Laundry Room Inspiration

So each house, it seems, we move up one peg on the laundry room scene. First house – gloomy basement, second – still in basement, slightly less gloomy, still damp, third house – we added our closet laundry, but it was a tight fit, this house – a closet that’s actually planned to have a laundry in it. Maybe by our last house, we’ll actually have a room. he he. #LifeGoals

Ta da!! Behind door #1 and #2, is our laundry room!

Laundry Room Closet

Here is our laundry room as is, pretty much how it looks on a daily basis. Can you see why I’m looking for some laundry room inspiration to spruce this joint up a bit?

Renovating Small Laundry Room

So things that left room to be desired in the laundry room inspiration category. Let’s start with the paint. I mean, need I say more.

There are things I really like about the room – like the hanging bar across the top. Tres functional.

Renovating Laundry Room

And there are things I don’t like as much – like our dryer (pan right…). It’s old and it sounds like an army of burly men are hiking through our upstairs every time we dry our clothes. Not good for evening loads when the babe is sleeping (or for that matter when we’re trying to sleep…)

Washer and Dryer Replacement

Before, the room had some beigey tile on the ground – the same stuff that’s plastered all over our bathrooms up here. Very builder grade, and not so much my jam.

Laundry Room Before and After

Once we had everything removed from the space, we had a very open, very green, room – ready for some over hauling.

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

As a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to in this space (more on that next week), here is my general mood board for our laundry room inspiration and how I’d like this room to look. I think we’re going to get there in a few different phases, but I’m very excited with the progress so far!

Laundry Room Mood Board

 

 

 

Bar Stool Beauties

If I ever was to have a woman cave, a retreat from my crazies around here, than it would be our perfectly primped little guest room. I mean, it just feels cave like … I guess it’s cause we’re usually watching TV up here and it’s all moody with the lights out and dim. Ummm can I just say I know I’m behind, but Parenthood y’all. I’m so obsessed. It’s like any night we’re just sitting around I’m up here with a bowl of ice cream just crack a lackin or crying my eyes out. One of the two.

Remember our bonus room? And all my plans for it? This room?

Living Room and Bedroom

Right now we have no seating up here other than the sofa, and I’d love to add in some bar stools eventually to give some extra space to park the party for a bit. As obsessed as I am with craigslist (I seriously need to dedicate a quick post to show you some of the treasures I’ve been getting on there), sometimes you have to call the national forces and look beyond your own little hill in this world. That my friends, is when my eyes wander over to Chairish which has tons of vintage and way chic goodness. I mean quite frankly, most of it is way chicer than anything we be swinging, but a girl can wish, right?

Vintage Barstool Kitchen

Arteriors Home Henson Counter Stool | Rustic Wood Iron Pair |  Arthur Umanoff Bar Stools | Industry West Bar Stools | Wicker Bar Stools | Contemporary Reclaimed Wood Barstool | Restoration Hardware Barstools  

Since my perfect woman retreat would obviously have a full kitchen in it (he he), I’d pop the stools in for a look like this. Lake house, cottage, lived in vibe. Love it.

Vintage Wood Kitchen Stools

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I also love these barstools. And that island. Stoooppp it.

Vintage Barstools in Kitchen

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Y’all. Superficial life goal here … have a kitchen large enough for an island.

If I was going to style away for my dream kitchen/woman retreat/room of my own, I think it would look sorta like this.

Farmhouse Living Room Mood Board

Y’all dreaming and scheming along with me? One room at a time, we’re slowly getting there. Psst – next week you’ll see some laundry room progress!

Designer Lookbook | Hannah Vernal Designs

Oh the interwebs – full of images that make your heart pitter patter :) I’m not really a huge interior designer follower in the sense that my style is not super high end. I mean, I shop at Target and the Goodwill, ya know what I mean? But every once and a while I find a designer that’s worth sharing and Hannah Vernal Designs is definitely one of those glance and be inspired designers. A lot of her work reminds me of Lauren Liess, with Pure Style Home. I love her eclectic take on putting a room together and feel like the gathered look is just so on point.

I was inspired by Hannah Vernal Designs style and wanted to share.

Reading Nook with Builtin Bookcase

The perfect reading nook. Those pillow and the mounted light … trying to think of places I can get in some bookcases in the abode now. 😉

I’m also loving the look of the bedroom below. Someday (someday) I yearn SO HARD for a set of chests to put on either side of the bed. It’s like my lifelong craigslist wish list find.

Ikat Bedroom Throw Pillow

I’ve been in love with this shared child’s room by Hannah Vernal Designs for a long time. I’ve had it pinned as inspiration for ages. It just looks so cozy and comfy.

Barley Twist Twin Beds

This oversized lantern in these casual dining space is totally rocking, too. Unexpected in the best possible way.

Large Lantern in Dining Room

This kitchen needs some accessorizing, but the contrast of the lighter cabinets with the solid wood island is delish.

Dark Island in Kitchen

And as subway tile obsessed as I am … this wall of white in a Hannah Vernal Designs bathroom made my heart skip a beat. If you look in the mirror, I’m crazy about the natural wood contrast in the space, too.

Subway Tile Bathroom Full Wall

Check out all her work, here!

Navy Blue I Love You

Poor Henry. Poor us, lol. That kid shared a room with his parents for his first year of life and man am I ready for him to have his own pad here in the new house. See when we sold the house last fall, the babe was still sleeping in a pack and play – thinking we would only be in our new apartment a few months, we opted for a great location and a SMALL space. 1-bedroom. So, the baby slept with us.

Which was fine – until it wasn’t. The last month or two living in the apartment we slept on the living room floor so he would sleep through the night and not wake when we’d come in each night. Ahhh, the things you do for love – and a full night sleep.

So this is a long story – which has a happy ending. Mr H has his own room now and after a painting blitz a few weekends back with Behr Night Club, it’s now lovely and dark and dreamy and perfect for my little one. Literally, I think this may be the perfect navy blue paint for a room. Love. It.

Dark Blue Baby Room

It’s definitely not finished but it is DEFINITELY better than our starting point.

In all honesty, since the baby is a crazy monkey that pulls things out of their places and just want to run around generally anyway, we probably won’t add a ton more to the space. Right now it has a reading nook we use each night before bed.

Dark Blue Boys Room

Henry loves reading Little Blue Truck each night, lol. We ride bikes over here, so not sure where his love for this truck book came from. He must like all my highly authentic animal noises 😉

Dark Navy Baby Room

I love the way this little blanket looks draped over the side of his bed against the navy blue walls and it actually helps me to escape (most nights) unnoticed after we tuck him in. :)

Ikea Lenda Curtains

He had this book shelf in his last room. We still need to add some accessories to it, but for now, it’s a good placeholder for our night time reading books.

I’ve also had these Lenda curtains (from IKEA) stacked away for over a year. I’m so glad they finally have a home. Need to be hemmed still, but H loves using them for peek-a-boo whenever he gets the chance 😉

Inexpensive Linen Curtains

Items still on my short list for this room include getting a ceiling fan for his room. This 90’s builder grade classic is just not making my heart skip a beat – and let’s face it – if your light fixtures don’t make your heart go pitter patter, why have them. YOLO man.

Ceiling Fan in Child's Room

I also got this lamp base at my favorite local thrift shop. Still need to get a side table for next to the chair, but I think this will look really cute in the space once we have a shade and everything for it.

Thrift Store Lamps

Here is a close up of the sweet constellation photos we had up in his nursery, before we sold the last house. I LOVE these!! True story, my OCD self has a hard time when these get knocked around and slightly out of place though. Especially that bottom row that’s right at Henry’s reach level – ha ha!! Yep, they’re not straight very often.

Constellation Prints Childs Room

And a final view, from the hall with the navy blue walls up against the white trim. It’s a dark room man, but I love it! (Color is Behr Night Club, for anyone looking to recreate the look)

Night Club Behr Paint

 

 

 

Dark Blue Nursery Inspiration

Oh it’s true – our little squirrel needed a room of his own. I think it’s probably one of the main reasons we started to get like desperate for a house after looking for a year. We just could not share a room with the babe any more – he more or less kicked us out anyway, so yeahhh. :)

Henry’s room in the new house is perfectly sized for the little tike and a few months of living here, we decided it was high time to get some paint up on the walls and transform his space from a room with a crib and some baskets – to an actual baby space! True to form, we started out with some mood board/pinterest inspiration. I knew I wanted to do a dark baby room this time. No white walls here.

Mood Board Boys Room

For reference, this is what the room looked like when we moved in. Along with the rest of the upstairs, the walls were painted a dark green color that wasn’t my jam. Upstairs Office Space

They were using the space as an office, as you can see from the photo above. It’s not a huge room, but for a little person, I mean really – how much space does one need?

Now if you’re new to this blog, you probably never saw H’s nursery. Funny story – but since we moved pretty much right after I popped this child out, he never slept in his carefully created little nursery – not even once. We did take some newborn shots in there after he was born. Look how cute and so little!!

Raleigh Baby Photography

And one more, just so this momma can bask in her little human that is now a much bigger human.

North Carolina Baby Photography

Here are some inspiration images I have pulled up for the space.

Dark Navy Nursery

I mean, really – I think the room above may just be the perfect dark blue nursery EVER. Love that persian rug – love it all.

And this one – I’ve got a special spot in my heart for this dark blue nursery. See we’ve always had constellation prints up in H’s room (his old room) and I’ve been dying to give them a dark, dramatic background, like a midnight sky.

Constallation_Art_In_Childs_Room

Here are the constellation prints up on the wall in his nursery, before we moved (Ballet White on the walls).

Constellation Artwork

Truth be told, I do wish we had wood floors in the upstairs sometimes, since the second room above (with the rug over the rug) is just not quite as cute (IMO) as the rug right up on a wood floor back drop.

Quick spoiler before I show you how H’s room is looking with the paint up on the walls next week, as a point of comparison – THIS is what the constellation prints look like with his dark blue nursery walls in the background! :) I LOVE it! :)

Constellation Prints Childs Room

 

 

 

On Parenting

I think every parent has moments where the insecurities creep in, I know they do. I know we all have too much capacity to doubt our own abilities and our own actions. I mean – truth be told – overall I’m pretty confident in our parenting so far. We make choices (good or bad), we live with them, we move on, we love, we try to always be quick to forgive. I know over time those tests will change, along with our son. That the battles will sometimes get lost and those moments of defeat (for him, for us) will creep in.

I find it interesting, as a society, that we’re so obsessed with the concept of what others are doing. You see it so much right now it scares me sometimes – why do we do that. Why can’t we find individual worth vs. knocking another down to build ourselves up? Another ethnic group, another sexual orientation, another parent – it’s ubiquitous and permeates through our society. I think it’s to validate our own choices and life path, that we need to compare ourselves to others so we can feel like we stack up in some way. Like we’re doing something right – especially when it comes to parenting. As a working parent (mother) I am a bit flummoxed at times with the push back I get. It’s gentle at times (that must be so hard… or, so, you’re working full time?), and more pointed at others (You work full-time? Oh, I see. Who takes care of your son?) – but it’s consistently there. My husband, take note, has never once gotten the line of inquiry ending in “why do you work”. He is a man, these things are expected. He provides, I nurture.

It’s like I’ve chosen a life path that somehow compromises my son, by working full-time. Like I’ve opted for my needs – a career, financial security, my own independence – over his. And as a parent – our roles – are to put our children’s needs first. Our needs from this point out are secondary, they’re periphery to the needs of our child. So sometimes, you sit there and take a hard look at your circumstances and think – yes – I AM choosing those things over spending time with him. I AM opting to meet my needs before his. I guess you could say, these are hard truths of being a working parent. No matter how you slice it – the time I spend with him in his youth is more limited by choosing a career path. And sometimes, deep in my heart that burdens me, that saddens me.

But then I go out, about my day, ready to take it on, to own it, to show this world what I’ve got, and I’m reminded of a deep debt I have to my son to show him my truest self, my deepest identity. You see, as my son, he holds the deepest part of who I am. My husband is my partner, my confidant, my backbone. My child is my soul, my heart, my home. Without him, what would I be? But the truth is, before him I was my own self – and it’s that soul that I yearn to share with him. I want him to feel my fire. I want him to know that he is capable of all things. I want him to know that this world may knock him down, but he will always get up, with his mother’s hand to guide him at any moment he should need it. I love that boy – I love him more each second and it’s the most humbling, jarring and pure form of love I’ve known.

Each day that passes is another day gone. Another day bigger, longer, faster, stronger. I marvel at your growth and your wit and your sweet laughter. I marvel at your heart – so big and your love – so abundant. I can’t believe how much you are like me – how you frustrate easily and want (so much) to be able to take this world on. It will come, sweet Henry, in time – it will come.

So – my dear child – my dear, sweet, funny, beautiful boy. Please know that I never, ever choose anything but you. Quite simply – how could I. Every moment you are with me – the deepest part of my heart – I carry you each step I take, as if you were still there, flesh of my flesh, right there in my womb.

Pullen

Pass The (Benjamin Moore) Moonshine

I like the whole gray fad going on right now, but I’m definitely more in the greige paint camp then the cool gray camp (some of my all time favorites, here). I just like my rooms to have a smidge of warmth to them and although 90’s builder beige is pretty boring, some of the gray colors that are popular these days just feel too cold to me.

So I was actually really hemming and hawing on our Bonus Room color. I knew I wanted something other than my tried and true Benjamin Moore colors I’d used in the past, so this time I decided to try Benjamin Moore Moonshine. This color is exacto-mundo what I wanted. It has a bit of blue in the undertones and it’s just deliciously perfect in this space.

Bonus Room Moonshine

Cute, right?! I mean – let’s just stop and pause and kinda bask in the fact that we have this ginormous room for guests. It’s. the. best!

This is Benjamin Moore Moonshine up close. I really, really love it!

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

We moved over some bookcases from our apartment. They fit in perfect here and work so well for our TV area.

Built in Bookcase in Bonus Room

Although we plan on using this space for guests that come into town, more often than not Jay and I are up here watching TV in the evenings and relaxing, too.

Living Room and Bedroom

This is the biggest single room Jay and I have ever had in a house – it’s big enough for a living space, a bedroom area, a kitchenette and a half bath. Wow – right?!

We moved our old Queen Bed up here and it fits perfectly in the space.

Queen Bed in Bonus Room

This room also has a kitchenette! I’ve got big plans down the road to make this match the rest of the room, but hey, for now it’s functional and great for storage.

Kitchenette in Bonus Room

This cute little medallion was something we picked up to stage the last house. I meant to return it but I’m glad I didn’t since it fills up this wall really well!

Large Wall Hanging Medallion

So everyone can remember – this is what the room looked like on move-in day. Again RED. This one with yellow accent walls though, which you can see if you look carefully on the wall-o-mirrors to the left of the photo. Lovely. 😉

Bonus Room Over Garage

Here is one final view of the built-in/living space with Benjamin Moore Moonshine up on the walls! So lovely! Who’s coming over to visit? Your room is ready!

Builtin Target Bookcase

 

 

Bonus Room Ideas

Ok – so when you start your house search saying things to your realtor like “Does this house have off street parking” and “Oh, they’re counting this weird room you walk through to get into the kitchen as one of the bedrooms” Or, “Oh, there’s a furnace in the middle of this room” and “Whaaaa – this house doesn’t have AC?!” *we live in NC!* – when you land up with a house that has a bonus room, over an attached garage, you’re sorta like slapping your self every morning, noon and night. Not polite dainty slapping but full out smacking yourself silly.

Yes, if y’all didn’t catch that we have a whole other “bonus room” over a garage that we can use for things like guests! and TV’s! and parties! I’M SO EXCITED.

Refresher – this is the room on move-in day. Red, very red. But also very large. Me likey.

Bonus Room Over Garage

Any room that is large enough for a pool table is basically like a Greecian palace to me.

So we’ve got some big plans for the bonus room that I wanted to share with y’all before I show you some of the progress we’ve made on the room next week.

Overall – this is the look and feel I’m going for in the space. Soft, light, open and airy.

Living Room Mood Board

Looking like this (more or less) when we’re done…

Bonus Room Design

I fell in love with Benjamin Moore Moonshine, and really like how it has a tinge of blue to it, so that’s my color inspiration for the space. Here it is in a bedroom I love (almost makes me want to paint our bedroom this color, too!)

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

Another cool thing about this room is that it has a little wet bar built in. Don’t get me wrong, it needs some a lot, of refining, but the plumbing and all that jazz is already up there.

Since the space is so small, I’ve got some ideas on how to give it a wow factor and really snazz up this part of the bonus room. Right now, I’m inspired by photos like this.

Small White Kitchenette

Our space will need to fit a mini fridge, and possibly a dishwasher. On cabinetry we plan on keeping it as minimal and simple as possible.

I also love this photo, sans the peninsula, since that wouldn’t fit in our space (just a row of cabinets against the wall).

Small Kitchenette

Cute, simple and easy to decorate :)

Ok, one more, I’m on a kitchen kick over here. The bottom portion (with cabinets) on this one would pretty much make me weep with happiness I like it so much.

Butlers Pantry

The one downside of this wet bar is that is means we have a half bath up in this room vs. a full bath. Eventually we plan on adding a shower up here, but realistically, that’s at least a year out. When we do add the bath, we’ll do a very basic stall type of shower since this room will only be used by guests – so there’s no need to go crazy although you know I’ll be fighting the urge! :)

Some progress photos up next week! It look SO MUCH BETTER in this room already, I can barely contain myself, y’all!

Pale’s in Comparison

Our new house is pretty open concept. Much more so than past houses in the sense that one wall color, more or less, covers most of the downstairs area. I had my heart set on going really dark in the dining room this time,  but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would clash with the Living Room wall it connects to a bit too much. Likewise, when thinking about the Living Room color, we had to pick something that would work nicely with the Dining Room.

We landed on Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore).

Open Concept Living Room

We used this color in our bathroom remodel in the last house and I knew I wanted to also use it in our next house. It’s a great color with a slight gray undertone.

You’re probably noticing some other changes in the room as well… Y’all – craigslist is my bff as of late. You’re looking at a Pottery Barn Sectional that I snagged for $450 right there. It’s in immaculate condition – like brand new. This thing retails for $3,500. SCORE.

Open Concept Living Room

It’s super comfortable and fit our room just right. I also splurged (for me) on a quality chair that was recovered in a restoration hardware velvet upholstery for $300 on craigslist.

Restoration Hardware Upholstered Chair

This guy is so comfortable! The cat I’m afraid loves it, so it’s normally covered in cat hair (hence the blanket, ha ha!)

It’s the perfect addition to this corner, since it helps us hide H’s toys a bit!

Restoration Hardware Club Chair

And the final new addition to this space, are some sweet pillows I scored on clearance at Target. I’d been eyeing these beauts for 6+ months, but couldn’t justify spending $25 each. Well low and behold, I found them on clearance last week and along with a cartwheel promotion, I got them for $5 each!

Threshold Throw Pillows

Here is one final view of the room – first a before shot:

Family Room off of the Kitchen

And … progress!

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Sittin’ Pretty

I love, LOVE, buying our furniture and household duds used. I mean, I get plenty of shopping fixes from dear old target and online locales, too, but there is really nothing better in my book than scoring a serious deal on a piece of furniture I’d never be able to afford new. As far as creating a cohesive and styled space though, this approach can lead to a slightly longer timeline to get the exact look you want. Over time it does give a more gathered look though, which I definitely like! This is one of the photos I’ve been saving that has that collected over time look.

Gathered Living Room Look

Or this. Love how everything works together and it looks layered yet intentional.

Eclectic Living Room

That being said, a room like the photo below completely has me at hello – but all the matchy matchy = money money since it’s all got to (more or less), be purchased new, as a set. Every once in a blue moon I’ll get super lucky and find a set on the list, but it’s rare, and fleeting – so you better be prepared to drop everything and run type of thing.

Living Room Design

I’ve been dreaming and scheming the past few weeks about what I’d like our Living Room to look like (hint, not like this) and wanted to share some of my favorite inspiration images for the space. There are a few key elements in this room I’d like to play up over time, one of them being our fireplace. I love this photo, and have it pinned for inspiration.

Fireplace Trim Ideas

That marble surround. Mmmmm hmmmm.

This one also has be thinking about different options for our fireplace wall. Both I think would be relatively easy to do – and similar to past projects we’ve done with board and battan.

Fireplace with Detail

You’d think having a one year old that always has blackberry juice dripping down his shirt would have cleansed me of this urge, but I can’t help it, I’m still a total sucker for some nice neutral linen upholstery :) It’s just so darn crisp and clean. Lurrrve.

Living Room with Built-ins

We’re not huge TV watchers, so for now I’m not worrying too much about a space to fit our TV in this room. I like how the picture above tucks it over to the right of the fireplace though, tres chic. Someday I’d like to put in some built-ins on either side of the fireplace, but I’m thinking a project like that is still a year or so out.

I love when I stumble across a website that has all the answers to all the design dilemmas we have in our homes on a daily basis. Laurel and Wolf is an online interior design service that can help create a pulled together (and affordable to create!) space in your home. Here is their website – check it out to get some ideas!

Quick teaser – we finally decided on a color for the Living Room space and painted it! I can’t wait to show you some progress photos next week!