Trimming it Up

This little ladies room is shaping up nicely so far y’all. It took us a few weekends of dedicated time, but we have some sweet trim action going down in the little lassie’s nursery and I’m getting mighty excited to paint this joint now!

#Wainscoting #DIY #HomeDesign #InteriorDesign

So no, we won’t be leaving the trim white against the gray walls, instead we’re going to paint the whole thing – dark!

Like so!

#NurseryDesign #InteriorDesign

{photo cred, Domino Magazine}


I mean, you guys, are you dying? I’m dying. And I’m loving these dark, dark, moody colors that are in right now. Hey – we went dark on H’s room and I’m all about it, so why not 2/2, right?

Here is a darkish (sorry) shot of how the room looks right now from the doorway, so you can get an idea of how the trim is placed.

#InteriorDesign

I knew off the bat that I wanted everything to be as symmetrical as possible with this trim, which did require a fair bit of pre-measuring to 1) make sure we were optimizing each piece of trim (vs. having large sections of waste and 2) to make sure everything would be centered and equal once up on the walls.

#InteriorDesign, #DIY

We left a 5″ gap around the walls and in between each section – you can see here how that looks on the external corner, right before you get to the door to the hallway.

#InteriorDesign #DIY

Now ideally we would not have had to work around outlets with the trim and all of the outlet boxes would have fallen neatly into each one of these boxes we made, but we have a newer house and by george, they sure love their outlets in like 90’s houses and newer man. I’m like NO ONE has this many electronics they need to plug in – for realz.

Since we were not that lucky we just worked around them to the extent we were able.

#InteriorDesign #NurseryDesign

Overall, I’m super happy with how this turned out! For our install, in case anyone is wondering, we just used a nail gun to put each piece in place, and then came through with a very light layer of caulk to help keep each piece in place and not pop out.

#InteriorDesign #DIY

Jay’s finishing up the caulking this week and from there – get ready to see some paint going on y’all!!


#InteriorDesign #DIY

Outdoor Ceiling Fan (For a Steal)

You guys, if I have not sufficiently evangelized you on never buying your stuff new (atleast not straight out of the gate) – let this be another lesson! πŸ˜‰ We scored an outdoor fancy old fan for $30 on craiglist – holla!!

So first, some before shots and back story. This is what our outdoor ceiling looked like.

Adding_Ceiling_Fan_To_Porch

Notice that pretty little plate, mounted smack in the middle? Well we knew it was an electrical box, and as the summer scorched on (North Carolina you guys – it gets hot) we kept thinking to ourselves – we *need* a fan. Our kid absolutely loves to play with his kiddy pool so 9 days out of 10 we’re out there chilling on the porch and getting coached by our 2-year old on acceptable water table behavior. There are more rules to this than you’d first imagine πŸ˜‰

But being cheap, and realizing this definitely fell into the category of non-essential, I refused to buy a brand new one for like $200+ for the styles I loved.

Which is where craigslist comes in!

Ceiling_Fan_Outdoor

I saw this beauty/cutie come up for $30 and I was like whaaaa – Jay, we need to go in the car and get this! It even has an edison bulb already planted in it, which is like $5-$8 right there, haha!

This was also where our whomp whomp moment came in. The next morning we were super excited to install it, when Jay realized that although the box did have electrical, it was definitely missing some key provisions we’d need for installing a ceiling fan.

Installing_Ceiling_Fan

Apparently, you need to have more than just wires to install something as substantial as a fan, which totally makes sense, but was definitely not something that was on my radar until Jay told me no dice.

We realized we needed to buy the thing er jigger (here) and down below that essentially finds beams up above in your ceiling and locks into them, to make sure your ceiling fan, well doesn’t fall on your head mid spin, so it’s a rather important detail! Ceiling_Fan_Mounting We had a 2-day delay while we ordered this guy and waited. But the good news is, here in the South, you almost have to wait until late fall before being outside is actually something you’d want to do, so the timing – all and all – worked perfectly πŸ™‚

Here is the ceiling fan up and running – we love it!


Industrial_Ceiling_Fan

And another shot of the entire porch, which right now only consists of this lonely little bench and our shoe basket.

Ceiling_Fan_Black

Here is a close up of the light fixture portion as well. I love the character it has and truly – for $30 it was a no brainer to drive out to the sticks to pick this beauty up!

Outdoor_Ceiling_Fan

I’m looking forward to having this outside and feel super happy about the price we paid for it, too. It can be so hard to wait for things but I’m really glad we held out and waited for a deal.

Now if someone could coach me on the importance of doing this for say … buying stuff for Henry’s “Big Boy” room and the new addition’s nursery – I might need some encouragement on that front πŸ˜‰

DIY Desk!

We officially have a desk nook and y’all I be all Beyonce crazy in love with this beauty. And beyond being easy on the eyes, it’s as functional as all get out which is probably actually getting it more brownie points than anything for me.

So Jay, knowing he had a crazy wife, who reminds him on the daily that she is now more than *half* way through baking a child and time is of the essence, made the magic happen and got this desk done by my self created deadline of the end of the month, so thank you, husband (you rock).

I mentioned in this post that we decided to keep things a bit more simple, and nix the bookcases (for now) and just get something functional and done.

You can actually see our table top inspiration right outside with our large farmhouse style table. Jay always tells people he built a picnic table when he talks about it, which makes me lol. Do you hear Joanna Gaines calling her tables picnic tables – no – you don’t. We need to work on our marketing pitch πŸ˜€

I’m quasi obsessed with the imperfections in the wood, which kinda make this look like we reclaimed it off the back porch of some 1920’s bungalow. Y’all – these are cheapo lumber 2×10’s that you can get at Home Depot for $8 a piece (for an 8′ board). Hella score, right?

As you can see, one feature, shall we say, of this desk is the ability to have a built-in litter box snuck in for easy storage options. Are these things you think about when you get a cat – no, they’re not, but this litter box is sorta a PITA (hehe – get it?) I mean, whatever, what are you going to do. I bought a smell neutralizer thing a ma jig from Amazon which helps (a lot) but some day when we don’t have cat anymore I won’t persay – miss the litter box presence πŸ˜‰ We bought this “bad air sponge” in our last house to help with a musty smell as well, and I literally swear by it if anyone is looking to knock out a bad smell.

You can see the litter box “rug” sticking out on this longer style photo and I definitely want to replace that with a 4×6 rug that fills out the space a bit more and doesn’t make the litter box part stick out as overtly.

On the opposite side we have space for extra storage, books, whatever. I’m trying to keep it simple though to keep clutter down so I might pop one more basket in there are time, or may just leave it open and accessorize it later πŸ™‚

Off to the left, on our “litter box” side we have the litter and our printer. This is the litter box we purchased which works great and fits in the little cubby spot perfectly!

It feels a lot more functional these days than our before, which was just a console table.

Built_In_Desk_Window


Building A Desk

So y’all ever get like sorta ahead of yourself and create, in your head, what would be your ideal but then you realize over time, it’s probably best to just go for what’s REAL. Like, set your sites a bit, well – smaller.

My dear husband, you guys. He’s the best. I come to him with ideas, and he builds them. Sometimes he complains and grumbles – but what he usually does before he starts belly aching is procrastinate. Now, I can’t blame him for any of the above, but I have an ever expanding uterus and these days I’m on a tight timeline to get things done.

So in the name of compromise, and having something up and ready to go sooner rather than later, instead of my grand vision (this).

Built In Desk Design

I settled on something a bit more manageable. The silver lining was that we were able to use a counter top we had already built this summer for another project that was *literally* sitting in our garage and put it to use, AND we were able to use considerably less wood, which brought our total out of pocket cost to $30 in wood, and $30 in paint (which I plan to use in our daughter’s room, too). You can see the piece of wood peaking behind the plywood.

Built_Ins_From_Plywood

The plywood is what we used for the base of the desk and the main change from my grand vision is that instead of having bookcases flank either side, I opted for a stand alone style desk for now because it was a) way less work and b) way cheaper/faster.

You can see the bases starting to take shape here. We used construction grade plywood for this base and it turned out great.

DIY_Built_In_Desk

It’s the same wood we used when we did our built-ins (below) a few months back, so more or less, we already knew what we were working with and how it would look once finished. It’s $30 per sheet at Home Depot, for those that may want to use it in the future.

Affordable_Library_Sconce


For each of the bases we prepped all of our wood before and very strategically (ie on paper first) decided how we would cut the wood to minimize scrap and make sure we got as far as possible with each wood piece.

H LOVES helping his dad with projects now, but hates the extra noise. I don’t know if other people’s kids are as obsessed with noises as mine but pretty much every single thing on this green earth, his first comment to us is – it made a noise? Yes, child, it did. Plus with anything as loud as a table saw, etc, I want his ears to be covered anyway since I’d feel sorta bad if we gave to poor kid issues down the road from brazenly using all kinds of noise makers around him. (These are the earmuffs we bought for him and he loves them – Jay even wears them sometimes when the kiddo isn’t around, haha!)

Ear_Protection_Child

Once the cabinet bases were trimmed out, each one looked like this! I even had Jay leave out the base on the left side of the cabinet so that we could add in a built-in location for our litter box, haha!

DIY_Desk_Base

One thing we did that actually made a big difference this time around was use a wood hardner compound that made the wood so much smoother, and minimized our need to do quite as much sanding (which was a big time saver). I’d highly recommend this step if you’re new to building out furniture, like we are, because it was a game changer for this build! This was the product we used (left here from the previous homeowner, bonus).

Cliff hanger, I’ll post photos next week for you to feast your eyeballs on!! πŸ˜€

Sconces Up in Here

Y’all – remember when I showed you the progress on our Dining Room, errrr, a while ago? And I made note of the electrical boxes affixing the top of our newly minted bookcases?

A refresher:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

Well a finally got around to ordering some new lights for the space from amazon and our space be looking pretty fly, yo!

Unbeknownst to me, amazon has an option where you can (if available) select to buy a re-boxed version of your item at a discount. They’re in varying states of condition (ie fair, good, like new) and have a corresponding discounted price. Well in the name of saving $15 on the pair, I got ones that were reboxed, but in perfect condition otherwise – ummm ok! Sign me up, right?

Library_Sconce_Amazon

The both looked peachy keen when they arrived. One of them looked like it had a slight scuff on one of the shades, but we just made sure to position that out when we mounted it. I took a photo so you can see how *hard* it is to actually see.

Brass_Sconce

The arm on these guys is a bit long, and it’s the one thing I’m still adjusting too. We have the option of removing the arm completely as well (this model had two mounting options) so I may opt to remove the arm on this later on down the road.

I love this photo secretly (below) since it kind sums up a Saturday for Jay. 22 cups of coffee and a harbor freight magazine is like his version of pure bliss. He was trying to pump H up about the harbor freight magazine while they sat eating eggs – lolol.

Library_Sconce_Affordable

He said a few choice words while mounting this (perhaps not enough coffee) since he was having trouble getting all the wires to fit inside the box.

Installing_Sconce_Lighting

Eventually we had this though!

What do y’all think, do you think that arm is too big? I’m still on the fence about it.

Brass_Library_Sconce


Here is a few from straight on. It hangs down a bit into the bookcase, but it’s supposed to do that to a certain extent.

Overall, it definitely feels like an upgrade from the fuse boxes we had chilling up there for the better part of a year. Ha! Baby steps you guys!!
Β  Β 

Affordable_Library_Sconce

Composting Our Food Waste

Maybe it’s nesting for baby #2 over here, but I’m like feeling this urge to turn our house into like a self contained oasis where we can get everything we need from our home sweet home – food, love, little bit of this, little bit of that. I feel like there’s some type of symbolic mama bear thing going on – maybe the world seems a bit different of foreign to me, and I think my way of dealing with the chaos around me is trying to create knowns here at home. And y’all – for so, SO, long, I’ve wanted to have a yard that produces food for us. I mean – I’m realistic, I get that I’ll still go to the grocery store and buy tyson chicken more than I should, but I want to start pushing us toward as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and I think knowing precisely where you’re food is coming from (and what it took to get it there) is a good step in that direction.

So some of y’all that follow me on insta and facebook probably saw my initial inspired rant about the steps we’d be taking to get this rodeo happening. This book was a super fun read for me (it’s like 99% pictures, and explanatory text) and it had a few nuggets of info that inspired me to get started on this little self sustaining journey.Β  Modern_Homesteading_Book_Review

Now it’s a bit of country snobbery IMHO, where they kinda imply that the only way to live sustainably is to like go all out and homestead the heck out of it, and I’m all about finding middle ground guys and empowering people to make small, incremental steps where they’re at. I mean, would it be nice to have a peach tree orchard – sure! But if someone can do something small, and build from that, I’m kinda more on that train.

So our first small step was snagging this compost bin off craigslist for $20.

First_Steps_To_Composting_At_Home

Y’all I love this thing. Like it’s taking the place of the cat in my hierarchy for love for household people/pets in Sell Casa. I feel like wonder woman saving all our food scraps (what, what) and 1) avoiding the landfill and 2) creating some sweet sweet soil for all my crops I be tilling come spring (obvi).

It’s pretty easy concept – just pop open the top and add in your goods. Nothing with dairy or meat can be added, or weeds that go to seed (then you just have compost that’s going to be full of weeds). In fact, I’m so afraid of the whole weeds taking over the compost bin thing, that I’ve decided to avoid all types, not just those (like dandelions) that go to seed. (If anyone knows more about this than me, would love to hear insights)

Compost_Bin_In_City

It’s also super fun to see H get pumped about bringing the compost out and I hope it helps him, in small ways, as he grows up, think about wasting less and wanting less and making things stretch further, faster – vs. this very wasteful society we’re currently all marinating in.

It’s also an added bonus that this little nook of the garden used to look like this.

Hose_Storage_Ideas

And I convinved the hubster to drop six dolla billz at our favorite local hardware shop for this new handy dandy house house thing I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks.

Organizing_Yard_Ideas

Better, right? Not perfect, but definitely better! H always wants to swim in his pool, so it’s nice to have the hose more accessible and less likely to get all tangled up like it did before.

The rest of that row along the house currently looks like this (#dontjudge)Β but I’m hoping my food I plan to grow just grows as quickly as all those weeds πŸ˜€

Overgrown_Sidepath

 

Never, Ever, Buy Things New

Y’all, I mentioned a few months ago our new found journey to becoming frugal masters. We’ve always been sorta inclined toward this path and there are *definitely* those that do this much better than me. Case and point, kiddo clothes. So sometimes, I like imagine a life where I would bust my bootie into Carter’s and Old Navy and just sorta crackle with pure glee as I load up my cart with the bargains around me. $5, FIVE DOLLARS?! Why, I really should grab two! I mean, the marketing you guys, they got that down and the clothes are so. darn. CUTE. Feeling me parents of the internet world?

Well you’ve got to use your imagination a bit more when you shop second hand, because the clothes are not marketed and laid out for you so nicely, but y’all, I guarantee you that there are so many other humans out there that paid full price for kids clothes that got underused, that you’ve got a prime opportunity to swoop in there and get your hands on the goods for a steal of a deal.

I’m {personally} totally hooked though. I just got H’s entire 5T wardrobe for $61 and since a toddler jacket at the Gap runs you around $40, I consider this a win.

Kids Consignment Sales Raleigh

Disclaimer – I’ll probably add a shirt or pair of pants here and there, but overall – this kid is going to be looking j-crew posh when he hits the streets.

A few points really quick – notice I said my kids 5T wardrobe? Y’all he’s in 3T right now, but truly, the only way to successfully keep yourself from having to buy things full price down the road, is to start stashing clothes for them early and then add a few small, key pieces as they get older. Like an extra pair of pants, more jammies, or water shoes. Every one of the items above cost less than $3 and they’re all name brand, really nice stuff! (more here on how I keep each size organized)

Consignment Sales Raleigh

I mean, that sweater y’all. It makes me wish for a nice cup of coco and weather that was not 100. NC in summatime, it’s great! πŸ˜‰

Where_To_Consign_Raleigh

I’m loving this Gap windbreaker, $2. Yeaaaasss. So cute, and barely worn!

Best_Consignment_Sales_In_Raleigh

One thing you do need to be ok with is having other children’s names scribed inside the goods (especially things like jackets, I’ve noticed).

Meh – for $2, if people call my kid Jack, I’m ok with that! If he lands up with a Jack in his class we may have to cross it out to say Henry, just so the coat stays in the Sell Casa πŸ˜‰

Why_Buy_Used_Kids_Clothing

My mom is super amazing and chipped in to help buy the kiddo some shoes, too. These are all in great condition and are brands like Stride Rite and Keen (hello $50 per pair of shoes – no thanks!). More like $5 when you buy them used you guys.

Another thing I’ve personally taken a liking to – is at consignment sales only shopping the 1/2 off days. I’m sure there are better selections on full price days but there is still really, really nice/cute stuff on the 1/2 off day – so I typically wait and see what I can find! When you start early, it’s not dire that you get everything you need in 1-shot, too. Consignment stores will often have dollar days, etc, so you can find good deals no matter the locale.

Kids_Shoes_For_Sale

One of the blogs I read, Frugalwoods is all about clothes bans. Like never buy clothes and I’m all – nope. Not happening! 1) Buying clothes is fun, it’s fun to have the kiddo dressed up and dapper. I like doing it, it brings me joy (she would roll over and die hearing me saying buying stuff is fun BUT my other point is 2) Frugal living is all about the ROI y’all – IMO. I’m confident that all the clothes I buy for H will be sold for nearly what I bought them for, giving the dirt cheap prices I paid. Following me, grasshopper? Sure, some clothes will get trashed, etc, but most of them I will sell for what I paid, which is like a $1 or $2. So, I call that a win – it’s like borrowing a cute wardrobe, right? Either way – I think the path to frugal living is all about carving out what it is that you value and minimizing the rest.

Don’t let friends buy new. That’s your PSA for the day.

Here are some of my favorite Raleigh consignment sale locales, for anyone local!

 

 

Round Two – Nursery Design!

Oh you guys. This pregnancy has been rough so far. I’ve been feeling so sick every day and the last few weeks have just started to feel really depressed about it – it literally starts to feel like you will never, ever, feel normal again. I know we’re getting so close to better days ahead though y’all and one thing that helps calm my nerves and make me forget about all my nausea is – designing a nursery! πŸ˜‰ Haha. It’s THAT fun πŸ˜€

Silver lining with this room is that other than paint and 4-5 fill in items, I’m going to reuse staples like the glider and the crib from H’s room. Henry is actually still *using* the crib (hey, I like having a baby jail, don’t judge me!) so we’ll uhhh, have to address that as well. πŸ˜‰

Here is what H’s never quite complete nursery looked like.

Dark Blue Baby Room

I’ll use this glider and the crib, and maybe the bookcase in the new baby’s room. Dark Blue Boys Room Y’all this is what I’m thinking for the new babes space. A botanical themed space with some paneling on charcoal walls!

Botanical Nursery Design

Different than what we’ve done in the past, but I’m just really into dark colors right now! I think with the lighter details, it helps to balance it out and ground the darker base.

Notice those new doors … I sorta told Jay I want to replace all the doors and hardware in the house (our current style looks like this)

Laundry Room Closet

I don’t know – pinterest has pretty much ruined me. Jay thinks I’m off my rocker.

If you’re extra blog savvy, you’ll also recognize that the room we’ll be using as our nursery for baby #2, is also our office. I know I totally was dreaming and scheming of turning this room into a crazy awesome library esq space (not all dreams come true guys), but I’m actually going to try and recreate that look in a little nook in our house downstairs. Stay tuned, it’s on the honey do list this month so I’m hoping to have progress to share on our new office locale sooner rather than later! (not all is lost!)

I’ve always thought this was a boy, but the past few weeks, as I’m still feeling pretty sick every day, I’m like – crap – maybe this is a girl… Not going to lie, I actually want another boy (same clothes, same everything – easy) but the more I think about it, the more I’ve come around to the idea of a potential girl.

More than anything our only hope is for a healthy baby. Cliche, but especially with these first few uncertain months for us, we’re just hoping we continue to hear good news about the prospects of this little ones health. I’ll keep y’all updated, but we’ll have an amnio in the next few weeks along with an ultrasound, which will provide more information. Please continue to send us good vibes!

Office Inspiration

Learning your husband is actually semi-equipped to build things (like this or this) is a double edge sword. All of a sudden, I’m looking at every nook and cranny in our house and wondering how/if he could build me up some custom bookshelves or a new window seat or another table. The answer is (mostly) yes, I’m finding, especially if I have enough patience to let him finish the project in peace without me nagging him and bugging him to the point he wants to just – well – not build things anymore. πŸ˜‰ What can I say, I’m just so excited for the final product πŸ˜€

Lemon_Grove_Interiors

So in our office, which currently looks like this, is a room I’ve been tossing around in my head for a dramatic redo/reno.

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

One day when I was at my mom and dad’s I was leafing through their newspaper and it had a write up on a local carpenter and one of his projects really caught my eye. It was a dark navy bookcase (pair of bookcases) flanking a window. And I started to drift off while looking at the picture – thinking of this window and this corner of our house.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And I thought to myself – hey! We should build a bookcase with a desk in the middle. Jay built a table for our outside, and I was thinking a similar rusticy type of worn wood would look pretty sweet flanked by some dark and dreamy bookcases. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Now bookcases (and the wood required to build them) are not the cheapest DIY, so I think we’re in a holding pattern of saving up some dough for this project, but I’m thinking I’d love a final product that had a look and feel like some of the photos below.

Dark_Blue_Built_In_Bookcase

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And I love the concept of this (with the built-in desk) but I think I want to go dark on these cabinets, vs white.

Built in Desk

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And I love this one, but I think slightly darker cabinets? But that rug. I mean serrriiiously – that rug?! The other night, as I was lying awake in bed specing out this bookcase install in my head I told Jay that I thought we should put wood floors in this room and he only kinda mumbled no, so I think I can sway him on this very important detail.

Gray_Cabinets_Office

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Our carpet is actually pretty worn out upstairs, with a lot of spots bubbling up from getting stretched out, so we’re kinda at the point where we need to decide to put new carpet down orrrr put in wood floors, and I’m sorta leaning toward the latter. πŸ˜‰

Carpet_Wearing_Out

It will mean refinishing our floors upstairs (like we did on this house), but I might just be ok with that! Here is a shot of our hallway when we moved in – prior to paint but still the same floor. Leaves a bit to be desired (too shiny and too orange for my taste!)

Hardwood on stair landing

I figure a few years down the road when H is getting toward double digits and wants his own space, then we could always pop a bed in between the two bookcases vs. a desk. Although, in complete honesty, I may wait until he getting on toward high school before I give up the office because I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this dedicated space for a computer – I love it.

Down the road if we ever convert the space to a bedroom. I’d pop something in that functioned/looked like this gorg photo below. I think the black is a bit too dark, but I do love it in this photo!

black walls in library

Our Office, Currently

Our office you guys – it’s just wanting for some love. I work from home one day a week and I find during those hours of sitting and staring at my (current) completely blank wall above me that this room just needs something y’all. I mean this is the current view, haha. We have not done much in here …

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

Leaves a bit to be desired… This room has become sort of an unprogrammed space and I’m just dying to give it some personality and definition. I’ve got some big plans in store for it (that I’ll share next week), but this week I thought I’d post some before shots. Well – truthfully – this is the before shot.

Upstairs Office Space

Which was the photo in the listing before we bought it. Green paint (like the rest of the upstairs) and the same carpet. We painted it Benjamin Moore Moonshine (when we had extra paint from this room), and it’s a definite update and makes the space much brighter and more cheery.

I think it still needs some serious work though as the space is largely just our desk and some random toys for H (like his teepee and dress up clothes) and I think the biggest issue we have in here is that it’s just a drop zone, vs. an intentional space.

This wall in particular, is one I’d like to see a lot of changes for. Maybe a built-in along the back wall (on either side of the windows) for extra storage.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

I tried adding in some artwork, but alas, I have still not put anything in the frames (just found some frames that had the right proportions, so I bought them). Maybe I’m the problem in this equation – I just can’t commit to a look I love in this space, so it’s been an under utilized room since we’ve moved in.

Functional Children's Storage

We do store Henry’s rotating out clothes (I keep a bin in here that I fill as he ages out of clothing), so this room is functional in a sense, but y’all, I think it’s just having little ones but the clutter and just extra “stuff” around the house all the time gives me a slight tick. Must. Put. Away. I just want bookcases and storage and locations I can store everything in a pretty way (vs. tupperware containers functioning as coffee tables…)

Storage_Childrens_Clothes