Friday, September 16, 2016

Nautical Nursery - Ahoy It's a BOY!

Last Fall, our family was blessed with the birth of the sweetest little boy - Ethan Gregory.  It has been so much fun transforming this little nursery for him.  It took me six months to finish decorating it and another four months to blog about it!  The room started out as a toy room.  His three big sisters reluctantly moved their toys into their bedrooms to make space.  This room evolved from pink and green to a nautical navy, grey and cream, 100% boy bedroom.  Climb aboard with me and check out the details:

The giant E initial on the door welcomes you in and strongly hints at the nautical theme.  The large wooden letter is from Hobby Lobby.  A local map is attached with rubber cement and mod podge on top to seal it.  The navy and white stripe detail is scrapbook paper with rope trim glued onto each side.  The 3-dimensional anchor is made of cardboard and spray painted red.  The same rope trim is tied on.  The circle on the bottom is a nautical compass rose with rope edging.  E's sisters have initials on their bedroom doors depicting their bedroom themes too.  A, O, & E (looks like oversized apartment addresses)

In this transformation, the walls, carpet, Ikea book shelves, chalkboard, and curtain rods stayed the same.  New chevron curtains were on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I bought four panels.  Two for the window and two to replace the closet door.  More on that later.  For the window, I purchased blackout liners at Lowes.  I didn't even know about this product until I checked into it.  They help to block out light and insulate the window.  These liners simply hook onto the top of the curtains.  Much easier and more effective than sewing in liners!  Chair and ottoman from Target, pillow Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Above:  Wooden anchor - Kohl's, Frame - custom made by my dad - Winter sailboat picture snapped while in Chicago on vacation, Lighthouse - antique store 

Below:  Ikea light (temporary until we install ceiling light fixture), Globe - thrift store find, Lanterns - antique store finds, Ship wheel - Hobby Lobby clearance

This little drum table was found in our basement under a heavy tablecloth when we moved into this house.  The legs were wobbly and the top had water damage.  I repaired the table as best as I could.  For the finish I mixed a few different colors of paint that I already had to create this orange-red color.  To distress it, I used a dark grey glaze.  For the tabletop I cut a map into a circle and placed it under a piece of glass.  The map is not glued down. I like how the paint brings out the details & it also coordinates well with the crib and armoire, which are walnut.

The tied back curtain below is on the closet in place of the door.  The door didn't have room to swing out because of the large furniture in a small space.  The rope tie back is from Bed, Bath and Beyond and the nautical cleat is from Ace Hardware.  Rope hooks on driftwood are from Marshall's/Homegoods.

Triple sailboat picture frames were another antique store find.  I have it hanging over a hose knob (more exciting than hanging it on a nail).  Picture frame above the hooks is also attached with a nautical cleat. 

Armoire holds a lot of little clothes & doubles as a changing table. Great for a small space!   


The chalkboard was painted onto the wall with white paint bordering it.  The anchor hooks were the first nautical thing I bought for this room.  I found them at an eclectic little shop in New Orleans while on vacation.  I was so excited about them!  Fast forward to now and they sell the same hooks at Kohl's, go figure!  The oar is from Marshall's/Homegoods, picture frames from Kohl's (still need to add my favorite pictures).

Combining jute rope from Home Depot, hot glue and an inexpensive wall clock from Dollar General results in a nice textured addition.

Since there was leftover rope, I decided to use a little more along with a lot more hot glue sticks to transform the boring porcelain lamp.   

Here is the spot where lots of naps and growing take place.  The anchor crib sheet is from Babies R Us, dust ruffle from Buy Buy Baby and the striped quilt is from T.J Maxx. Wooden Anchor wall hanging is from Hobby Lobby.  I went there to buy craft supplies to make something similar and decided that this was perfect and purchased it.

Daddy says, "if that room gets any more nautical, it will sink".  I consider that a success!

 This joyful lil' captain knows his role and he sure has this whole family wrapped around his chubby little fingers.  He is easy to love! 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Tablescape

It is Thanksgiving Eve!  The bird is slowly thawing, the groceries have been purchased, the table is set and the house is shiny & clean, finally it is time to start baking.  All of these preparations make me wonder if the Pilgrims and Indians made such a fuss over their feast?  I pray that all of your Thanksgiving celebrations will be simply blessed and that you'll be surrounded by loved ones. 
In place of a table runner I used three mirrors & since the table is so long I made 3 center pieces with varying heights, textures, and coordinating colors.   
   The only item purchased for this table setting was this bouquet of fresh flowers from Costco.
Autumn colors pop against the black and white tablecloth and dishes.  
Candied fruits add color to each table setting.  The monogrammed napkins were made by my parents and they look so pretty with our Lenox china.
 Psalm 95:1-3
      Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;

    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,

    and a great King above all gods.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Color on the Ceiling

Our kitchen is neutral.  It is creamy and taupe and classically safe in every aspect.  I like it that way, but when our ceiling needed to be painted due to a leaky shower, I decided to get creative and splash some color up above.  I chose Sherwin William's Festoon Aqua SW 0019.

As a first time ceiling painter I taped the edges and primed the surface before splashing on the color.  Below you can see the first few exciting and nerve racking strokes.  I was thinking I am either going to love this or hate this and at this point I could not tell you which way it would go!  

Before - You can see the water damage near the chandelier.
After - Shows how the warm aqua color warms up the room.

The aqua color was inspired by a hint of it in the curtains as well as some pretty accessories that I have been collecting 

I plan to add aqua to the back of the glass front cabinet and I am still deciding whether to splash the walls on each side of the windows with aqua.  Thoughts?

Adding color to the ceiling has added warmth.  It does not make the room feel dark or closed in.  One of my daughter's have requested that I add some clouds and a sunshine as it looks like the sky.  Come on over for a cup of coffee. Pictures don't capture the exact color or excitement that this adds to the space. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Matting Artwork

Happy first day of Spring!  This painting was a souvenir from a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It reminds me of warmth and sunshine.  Just what we need for the first day of SPRING!  I brought it back upstairs today (it winters in the basement during the off season).

Have you ever paid to have a photo or artwork custom matted and framed?  It is unbelievably expensive!  Two years ago my husband surprised me with two Renoir Etchings!  They are absolutely beautiful.  He said he spent more on the framing and matting than on the authentic Etchings!  I personally have not paid to have anything framed and matted, I have always done it myself.  It may not be as fancy and I don't have the equipment to bevel the edge of the matting, but I am okay with that!  My wallet is more full because I do it myself.

Today I am working on a quick and inexpensive project to restore these two framed watercolor/pen & ink prints from the thrift store:

One of the prints had water damage in the corner and they were wrinkled and washed out and a little faded looking, but I knew I could spruce them up.

  1. I disassembled the frames & washed the filthy glass really well on both sides so the art can be seen.
  2. Then I ironed the prints.  Yes, I literally ironed the paper between sheets of paper towel so I didn't burn them.  It worked well to flatten them.
  3. Finally I cut a double mat which covers up the water stain in the corner & brings out the colors in the art.
To cut mat board I use a metal ruler, exacto blade and a cutting mat. Starting with a rectangle the exact size as the artwork I decide on the width of the mat I would like.  This is a valuable skill I am thankful I learned in college. Matting artwork and all things rubber cement - Haha!  

Using a pencil I mark off a rectangle.  In this case, the tan mat board was cut to 1" wide and the red to 1-1/4" wide to reveal a 1/4" detail.

The tan looks nice around the artwork, but I think adding a color detail makes the pictures pop!

Someday I plan to visit Venice, Italy, but until then I can dream about it as I enjoy these beauties on my bedroom wall.  This entire project cost less than $12.00.  The framed art cost $5.99 each and I already had the mat board in my stash.  I'll update this post when when I hang them.  I am still debating between two spots - on red walls or cream color?  Either way they will go in our master bedroom.

Do you have photos or artwork that you would like framed/matted?  I would be happy to help!  

Although the first day of Spring didn't get warmer than 30* in Michigan and the snow flurries were still flying, it didn't stop us from enjoying free ice cream cones at Dairy Queen!

 Cheers to much warmer days ahead!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Simple Coat Rack and Gallery Wall

Coat Rack/Art Gallery

A mudroom/laundry room can never have enough hooks and storage.  With kids even if there are lots of hooks they often always throw their coats and backpacks on the floor.  My fingers crossed, wishful remedy - a cute coat rack that is hung within their reach.


Primed wall, applied pre-pasted, paintable bead board wallpaper (from Lowes):

Added a wide trim piece and small ledge.  Details were added with a router & the trim and wallpaper were painted with the same color as the existing doors and trim in the laundry room (Behr primer/paint Ivory Beige color):

Finally my favorite detail was added!  Aren't these dragonfly hooks adorable?! They were purchased a few years ago on final clearance at Target.  They were marked down to a few dollars and I knew they would come in handy someday.

Since the bead board wallpaper went up so easily and looked realistic I decided to try applying it to the cabinet fronts.  It was so quick and easy and I am thrilled with the results!

Cabinet Before/After:

Gallery Wall

The hooks have proved functional and after several months I have finally tackled the blank wall space above. The combination of framed family pictures and children's artwork combine perfectly in this space.  The vertical interest makes this small room feel larger.  

This gallery wall cost $25 for the Lifestyle frames from Michael's (including the matting) and $10 for the picture printing (Costco).  I already had two 11 x 14 frames and the oval frame.  I love the layered look of the oval frame overlapping the 11 x 14 frames.  It makes for an interesting focal point!

Artist Credit:  The large watercolor painting on the left was created by Olivia when she was 3 years old.  The colorful tissue paper collages were made by Addison and Amelia when they were 3 years old.  

Photography Credit:  Family Photos by Vanessa Saven Photography 2014

Construction Execution:  Huge THANK YOU to my Dad who perfectly executed my vision on this project!  He made the shelf/coat rack for me.  

Here is a look back at this room when I began beautifying it.  Click here.