Friday, March 28, 2014

Big Boy Room Reveal


Like all renovations this project took twice as long as I thought it would.  An ice storm resulting in 5 days without power didn't help matters.  By the end we were each taking shifts with the kids and the room, tagging in when the other person when they've had enough.  About 20 minutes before midnight the night before Brady's birthday we finally finished.

Brady had been sleeping in his little brother's room during the renovation so he hadn't seen the room yet.  We transferred a sleeping boy into his new room, hoping that he didn't wake up completely disoriented and scared.  That sounds like a great new HGTV show.  "Scare the Shazam Out of Your Kid."  Luckily he loved it!

This is now my favorite room in the house.  I kind of want to sleep in there.

We DIY'ed the wainscoting.  Remind me next time how hard that is...mmm k?

I've got plans for this corner of the room.  For now his crib/changing table will do.

I painted paper mache letters of his name using a left over test pot of orange.

I had been looking for black out, cordless roman shades for a while but the only place I could find them  with all those qualities were Pottery Barn and since after shipping and taxes I was looking at close to $600 they were a no go.  Then I found them, brand new, still in the packaging from eBay for $200.  I've had good luck doing that in the past.  You can search by 'new' and then as long as the seller ratings are good you can get name brand items for a fraction of the cost.

These are the vintage looking Etsy prints of his Disney favorites in Ikea frames.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.

Bedding from Ikea.  Can't beat $29.99.

Sconces flanking the bed for stories at bedtime.  I built the bed the same way I built the baby's big boy bed a couple months ago.  The only difference is that this time I used an old door from a prior renovation.  It is upholstered in Gray Duck cloth.

So there you have it.  The big boy bedroom that more than just one boy loves.  Now the oldest wants a new room for his birthday.  Sigh.

Paint: Wall - Benjamin Moore Hale Navy / Wainscoting - Benjamin Moore Simply White
Bedding: Ikea Odestrand
Art: Etsy Posterinspired
Sconces: Pottery Barn Mini Sconce
Orange Striped Baskets: Land of Nod
Roman Shades: Pottery Barn black out shades from eBay.

Shared: In My Own Style

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Despicable Me Birthday Party

So because we spent every spare moment the kids were asleep working on Brady's room it didn't leave much time for party planning.  So this is my Despicable-Me-Party-Put-Together-In-A-Few-Hours post.

Box cupcakes, blue frosting in a can (the color of minion overalls), half a Twinkie, black frosting and candy eyes from the baking isle made the minion cupcakes as requested by the birthday boy.  Sidebar: seriously are Twinkies not the most amazing food?  I realize that classifying them as a food is probably a stretch considering they probably share the same ingredients as Windex.  1/2 a box of Twinkies made a dozen cupcakes and the other half made my Sunday breakfast.

Yellow plastic constructions hats with minion stickers printed online made for minion hats for the party goers.

Yellow paper bags with the same minion sticker eyes made up the party favors.  Inside were "cookie robots" as baked by the birthday boy himself. We call him the Baker Man.

Guess how old he was?

He was a a pretty happy 4 year old that day :

Friday, March 14, 2014


It came down to the wire but about 20 minutes before Brady's birthday we finished his big boy room!  I'll be back with a full post on Monday.  Right now I need to plan a 4th birthday party for tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Room Caulk and Paint Built

I think I'm running on paint fumes.  I'm so ready for this project to be done.

Confession: I don't clean paint brushes.  I use one brush for an entire project and then I toss it.  I've been using this same navy paintbrush for a month now.  By placing it in a zip lock bag each time I use it and squeeze all the air out I'm able to keep reusing it.

I chose 10 of the old shelves that were in the best shape (since I removed 2 bookcases I could be picky).  I think the prior carpenter may have been drunk when he cut these shelves because none of them were even close to being the same size.  I sanded them and rolled on 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Simply white in semi-gloss using a foam roller (gives it a smooth finish that you can't get from a wall roller or a brush).

After caulking every seam I painted all the woodwork.  It took forever but it is amazing what paint can do to brighten a place up.

Remember all the seams and raw edges where all the old and new pieces met on the side of the shelves?

My solution for that was to box out the bottom part of the shelf using 1"x1" strips of wood.  The box shape matches the rest of the room while hiding the mess.

Finally on to the last and the fun part - Loading all the new decor into the room!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Putty & Paint Makes It What It Ain't

My hands are currently stuck in the claw position as I type this post.  Last weekend we managed to get much closer to the finish line on Brady's room (just in time since the birthday boy turns 4 later this week) and squeeze in a overnight trip to Manhatten despite losing an hour from daylight savings.  Who decided that 2 AM was a good time to spring ahead?  Why not Friday at 4 PM?  #megforpresident.

We finally attached the headboard focal point wood to the wall.  Supplies needed for that = wood glue, liquid nails and a whole lot of prayers.  Somehow nothing broke and it is all in place.

The rest of the weekend was spent spackling, sanding, spackling, sanding, putty'ing, sanding, putty'ing, sanding, caulking, wiping, caulking and wiping.  Seriously my hands have never been dryer.  Everytime i thought we were done and I'd start cleaning up Sean would respackle a nail hole.  I finally starting singing "Let It Go" and he stopped.  Unsure if it was to get me to stop singing or because he realized he was just polishing a turd.  Maybe I should rename the blog to Turd Polishing...

The finishing work is so important to get right.  The key is that after you finish puttying and sanding a seam or spackling and sanding a hole is to rub your hand over it with your eyes shut.  If you can feel where the spackle/putty begins/ends that you need to sand more.  This is my least favorite part.  I'm losing steam and the mess continues to get worse...but the end is in sight.  Unfortunately the view heading into the finish line looks like this.

5 tubes of caulk later we're ready for paint!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Built In Love

We lined up a sitter on Saturday and spent the day finishing all the cuts and gluing/nailing the wainscoting to the 3 walls.  What, that's not your idea of a fun date?  It was messy and tough but here's how we're currently looking:

Each piece is secured to the walls using liquid nails, wood glue, biscuits and nails.  Those suckers better not even think of moving.  Oh and I think I've forgotten to mention that I decided to go with pre-primed wood.  I could have saved $60 by using unprimed boards but after I factored in the cost of buying a gallon of good primer I figured the net $30 splurge was worth it to me to have a factory finish and to not have the extra work and stink in the house.

Then it was on to give the built-in's some attention.  Here is how it was looking after I removed the 2 middle shelf sections:

I mentioned when we installed the crown that we first installed a pice of upside down baseboard to the top of the built in to give it a more built out look.  We took it once step further and added a 2" piece just under that baseboard.  You can see it at the top of this picture:

You'll also notice we added a shelf.  We wanted the piece to look like one unit and with the middle sections gone the shelf connecting the two helped achieve that.  There is another 2"cross piece to mirror the top and the sides and to also help prevent the long shelf from sagging over time.  A 1" brace holds up the sides.

Next up I wanted the headboard section to be a focal point so I designed a wood paneled treatment that has my husband cursing.  It is very difficult to get it installed because the 2 shelves create fixed ends that don't allow for any movement while we're installing.  Here it is dry fit:

The added perk was that the pieces covered up this mess left behind from demo'ing the old shelving units.

Last but not least the bottoms.  Remember when I demo'ed the shelves and it left the feet looking like this?

It left behind a raw edge and a strange toe kick.  First step was to address the front.  We got rid of the toe kick by first nailing a piece of 3/4" board (the same as all the wainscoting) so that it was flush with the front of the unit.  Then we attached a piece of baseboard to that.  It not only gives it a finished edge but also matches the base we will have to use on the sides of the unit.

This shot shows you how we built out the base.  We can only use the narrow baseboard on the sides b/c we can't afford to lose any real estate in between the shelves because the bed fits exactly in between.

So a lot of the grueling work is behind us.  Last steps are to somehow secure the paneling to the headboard wall and then lots of puttying, caulking and painting.

11 more days until the birthday boy turns 4.  Just what every 4 year old boy wants.  Haven't you heard that wainscoting is all the rage with preschoolers?