getting our house ready for Christmas this year. Last year was moving year. The tree and ornaments and stockings came out of storage, and I did put garland on the mantle, but that was about it. I didn’t have a feel for the house yet without buying all new things – and going out and buying all new isn’t really my budget-minded style. Last year our Christmas decor splurge was exterior lights that worked with our new roofline. This year, we were going to buy a new tree, but as Thanksgiving rolled around and neither B nor I had actively searched for a good fake tree (we both love real trees but we’re both allergic to pine trees, so we go fake for the sake of not having hives and itchy eyes all season long), we laughed when I said, “We’re not getting a new tree this year, are we?” and B said, “I’m pretty sure the kids are going to to want to put the tree up this weekend, so probably not, unless you want to try a real tree? We SHOULD look for one after Christmas and get a deal…but…” and I finished his sentence, “…but we won’t, because after Christmas we the last thing we want to do is spend more money. Especially on stuff we can’t use for another year.” And B said, “Exactly.”  Our tree has been around for 7 years, and we bought it on clearance as a floor model back then. It has lots of holes in it, and it’s a little bit short, and the top branch doesn’t hold a tree topper straight. But the kids don’t care. And someday we’ll replace it, but for now, we’ll just make it work.

Living Room Tree

Back in 2007, I had a cute tree skirt made with our soon-to-be last name that matched our stockings. It was cranberry red. If you’re just joining us, I discovered a lot about myself after we bought our first house. The number one thing I discovered? I love red in other peoples homes, it feels homey and cozy and warm. But it isn’t me. I like cool tones. So I felt like our stockings and tree skirt always pigeon holed me into sticking to dark red and green Christmas colors. And I didn’t love it. I have been eying a galvanized bucket for a tree stand for three years – ever since I saw one on Terrain’s website in 2012. Last year I found one and they all sold out before I placed my order, so when I saw it back in stock this year, I ordered it immediately. And it has been sitting in our Dining Room since September 15th. When we pulled the tree out of the crawl space last Saturday, I was so glad I’d bought the tree collar. It’s way more us.

Rustic Modern Christmas

I have always loved the look of garland on the stairs, and now we live in a house that was made for Christmas garland. And that makes me happy. I love that from our kitchen table, you can see lights in every room – the kitchen, the family room, the living room, the upstairs hallway. We still have the traditional red and green stockings. I was going to buy us all new white ones (I always said when our family was complete, I’d buy all new stockings), but the practical side of me intervened. Also, Thomas told me he loves his stocking. So they stayed for this year.

Family Room

In the spirit of updating what we have without spending much, I focused on the finishing touches. I’ve also always had red and green and gold plaid ribbon on our tree and outdoor wreaths because it’s what my mom always put on her tree and wreaths. And it works for Caroline, but I realized very quickly that while my mom and I have similar overall taste, we have different styles. Does that make sense? So, finally this year, I bought some burlap ribbon. Burlap and galvanized metal. It’s beginning to look a lot like a B and Emily Christmas. About time. :)

Christmas Decor 2014 There are other little things here and there: our advent wreath in the kitchen that the kids and I made at church one snowy Tuesday night while B was traveling, and our activity Advent calendar that our friends gave us a few years ago.  Our Little People Nativity sits on the console table under our gallery wall, but is usually strewn about the family room floor. And that’s our house at Christmas this year.

One Bookshelf Three Ways

You might remember back in September when I shared our new living room bookshelf with you. The process of ordering the Sauder Barrister Lane bookcase and putting it together was a breeze. We love this bookshelf and I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received on both the piece of furniture and the placement of it in our living room.

But, if you’ve been around for any length of time, you probably know that I just can’t leave well enough alone. I love to rearrange furniture (our family room is currently a mess as I figure out another furniture layout for our sectional…), and this bookshelf was no exception. One Bookcase 3 Ways

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One Year Later House Tour: Breakfast Nook and Dresser as Dining Buffet

It’s kitchen season over here. 3 years ago at this time, I was just getting started on transforming our old builder grade kitchen into my dream kitchen (painted cabinets, Silestone Marengo countertops, DIY Subway Tile backsplash). And as soon as we wrap up Thomas’s birthday, I’m doing the same at our new house. Well, I’m starting on cabinet prep this week. I think B and I would both like to replace the countertops and we’d really love to install a single basin sink like we did at our last house, but our granite counters here, while not my favorite material (I’m a Quartz over granite girl any day), are fine so we’re going to keep them for the foreseeable future. But before we get to the kitchen redo, let’s talk about the breakfast nook.

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Since we moved in, I’ve been on the hunt for an old dresser to use as a buffet and storage in the bay window of our breakfast nook. I’ve hunted Craigslist, thrift stores, antique stores and garage sales for a year with no luck. We’ve had an ektorp bookcase we used in the basement at our old house in the bay window for the last six months as a place holder (mostly because once we moved it out of our dining room, we didn’t have another place for it and the bay window was open). And then, just last weekend, I was out for a run with Thomas (on his bike) and I spotted a dresser in a garage sale two blocks from our house that I thought would be perfect for my vision. It wasn’t old, but it had drawers and doors like I’d hoped and I loved the bead board character of it. And it was chippy enough thanks to living in a house with 3 kids for several few years to pass as older. And I figure after it lives in my house with 3 kids for many, it will look even chippier. It had a broken leg, which I knew we could fix, so it was $15. Done and dusted. Thomas and I sprinted home and sent B with my car to load it in – he was questioning my vision for sure, but he will be the first to tell you that he’s learned over the years to just let me work with my visions because they usually work out, and when they don’t, I figure something out.

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My instinct was to paint the dresser a bright color, but since it was already chippy white, I decided to move it into the kitchen and see how I felt about the white. And I’m really liking it – it’s easy on the eye and allows other colors to pop off of it – like the happy birthday banner that’s currently living on it because it’s birthday season here at imperfect.

 

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The buffet is currently acting as my coffee station – I couldn’t stand having the Keurig taking up my precious counter space, so I moved it to the buffet and it’s working perfectly. I held out on the Keurig for so long due to the cost of the pods and the fact that they aren’t recyclable, but my parents gave me this ‘lil guy for Christmas last year, and with a reusable, refillable cup, it’s super convenient. My reusuable Keurig cup and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee lives in the top drawer so everything’s close at hand. And post Whole30, I enjoy my coffee black, so I grab it straight from the Keurig and head straight to the back patio in the mornings before the kids are up to breathe in the cool morning air and have some me-time.

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I love how the breakfast nook is coming together. The DIY painted industrial pendant plays nicely with the wood and metal tones on the table and chairs, and with the buffet being white, it doesn’t compete for attention. I like an element of surprise in every room – whether it’s an antique piece in an otherwise new furniture room, or a pop of color amongst my normal white and gray and wood tones, I think having something that’s us but not expected helps to inject our personalities into each room, and makes the difference, for our family at least, between a house and our home.

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1 Year Later House Tour: Gallery Wall

In our house, there’s a long hallway at the back of the house – it takes you from the powder room, by the office on your right and living room on your left, through the family room and into the kitchen. And it’s the perfect place for a gallery wall.

I love our family gallery wall.  There are times when I’m tempted to make it more eclectic -  mix it up and add some barn board frames and a few funky elements. And someday I might. But for now, it makes a big statement, and the black frames help ground it for me.

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The gallery wall hasn’t changed much since we put it up – I’ve mixed in some different pictures but kept the layout the same. I try to keep our family wall current, while also representing our family at different phases of our lives. The pictures move in and out of the frames a lot.

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Our console table houses a drop basket for keys and wallets and sunglasses, a Christmas cactus that was grown from a clipping of my great-Grandmother’s Christmas cactus, library books (just because I can keep them all together there) and a big basket for snuggly blankets.

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It’s not a fancy, staged vignette, but it’s our real life, and it works for our family.