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!

 

Pea Green and Fire Engine Red

I’m flexible to a certain extent with the colors in this house right now. In the name of keeping our sanity, there will be some rooms that we take longer to get to than others. Our Master Bedroom, for instance (and the rest of the upstairs for that matter) is a dark green color right now. Not enough to offend me. Not my favorite, but we’ve been a bit slower to pull out the paint brushes for the upstairs.

Now in the Dining Room and Living Room, we had something entirely different going on. By day, the walls looked like a mustard yellow and red, and at night, they turned into pea soup. They were just a bit too loud and in charge in for me.

This is a view of the Living Room / Hallway / Kitchen soon after we moved in.

Living Room Move In Day

Overall, we both love how open this space is and I know with a few coats of paint it’s going to shine like a diamond. :)

This is how the previous owner had the furniture arranged and although I like how they incorporated extra seating, I think I’d like to leave the walk way between the eat-in and the Living Room a bit more open, so I’m not sure I’ll put in furniture along that opening.

Family Room

You can see that the sofa kinda blocks off any foot traffic coming in from the kitchen area in this photo.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

Ultimately, I think we’ll eventually position

On the opposite wall from the view above, we have a little fireplace with a nook to the side. Eventually I hope to put a built-in bookcase in that little space to the right of the fireplace for extra toy storage and Living Room accessories.

Living Room with Two Tone Walls

Speaking of toys … ha ha! This is about half of them 😉 The big old basket I bought for him is now over flowing, so it may be time to re-think the toy storage strategy and/or move some of his old “baby” toys up into storage.

Toy Storage in Living Room

Henry’s favorite thing is to remove the toys from the toy box, so I’d hate to rain on his parade and limit the toys he can chuck out of the box (with a gleeful little grin!).

Side note – this little one is also obsessed with the concept of having steps in his abode. Since he’s been in an apartment for much of his little life, this concept of a mountain he can climb whenever his heart desires makes this little dude pretty happy. He especially loves it when the kitty joins him :)

Baby climbing steps

Another baby related adjustment we’re having to make in this house is all. the. cords. This house came with really nice window treatments, but these window treatments also have super long cords. Right now our windows look like this around much of the house to keep Mr. H from catching on them.

Cord Management for WIndows

 

Revere Pewter in the Dining Room

Chalk it up to a year of apartment living, but I forgot what a difference a can of paint can make in my life. It didn’t come easy, with dark red walls to start off with, but y’all – we officially have our first painted room checked off the list. And it feels SO much more like us! We decided to paint the Dining Room one of our tried and true classics, Revere Pewter.

This is what we were working with on move-in day.

Dining Room with Built in

And this is what we have now! Nothing too Earth shattering, but definitely better with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the walls.

Dining Room After

I wasn’t able to wait very long before the paint brushes came out, and I’m super glad we decided to tackle this room first, since it’s the room you enter right off the bat when coming into the house.

Here is a view of the hall that leads from the Living Room down into the Dining Room/Entry. Still thinking of ways to decorate the walls a bit – I’m thinking some matted family photos may fit the bill.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This is how the entry looks now with Revere Pewter up on the walls. I still need to find a big console table to put in the window. I have a lamp I scored on Craigslist that I think will look perfect in this entry – I just need a piece of furniture to put it on! Oh, and we need to paint that door something other than red (charcoal, perhaps?)

Foyer Revere Pewter

And for a before – this was the entry on move-in day.

Entryway landing

This is how everything looks coming down from the steps.

Foyer Revere Pewter Paint

Here is another view where you can see the Revere Pewter paint color a bit better. It’s super soft and soothing and it brightens up the space a ton. I’m in love 😀

Revere Pewter in Dining Room

So anyway, I think that Revere Pewter is definitely staying in my back pocket as a look to love (evidence here and here). Share with me your go to paint colors, y’all, I still got LOTS of rooms to paint 😉

Dining Room Plans Are Served

As soon as we found a house I was (of course) immediately drawn to the corner of the interwebs I think we all know too well, full of all types of juicy things to look at. Yes, pinterest, my fellow house renovation addicts. This is the land of obsession and alllll kinds of inspiration.

Ever since our offer was accepted, I started thinking about how I wanted our Dining Room to look once the space was finished. It’s the first room you see when you walk into the house, and right now – it’s screams 1992.

Dining Room with Built in

I LOVE built-ins. I do not love these built-ins.

Dining Room Built in

That being said, even though they look sorta funky, I’ve found even after just a few weeks of living here that they’re functional. Really great storage and with a small kitchen, they’re a perfect place to store those huge casserole dishes you pull out like twice a year.

So although I know we’ll be getting rid of these particular built-ins, I do think I’d like to keep the concept going with our new dining room plans as we continue to renovate down the road. So with my pinterest obsessed way, I stumbled across this gem and it’s officially become my inspiration for what I’d like to do with the space.

Built-ins in Dining Room

I mean – if I ever find this style table on craigslist, I’m going to literally die and stop whatever I’m doing to go and get that sucker. I swear, it’s just the loveliest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. And truly, as much as I love those linen chairs, with a one-year old, that’s just not happening. Unless your going for a modern tie die effect via spaghetti sauce everywhere.
Grasscloth in Dining Room

We’ve also got chair rail in this room, so this dining room photo caught my attention, too.  Eventually we plan on adding in some nice trim beneath the chair rail to make the room look a bit more polished and finished. In the more immediate term, we’ll just plan on painting it white though.

If my budget allowed for grass cloth, I’d be all the heck over that, but alas, a gallon of paint is a whole lot cheaper, so for now I’m thinking Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter which should give the room a similar look. Not nearly as classy, I know, but hey – it’s the look for less, right?!

Since this room also opens up into the foyer, I want to keep the color consistent in both spaces.

Entryway landing

My heart is so drawn to entries like this. Swoon. That picture is enough to make me want to buy a country farmhouse with 200-year old pine floors.

Farmhouse Entry Way

Or something like this … an old dresser off craigslist with some sweet little lamps on it?

Entry Way

So these days, you’ll find me with paint brush in hand, doing some hard core craigslist searching on the side 😉 Next up I’ll have some after photos of our Dining Room. It’s in progress now – can’t wait to share the changes with y’all!