Projects Elsewhere Part Two: Jack

Ah, part two. If you’re just tuning in, this is the second of three bedrooms my sister and I organized and redesigned. You can read more background info here. This is Jack’s room. He is quite the sports fanatic including Cincinnati Red’s fan, UC Bearcats fan, water skiing champ (he’s only 6 but he had metals and trophies for water skiing!) and I’m sure more. His room needed an injection of sports personality, room to play hotwheels, display his trophies and bobble heads and a big kid vibe.

A few befores:

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Built in shelves, blue and red bedding, blue gingham curtains, and a blue rug. The rug ended up finding a new home in Sam’s room. We loved his classic cream enameled bed!

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Jack just got a new dark dresser (LOVE!) so it was in the plans to stay. Those built in shelves were in another corner of his room too. He obviously used them but they could use some updating, right?

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Jack’s closet needed a little love too and we wanted him to be able to store some of his sports gear in there so Susie did some rearranging. And what’s that… more built ins? It was going to be hard parting with all of this storage space but we had another solution in mind.

We planned Jack’s room to be neutral, soft gray with a slight sports infusion. No baseballs painted on the wall or anything. We wanted him to be able to change it to something else if he decided he was more into legos or planes or something else in the coming years.

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We painted the walls a soft gray. Then we hung Jack’s water skiing plaques and got hooks for all of those metals! Jack also got the same Closetmaid Cubical storage unit as Sam. We turned it vertically so that it fit against the small wall (on the end of his closet) that faced the door when you first walk in. Red and tan fabric bins tied in his love for the Reds and stayed away from being “in your face theme.

 

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This picture is before the final curtain was hung and bed wasn’t pristinely made yet… excuse our mess. We turned his bed to the opposite corner it has been in and I think it gives a more spacious feel when you walk in. We swapped out the striped rug for another beige one that Jack’s sister had in her room. His bedding is gray and white stripes reminiscent of a pinstriped baseball uniform from Ikea. We also found great under the bed storage bins for all of Jack’s Hotwheels race tracks.

 

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For the curtains and square accent pillow I used red fabric paint to stamp the “baseball stitch” pattern. Tutorial to follow.

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We hung a 6ft Ikea LACK shelf above his dresser to display Jacks’ bobble heads, autographed balls and trophies. He also has a toy chest and some of his larger toys along the wall. In case you are trying to navigate where this is… this is the wall that his bed used to be against. Susie is obviously excited about that shelf… it was her first go at hanging them with me. I had hung a few in my kitchen and I’m decently confident in my drilling abilities. I think Susie found her love for power tools in this project. She willingly posed for this shot and I told her it would be on here.

 

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Pretty sweet sports display shelf! And later Jack can use it for nearly any thing else. I anchored it with 8 screws and anchors (#4 drywall ones I believe). The shelf itself only comes with the wall bracket and you need to buy your own screws based on where you are hanging it. I used the #4 drywall screws at the recommendation of my friends at Home Depot. I also found a stud for 2 of the screws to anchor into (highly recommended).

I heard that Jack LOVES his room and he keeps it organized and clean. Mom Heather is happy as well.

Projects Elsewhere Part One: Sam

Projects at my own house have fizzled a bit. I’ve painted every room and most everything is up to date and more than livable. Only a few things are left in our master bedroom (always last, right?). Perfect timing for a few projects to pop up elsewhere.

As in, other people’s homes. I was asked by my sister Susie to help her organize and decorate three children’s bedrooms for a friend. Admittedly, I was a little intimidated about being creative in someone else’s space but I agreed to meet with my sister and Heather. Heather is a busy mom of three who just wanted a little order to her kids’ rooms and a little cohesive decor to make them feel like they each had their own space. She told me how much she loved everything she saw on Pinterest but that she had no idea how to bring that into her own home. Not too much to ask, right? I walked through the rooms with Heather and we talked about each child, their needs for the space, what she did and didn’t like about each room and so on. Heather told us that she wanted to see more of the wood floors that she loves so much and that she liked themes if they were subtle and easy to transition away from in the future. She was gracious enough to even let me photograph each room and post about the projects. Here is a series of “before” shots with a little explanation about Heather’s needs, her kids’ wants and our ideas.

Organizing is Susie’s area of expertise. She was going to do a great deal of the clean out and organizing for each room. My plan was to give each room identity with new paint, some storage furniture and curtains. So Heather and the family headed out on a week long vacation and Susie and I got to work. We did the bulk of three rooms in that week. First we prepped all of the rooms for paint, then we removed every set of built-in formica shelves from each room… they numbered into the twenties so that took us an entire evening. Before leaving we patched all the walls and sanded them down. The next few days Susie and I met at the house each evening after work. I painted like crazy, she used the master bedroom to organize each kid’s things and helped prep each room for the next phase of paint by helping me move furniture, patching/sanding and wiping down baseboards. Then I slept like a rock and returned each day to work my arse off.

First up: Sam- Preschooler who loves, cars, trucks, pirates and books. He has plenty of toys that reflect this. Some of them needed homes, lots of them already had homes. He also is in the age group of kids who are in the toddler bed but will soon need a big kid bed. His decor would need to reflect his love of these things but be flexible enough to transition into a bigger kid room down the road. Themed but not too theme-y.

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His room had built in shelves. They were once a thoughtful addition by the previous owner of the home but they had seen better days. Heather didn’t like their look and felt that her kids didn’t use the storage space to the fullest potential. Susie and I agreed that their position limited the furniture layout options for the room as well. Sam also had this charming solid wood dresser. It would most definitely be staying in the room.

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Sam’s room still mostly looked like a nursery. He had painted safari animal decals on the walls and a changing table still lingered in the room. He was using it for storage but it wasn’t doing much more than keeping things off the floor.

20130810-132451.jpgSam’s closet was organized, Heather had just cleaned it out and added the drawers so the floor space could serve more purpose. Not pictured: Sam’s red velour curtain on a flimsy brass rod that Heather admits has been there since they moved in 9 years ago.

I envisioned a boy room with a soft blue on the top half of the wall and brown on the bottom. Easy color scheme to grow into but it would also lend itself nicely to a pirate themed room. I also threw in a thick cream colored stripe in the middle. I hoped the stripe and soft color scheme could help his room feel a little taller. Here is what Sam saw when he returned from vacation.

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We decided to recycle Jack’s striped rug into Sam’s room to play up the super soft blue painted on the top half of the wall. We grabbed a blue crib sheet, treasure map pillow and black drawer pulls at Ikea.

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We also bought Closetmaid cubby organizers with tan and brown canvas baskets at Target for Sam’s toys. He already had that awesome pirate ship.

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Susie convinced me that black curtains were exactly what this pirate themed room needed. A bold choice but I love the effect it gives. We hung the curtain rod just a few inches from the ceiling and about 6 inches from the outside edge of the window frame. It gives the window more room to give light and makes things feel a little more spacious. This is especially helpful since we chose such dark curtains. Rod, finials and curtains are all from Ikea.

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Sam had a few large toys like dump trucks and a toy barn that sat on the floor before. Susie I have no problem using floor space to store toys but we knew we could give the big guys a better place to belong. This is the closest we could find to a treasure chest. Also from Ikea, this fabric container is soft sided (no boo-boos!) corralled everything out of sight but into one place that Sam can easily access. We will be making a return visit to Sam’s room to hang a little art and a display shelf.

————–UPDATE————-

We added an Ikea LACK shelf to Sam’s room as planned.

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My Little Corner Office

Since we’ve moved here I have not had an official office. All my office-worthy things are spread all over the house. My laptop lives either on my night stand (bad habit!) or on the kitchen table. I have chargers at each location. A desk with paperwork, files and half of my jewelry supplies cluttered the quest room while the rest of the jewelry supplies floated where needed in a Pampers box. Art supplies are in 5 different places and tools are in the hall closet. With the given space, I was as organized as I could be but it just wasn’t cutting it.

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Hubby kindly moved our old dresser to the basement and brought the desk down from the guest room too. The basement already serves many purposes from exercise room and man cave to living room, play room and laundry folding zone. The space isn’t large but we do our best to use it well. The only undedicated space is the corner between the play area and the  laundry room. A whopping 10 square feet… and I will make it MINE! (Cue evil Cruella DeVille cackle) Excuse the mess… It didn’t occur to me to take pics until I was elbow deep in beads, art supplies, tools and organization.

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I also filled the dresser drawers with my bead supplies and made a jewelry display from a big picture frame.

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To make the jewelry display I grabbed one of the big frames from my collection I used for the Christmas mantle display this year. I attached twine (also from the mantle project) to the back of the frame tightly with a staple gun. I only ran 3 strings so I could have lots of room to hang longer jewelry pieces. Easy Peasy!

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Mama’s happy.