Redefining Home Management

Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Nursery is Gone

A while back I shared about Jase’s refurbished dresser for his big boy room.  I got a little antsy to clear out all of the baby stuff after moving his new dresser into his room.  Jase soooo wants to be 8 years old like his big brother,  and a baby room just didn’t fit him anymore.


I took the opportunity to sell the baby furniture at our garage sale earlier this summer, which was bittersweet.  I think the rocker was the hardest to get rid of, because Jase was still willing to cuddle before bed every night.  However, I am totally over infants in the house.  I guess to be fair I should I say I’m totally over stumbling through my day after waking up to feed an infant 3 times, cleaning up mashed peas that have been spewed all over my kitchen, and changing diapers 20 times a day.  I love to snuggle with a sweet baby, but at this point I am totally content to snuggle, return the baby to his mom, and go throw a baseball with my toddler!


While we are talking about moving to a big boy room, I thought I would share a little something that has made my life much easier.  I don’t think I am alone in dreading the end of my toddler being trapped in his crib whenever I put him there.  With all of my kids, I would have loved to leave them in their crib until they were at least 5 years old, but I’m thinking that’s not really acceptable – not that I would judge anyone that goes that route – you’d have my full support!


Really the problem for me is that we have rules in our house about what time a child can leave their room and what time they can come in our room in the morning.  I am one of those mean moms that won’t share my bed with my kids.  But let me tell you, anyone that thinks I am mean now should see what I’m like without proper sleep!


During the school year kids are not allowed out of their rooms until 7:30am.  I like that we all have a peaceful house until 7:30am to rest or just have our own space – and let’s be honest I am always asleep!  I also find that my kids tend to sleep later if they know they can’t get up and go watch cartoons or play until 7:30am anyway.  If you have to be in bed you might as well sleep – right!?!


However the problem comes when my infants transfer from a crib to a bed they can get out of.  How do you tell a 2 year old (or 3 year old…) that it is the middle of the night not the morning (as it is  sometimes still dark in the morning).  Even harder, how do you get a child that can’t tell time to stay in bed until 7:30am.  My rule following first child stayed in bed until I went in to get him, not so  much with the next two!  So my solution is this cheap little gadget….



Yes, it is a simple timer that you use on a lamp, generally to make people think you are home when you are not, or to make sure your pets aren’t in the dark when you get home late.  I have used the timer, attached to a lamp with a low 7watt bulb in my kids’ rooms.  The lamp comes on at 7:30am every morning, and goes off at  8:15am.  All they have to learn is that they can only get out of their bed if the lamp light is on.  I don’t have to reset the timer every day – it just goes on and off every 24 hours.  I also don’t have to explain night vs. morning or 6am vs. 7:30am. It really has worked!


Now, I will admit there was some discipline involved to help them understand this was not a suggested rise & shine time, but a house rule.  However both of my youngest (non-rule-following) children have learned and followed this house rule pretty quickly and easily.  And, this mama LOVES her sleep!


Now back to the more fun! topic of decor.  Once the crib, rocker and nursery decor was gone I was ready to tackle the paint, a new bed and some overall updated decor.  But as always, we wanted to keep the cost at a minimum and the DIY side of me kicked in.


Ever since Jase was born I knew he’d have a Chicago Bears themed room.  Our oldest has a Chicago Cubs room, and it only seemed fitting.  My husband is a huge fan of all Chicago sports teams, and has tons of great memorabilia from his youth.  Fortunately my mother in-law didn’t have someone like me come organize her house, so she kept it all and now our boys get to enjoy it!


As I perused the internet for inspiration, as I always do when I want to DIY, I was left totally disappointed.  All of the sports themed rooms I could find photos of were totally cheesy, at a minimum!


This was the best I could find for the Bears, and it was far from what I wanted.




My plan after much searching was to create a room that would be youthful but sophisticated, timelessly traditional with some current trends, styled around the colors of blue & orange with tasteful touches of Bears memorabilia.    I decided to incorporate gray to tone down the strong colors, and use modern graphic prints with some vintage finds.  No problem, right?!?!


Here are some rooms I loved in my search for inspiration…


Boys Bedroom Decor





I love the sophisticated, yet youthful vibe of these rooms.  The sports theme is incorporated, but not over-the-top.  The traditional style seems timeless, but not “old”.


I liked the idea of adding some pops of orange, and some graphic prints too.  These rooms gave me a few more ideas!


Blue and orange boys' room.

 Source:  Amanda Carol at Home


Source: The Zush


Good color palete

 Source:  Cherish Toronto


It was time to get started!  Since the room was empty for the most part, I thought I should start with painting the walls.  For the record, we did have a twin bed frame and mattress that he was sleeping on – bare bones, but functional.


I knew I wanted his walls to be gray, and I had picked out the color Essential Gray from Sherwin Williams a while back.  So, one weekend while my husband was “daddy-daycare”! I painted Jase’s room gray, and immediately it seemed more appropriate for the “big boy” he is becoming.  But, it was also a little blah!



The plan was to add stripes, but I was pretty afraid of stripes.  My dad who is an awesome painter has never been very excited about it when I’ve thrown out the idea of him helping me with them – I’ve always loved them and contemplated them many times!  You know all the issues… getting them straight, spacing them even, not having the paint bleed under the tape… Never mind the time they take.  So, why even consider it?  because they look super cool of course!!!


I also had a little encouragement from my good friend that got me into Annie Sloan paint.  She painted the same type of stripes I planned to do in her son’s room, and was super happy with them – and I think they look awesome too!   I think I’ve told you about her before, but she is particular like me – so I knew messy and crooked stripes would never do for her.  More on her suggestions and how I went about my project to come,but first a little more inspiration…


I love the stripes in these rooms, as well as the rooms above…


color scheme; wall color?



grey stripes

 Source:  House of Rose


 Source:  IHeart Organizing


I liked the idea of larger bold stripes, in two contrasting colors.  In order to keep the traditional and sophisticated look I wanted with the added Bears memorabilia, I decided I needed to keep the stripes simple like the ones pictured above.  I investigated a million striped walls on the internet and finally decided that I should do eight, 12 inch stripes.  Not something I figured out on my own, but with the help of the awesome Jen at IHeart Organizing I realized that 12 inch stripes work great because it gives you four even stripes of each color on an eight foot wall.  I know, sad I needed help figuring that out!


After much fearful debate in my head, (well, and to my poor husband that I’m sure wasn’t all that worried about it!) I settled on a deep Bears navy blue alternating with the existing gray as a contrasting color.  My biggest fear was that the blue would darken the room too much, and my second fear was that the dark blue would be a nightmare to paint – especially as a stripe.  I finally settled on the color Naval – also by Sherwin Williams.  It is a super dark almost dusty blue. I decided that if I was going to take on stripes I was going to either love them or totally mess them up and hate them.  Luckily, I love them!



I know, all this talk and no real progress to show!  I’ll show you my step-by-step process and before-and-after pics in my next post.  And, I promise it will not take me 3 weeks to get my next post up!  We were on a long vacation in the wonderful state of Colorado for two weeks.  Unfortunately I have no more vacations this summer, and the start of school is sneaking up on me – ugh!  We actually bought school supplies last night!  boo-hew!!


Feel free to sign off here, but I have to show a few photos of the fun we had in Colorado.  I know I’ve said I am a Colorado girl at heart, but every summer I am reminded of just how blessed I was to grow up in the greatest place on earth – the mountains of Colorado!  It is such a joy every summer for me to watch my kids enjoy all of the things I did as a child – good old fashioned dirty fun!  They got to…


Sleep in a tent for two nights in the mountains outside of my grandparents cabin.  Granted the amenities have improved a bit since my childhood – running water and a bathroom inside the cabin! How cool though that in their 80’s my grandparents still get to enjoy their cabin with their great-grandchildren!


              We got to climb through the woods and fish in a creek – which is my favorite kind of fishing to this day!


               The kids got to play in a beautiful Colorado lake and Addi and Jase even caught their first fish ever! (Carters’ catches weren’t his first!)


We climbed a REAL rock pile!



And spent great time with my husband’s family in Keystone!



Roasted s’mores…



And just played hard!!!!


Our wonderful trip concluded with my husband and I enjoying a wonderful evening to ourselves on our 10th wedding anniversary.  These are the weeks that I am clearly reminded, no matter what my house looks or how chaotic life may seem on any given day – none of that matters and I am incredibly blessed!!!

Laundry Dreams

I think I’ve shown you about all our laundry/mudroom has to offer!  Bear with me for one more post, as I’d love to share all the dreaming in my head that would make it so much better!


I’m sure there are a few of you out there that are thinking, “I love how that room functions, I think it’s so cute, and I just wish mine was like that”. Well the reality, there is a long old list of things I’d still like to do in there! I look at other people’s blog posts and get great ideas – mostly ones I’ll never do. I start to regret my orange paint decision, and then I love the pop of color again. Isn’t that how it works – we always want what we don’t have!


Here is a little eye candy, and the root of my dreams!


Laundry room storage shelves as room decor Laundry Room Storage Shelves Design for Your Laundry Room Decor


I love this rooms calming colors, and pretty jars to hold the “necessities”.  I also love the cheap and easy storage shelves for laundry baskets on the far right.


If I had room in my laundry room, I would totally build one of these!


And the curtains to hide the not-so-pretty are fabulous in this room.



And this one….



…is just basically beautiful.  I love the attention to detail with the pretty legs on the counter top and side shelf.  The baskets are a great way of collecting and making the cleaning supplies look much nicer too.


And this is a seriously hard working station – it has everything in a super small space!


minimalist laundry room ideas 20 Small Laundry Room Ideas : White and Clean Solutions


And I just think this one is adorable!




I have several other rooms on my Pinterest “Laundry Room” board if you want some more “pinspiration”.  You can also find links to where I found all of the above photos through my Pinterest board.


Despite my lust I do love my mudroom/laundry room and it has been well used this summer – which means it often doesn’t look like those pictures you’ve seen! 🙂 The joy for me however is that it only takes 15-20 minutes to get it right back in order. Really that’s what I care about. I want to enjoy our warm summer days, long evenings, and never-ending weekends at the ballpark without worrying about our home, or destroying it. I want to make a mess all weekend, and then re-order it in under an hour on Monday – that’s a good summer in my book!


Now, back to the list of dreams I have in my head! Just a reminder, here is what our laundry room looks like now (well, on a good day).


Our laundry side with storage cabinets…



Our mudroom side with storage baskets and lockers…



Last, our organization wall for incoming and outgoing papers and important information…



Yes this room is functional, but it also leaves me wanting a little more pretty sometimes.  I would love to add some decorative touches to make it a little more pulled together, and even a few things to improve how it functions.


Function first…

There is so much more space for shoes now that I removed our laundry basket from the 3rd cubby, but we have to stack shoes on top of one another to really utilize the full height of the space – which probably bothers my hubby more than me. I love this – it makes him just a little like me. 🙂   More my pet peeve – shoes fall out of the cubbies when you try to stack the pairs to really use the space. My solution: I want to add a second shelf in the middle of the shoe cubbies, so that we can have two rows on top of each other. Not a major project – right!  Why haven’t I just done it? Two things: 1) I’m guessing the maple board to match the lockers won’t be cheap (and it’s so not a fun purchase)  2) I have to test and guess and re-test to match the stain color of the lockers in order to stain the board – ugh!




Also for function, I’d love to put a counter top above our washer and dryer.



It drives me nuts when stuff falls behind the washer and it would be a nice surface for folding clothes. I hesitate a little because I like to lay delicate sweaters and things on top of the dryer to dry with the indirect heat. I also have to work around hook-ups on the back and side. I used to want to get creative and find a cool old door, re-paint it and make the top look really cool. I worry a little about moisture and all the icky stuff that gets thrown there though. I have also considered a laminate top like this from Home Depot:


Hampton Bay 6 ft. Tempo Laminate Countertop in Frosty White


It would be the perfect depth and the back-splash on the back would keep things from falling behind the washer and dryer.  I would install it about 4 inches from the back wall, leaving room for hook-ups and my hanging dryer rack. To keep it from looking funky! I would make a curtain to hang from the upper cabinets to hide everything – probably using some linen fabric I have from another project. Can you see my vision?  Wouldn’t it look better!


And to make it pretty…


I would love to add crown molding to the cabinet tops and make the laminate shelf we added look more like it has always been there.  I think it would pull it all together and make it look so much nicer.





The window is a great opportunity to add a little visual interest too.



I’d like to add a window treatment – maybe a roman or a valance. I’d love a roman shade, but don’t want to have one custom made and am a little nervous about the various methods I’ve researched to make my own. I also will have to actually commit to a fabric to do a window treatment. These are a couple I like, but will I like them in three years? Do I even have to? Commitment and time are holding me back!


                                             source                                             source


Also, I would really love a fun light fixture!  Right now we have a flush mount, standard light.  It works well, but could be so much prettier!




I like this one from World Market…


Gray Vintage Chandelier


I also like this one from Ballard Design



And this one from Overstock



There are a couple of other lights I’ve found and LOVE!!! but they are way too expensive for me to ever consider in my laundry room, so I decided to omit those pics!


I am always dreaming about what I’d like to change or pretty up in our home!  I could spend every waking hour and all of our money on my grand ideas!   I am also constantly reminded of how blessed my family is to have the home we do have.  I am sure many of you are like me and have an internal battle constantly brewing of what is a want vs what is a need, and what is reasonable.


One thing that helps me in making wise improvements to our home is to move slowly.  I could get very wrapped up in our home and all of my projects so easily – and trust me I do at times.  A good barometer for me is evaluating the time and energy it is taking from my first priorities – the people in my life.


I often find that if I am spending good, quality time with my hubby, kids and friends, house projects are slow and steady.  I want my priorities to be in the right place, but it also serves the purpose of keeping me grounded in the reality of how wonderful our home is right now.  It helps me limit how many of our precious resources (time, and money) I invest in making changes.


Sometimes it gets to me that I have so many outstanding projects, then I remember – they aren’t done because they aren’t my first priority.  I would rather take the kids to the pool, spend the day at soccer fields and ballparks, eat ice cream every night and sit on a patio with good friends and a glass of wine.   I slowly check things off my list, finding relaxation and refreshment in the creativity, but not at a frantic pace.  That is why you will find my house is in order, but it is far from “pulled together”.  I love our home and all its deficiencies!  I hope you love your home too – even with all the half-finished projects and “I-wish-I-could’s” you see when you look around!  Maybe those little things that drive you crazy are a good reminder of your decision to put first things first.