New Living Room Digs

LIVINGROOM_REDO-2If one were paying attention to my Pinterest trends a couple months ago, you might’ve noticed that I was pinning a shit ton of area rugs and a shit ton of coffee tables. I’d decided that our living room needed a shakeup. I spend a lot of time in there and while I was singing its praises only two months ago, there were still elements that I felt didn’t reflect the “vibe” we’d been working hard to curate (I know, first world problems etc). Plus, the rug had gotten real dingy over the years, and the coffee table was so huge and it felt more important to capitalize on the on the space for playing with baby.

If you don’t remember what it looked like before, here’s a (dated) refresherLIVINGROOM_REDO-5The table comes from Etsy and it’s just gorgeous. LIVINGROOM_REDO-18LIVINGROOM_REDO-9LIVINGROOM_REDO-10

The rug is from West ElmCan’t tell you how long it took to settle on one!LIVINGROOM_REDO-12LIVINGROOM_REDO-13Felt baskets from Amazonside table from Target (similar) and replacement IKEA couch legs from from Etsy.LIVINGROOM_REDO-17LIVINGROOM_REDO-19.jpgThis attractive candle is from Target.LIVINGROOM_REDO-20

Does This Space Need a Rug?

livingroom-2I’ve been having a thing for big area rugs lately, since we bought a fun shaggy one for the kid’s room, and we recently installed one in our bedroom, which I got at the time on sale. I feel like a nice area rug is a good, simple way to punch up a space without overwhelming it too much. It’s a way to add texture and warmth or perhaps a sole pop of color. I’ve been looking at the dining room as a possible vehicle for such a rug. The floors are in pretty rough shape, after all, and the room – which I love – is very much monochromatic at the moment. LIVINGROOM-1.jpgI don’t know how adventurous I’m willing to be, and rugs do require extra maintenance, which we’ve found can be a difficult task if the state of our FLOR rugs are any indication. But I started seeing big vintage patterned rugs being used in otherwise modern spaces like on Calivintage (she has a lot of cool rugs in her home). So I’ve rounded up some rugs (wonder how many times I can say “rugs” in this post) that have caught my eye lately for this crisp Friday. rugs

1  – West Elm  2 – IKEA  3 – Target
4 – Target  5 – Urban Outfitters  6 – CB2

What do we think, gang? I’m heavily favoring No.s 1, 2 & 5, but I think they’d all look great under that sexy-ass table.livingroom-5

This Must Be The Place

nursery-2At long, long last I get to share with you, dear readers, our baby’s little habitat. I mentioned in my post about the original mood board that I started dreaming and scheming about the nursery since day 1, literally (well, not literally, but since the day I got the positive test). There were just so many little details I wanted to get right before I let myself loose with the camera. And while the baby will not care about any of this, sure, it was important that this was also a space where mom and dad felt cozy and relaxed too, since we’ll be spending a ton of time in here. And, let me tell you, it’s cozy as hell in here.

I scoured blogs and instagram and pinterest to find the right sort of inspiration for this room. I wanted something cozy, modern, bright, warm, woodsy and a bit whimsical. When you first start out trying to design a space, it’s overwhelming. How do people find all these different things? It takes a while. You’d be surprised how many resources there are for more design-oriented parents, but it takes digging, and yes, it is a little pricier. But, all in the name of beauty and taste. Most of these furniture pieces can be repurposed throughout the years, and in other rooms in the house, except for possibly the crib, which is pretty much just for babies. nursery-1nursery-15nursery-14nursery-8nursery-9

Crib: IKEA, Sheet: Kid Wild, Teddy Bear: Amazon, Bunting: Ferm Living,
Tree Banner: Etsy, Bear Mobile: Hand-Me-Down, Knit Blanket: H&M,
Wrap: SollyBaby

You can see the “bear” theme is evident throughout. I figure, bears are cute, bears are woodsy, the cat is a bear… It just makes sense. nursery-3nursery-5nursery-12nursery-6More bears! Finding a suitable rocker/glider was tough. It’s quite hard to find one that is modern and stylish while also still functional. I really wanted the Sleepytime Rocker from Nursery Works for a long time but everything we heard about it pointed to it being way too short, and Alan and I both would like to be able to lean back and relax when rocking the baby. So, that was out. It took a couple trips to the local baby store and trying a bunch out before we finally settled on one. We had to special order it to get the right fabric and leg combination, and I didn’t think a rocking ottoman was necessary (it’s not necessary, but it’s suuuuuuper good), but all my fears dissipated once that thing was delivered. Sometimes I just go sit in it, and magically all my hip and back pain disappear!

Chair and Ottoman: Dutailier, Blanket: Land of Nod, Alphabet Print: Rifle Paper Co.,
Nursing Pillow: Land of Nod, Floor Lamp: IKEA, Side Table: IKEA, Bear Teether: Amazon,
House Bookstand: Umbra, Sheepskin: IKEA, Rug: Rugs USA

nursery-10The curtains were the very last thing to go up. We already installed a blackout shade back when this was the guest room, so this is more decorative than functional, but I found these finials on Urban Outfitters and got them before we had a rod or curtains. When we went to Target to find a rod we could fit them to, I saw this much simpler arrow curtain rod (that reminded me a lot of Skyrim weirdly). Arrow imagery just seemed fitting, as they fall into a special venn diagram of my interests including medieval weaponry and outdoor/rustic symbols. And for whatever reason arrows are extremely popular for baby textile design. PLUS, I have a tiny arrow tattoo on my right wrist. White girl stuff.

Curtains, Rod & Rings: Target

nursery-7The changing table/dresser was such a thing. In my mood board I had originally picked out the Lolly dresser from Babyletto. But because I created a monster in Alan, he felt that the legs didn’t really go with any of the other furniture pieces, so he suggested the Hudson, which had angular legs like our chair would (he even asked me to mock up a chair and make a new mood board, bless him!). Once I saw it for myself, I was like, OK, this dresser can work. When we got it though, the tone of the wood was way different than on the website. In person it was more washed and pinkish whereas online it’s clearly a warm, natural wood. We were determined that this was the dresser we wanted though, and Babyletto kindly sent us another dresser, after being unable to determine why there should be a difference, and also unable to tell for themselves if the wood looks different in person (it absolutely does). You might not be able to tell in this photo, because of the way I processed it, but it’s certainly a lighter wood tone than the rest of the wood tones in the room. This whole paragraph makes me sound crazy. But anyway, the new one they sent was also wrong, so we got refunded and go to keep the dresser. I am not complaining anymore.

Dresser: Babyletto, Changing Pad: Keekaroo, Wipes Container: Luminaire

nursery-25This side of the room has a lot more of that whimsy that I mentioned before. I have to keep pointing this out to people, but I’m not an ogre who hates color. I was given a lot of grief (most of it good natured) about my preference for gender neutral, and particularly the color gray. I certainly love it for myself, but I also understand that a child should have a bit of playfulness and color in their surroundings. What I hate about kid stuff specifically is ultra heteronormative clothing that enforce gender stereotypes; things that say stuff like “mommy’s princess” or “daddy’s tough guy”. Puke. I personally find it weird when infants get dressed like tiny ballerinas. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT’S MY PROBLEM ALRIGHT. Gender neutral is not only a “fashion” thing for me, but it’s just practical. If my next baby is of a different sex than this first one, I’ll be -bam- right there with all the clothing and decor necessary. No blue, no pink, no thank yeh.nursery-19nursery-20It was also important for us to cultivate a little collection of wooden toys (in bright colors, even!) and simple books that emphasize design and early development (I was pleasantly surprised to find so many wonderful little books that met these standards). I plan to sit down with Simplicity Parenting when I get the chance, but until then I’ve tried to implement a few of those philosophies preemptively, by keeping the amount of stimuli to a minimum. And sure, for the first 5 months or so, baby won’t be doing much, but I figure start it out early. I really love things, but I hate stuff. nursery-23nursery-22NURSERY-18.jpg

Bookcase: Oeuf, Hobbit Print: Bodleian Library, Dowel Frame: Urban Outfitters, Abacus: IKEA, Skwish Rattle: Amazon, Bunny: Jellycat, Fox Rattle: Etsy, Moccasins: Old Navy,
Campsite Night Light: Land of Nod, Molecule Set: Ferm Living (no longer available),
Polar Bear: NWF, Woodlands Art Cards: Wee Gallery (via Amazon), Stacking Tree: Amazon,
Wooden Forest Scene: Etsy, Rainbow Stacker: Amazon, Sheepskin Booties: Minnetonka Moccasins,
Books: Amazon, B&N, Etc…

nursery-27nursery-16nursery-17I’m not sure how the coat rack will work once the kid is big enough to put away clothes. It’s kinda lower down (relative to Alan and me), but still pretty high up for a kid. I have no answers. For now it’s just a precious little detail where I can hang this little bear suit and bear sweater and bear hat. Bears!!

Hang-It-All: Eames (via Craigslist), Rope Basket: Land of Nod, Moose: IKEA,
Quilted Play Mat: NatureBaby, Tree Blanket: Fine Little Day, Art Print: EightHourDay

nursery-28

Diaper Bag: OneDuo, Bouncer: Baby Bjorn

nursery-29I’m very excited to start using this room for its intended purposes. Reading books, nursing, changing diapers… This room doesn’t mean much without a baby inside to use it. Any day now, baby… Aaaany day.

Five Years

house-10
img_3961

2011

Today marks 5 years since we closed on our house. I can’t believe I’ve lived in this house since I was 23! The weekend we moved in we were able to unpack some whole rooms and others never got totally unpacked (the guest room, for example, became a dumping ground for every unwanted thing and weird decoration until it eventually was designated as the nursery this year). The photo above and a few others of lesser quality are ones I took during our appraisal. While we haven’t changed much structurally, we’ve put a lot of love into this house over the last 5 years and really made it our own.

img_3982

Kitchen/Kitchen nook c. 2011

house-1

c. 2016

img_3987

Living room, c. 2011

house-2

c. 2016

img_3990

Dining/Living, c. 2011

house-4

c. 2016

img_3986

Dining Room, c. 2011

house-3

c. 2016

img_3996

Main bathroom, c. 2011

house-6

c. 2016

img_4003

Master Bedroom, c. 2011

house-7

c. 2016

img_4019

Sad basement, c. 2011

house-8

c. 2016

img_3962

Back yard, c. 2011

house-5

c. 2016

Pretty your walls with Artifact Uprising

ARTIFACT-5Lately I’ve taken to investing in some good framed art for our walls. We have long been in the habit of collecting screen printed posters, and about 80% of them never get framed, never get hung on any walls. Pains me to admit, but I don’t think they will. My old uptown apartment had walls of framed posters, and that does seem like a thing you have when you’re in your early 20s in an apartment, but we’re like, married and stuff now, and a baby on the way. Time for some classy displays. And even better if they’re personal photographs, right? So I came across Artifact Uprising, which I’ve been using for all kinds of stuff, including our Christmas cards from last year. I love the very simple and minimalist designs available, plus the photo book options (I made one of our wedding, which I might feature on here eventually, and I’m currently doing one for our New Zealand trip) and most of all, the options for printing and framing your photographs.

Essentially, if you are a photographer, this is a dynamite company. ARTIFACT-1ARTIFACT-2Recently I decided to get a New Zealand photo printed and framed to pair with a photo I took at the cabin last year. There was a real empty space burning a whole in the wall. ARTIFACT-3ARTIFACT-6ARTIFACT-7ARTIFACT-8ARTIFACT-4Back in January I also upgraded the wedding portrait on our mantel , which was previously a Target photo print with a $5 frame I found at Michael’s. From far away it looked fine, but up close you could see how horribly warped it was. Not so with Artifact Uprising! The prints are extremely fine; rich coloring and archival quality. Pre-framing, the prices are super reasonable, but there’s also a nice variety of frames to choose from. The service is also fast. I got my New Zealand print within two weeks of ordering.ARTIFACT-9

*Note — this post is not sponsored by Artifact Uprising. I just like them, and want to spread the word! 

%d bloggers like this: