Nursery Makeover

One of the first things I wanted to tackle on my NOW List was Q’s room. We closed on the house 2 1/2 months before her due date and I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me so I wanted to get it started as soon as possible.

This room was actually the little boys room of the previous owners. The yellow paint was the first to go. It wasn’t the sunny type of yellow that instantly puts you in a good mood. It was the putrid, sickly kind that actually does just the opposite. Pair it with the dark wood trim and it was just overall depressing. The windows face south and are much smaller than our first floor windows so the amount of natural light is pretty limited. That being said, I wanted something light and fresh and because I knew exactly what I wanted for furniture, that meant the dark trim had to go too.

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First, my parents came down for a long weekend visit and I contracted my step father Mike to help me out with my vision for Q’s room. Off to Home Depot we went!

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10327170_4145287087605_1242041172_nCheck out that bump! Hi Quinn!

Early the next morning, Mike was out in my garage happily sawing away wood to install a custom chair rail in the nursery. The project took all day for three reasons:  because the house is old, the walls aren’t exactly square in some rooms, so extra steps had to be taken to make sure the rail sat flush against the wall and left no gaps. Secondly, as Mike was streamlining the rail with the window sills, he discovered that the window framing didn’t have any insulation. You could actually see straight through to outside. No wonder why her room was so cold! And lastly, he likes to take his time 🙂

Next he swapped out those god awful “modern” sconces near the windows. They just weren’t going to work with my vision, so in the garbage they went.

When the heavy work was done, I jumped right into painting. We decided on the new Valspar Reserve paint that you can find at Lowes for a few reasons. It has a stain blocker, primer, rich color and zero VOC’s. I’m not exaggerating when I say the application is like painting your walls with BUTTER. I started out with painting the trim which took some light sanding then two coats of primer and two of semi-gloss. Then I tackled above the chair rail. It was looking so much brighter already and this photo was taken at night! The color is Frosted Clover for all of you muted purple fans.

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Another perk about having primer in your paint is that if you get it on the wood floor, it peels right off after it dries. I hate drop cloths in case you’re wondering…

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If I had a choice, her furniture would not have been in there while I was painting. But RH delivered it in the middle of my project and because they offer white glove service with assembly, I didn’t have a choice. Or anywhere else to keep it.

When all was said and done, we finally had a nursery!

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Its funny that I knew exactly what crib and dresser I wanted but took me forever to find a rocker. We finally found this one at Bernie & Phyls and had it custom upholstered in this fun fabric! It didn’t arrive until a few weeks after Quinn was born which was okay because I couldn’t do stairs for that long anyways.

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We decided on getting her toy box and this bookcase at The Mill Store and I stained it in this muted grey. We like the idea of lower shelves for Q to be able to reach. We might regret it later when her middle name becomes Destruction.

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This watercolor painting was a special gift from my husbands grandmother, Natalie. We have another in our kitchen from her as a wedding gift that she painted of a scene in my hometown.

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And of course, I couldn’t just go with a plain old nightlight. How fun is this flamingo?!

Since the makeover, new stuff has been added and things have moved around a bit and back again but thats an old habit of mine that you can confirm with anyone who knows me. We love to spend time in here now and after six months of co-sleeping and a week of camping out on an air mattress, she’s finally sleeping in there on her own. With the help of a humidifier and white noise machine (best purchase ever).

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I think Quinn is happy with the outcome, too 🙂


Crib, Dresser and Moses Basket-RH Baby and Child

Rocker– Bernie and Phyls

Bookcase and Toy box-The Mill Store

Rug- Target

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Cupcakes, Sparkling Grape and a House.

So I figured my very first blog post EVER (hooray!) should be about the house, since well, you know.

We bought this beauty almost a year ago (YAY for first anniversaries!) after one hell of a search that I noted about in my About page. It was just after the New Year when we came to look at it, and in this area we already had a couple of pretty big snowstorms under our belts so it had transitioned from really fluffy, perfect snow (the kind that makes everything look so darn pretty) to the gross kind that no body likes after its been touched, and shoveled, and blown and played in. The kind of snow that covers imperfections that you don’t see until much much later…

Beforehand, we looked at a super adorable cape, but the floor plan was a little on the wonky side. It had an L-shaped kitchen which would have been comfortable to use if we were miniature. Full bathroom in the dining room, a huge wasted open space at the top of a super narrow stairway and probably the loudest furnace Ive ever heard in my life. We had a bunch of wiggle room in terms of leftover moolah to redo the bathrooms because the price was so low which was great, and it was charming, but the house just didn’t speak to us the way we wanted. No, not like the next house.

We then pulled up the drive to our now home and LOVED the bungalow style immediately. I grew up always wanting to live in this type of house so I was already on a high before I even got out of the car. We had already seen so many different styles of houses, most of which was on the newer side, something I tried to avoid as much as possible. I hate new construction. It might be cleaner in a sense but it lacks so much character that older homes have. And I don’t feel like they’re built as solid as old houses either. This house was old and solid and I loved it. I have to say, even though the owners’ decor wasn’t exactly my style, they staged the house exceptionally well. And it felt so cozy! As we toured the house, the list of things we loved about the place just kept growing and growing. Mudroom (bonus!), huge kitchen with custom everything, wood floors, sunroom (double bonus!), 5 bedrooms (WHAT?!), secret nooks and crannies. Ahh yes, the nooks and crannies! The whole time I could just picture Q discovering these little rooms and making them her own little secret hideaways. She’ll have the advantage for future hide and seek games for sure.

I remember saying to our realtor Pam that I don’t usually like wood trim but this trim was so original and detailed and DARK that it grew on me almost instantly. In some places the veneer was coming off which created a fantastic texture and it just added to the character. The warmth that this house has had us thinking about Q and how much we wanted something like this for her to grow up in. This was definitely the kind of house for that.

There were also other little things about the house that were so, so cool. Like this light switch on the top of the banister. I play with it all the time and totally wish it still worked.

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Or this exposed brick! Im still trying to find the perfect thing to put in this little nook. I thought about built-ins…

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Or this hardware on Quinn’s bedroom and closet doors.

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Every door in the house, with the exception of the back door has the original hardware on it and the skeleton keys (see below) fit and lock every door from both sides. That’ll come in handy whenever Jason is in the doghouse.

Just kidding.

Of course there were some opportunities that we had to think about. The house dates back to 1930 and with that came the original single-paned windows, some of which were broken and cracked and all of which were jam packed with lead. Oy. There was already a radon mitigation system set in place which was something we didn’t see in any of the houses before, but we still had to consider testing because of the huge open hole in the basement where there was an old pipe buried about 6 inches down that went to who knows what. Well, someone knows but I forget. Upon inspection, where we hired both a home and a lead inspector, we also found that the front porch was pretty much deemed unsafe. Carpenter ants had eaten away at an entire side and the wood was practically rotted down to nothing. How did we not see that?! Its amazing the important little (or major) things you don’t really notice when you first look at a home.

Fast forward to our closing date because Im going to spare all of the dramatic negotiations in between. It was a warm breezy day and Jason and I were going crazy because our time got pushed from 10am until 1pm because of something I can’t remember. And then it got pushed back another hour or so AGAIN because their systems were down and couldn’t get our paperwork together. Add Quinn kicking the crap out of me like the little ninja that she was and it was a recipe for a very long day. I literally felt like we were NEVER. GOING. TO. CLOSE. And then we did. 🙂

We got our keys, which by the way, how badass is it that this is what we got for our very first set?!

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And we stopped at the store on the way over to pick up some cupcakes. Our lawyer, Matt, gave us a bottle of Prosecco but because I was pregnant we opted to save it and drink sparkling grape instead. We still have the bottle completely untouched. I thought about bringing it to the hospital to celebrate after the arrival of our sweet little Q, but a long unexpected turn of events at the hospital left me feeling too miserable to care about anything other than her and the pain of recovery. So we’ll crack it open on our first anniversary 🙂

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That day was utterly perfect. We sat on OUR completely unsafe, rotting porch and chowed on an entire package of cupcakes and watched the sun set over the pond across the street. We couldn’t believe how far we had come and that our search was finally FINALLY over! I think we joked for a solid ten minutes that we’re never leaving this house.

And thats when we realized, because all the snow had melted and you could actually see the ground, that there was no driveway. Well, there was obviously a driveway, but it was a hot mess of half dirt that was flooded everywhere and half chipped away strips of concrete running up the middle. What the….

I bet you can guess how quickly that shot up to the top of our To Do NOW List! 😉


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Pam insisted on a photo op after our final walk-through on the house.              Check out that rotting on the right! Sexy!

My next post I’ll dive more into the major work we immediately did as well as my very first project (YAY for nurseries!).