It’s been about 2 years since I last posted, so I’m not going to even bother catching you up on what’s been going on (kids, work, family), but we have had 1 semi-significant house project worthy of report (the new roof is not so worthy), so I thought I would share it for no other reason that I could find very few references to a project like this when we started.
In our unfinished basement, we had 2 small rooms that were drywalled in, with rough doors and interior windows. It was the “Greg Brady Bedroom” for the teenage son who had lived in our house before us. We used the space for storage and painting projects, but when we were expecting Townes we knew we needed an extra bedroom for Beck and Sadie.
Here’s what we were working with. When this picture was taken, Taylor had already knocked down the wall that divided the room into two. It spanned from the left side of the photo to the right – incorporating that center pole.
Then, we (hired a guy and) painted the floors, walls and ceilings white. Getting a little better. I think this was after the first coat.
So, to back up a smidge – I did a design plan based around what you don’t see on the other side of those walls, which is a sh*t-ton of furniture, lamps, projects and all around general hoarding. I knew I already had most of what I’d need to furnish this room. I found a Wes Anderson-inspired color palette blog and used this Moonrise Kingdom poster as our color inspiration – somewhat driven by the fact that I had a yellow chair to use. You’ll see by my captions that purple items are new, blue items we already had. (We had already bought a second set of trundle beds via Craigslist and a rug (new), so technically those are purchases, even though they are in blue.)
I put together a design board for the furnishings and fabrics.
And with the wave of my magic decorating wand, here it is in real life.
Along the back wall, we had waterproofing to work around – you can see the plastic sheets if you scroll up a couple photos. We used canvas painter cloths and hung them from the ceiling to a) obsure the walls and b) add a little warmth and texture. Our room at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs had canvas along the walls and we really liked the warmth it gave off. So, it made perfect sense to do it here. We bought the drop cloths and a grommet kit, hammered in the grommets, then screwed in brass hooks along the rafters.
There are 4 twin beds down here, so plenty of room for a group of kids. A few adults (including Taylor and I) have even slept down here and it’s not all that bad – feels like a little apartment.
The duvet covers are from Ikea, the throws were on clearance from West Elm and the throw pillows also on clearance from Target. The artwork is Taylor’s and I love how vibrant it is. The nightstands were mine as a kid and are just butted up beside each other.
I flipped the furniture arrangement around a bit from the original plan. It works better this way with a little “dressing area” in front of the beds. Only real downside is that it’s tough to see the TV from the beds.
The table/vanity/desk situation is a worktable from our basement. I covered the top with white vinyl just to make it a little smoother/nicer/cleaner. Beck uses this as a desk. I use it as a sewing table. It’s easy to move out from the wall, if needed and, while it could stand to be painted, does the job for now.
I did a couple little crafty projects – very little projects. First, I wrapped these hooks with some embroidery thread in the colors of the room.
Kitty artwork by Sadie.
Then, I painted some clothespins and used command strips to adhere them to the wall to hold snapshots. In theory these could be changed out all the time easily. (In reality, they have been the same for 2 years.)
On the flip side of the room is the living area.
This chair was $35 second-hand and is insanely comfortable. I made the throw pillow with Gemstone Coastal fabric by Premier Prints.
For the “sofa”, I had the back cushions reupholstered in this Dwell Studio print, Ming Dragon- an affordable Schumacher Chiang-Mai dragon knockoff – and then I sewed a long lumbar pillow in another Premier Prints fabric, Jiri Stripe (I really love this one and it comes in lots of colorways.) I did sew it a little too tight, though – boo. I also recovered a stool I had in the same fabric. You can see it at the end of the bed. For the sofa’s mattress, I bought a fitted mattress slipcover in gray.
The old Pottery Barn bookcase holds the TV, books, entertainment gear and my (very non styled) sewing supplies. The canvas drop cloths also came in handy to wrap around a sump pump that’s in the corner – you can see how they jut out a bit at an angle on the right.
The radio box was a gift and is a fun place to stash controllers and cords.
This metal bamboo etagere has been in my life forever and always finds a spot. I’ve debated painting it many times, but the original yellow actually works really well here. The big, 72″ bamboo roller shade gives a little privacy, but still lets natural light in.
And finally, the rug was a 75% off deal from Rugs USA and is actually an indoor/outdoor rug, though it feels much softer than that. I got a 5×8 size, though truly I should have splurged for the 8×10.
So, yeah, I am under no impression that this is a perfect, magazine-worthy space. It’s still in a semi-finished room in an unfinished basement that is vaguely mildewy from time to time and one story beneath a bathroom. But, it has been a great “apartment” for Beck and Sadie and a few guests here and there. It’s added a much needed room to our home and the $3,000 we spent to bring it to life sure beat the $50k estimate for finishing the entire basement!
If you are looking for semi-finished basement ideas, here’s my Pinterest board with some images of similar spaces. And this basement from Better Homes and Gardens was hugely inspiring. My kingdom for built-in bunk beds!
Hope you enjoyed! Also hope I have something else to share before 2017. Will Donald Trump be our president by then?
Just popping in to say hi to folks coming over from 6th Street Design School today! Kirsten reached out to me a few weeks ago and wanted to show our house for her Feature Friday. Hooray!
Just like everything else in my life lately, I’m a little behind the 8-ball in getting this post up. After having a baby I don’t understand these new moms on the baby forums who are like “My house has never been so clean!” I consider it a victory if I shower EVERY OTHER DAY.
Hope to be back soon (eventually?) with some home projects. I have a million in my brain as I’ve been staring at my home (when I need a break from staring at my cute kid) for 6 weeks.
Anyway, thanks to Kirsten for featuring The Nesting Game and welcome, new readers!
I’d like you guys to meet someone.
This is Townes.
He came into the world one day after his due date. And we are pretty smitten.
He’s a very sweet boy. He smells really good. And he is so soft.
His full name is José Townes Crawford. José in honor of my Dad. Townes just because we like it. And he shares the same initials with his Dad. JTC.
He also likes his nursery a lot, though he’s not sleeping in there quite yet.
Not officially anyway.
His favorite activities are eating and sleeping. He is not a fan of burping or bathing.
We are lucky to get a load of laundry done these days, so please bear with us. I’m also binge-watching “Parenthood” episodes during feedings and nearly cry every time I watch the opening credits (Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”), which is about 35 times now…
Ok… someone’s getting fussy.
Best be going. Just wanted to share our good news with you. Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!
Photos 1, 2, 3 and 6 were taken by the insanely talented Erika Botfeld of Letter B Creative. She is the baby whisperer, I tell you!
Fun fact. When you go out in public and people ask you when your baby is due and you say “tomorrow,” they pretty much freak out, expecting you to have the kid immediately in their hair salon/restaurant/grocery store, etc. If I’d know it was that much fun I’d have been saying that for weeks.
All that to say, no baby yet. So, I’m here to tell you how to give birth to an easy, adjustable crib skirt, designed especially for the popular Baby Mod Olivia crib from, of all places, Wal-Mart.
And when I tried it on, it was a total flop because the detail portion of the skirt hung behind the rail and in the drop between the rail and the floor. So, I knew I needed to rethink my strategy and go for an all-over print AND, I wanted the skirt to stop at the rail because, to me, it ruins the lines of the crib when the skirt hangs beneath it.
So, that led me to to Etsy shopping and blog searching until I found this post and realized the best way to get what I wanted was (like so many other things) to do it myself.
Instead of a traditional crib skirt with a platform connecting them, I decided to make separate panels with ties. That way, as the crib frame drops lower to the ground as the baby grows, all I have to do to shorten the skirt is to tie it higher onto the mattress frame. And, I could make them as short as I needed to.
If you’d like to do this and have the same crib, here are the measurements I used. In general though, you measure the width of the mattress frame on both the short and long sides and the height of the drop you’d like, whether that’s to the rail like I did or to the floor.
Then I found my fabric:
I ordered 3 yards, which was more than enough. It’s best to use a 54″ upholstery fabric because it will span the width of the two long crib sides. I also decided to use muslin to back the panels and give them a little more weight to hang better. I did not worry about the pattern wrapping around the crib in perfect alignment, but depending on your pattern and your pickiness, you may want to take that into consideration when deciding on yardage.
I sewed the panels right sides together, marking where to leave an opening between the fabrics to attach ties. Then I flipped the panels right-side-out through those openings after they were stitched.
For ties, I cut 10 strips of fabric about 2″ each. My pattern was evenly spaced, so it was pretty easy to cut following the fabric pattern vs. measuring.
I did not do it this way (long story), but what you SHOULD do is fold the cut edges in (then iron) and then in half (then iron) and then stitch them up. Put 2 on each of the short panels and 3 on each of the long panels.
And when you’re done…you end up with these:
I went ahead and made panels for all 4 sides, even though 2 sides of my crib are against walls. I figured if I ever rearranged I would be less inspired to make new panels at that point rather than just do it all at once now. So, you could make fewer panels if you wanted to. Your call.
Then, I just tied them onto the crib frame. Easy peasy.
And to solve any gaping, I just used a little ghetto piece of scotch tape.
Once the mattress is on, you can’t even tell that it’s not a proper crib skirt! And, like I said, as the platform moves down all I have to do is tie the panels further up into the frame.
So that is it! If you can sew a few straight lines, then you are golden. And you may end up saving yourself some cash in the process, though I rarely find sewing projects save me a whole bunch of money (especially once you factor in time), rather it’s the benefit of getting exactly what I want!
See the full tour of the baby’s room.
6 days until my due date. It’s been a really short and a really long 39 weeks all at the same time. But the nursery is pretty much done until the baby gets here. Wanna check it out?
So, yeah. The Moody Glam room is not really either of those things anymore.
Just to remind you, we are Team Green and don’t know if it’s a little boy or girl camping out in my belly right now. So, I tried to stay pretty neutral for now, with the possible exception of the throw pillow fabric, which, that’s for me, I suppose.
Let’s chat about the crib! It’s the Baby Mod Olivia crib, well-loved on Pinterest. I wasn’t crazy about the wood base, so I painted it white.
The crib skirt was a sewing project(!) that I made following this tutorial, more or less. I’ll do another post where I break down my method for ya. The crib sheet is from The Land of Nod and the beautiful handmade blanket was a shower gift.
The Ballard Designs rocker is so ridiculously comfortable. And here are two more sewing projects(!)—the pillow in the chair using Waverly Santa Maria Desert fabric and the ottoman slipcover using a fabric called Doodle from Lewis & Sheron. I have SINCE noticed that The Land of Nod is featuring both these fabrics in their new collection, but you saw it here first, folks!
(Do me a favor and pretend that pillow is scooted over to the left about 3 inches.) I really wanted to keep a double bed in the house. And considering we spent so freaking long stripping this one, it had to stay. So, we worked out a furniture arrangement that could accommodate all the elements we wanted in the room and we’ll see how it goes.
One caveat to the new arrangement was that there was no room for bedside lamps. Hence, sconces! I picked out the (now discontinued?) Weston Arc sconces from Pottery Barn but I got ‘em for $100 less on ebay, believe it or not! One of the shades has a little ding in it that is noticeable when the light is on, but I am trying to ignore that in exchange for $100.
The white star was the last thing I bought for the room. I knew I needed something for over the bed that wasn’t a rectangle and I wanted to keep it white. I went to Kudzu Antiques over Memorial Day weekend and there it was.
As for the other side of the bed, I borrowed a page from Jenny’s amazing playbook. We left a little walking room on the right side of the bed so that if 2 people did sleep in the bed, the wall person would not have to climb in and out over the other person. And since I like both sides of the bed to have some sort of nightstand, we painted 2 inexpensive corbels from Home Depot and a pre-made wooden plaque from Michael’s the same color as the wall (BM Hale Navy) and installed them.
Across from the bed and behind the door was just enough space for a shallow bookshelf. I have gotten so many fun books from friends, however Taylor wants no part in the pre-reading since there will be MANY readings and re-readings and re-readings in the future.
Above the bookcase I hung a print from the fantastic artist Emily McDowell that says, “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” It’s attributed to Joan of Arc and I thought it was such a sweet and powerful inspiration for the little guy or gal as he or she starts off.
The last big project we took on was a new closet. The old one had just a rod and a single shelf, plus sliding doors. We went to The Container Store with our measurements and an hour later left with all the parts and pieces for an Elfa masterpiece. No clothes at the moment, since I’m not sure if I’m going to be buying dresses or jon-jons, but I am in awe of all the room and storage and now we cannot wait to do the same to our closet. We picked out a turquoise paint for the inside of the closet. It’s a little intense, but thankfully we also picked out new doors.
And while at The Container Store, it’s pretty much a law that you have to buy some cute containers.
Like the nightstand ledge, the dresser is another piece that we painted the same color as the walls. Because there’s a lot of furniture in the small space we just wanted it to fade back as much as possible. I do like the matte turquoise handles, though—I couldn’t have everything disappear. We kept the maple top of the dresser as-is and I bought the changing table topper in a similar shade. It’s also a Pottery Barn find via ebay. You can see the spiffy new, turquoise-paint-obscuring closet doors in the mirror.
A few more details for ya…
I had a custom boppy cover made from this etsy store. This was one sewing project I decided to outsource. The owner, Holly, was so nice and dealt with my fabric indecisiveness. And of course the little woodland creatures will vamoose once baby gets here.
My eagle eyed co-workers threw a sweet shower for me and decorated with these vases that match perfectly! (It was no accident, let me tell you.)
So that’s it! I mean, until it all begins… Baby that came with the frame, your days are numbered.
A few weeks ago, I was super stressed-out and spent my Sunday pretty much ignoring everything in my life and decided to make pillows instead. As you do. When I bought the napkins/dishtowels for my deck pillows at World Market last summer, I also picked up 3 of the same ikat print napkin in blue. I thought they might look good in the family room.
Because of the size of the deck pillow inserts, I cut off the jute trim for those, but I liked it and wanted to keep it on these.
For the backside of the pillows, I decided to use some leftover fabric I had from the Mini Blind Roman Shade project. It’s a nice, heavy off-white linen-y fabric.
I trimmed the fabric to the same size of the napkins, plus an inch all around for seam allowance—mind you, the napkins were not perfectly square, nor were they even the same size. Then I hemmed the white fabric and sewed those pieces to the napkins right sides out. I sewed 3 full sides and about 2-3 inches in on either edge of the 4th side.
So then I knew I had to find some way to close these suckers, so enter my third napkin. I trimmed off the jute on this one for my ties. I cut each of the 4 edges in half and hemmed one edge. The other edge would be sewn into the pillow.
With the trim-less, unfinished edge napkin, I cut it in half, then turned my pillow inside out and sewed the long edge of the napkin alongside the bottom hem of the back side of the pillow. I also sewed my ties to the inside of the front and back.
Finally, I put the insert inside the cover and tucked the flap around the bottom of the pillow.
Fairly easy! And no zipper to fool with.
These napkins are no longer at World Market, but here are a couple they have now that I thought would make cute pillows.
And then your couch can look like this:
They took me a little bit to get used to—for some reason I tend to dislike new things until I live with them for a little bit. But now I really dig ‘em!
And as I’ve said before, if *I* can make them—anyone can.
Hope you had a good weekend! We tackled the closet in the nursery—“add shelving” turned into “re-design and re-paint the entire closet,” so that was surprising… But it’s almost done! 6 weeks to go…
Last summer, I posted about my favorite summer party drink, Summer Beer. (Clearly, it’s for the summer.) And a ton of you have taken a liking to it too as it is BY FAR the #1 post on my blog.
So, with Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, I thought I’d add an amigo to the Summer Beer arsenal… say “¡Hola!” to Mexican Summer Beer!
Mexican Summer Beer is a little less sweet than the original version, but on a hot day in Guadalajara, that could be a good thing!
Here’s what you will need to get the fiesta started.
The structure is the same as the original Summer Beer: 4 cold light beers, a can of frozen juice concentrate and vodka.
In this case, I am using Corona Light, Limeade and (again) Tito’s vodka.
I combine them all in a pitcher and stir it up. I do feel like the drink “holds” better if its made in small batches, vs. making a huge vat at once. However, if you’re having a big party I think it’s fine to double up, but the beer will go flat if you make too much and let it sit out.
I also prefer to fill the glasses with ice instead of putting it in the pitcher to avoid watering it down. Mexican Summer Beer is also good with a few squirts of fresh lime—and perhaps a salted rim?
I’ve seen those Budweiser Lime-a-Ritas and I’ve wondered if they are similar to Mexican Summer Beer. I’ve also wondered if an orange-flavored vodka might give it a little more of a triple-sec vibe, bringing it closer to a margarita flavor. I will have to try these strategies one once the baby is on the outside and report back.
Add some chips and salsa and perhaps a sombrero or two and you are ready for a great Cinco de Mayo party. Or a Seis de Junio. Or a Cuatro de Julio…
Would you try this out? (I mean, you really don’t have much to lose…) How about the can’t-miss classic version? I’d love to know!
PS. Need to chill a drink in a hurry? Here’s the fastest way.
PPS. I’ve been updating some old posts and, unfortunately, they’ve been re-sent to my e-mail subscribers and re-published to RSS feeds in the process. My apologies for accidentally spamming you!
Nesting is in full force, y’all. So, I thought I’d update you on some nursery progress—it’s the least I can do since I haven’t updated you on anything else lately.
First of all, I revised the moodboard:
I tried to streamline to colors a bit from version 1.0. I thought things were getting a little too wackadoodle and I really wanted to focus on the navy and yellow with small hits of red and turquoise, plus the awesome pattern of the pillows.
First, I started digging on these sconces from Pottery Barn and then I found them brand new on ebay for almost half price. Hooray! They swivel right and left, but are somewhat unobtrusive while you’re sitting in the bed. I mentioned my plan for the pillows in the last post, too. I made a big, long lumbar pillow for the bed and a smaller one for the chair.
Hey look, somebody needs to iron shams! As for the lamp shades, should I add some trim?
Here’s the pillow for the to-be-delivered-any-day-now chair. It’s currently chilling in the Baby Mod Olivia crib with some stuffed animals waitin’ on a friend. (And yes, they will vamoose once the kiddo starts occupying the crib.)
Next up, taking a cue from the Jenna Lyons playbook, I painted the beat-up cream dresser (which you can see the before in slightly more detail here) the same color as the wall – Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. And I sprayed the handles turquoise. Can’t decide if they need a little dimensionalizing with some rub ‘n’ buff/ general distressing or if the flat color is working.
This is the (apparently now sold out from Urban Outfitters) aqua reading lamp I got to go in this little nook. I’m afraid I’m going to hate how it shines in my face while I’m sitting down, so…we’ll have to see about that. It looks cool, though. I’m thinking about making a homemade diffuser? If you have any ideas on how to do that, please share!
And once I organized all the gear from my baby showers, Taylor and I rolled out the new rug. WITH a crib and a double bed still in the room, I might add.
So that’s where we are right now! Still on the list: figure out some sort of shelving situation for the closet, figure out what art/mirrors to hang and where, sew the crib skirt and possibly some bunting, wait for the last of the pieces I ordered to arrive.
I’m hoping to be back sooner rather than later with some non-nursery projects, too!
So, I’m not sure who stuck it out through the entire video in my last post, but the big surprise at the end was…we’re having a baby!
Among many thousands of other things that having a baby means, one thing’s for sure: we need to decorate a nursery! So, here’s our plan:
Aaaannnd….It’s already changed.
But let me walk you through it.
First of all, the room we are using as the nursery is our formerly Moody Glam room. We’re keeping the paint, the shades, the dresser, the bed, the red nightstand and some artwork. But it also has to get babified.
The first sign it’s a baby’s room? The crib. I picked Pinterest’s fave and mine, the Baby Mod Olivia from (of all places) Walmart. I wanted it all white though, so I painted the rail and feet. We took a piece of the crib to Home Depot and they color matched the rail and did an awesome job. The finish isn’t quite as smooth as the factory-made white parts, but that may have something to do with painterly impatience.
I’m adding the Larkin Swivel Glider from Ballard Designs, a very generous Christmas gift from my Dad and Stepmom. It’s on order and I can’t wait until it gets here. I loved how it was a fully upholstered chair, but not super honkin’ big.
The jumping-off point for the color choices is this fabric: Waverly Santa Maria Desert. I loved how it was fun and playful, but still sophisticated. The “black” stems on the yellow tulips read a bit more navy in real life.
And then after I proudly brought a swatch home and declared to Taylor “I don’t know why but I just think it’s perfect!” He suggested I back up about 10 paces into the hallway and take a gander to the right.
And I thought I was so original. I ripped off ourselves.
Anyway….so the fabric is a smidge girly, I admit. And we don’t know what gender the baby is. So for that reason I’m just using it for a pillow on the glider and another long lumbar throw pillow on the bed. I figure those pieces of furniture are mine and not the baby’s so it doesn’t matter. And luckily I have a husband who believes there’s no reason boys can’t deal with a little pink, so… we’re going with it!
For the rug, I really liked this trellis rug from Rugs USA. (Word to the wise, wait for a 50% off sale. I settled for 35% off but shoulda waited.) I saw a lot of rugs that were yellow in the background with the pattern in white. This was one of the few I saw that was the reverse.
Moving on to the dresser: my original plan, which I still really love the idea of, was to get an Ikea Expedit and add some drawer/cabinet inserts, pop on a few legs for extra height and have a piece that can grow with the kiddo for toy and book storage.
I even jumped the gun and bought some cute legs which I painted white and rubbed-n-buffed the metal tips gold. But, then we actually got in the room to rearrange it and discovered that if I really wanted to keep the double bed (which I did) the Expedit had to go buh-bye and the smaller dresser had to stay. So, we’re going with plan B which is to use the current dresser, partially pictured below.
Here’s the floorplan:
We left a little room on the right of the bed for someone to get in and out of it. And I’m totally excited about using Jenny’s brills idea for a built-in nightstand.
As for the crib bedding, I did get the 2 crib sheets that are pictured in the lower right corner of the moodboard. (I’ll reinsert it so you don’t have to scroll.) But the crib skirt was a bust because you can’t see the stripe because of the rail, so I’m still on the hunt for that. What else… the red mirror might be the eagle mirror from this post or I might go with the white mirror that used to hang in the living room. The toy box is representative of one my Dad made me when I was a kid and will probably not come into play until baby phase 2 and may or may not be yellow at that point. Those white things over the crib sheets represent some sort of shelving within reach of the changing table. I’m seeing sconces somewhere…either over the bed or the chair. The navy chevron pillow is probably not happening either. I think I’m chevroned out.
So THAT is the plan! What say you? Last weekend I busted out the sewing machine for some pillow making and I must say they made me pretty darn excited! Will take pics soon and show you guys.
This was a crazy year. Mostly good, but all crazy.
For the past 4 years, Taylor and I have put together a little video of the photos from the year. It’s a little deceiving; it looks like we are always having the time of our lives, traveling around the globe, smiling for the paparazzi. And in general, that’s pretty true. What they don’t show are the long days at work, the personal challenges or the hours spent (wasted?) on Facebook. But overall they remind us that we’ve got it pretty good in this here life.
Here’s the 2012 edition. For the soundtrack we try to pick the most ubiquitous pop song of the year. Cheesy, yes. But that’s kind of the whole point.
If you make it all the way through the credits, there’s a little surprise there at the end.
Some of the highlights of our year included:
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party where the guests with kids outstayed everyone else
Heading to Alt Summit to get my blog knowledge on
Shopping for Sadie’s 8th grade dance dress (this may have been one of the personal challenges I referenced above)
Spending lots of QT with our families
Heading to Cabo for a Girls Weekend
Taylor’s trip to Vegas for our friend Julian’s bachelor party
My cousin Merchi’s surprise 30th birthday party
Design jobs for some awesome friends and clients, including David’s Gallery Wall
Moving my Mom closer to me
Seeing my campaign nightstands in HGTV magazine
Seeing all our family members on a whirlwind “planes, trains and automobiles” Christmas break
Thank you for being part of an amazing year and I’m excited to start the roller coaster called 2013!