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My boys room

My two boys, ages five and two, share a bedroom. It is a wild and crazy room activity-wise. The decor is a little calmer to balance all that out! 

I love the blue of the walls. It is Benjamin Moore Beacon Gray. Not gray at all. It is a very soothing blue. Not childish which was what I was looking for. I wanted something long-term that they could grow up with. I made Pelmet Boxes on their two windows with this Waverly Fabric, Parterre Lacquer. 

The accents of deep red go so well with the tone of the walls. The furniture is all oak, except for the Expedit. If you are wondering where I got the furniture, you are out of luck. My father had a furniture company years ago and most of the furniture in my house was made by him. When we got married 15 years ago we only had to buy a sofa! My dad made everything else. 
To gain some more space I took the sliding doors off their closet, which is huge, and was able to fit the Expedit inside. Boys don’t need too much hanging space. I probably wouldn’t have done this if it was two girls sharing a room. The closet is wide enough inside that I can hang their “good” clothes on either side of the Expedit. The drawers in the Expedit hold their clothing, along with toys and books. They also have a dresser for clothing. 

Lighting was an issue in the room. There is no overhead lighting so I purchase this wall mounted plug- in from Pottery Barn. It turns on with the switch by the door. I wanted something up high so no one could get to it!
Their room does not have a specific “theme.” I’m not the type. It is definitely a boys room, with random pieces I’ve found in antique stores, my mothers linen closet, or outside. I’ll explain. First up are the barn stars. I got these very heavy pieces for about $5 dollars each. I hung them up with these huge nail which I painted black to blend in. 
This piece of fabric was in my mothers collection of linens. I remember it from when I was little. I mounted it on foam core and added some nail head trim. It is lightweight and had only been pulled down once. The best part is that it has all the colors in the room in it!
I unscrewed these two signs from a fence on my in-laws’ property. It used to be a bird sanctuary and these were the “No Parking” signs. My in-laws must have all thought I was nuts. I cleaned the years of moss and grime off them and used watered down white paint to get rid of the words. I then used some wall decals from Target to add my boys names. You get a jelly bean if you can tell me what language that is. We speak it here at home.

The other piece in their room which I love is part of an old crate. It has two boy on it as well as the name of my hometown. One of the little boys also looks like a picture we have of my father in-law from when he was a little boy. All very sentimental coincidences. Too much to not pass this piece up for a whole whopping $7.

This room still has a couple projects ahead for it. I’m on the search for some fabric to match the Waverly fabric. I want to hide the top shelf in the closet somehow. I’ll let you know when that gets accomplished. Any suggestions for fabric would be greatly appreciated. I’m working on a toy storage solution which I’ll let you know about soon. Again it is something anyone can do. The other big change for the room is easier to explain with a visual…..

That’s right, someones getting a big boy bed!! I’ll keep you posted.

You can find me at…
Thrifty Decor Chic

How I painted over wood panelling and lived to tell about it

We live in a multilevel home and our designated playroom is six steps down from our main level. It’s a great space for the kids toys, the piano, our sleeper sofa, and the resident hamster. I had plans to put two IKEA Expedit’s next to each other. The toys would stay down there. I would never step on a Lego in the middle of the night in my living room. No stray stuffed animals would migrate up those stairs. These were all great plans except for one thing. When we moved in my playroom looked like this.

My kids were terrified. The grain of the wood was so large and dark. I was told by by my five year old that he saw faces. Slightly concerned, all I could think of was the movie “The Sixth Sense”. I asked him to show me what he meant. Up close the knots in the wood looked like faces. He wasn’t kidding. 

Pretend you are a five year old. Intimidating, right? We decided they were seals, frolicking through the waves, all cute and well intentioned. This didn’t work. 

So I took a deep breath, knowing the opposition I was going to have to deal with. I had a couple men I had to explain myself to as to why in the world I was doing this. My husband, my father, my general contractor, and any other man who thought dark panelling was the best thing since sliced bread!

Long story short, we painted. I chose a beautiful warm white from Benjamin Moore, called Mascarpone.


The difference was incredible! We also put down the Allure TrafficMaster vinyl plank flooring. We didn’t want anything too permanent and we wanted to keep the cost down. I ended up loving it so much I’m putting it in my basement once we finish it. At $1.79/square foot you can’t go wrong. Everyone ends up thinking it is wood anyway. They never believe me and end up bending over to touch it, just in case I’m lying.

So this is what our family room looks like now.

This area will see some changes in the months to come since once we finish the basement, it will become the office/guest room. We will be walling it off and giving it its’ very own door. I’m hoping to build a walk in closet as well for all those winter coats we New Englanders collect. 

For now it is a warm and inviting space. It holds all our toys in those two Expedits, which I personally think are a staple in any house with young children. I have five of them. Expedits, not children. It cleans up great and looks organized most of the time. Plus, my children actually go down there to play!

The basement

So we have decided to go for it and finish our basement. I’ve had tons of contractors come through to take a look and give us some quotes. I’d just like to say that the basement has stayed the same size, but as the budget expands, the ideas deflate. We started out with this….

The quotes came rolling in. We had plans for a family room, a small kitchen, laundry room, built ins, recessed lighting, closets, movable posts, oh my! My retinas still hurt from reading the numbers they were giving us. So we made some changes. Lots of changes. Edits, deletions, call them what you want. 
We now have a family room space with semi flush mount lighting. A laundry room with no built-ins. Just a good old IKEA Expedit for storage. No kitchen, just a fridge in the storage room. The built-ins won’t be so built in. The post is here to stay. It’s like wrinkles on your face. It adds character, right?
If I am good at one thing it is adjusting. I like that I will have overhead lighting now. I like that my built-ins will maybe be done at a later date, once my kids are past the age of destroying things. 
There is still a separate kids’ area with a closet nearby, great for toys. I have plans for that one. More on that later.
I have a pantry closet which will have shelves and baskets and be uber-organized. Ditto on the later.
So we are now down to this. 
It’s giving us over 400 additional square feet on our home. It is also letting us convert what is now our playroom into an office/guest room/future 4th bedroom. We have 3 kids and a 3 bedroom home. It will come in handy.