A Safari Nursery

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Every since my husband and I found out we were having a little girl (we found out in March 2015), I knew that I wanted to do a safari themed nursery.  I wanted it to be cute & adorable, but not too baby-ish.  It has taken me a LONG time to put it all together-I only finished putting up the final pieces this week!  Even though I’ve known for a long time how I wanted to theme the room, I ended up being extremely picky about what I used to decorate with.  McKenzie was born a little bit early, too, so for a while after she was born her nursery decor was put on the back-burner.

When I lived in this house before we were married, this room was a very vibrant green.  We re-painted the walls a cool grey, called Rhino by Behr.  We ended up loving this color so much we painted all of the bedrooms the same color!

The first pieces I had picked out were the crib & dresser/changing table.  They are part of the Babyletto Modo collection, and I just love them!  They sell them at a lot of different stores, but ours were bought from Overstock.com because they had conveniently sent out a 15% off coupon when we were looking to buy them.  The changing table will detach from the dresser once McKenzie doesn’t need it anymore.

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The changing station next to our dresser is from IKEA.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and I immediately loved it!  It’s so nice to have an area to hold all of the essentials for the nursery without taking up space in the dresser.  I use mine to hold diapers/wipes, skincare products (lotion, Aquaphor, hand sanitizer), burp cloths, and receiving blankets. When she’s older I’ll be able to use the cart for something else.

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The closet was a project we completed before McKenzie was born-and now that we’ve had time to test it out for the past 6 months, I have to say I LOVE it!  It has space for all of her clothes and great storage space for socks, shoes, sheets, etc.  If you want to read the post on how we put together her closet, please click here.  This picture was taken before Christmas, and over the holidays she received NINETEEN more outfits! It’s validation that we definitely needed all of this efficient closet space.

A lot of the decor for the room came from Target. I love that place so much & it gets me in a lot of trouble!  McKenzie & I love to go there and walk around.  Now that it’s cold I especially like to get a delicious Starbuck’s hot chocolate while we browse.  McKenzie doesn’t get any hot chocolate but she just enjoys looking around at everything.

We bought the blue rocking chair there on clearance.  At first I didn’t think it was too comfortable, but now I actually really enjoy it.  Between nursing and reading books we spend a lot of time in that chair.  The beautiful pink blanket over the back was made by my husband’s mother!

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The two frames over the chair were also bought from Target!  A very dear friend of mine took our family photo for us, and the cute elephant print came from Shutterfly’s art collection.  The little mirror over the changing table and the two rhino heads over the crib are also from Target.  Oh, and so is the floor lamp in the corner!  That floor lamp is really nice because the two small shelves are a great place to put little items (also, it was really cheap).  They currently house a porcelain elephant from T.J. Maxx and a Noah’s Ark piggy bank.  Over the crib is a print I bought from Etsy that says “You are our greatest adventure.”

I can finally say that this room is pretty much complete (besides a better book storage option-right now they are all in the closet), but I am really happy with how it has turned out.  Hopefully when McKenzie is older she continues to love the safari theme!

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Our Guest Bath Reno

 

Guest Bathroom Before & After

ATTENTION ALL WHO ACTUALLY READ THIS BLOG:  Let me start of by sharing with you the biggest lesson learned from this reno: Different plumbing fixture brands each have their own type of shower valve in the wall behind the shower, and each brand will only work with their own shower valve.  So, if you currently have a Moen shower wall faucet and plan to install say, a Kohler wall faucet, you will have to replace the valve in the wall. We learned this the HARD way and it cost us a lot of time!!

Okay, that being said, this project was actually a lot of fun and I learned a lot through the process!  We had originally not planned on renovating this space until later this fall, but during the summer I took two graduate courses, and one of my professors let us choose literally anything to do for our project as long as we fulfilled the learning requirements. Hellooooo new bathroom.

The space feels so completely different and it’s just so nice to go into this bathroom and actually enjoy how it looks!

Here are some of the pictures of what it looked like when we bought the house last year:

As you can see it was full of white boring-ness (and it was also pretty gross. The white grout lines were not very white anymore).  It was definitely time for some upgrades! In a nutshell we replaced the old tile with a beautiful new ceramic tile floor, added a frame around the mirror, spray painted the light fixture, replaced all the faucets, and added that beautiful piece of moulding by the shower to hang a towel or robe.  (And of course we painted the entire space: ceiling, walls, and trim).

Keep reading if you’re interested in how we made these changes 🙂

Our Adorable Yellow Side Table

Yellow Table

So this table isn’t vintage or antique, and it doesn’t necessarily have a cool background story.  It’s a side table from Target that I bought when I lived in my old home to use as a nightstand in my guest bedroom.

Since there wasn’t anything wrong with the table I decided to use it as a side table in our living room.  It was kind of perfect because we only really had space for one side table due to the way we laid out our furniture.

I REALLY love this table now that it’s a cheerful yellow.  It’s the same yellow we used on our dining room chairs (Twenty Carat by Behr), and I just think it brings a certain element of happiness to our room!

Updating this table was really easy:

1. I cleaned the table using TSP cleaner to remove any grease and dirt.
2. I sanded the table to ensure that the primer would stick to it. I had to be careful when sanding because this table is mostly veneer, so I didn’t want to mess that up because it could have ruined the look of the table.
3. I cleaned all of the dust off of the table. I first used a wet rag and then a dry rag to wipe it down.
4. I dissembled the drawer and put all of the hardware aside.
5. I primed the table and the face & sides of the door using Behr Stain Blocking Primer. This was the first time we’ve used this primer and we really liked it! You can find it here.
6.  After the primer dried I gave it a coat of yellow paint.  You want to make sure not to spray/paint so much paint at once that it builds up, so multiple coats of primer or paint may be necessary to get the perfect finish!
7. After a few days of letting the paint cure I added poly to the top of the table and to the shelf.  I gave them 3 coats of poly.  In between each coat I lightly sanded those areas to make sure that the poly would stick.
8. After letting the poly cure for 2 days it was ready to bring upstairs!

Our finished end table means we’re one step closer to finishing our living room!

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Building a Bench

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We recently bought a dining room table and 4 chairs from Craigslist for our dining room.  Once we got it home we realized that 4 chairs was definitely not enough for this table: it’s huge!!!  So, we decided the best solution was to create a bench for one side of the table.  It would help fill the space and would let us seat a lot of people for dinner parties!

My husband claimed he was good at wood working and could easily make a bench.  I was only slightly skeptical…but, he pulled it off and our bench is AMAZING.

We decided that we wanted to design our bench to match our dining table.  Both the dining table & the bench have 45 degree chanfer corners.

Our (semi) New & Improved Half-Bath!

Having a lot of bathrooms in a house is both a blessing & a curse in itself.  The more bathrooms you have, the more convenient it is, especially for guests.  However, cleaning all of those bathrooms is a HUGE pain!

Anyways, I love having a half bathroom on our main level for guests to use.  But, just like all of the other rooms in our house, we did not like the design that the bathroom had when we bought the house.  The color was wrong (and the paint job was terrible), and I really wanted to have an actual vanity and not a pedestal sink (I wanted some storage!).

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When we first bought our house my husband & I agreed upon this compromise: I could design this half bathroom & the guest bathroom (that is upstairs) however I wanted, and he got to design our master bathroom.

I was really excited about this compromise, and naturally I decided to go with a bold paint color.  And naturally, my husband hated it.  He complained everyday about the color!  He tried to insult it by referring to it as a “90’s color,” but I considered that a compliment since I loved the 90’s!  Really, he just thought the color was too dark and wanted something to brighten up the area.

The color I had decided to change it to was Wipeout by Behr.  I loved how the color contrasted against our dark wood floors & the white trim.  Even though it has an ADORABLE porthole window (one of my absolute favorite features in our home), my husband thought that this color was really just too dark and depressing.

Our Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

 

My husband and I bought a house this past July.  It was one of those situations where as soon as we pulled into the neighborhood we KNEW (well, at least I knew) that this was definitely the house for us.  The neighborhood was full of Victorian styled homes, and the house itself was full of character.  I fell so completely in love as soon as we walked through the front door.

 

 

That being said, the house needed A LOT of work.  The walls were full of dents and holes, and the paint job was pretty terrible (paint & stains on the ceilings, uneven paint lines, paint all over the trim, and multiple stickers & pieces of painter’s tape had been left on the walls in many rooms and the old owners had just painted over them).

The kitchen was a space in the house that we just didn’t like any part of it.  We didn’t like the color on the walls, the window treatments, the color of the granite counters, and we especially did not like how the cabinet color and the floor color was essentially the same.  It just wasn’t our style at all.

We soon decided that tackling this kitchen was going to be a top priority once we moved in.  We decided to have the wooden floors refinished, repaint the walls, and to paint the cabinets white (in hope that once we made all of those changes we would grow to love our counter tops).

We researched how to paint to paint cabinets online, and we also called a lot of different paint stores to hear opinions and advice.