Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Master Bedroom Closet Reveal

This year, I made the resolution to organize and redo all of our closets because as they stood in January, they were disasters. Our walk-in master bedroom closet was the worst off and had three years' worth of junk piled up on the floors and on the existing shelving. It was so bad that -- don't judge -- I actually cleaned up before taking a "before" photo for the blog!

What we needed mostly was more storage options. Fortunately, we had two salvageable shelving units and two others that could remain where they were to hang clothes. There was a lot of wasted space above and below these existing shelves, and a cheap solution to fixing this was a must.

To begin the overhaul, I first took out all of the clothing and other items from the closet and dumped them on our bed to have a clean slate to work with. I also found that the inward-swinging closet door took up too much space in the closet, so Evan removed it for me.

Then, I removed two shelving units that didn't seem to have a purpose due to their current location on the walls, and set them aside for later. These shelves left some holes in the walls, so I patched them up with spackling paste and sanded down the walls once dry.

Once the prep for the walls was finished, I gave the closet a fresh coat of paint. Our master bathroom is painted with Olympic's "Alpine Valley," so I chose to paint the closet the same to help tie in the bathroom with the bedroom.

I also painted the ceiling with Olympic's "Volcanic Ash" so that the closet matched the ceilings in both the bedroom and bathroom.

After the paint was dry, Evan re-installed the two shelving units, this time so that they were above the shelf that our clothes would hang from. This way, we'd have more storage options all the way to the ceiling. Re-using these shelving units helped save us a bunch of money too, so it was a win-win.

Around this time, I realized that the existing single-bulb light fixture in the closet wasn't enough to spotlight our new closet. So, I ran out to Lowe's and bought a fixed track lighting set for $20.

For the under-clothes storage solution, I bought four Closemaid cube storage units. Each unit had six cubes and I installed them side-by-side one another, to form an L in the closet for "his and hers" space. I bought 24 black and cream fabric cubes from Target to go into these units.

We also added two coat racks from Lowe's, to serve as tie racks on the empty wall where the door used to be.

I then added new baskets for the two upper shelves and installed a curtain and curtain rod to serve as the closet's new "door."

To completely finish the project, Evan and I also finished a whole-house floor install this summer.  We ripped up the carpet and prepped for our new bamboo flooring.  More information about that install will be featured in another post.

And that's it! Remember the before?

Here's the after!

I absolutely love how the closet turned out. It was a quick and doable Saturday makeover. We saved a lot of money by being able to reuse the shelving and going with cheaper alternatives, like the Closemaid cube systems.

My favorite part about the closet is Evan's new tie racks. I love how they are seemingly showcased as pieces of art (I think I like them more than he does).

The best thing is how much storage we have now. My shoes, accessories, and all of our baseball hats have a home, and it makes my heart happy. The majority of the baskets and fabric cubes are actually empty right now. They'll fill up soon enough!

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Nursery Reveal

I've wanted to design a dinosaur-themed nursery for as long as I can remember. Evan and I were both dinosaur fanatics growing up and wished to be paleontologists at some point during our childhoods. It'd be wonderful to instill our love of the prehistoric world into the hearts and minds of our future kids.

Six months ago, I had nearly given up hope of being able to turn this dream nursery into a reality. Prior to then, Evan and I experienced three years' worth of loss and infertility. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep a positive mindset about it, especially after being warned by multiple doctors that we should prepare ourselves for a future without biological children. We proceeded with infertility treatments, but the emotional toll it did to both of us was almost too much to bear.

And then, as Ian Malcolm surmised in Jurassic Park, life found a way.

This nursery has been my pet project since late April. Watching it unfold before our eyes and turn into something even better than what I had imagined is something that I hope our little one will treasure in the years to come. And here's how we did it!

First, I chose a bold color scheme.  The paint people at Lowe's thought I was crazy.  Everything was done in Olympic One paint in satin finishes; if anything was certain, these walls needed to be prepared for years' worth of wear and tear!

The entire room design was based on a dinosaur mural. Therefore, I painted the walls and ceiling first with Olympic's "Babbling Brook" to serve as a base coat and the sky.

Then, I used a paint roller and a brush to freehand a mountain range along all walls -- closet included -- with Olympic's "Sweet Annie." Everything below the mountain line was filled in.

I shaped one mountain into the form of a volcano, too!

This mural required dinosaurs -- large, realistic ones from floor to ceiling. To do so, Evan bought me an overhead school projector from eBay. I printed out a variety of our favorite dinosaur species onto transparencies. Then, we set up the projector and I outlined the dinosaurs' silhouettes directly onto the walls with a piece of chalk.

Here was the brachiosaurus:

The stegosaurus:

The triceratops:

And the T-Rex, popping out from a window.  We also painted a herd of parasaurolophus for one corner of the landscape and numerous pterodactyls / pteranodons throughout the sky.

Once the dinosaurs were stenciled onto the walls, I painted them individually in one bold color -- Olympic's "Orange Poppy," "Forsythia Blossom," and "Madeira Red" -- to make them stand out. I chose to leave the dinosaurs as silhouettes to not only make them easier to do, but to also give the room more of a whimsical feel.  A fresh coat of ultra white paint was applied to the trim and baseboards at this time, too.

To add an additional dimension to each of the dinosaurs, I cut out their names using my Silhouette Cutting Tool. These names were cut directly onto peel-and-stick wall vinyl, which I then adhered to the dinosaurs themselves, or the area surrounding them.

The outline for the volcano was freehanded by yours truly, and we crept the smoke onto the ceiling to add more dimension and interest. The lava was painted the same colors as the dinosaurs, and the smoke was, appropriately, Olympic's "Volcanic Ash." Then, Evan added realism to the volcano by using a hobby air brush in white and black accents on the smoke portion. He's far more artistic and skilled than me!

During this time, Evan and I were also in the middle of a whole-house floor install.  The nursery was the first to be done!  We ripped up the carpet and prepped for our new bamboo flooring.  More information about that install will be featured in another post.

This room also hosts a large walk-in closet. We removed the door to make the closet appear even bigger. I bought Closet-Maid storage systems and colorful cubes to provide additional storage space for clothes, bedding, and toys. Evan also installed metal shelving all the way to the ceiling for additional baskets and storage.

To finish the room, we added furniture, bedding, clothes, and various dinosaur tchotchkes throughout. I found a new home for my dinosaur silhouettes in the closet, too.

Then, as the last hoorah, I also sewed three dinosaur-themed pillows to match the room.

Ready for the reveal? Here's what the room looked like when we first moved into our home in 2011:

And here it is now!

A lot of people have asked us, "but what if you have a girl?" Turns out, we are having a girl, and girls can be paleontologists, too!  One thing I appreciate about this room is that the colors are vibrant but also gender-neutral. Both boys and girls would love it, and I know our little girl will adore this room.

Our child is going to have so much fun in this nursery. This is a room that will grow imaginations and encourage fun, silliness, and playtime. It's a room that I hope she will continue to love throughout her toddler and elementary school years.

How about some details?  Here's the floor:

Tadpoles Dino Playmat Set from Amazon.com
The crib:

Echo Sweet Potato Bedding Set from Amazon.com
Little Prints Crib Sheet from Land of Nod
Dinosaur Musical Mobile from Amazon.com
Reading nook: 

Tot Tutors Book Rack from Amazon.com
The changing table:

Little Prints Changing Pad Cover from Land of Nod

Circo Dinosaur Lamp from Target
The closet:

My brother, Cory, proudly painted a Corythosaurus for the nursery.
Cubes from Target
Baskets from Target
And for fun:

Dewey Dinosaur Rocker from Amazon.com
Oopsy Daisy Night Light from Amazon.com

We've put more care and attention into this nursery than any other room in our home, and couldn't have done it without the help of friends and family. A part of me is still in disbelief that we're going to become parents; we had mentally prepared ourselves for a future where we might not experience that. Creating this room has been emotional, rewarding, and exhilarating, and I cannot wait until we finally get to meet our little one in December.

If you and your spouse are going through this, too, or worry about miscarriage and infertility, the best advice I can offer you is find a good doctor, pray, confide in others who you love and trust, and don't ever give up.

Courtesy of a dear friend
Hope you love this nursery as much as we do!

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