Friday, January 23, 2015

Plans for my Little Man's Big Boy Bedroom

Our youngest son is 8 years old.
He's as cute as a button and smart and funny.
For his whole life, he's shared a room with an older brother, and sometimes two older brothers.
Hubs and I decided that when we get back to the states,
our cute, smart, funny man needs his own room.
Not just that it'll be all his, but that it'll be designed for him.
This was the bonus room turned bedroom he shared with his big brother in SC.

(I seriously wish I'd taken more pictures of that room.)
Anyway, it was a big deal.
Our two youngest sons had never had new furniture before that.
When we bought new furniture, we went with the Carter's Kids Lost Creek Collection.
I don't have pics of all the pieces, but we bought both grey and espresso pieces from that line.
What I loved about the space was it wasn't too "little boy".
Kids grow so fast, and I want their rooms to grow with them.
When our little guy gets his own room, I want to give him plenty of storage.
After all, little guys have Legos...lots and lots of Legos.
And then there are all the books and action figures and rock collections.
I love the idea of a wall of storage with an industrial feel.
Like this...

The metal pipes and the wood are just still my heart!
I imagine hubs and I DIY-ing our hearts out on this one.
 And if I close my eyes, I can see bubby's Star Wars sets poised on these shelves, ready for battle.

Since his bed has a high headboard, I'd like to drill into it and
mount a light like the one here...

Doesn't that just scream industrial?
The grey and yellow don't hurt my feelings either.
Although, I've been toying with something along these lines for little man's room...

Maps are so versatile in decor.
Not only do they lend character to a room, but they are perfect for
a day-dreaming adventurer like our littlest boy.
And since he's already pretty well traveled, it would serve as a reminder of past adventures.
I want his big boy bedroom to be all about him.
Here's to 7 months to plan a sweet big boy bedroom!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a Light Kitchen...

Okay so, hubby decided at the end of 2014 that his long season
of service was coming to an end.
This is HUGE for our family!
After 21 years of being an Army family, I don't even know what to
expect from being "civilianized".
But am I excited?
Heck to the yes, I am!
We get to live in a house for longer than 3 years, we get to decide when
we go on vacation, we get to put down roots.
I. Am.Giddy.
Don't get me wrong, being a part of this amazing Army community has been
such a privilege and we've forged bonds every bit as strong as family.
But, something has been put on my dear hubby's heart.
And he's in a position to move toward what he feels called to
in this season.
I'm so proud of him and so thankful to be married to a man
who listens when that still voice speaks.
If the reams of paperwork move smoothly through all the proper channels,
if all the signatures and stamps get put in all the right places,
we should be back in the US of A by the end of August.
Of this year!
In an effort to be helpful,
I'm already doing a mental redecoration of our spaces.
I kid, I kid.
But seriously. I am.
I'm researching paint colors and doing space plans for our furniture.
In the two-ish years I've been in Europe, I've defined my personal style.
It really is the perfect place to get to know timeless style up close and personal.
I still love all shades of aqua because's delicious.
But the bookworm in me wants to nerd out with the classics in
rooms that are more collected and quiet, with shots of quirk and pattern.
We'll be moving back into the house we own in the states.
It is the epitome of builder grade,
which is okay with me because it has potential.
And I don't have to compete with architecture, I can create it.
Realistically, my project wish list will take years.
But since it's a "wish" list I think getting just a tad crazy is acceptable.
I think yes.
This is the kitchen before we moved in circa 2010.

 That dooky beige paint is fabulous, no?
Paint was at the top of the to-do list.

When we had lived in the house for 6-ish months we did a few projects.
The laminate countertops were replaced with granite slabs, and the
sink and faucet were upraded.
Beadboard was installed as a backsplash. and the ceiling got crowned with moulding.
We took out the world's tiniest cabinet and added open shelves.
We retrofit a trash can that slides out of the cabinet next to the sink.
(Super handy for meal prep)
But then it was time to move again and projects stopped.
This is what it looked like when I listed it for rent.

No more dooky beige. LOL
And the new floors were a huge improvement throughout the downstairs.

We moved overseas feeling good about the changes we'd made.
But now that we're headed back, a new to-do list is forming.
Like the cabinets.
The cabs are a nice maple....but, oh my, are they orange.
I crave light neutral cabinets.
Like this...

Or this...

Those kitchens say, "Hello, I'm light and airy. Love me."
Nothing a little paint can't fix.
And beside a desire to tone down the orange,
a light grey on the cabinets would really compliment our granite slab
After all, having those countertops installed is what finally made
us feel like grown-ups.
Just kidding, but it was a big deal.
While I'm wishing for lighter cabinets, I'll add chunky crown to the uppers.
Why not?
The project I'm most excited about though, is closing in the big hole between
the kitchen and family room.

I know the builder was probably thinking "open concept".
But it's really just a big hole that eats up valuable wall space in both the kitchen 
and the family room.
By walling this in, we gain wall space for much needed shelving.
Since we tend to gather in the kitchen anyway,
we don't need a hole to talk to people through.
Of course, closing the hole creates another project.
We will either have to redo the beadboard, or choose another material.
Hubs and I agreed, while the beadboard has performed 
beyond our expectations, we want to use tile this time around.
And, in a shocking twist, we agreed that marble tile was the way to go.
Something along these lines...

And this is also lovely...

With such a very small space to cover, it would be a major impact for an affordable price.
Let's face it, budget is boss for most of us.
By doing the work ourselves, we can afford a few high end finishes,
with the savings from not hiring subs to do everything for us.
It is such a win!
Over the next 8 months or so, I'll be putting together design plans
for all the rooms in our house.
Not only is that one of my favorite things to do, but it will
help me prioritize and organize for our big move back across the pond.
I'm sitting here grinning from ear to ear.
It's so ridiculous how happy this makes me!
I hope it's contagious ;-)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Return to Normal

There are quite a few things in life I don't understand.
When I find myself feeling lost, I think of these scriptures and it calms my spirit.
My absence from blogging was so I could spend precious time
with my Grandma.
My family and I traveled from Germany to South Carolina to spend two weeks
with a woman who was very important in my upbringing.
She taught me to tie my shoes and write my name, she taught me my first phone number
( I still remember it to this day).
We used to have campouts in the living room and watch movies, while we ate
shrimp cocktail and drank soda.
Happy memories overflow.
When we arrived in the states, I found her much changed.
Seeing her like that was not easy, and I asked God why more than once.
My heart may have been hurting, but my faith held fast in the midst of the heartache.
We returned to Germany exhausted; 
Grandma went to Heaven just 4 days later.
As much as I miss her physical presence, she left an indelible mark on my life.
She helped shape who I am.
She left me with a million little reasons to smile.
I am joyful that she is in her eternal home.

It has taken some time for the fog of sadness to clear.
But getting back to normal feels really good.
Today I thought I'd share our master bedroom, which I worked on before Thanksgiving.
Army housing is notoriously difficult to work with.
Our master bedroom has slanted ceilings, odd angles and since it's U-shaped, it's typically dark.
So taking decent pictures is a hot mess.
Anyway, my goal was to brighten and lighten the room up.
I custom mixed two shades of blue. 
A very pale blue is on the dressing room side, with a slightly darker
blue on the sleeping side.
Hubs and I splurged on luxurious Pottery Barn linen bedding.

The sheets are cozy flannel mini houndstooth.
We call our bed "the vortex"
Once you get in, you never want to get out.
One of my favorite projects in the room was re-covering the swing-arm
No more beige lampshades.

I found a sign similar to this on Pinterest.
Then I hacked it.
Since hubs and I celebrated our 20th recently, I feel like we're off
to a good start toward forever ;-)

In a little nook next to the bed we have a large window. 
It's a perfect spot for hubs to sit and take off his boots after a long day of soldiering.
The curtain panels are also Pottery Barn.
I heart them.

You can see the lighting is mainly artificial on this side of the room.
But this little nook left me a spot for a makeup area.
I repurposed an old desk we had on hand. 
It's pretty banged up so I'm eyeing it for a makeover.

Now for my all-time favorite part of the room.
It's a trash to treasure love story.

This old dresser was in a pile of trash!!
Sure it had the worst paint job I've ever seen and it's dinged and dented. has intact brass keyholes, dovetailed joints and vintage detailing!!
I couldn't leave it in the trash. Nope.

Annie Sloan to the rescue!
When I started work on this beast, I didn't realize just how badly damaged 
some of the wood was.
Since I'm not one for perfection, I decided I wasn't going to let
it's "well used" status get in my way.
You see the little brass Odds plaque on the drawer?
It's cute details like that, and this....

that took this over the top.
I ordered antique inspired knobs to finish this off.
I think she is just lovely, don't you?
It's been perfect for extra bed linens.
Thank you to whoever threw this gem away <3

It's nice to return to this little blog of mine.
Nothing makes me feel quite like typing away does. 
Hope you enjoy it too.