You may remember that I linked to this mega-adorable rocking sheep way back in my first nursery post of this series. In my follow-up post, I boldly declared my intention to attempt to make my own rocking sheep out of an old rocking horse and an Ikea sheepskin. But I’ll confess, I didn’t really have a plan beyond buying a sheepskin last time I made an Ikea run. Then, last week, I found a rocking horse on Craigslist (I wasn’t joking about being addicted to it!), so it seemed it was time.After doing some research, I decided to paint the body of the horse with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I was intrigued by the claims that you don’t have to strip, sand, or prime furniture before painting, and that you’re left with a matte finish free of brushstrokes. I will admit I was a little skeptical, but this paint is kind of magical. I slapped it on to the beat up, varnished wooden rocking horse, and two coats later I was left with this lovely charcoal grey fella. He looked so nice I was tempted to leave him as-is, but the sheepskin beckoned so I powered on.For the next step, I gathered my supplies: a roll of wax paper, a utility knife, scissors, a pen, a hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks, and one Ikea sheepskin. It’s easy to see why these cuddly skins are so popular with designers (Emily Henderson just listed them as one of her all-time styling essentials), they are so thick and soft. If real sheepskin isn’t your style, they also come in a faux version that looks great.
CLICK TO SEE THE FINISHED PRODUCT!
As you may already know, I’ve been planning to paint one wall of the nursery a rich indigo blue with a graphic herringbone-meets-chevron pattern, inspired by this wall on the Brick House Blog. I started by measuring the accent wall so I could figure out the width of my panels. It turns out the room is a perfect 12′ x 12′ square, so I decided for simplicity’s sake to make 6 2-foot-wide panels across the accent wall. After taping off the sides, ceiling, door, and molding, I used a laser level to ensure that my vertical tape lines are straight.Once the panels are measured out, it’s time to start adding the diagonal lines. I started by eyeballing the angle of the first line. After that, it’s simply a matter of measuring out the stripes. I like the varied width in my inspiration photo, so I worked with 6-inch and 4-inch stripes with the occasional 3-inch stripe thrown in. Once my first panel was complete, I used the laser level again to mark out the adjacent panel’s first stripe. Once your angle is established it’s pretty quick work to tape off all of the stripes.Have you ever tried to tape off a stripe pattern, only to have the color bleed under the tape and look messy? Hoping to avoid this, I followed Jenny from Little Green Notebook’s advice and painted a thin coat of my base color over all of the tape. Is this extra work? It sure is! But I spent so much time taping the wall that I didn’t want to risk anything. This seals your line and gives you a crisp, professional result. Also recommended? A cute assistant.Now it’s time for two coats of my color choice for the room: HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams in Indigo Batik. Then, the moment of truth. I let the paint dry overnight and then oh-so-carefully started removing the tape. And…voila! I think I held my breath the entire time we were pulling tape off, but thanks to the base coat of white there were only a couple of spots with bleed through and I touched those up in a snap. What do you think?We’re in the home stretch now! Time to start moving the furniture in and tackle a few more small projects.
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My friend and coworker Camille and I have pretty different tastes when it comes to design, but there is one thing we agree on: We both love a bargain. And so, for this week’s installment on my nursery design, I thought I’d riff on her Adventures in Antiquing series and share my latest furniture find, as well as some tips for turning a diamond in the rough into a showpiece for your home.
I’m a Craigslist junkie. I have the app on my phone and iPad and also check it regularly on my laptop. Obviously, furnishing the nursery has been at the top of my mind lately, because I was lacking a dresser for the room. Since I want this dresser to double as a changing table, I wanted a long and low solid wood midcentury-modern dresser, and I didn’t want to spend more than $200. When I found this Franklin Shockey sculptured pine dresser on Craigslist for under budget, I knew it was The One. These dressers typically sell for $400-$1000, but this particular example was a steal because the finish was in pretty bad shape:
I could see past the dried-out wood and scratches and knew this was a great piece. And so, I started off by giving it a good cleaning. Once it was dry, my husband, Chris, treated the exposed surfaces with Howard Restore-a-Finish, then gave it a generous coat of Howard Feed & Wax (I had to skip these steps because these products give off fumes that are a no-go for pregnant ladies).
The dresser still needs a little more TLC — maybe some wood filler on the deeper scratches — and I might take Young House Love’s advice to use a brown magic marker to blend in more shallow nicks. But for now I am thrilled with the results:
This dresser is just my latest Craigslist find (I really am an addict), and made me think about some other items I’ve been lucky enough to track down. Like this midcentury couch and wacky 1970s globe lamp:
Those are just a couple of favorites from a house filled with Craigslist bargains. How about you? Do you have any tales of triumph from Craigslist? Go on, make me envious.
MORE NURSERY FILES:
Carolyn Clark, our friend and Yahoo! Web trend expert, reports that “funny T-shirts” are heavily sought-after searches on their website right now. Searches for humorous T’s are spiking 895% this week!
Of course, you can find shirts that say anything — but these from Zazzle spoke to me (for obvious reasons).
Well, it took some heavy lifting (not on my part, don’t yell!), but the Room of Shame is now empty and ready for a fresh coat of paint. It’s been a while since I took on a paint project at home, so I revisited our Painting Dos and Don’ts to make sure I was prepared. Armed with those tips, I headed to our local Sherwin-Williams store to pick up some HGTV HOME paint and supplies.
I wanted a nice deep blue with gray undertones that wouldn’t read as purple in any light, and HGTV HOME’s Indigo Batik is perfect. I’m only using this on one wall (more on that later), so the other three walls are getting a fresh coat of HGTV HOME Interior Satin in Extra White.
But I’m getting ahead of myself — before we start painting, there is prep to be done. We — or rather my patient husband, Chris — started by wiping down all of the baseboards, windowsills and light fixtures. I patched old nail holes and lightly sanded. Then we removed all of the switch plates and outlet covers. We took down the curtains, and taped off the floors and windows. Lastly, we laid a drop cloth over the entire floor. I don’t want to risk getting even a drop of paint on our beautiful wood floors.
And now it’s time to paint! HGTV HOME paint is zero VOC (though some colors are only low VOC), so I am able to help out, which is good news because I love painting. This weekend we will finish the white and next week I’ll show you how I’m tackling the paint treatment I showed you in the mood board here.
Well, I know what I’m doing all weekend! How about you, readers? Are you taking on any painting projects in your home this spring? Spill the details below (but not the paint!).
Easter celebrations are right around the corner — time to banish winter blahs and freshen up indoors and out with a few springy touches. We’ve gathered 25 of our favorite Easter decorating ideas to inspire you. From quick-and-easy centerpiece ideas to a clever way to glam up your Easter eggs to a free, printable Easter banner — we’ve got you covered.
All 25 ideas have the official Easter Bunny stamp of approval (seriously!) but here are my 5 favorites:
Delight Easter guests with this creative place setting idea featuring cute (and oh-so-fluffy!) feathered chicks and candy eggs:
Weather permitting, bring your dining table and chairs outside and enjoy Easter dinner al fresco surrounded by Mother Nature’s changing scenery.
We all have that room in our home, right? The one with furniture that doesn’t go with the rest of the house, no art, and walls badly in need of a fresh coat of paint? If you don’t, I don’t want to hear about it (okay fine, what’s your secret?). This room is kind of my hidden shame, but I’m willing to share it with you. Cue the scary music…
Sheesh, where to start? The Ikea beds that I thought would be minimalist chic but turned out to look more like prison cots? The mountain of outgrown baby clothes in the corner? The dresser and chest that are out of place in my mid-century modern home? The drab white walls with streaks of water damage left over from a bad storm? It’s embarrassing.
First up, I’m giving the trunk and dresser to my mom, where they will fit in with her rustic traditional style and free up much needed space. The beds are headed for Craigslist, along with the too-small rug. Once everything is out, a crisp coat of paint in bright white will go up on the walls and I’ll be ready to tackle my first project: a custom paint treatment on one wall inspired by this one from The Brick House blog.
What’s staying? I’ll keep the glider, but I’m having the cushions recovered, or I might even try to do it myself. The vintage tile and brass side table will get cleaned up and hold a lamp next to the glider, perfect for bedtime stories. The sassy antique lamp will get a new shade and hopefully fit in with the vintage nautical vibe. And that huge Charley Harper national park print will bring color to one of the walls.
Two things I’m unsure of: the Eames rocker (currently holding my stash of teeny baby boy clothes), and the curtains that came with the house. The room is small so I’m pretty sure there won’t be space for a second chair, so that may find a new home in Lulu’s room. The curtains will depend on how they look when the work is complete. Their crisp black windowpane check is inoffensive, but may be too busy once everything in in place. What do you think?
WHEW. I have got some major work to do (and let’s face it, so does my husband). Make sure to check back next week to see our progress. And don’t forget to take a look at the mood boards, both high and low, that I created for the design of this space.
When I left you last week, I was showing off my if-money-was-no-object nursery mood board. And sure, it was fun to pretend that I can drop thousands of dollars decorating this baby’s room, but let’s face it: I don’t live in that world. In reality, I’ll be using what I already have, doing a lot of projects myself, and looking for inexpensive alternatives to finish things off. But here’s the fun thing: I actually like my “reality check” mood board even more than the expensive one. After all, I am more of a do-it-myself kind of girl. Wanna see?
This super sweet-yet-affordable nursery skips the high-end wallpaper, in favor of a DIY paint project like this one from the Brick House blog. Since they were actually the most reasonable items from my previous mood board, I think I’m actually going to buy the graphic French and colorful raindrop prints, and I’ll round those out with this leaping pig print that I already own. I also snagged a model sailboat from my parents basement, and I’ll mount that to the wall with the rest of the artwork. After pining for the expensive rug from last week, I found this star-flecked Dwell Studio rug and I am crazy for it. Like, beyond reason. This may have to be my one splurge (though it’s less than half the price of the inspiration rug!). I dream of a highly collectible mid-century modern dresser, but I found one similar to this on Craigslist for $50 that will hold a diaper change pad and clothing to boot. For lighting, this tiered brass pendant from Urban Outfitters looks like it costs about five times more than it actually does, and it pairs perfectly with this vintage-inspired constellation globe. I wisely held on to my old Dwell Studio for Target glider (no longer available), and I’m going to give the cushions an update with some cute new fabric. Fancy cribs are fun to daydream about but you can’t beat the $99 Ikea classic I already own. I’ll dress it with inexpensive striped percale sheets and a blanket made from this adorable scooter-printed fabric. And you’ll have to stay tuned for an upcoming Weekday Crafternoon to see me take a classic rocking horse and an Ikea sheepskin and make a super cute custom riding toy.
Which do you prefer? The high-end nursery from last week, or this week’s more approachable take? I was surprised to fall hard for the less expensive option, but I’m kind of relieved. Check back next week to see the embarrassing “before” pictures of my guest/junk room. I’ve got a lot of work to do.
P.S. For more fun, follow my Nursery Inspiration Pinboard!
My sister bought a fixer-upper beach house almost two years ago which we’ve slowly but surely been hammering back into shape. In addition to a long list of structural changes, we needed to find a house full of beachy furniture and accessories on the cheap. I hail from a family of bargain hunters/diy-ers so the beach house has been a fun challenge for us.
Before: We started in the main living area which was dark, crowded and just plain sad. Sunny yellow trim did nothing to brighten up the driftwood gray paneling. Unfortunately, you can’t see the pitiful greenish-gold shag carpet which, thanks to leaking windows, had mildewed and actually smelled worse than it looked (hard to believe, I know).
See the Afters
Around here, we are crazy for cute kids’ rooms (and even cuter kids!). With kid #2 due this June, I am rolling up my sleeves and diving head first into turning my neglected guest/junk room into a nursery for my little boy. Before I tackle the “before” (and yes, I’ll be showing you my Room of Shame in a couple of weeks), I’ve been having a blast creating my dream nursery mood board. It’s boyish without being babyish, and has a color palette of navy, grey, orange, weathered brass, and warm wood tones that fits right into my modern house in the woods. I’m not big on sticking to a theme, but there are definitely some elements that tie together here — sort of a vintage nautical thing.
My money-is-no-object nursery would have 3 crisp white walls accented by this gorgeous underwater wallpaper from Hygge & West. On the walls I want to mount a vintage model sailboat, graphic Frenchy artwork, colorful raindrops and an adorable piglet portrait. To warm up our wooden floors, I got lost in this constellation-inspired Calligaris rug, and I’d skip the rocking horse in favor of a rocking sheep. To rock baby to sleep, a sleek handcrafted rocking chair that’s an instant heirloom. I’d love to skip the changing table in favor of a changing pad on a low-slung classic mid-century modern dresser in gorgeous wood, topped with a constellation globe so my baby will always find his way back home. Wouldn’t this chunky vintage brass pendant be lovely lighting up the space? Lastly, baby boy needs a place to lay his head, so I’m ogling a modern crib that still manages to be cozy, this custom-made crib sheet in a tiny anchor print, retro elephant fabric for throw pillows, and a cozy, graphic blanket.
Sigh, it would be a stunning room. And if you tally it all up, it would probably cost as much as I’ve spent to decorate the entire rest of the house. Next week I’ll show you how I took this pie-in-the-sky mood board and created an affordable version that I actually ended up liking even more.