Baby H’s Neutral Nursery Reveal

I’m super excited to share our finished nursery! I took advantage of the 30 cm of falling snow outside to stay in and do a little photo shoot with our new camera, which I’m still learning how to use. If you want a little refresher, check out this post for my style board and plan and this post for a progress report. I’ve been working on this room on and off for about 3 months and I’m really happy with how it looks. It kept me occupied between losing my job and waiting for baby to come, which I am grateful for! But enough of my nattering, here are some visuals.DSC_4809_DSC_4781_ DSC_4807_DSC_4778_DSC_4786_ DSC_4826_DSC_4793_DSC_4794_DSC_4797_This room featured a lot of DIY and craft projects, like the papier maché zebra head I previously posted about and the 2D cloud mobile I made, loosely based on a wooden one I saw online.DSC_4828__01
The wall art is pretty much all DIY, from the zebra head to the art prints I made with some free web graphics that I found online – I love how these turned out!DSC_4838_DSC_4843_We really tried to save money anywhere we could, like using coupons, shopping sales, and repurposing things we already had in the house (like the curtains). I really wanted some cute maternity photos to frame and to have as a keepsake but hiring a photographer was not in the budget- so we bought a new-to-us DSLR camera that was an upgrade from our 10 year old one and did our own photoshoot at a nearby park with a tripod and a timer.

DSC_4799_ DSC_4805_I may have gone a bit overboard with storage containers. It’s hard to know what we’ll need before the baby actually gets here, but I tried to give us lots of options for toys, blankets, clothes, diapers etc- all the various baskets and containers will help keep things as organized as possible!

DSC_4804_I really liked the idea of a shelf/organizer combo with hooks above the change table but couldn’t find anything I liked at a price I wanted to pay. So I made my own with an inexpensive shelf, wall hooks, and baskets. I think this will end up being really valuable storage and functional space for diaper changes!

DSC_4802_My favourite corner of the nursery is the rocker, bookshelf, and ottoman, and I’ve already been testing it out! Hard to believe that soon I will be sitting here nursing our baby, and later reading to them.  I love the little zebra stool which will function as a drink station for those midnight feeding sessions.

DSC_4819_If you’re interested in where we got everything and our budget, here is a handy little source guide with a price breakdown too! I’m pretty happy with what we ended up spending on this room.

  1. Crib – Delta “Waves”, Sears, $130 on sale
  2. Mattress – Simmons Peaceful Slumber, Sears, $75 on sale
  3. Linens – ÄLSKAD 4-piece set, IKEA, gifted
  4. Mobile –  DIY with supplies purchased from Michael’s and Fabricland, ~$10
  5. Rocking chair – POANG rocker with black leather cushion, IKEA, $219
  6. Macramé ottoman – HomeSense, $39.99
  7. Antelope accent pillow – Village International, gifted
  8. Zebra stool – Village International, gifted
  9. Book shelves – MOSSLANDA picture ledge, IKEA, $16.99/ea
  10. Floor lamp – HEKTAR floor lamp, IKEA, $79.99
  11. Wall art – DIY prints from free vector images found online in RIBBA frames from IKEA, $9.99/ea
  12. Accent stripe – Behr paint in Perfect Taupe, $18.97/quart
  13. Curtains – recycled beige and black panels previously purchased with added blackout liner, $30
  14. Curtain rod – RÄCKA rod with 3 brackets and BLÅST finials, IKEA, $19.49
  15. Toy storage unit – TROFAST storage combination, IKEA, $105
  16. Bone/enamel picture frame, Dollarama, $3
  17. Laundry hamper, HomeSense, gifted
  18. Papier maché zebra head – DIY, free!
  19. Wall lamp – RANARP lamp, IKEA, $29.99
  20. Change table/dresser – Kijiji, $80, with change pad, gifted
  21. Bamboo basket for wipes, HomeSense, $12.99
  22. Change table storage – EKBY shelf, $18.99, with SVARTSJÖN hook rack, $6.99, and NORDRANA baskets, $9.99; all IKEA
  23. Painted mason jars, Little Miss Mason, gifted

As always I’d love to hear what you think in the comments! Now we just need sweet Baby H to arrive to really pull it all together. 😉

-C

Living room furniture decisions

While we procrastinate about finalizing decisions for our bathroom reno, I have been distracting myself with thinking about our living room. You may remember the modular sofa that we made a custom slipcover for– and while it has endured pretty well, it’s still 30+ years old and a bit saggy. It’s also really low to the ground and feels small for the space. I’ve been on the lookout for its replacement for a little while, but I’ve been having a hard time getting my husband to commit to one. I found this gorgeous navy blue sofa at a local interiors store back in the summer, and it was on crazy sale because it was a floor model… but realistically it was still out of our price range, and we weren’t convinced that it was the right colour (thanks to the lovely Krista for modelling).

sofa at MyHome interiors

When we asked around some of our friends and family for furniture store recommendations, we found out that my sister and her husband had scored their gorgeous leather sofa in the as-is section of Leon’s for a few hundred bucks; since hearing that, it has become hard to justify spending a lot of money. Plus we would like to have kids eventually, so we decided to focus more on cheap and durable than a high-quality investment.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to be at our local Ikea helping a friend shop for her nursery (so exciting!) when we spotted the KIVIK sofa and chaise sectional for 25% off in the as-is section. I called my husband to try and and convince him to let me come home with it, but being the rational guy he is, he wanted to take some measurements and do some comparison shopping first (ugh, I know, right?). Thanks this time to Sarah for modelling.

Ikea KIVIK loveseat and chaise
So when I got home we looked at similar models online from other furniture stores, and realized that we could spend upwards of $2000-3000 for a sectional from a store like EQ3, Structube, or Urban Barn… or we could spend under half of that on the KIVIK sectional. We didn’t even need to get the saggy, faded floor model to score a deal, because they were having a BOGO-50% off sale on living room furniture, and it comes as two separate pieces! I know Ikea is not the greatest quality, and the other stores sell Canadian made, hardwood frame sofas which explains their higher costs- but at this stage in our lives, the 10 year warranty that Ikea offers is sufficient and while we save money for our bathroom reno, we need to pick and choose where we invest carefully.

porter sectional EQ3
Porter sectional from EQ3- $2299.00; assembled dimensions 100″w x 66″d x 33″h

Ikea KIVIK loveseat and chaise
KIVIK loveseat and chaise from Ikea- $929 CA (regular price); assembled dimensions 110 1/4″w x
64 1/8″d x 32 5/8″h

I looked up online reviews for the KIVIK like the good little GenY-er that I am, and people seem to be pretty happy with it. The cover can be washed, the cushions can be removed and flipped, and the chaise can go on either side of the loveseat to form the sectional. I also really like the style of it, it’s neither super modern nor traditional. Possibly the best thing I read about it is that it’s a great napping couch. Sold! It’s pretty similar in style to our old sectional, but it’s firmer and not as low to the ground, which had always been my biggest complaint about the old one. We opted for the Tullinge grey-brown colour, which I think will work with a lot of different décor options.

Do you have any as-is furniture steals to brag about, or any feedback about the KIVIK sofa? Ever make your friends model sofas for size perspective? Tell me about it!

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Bathroom plans

We are at a bit of a standstill at the moment. The next big thing on our list is tackling our bathroom reno, but we haven’t decided how to do it yet- and quite honestly, I’m a little scared to take the plunge! What if it’s awful? Bathrooms are expensive, it’s not like we can try again. And it’s hard to move a tub once you’ve installed it but discover you should have put it a little more to the left. This will definitely be the most ambitious project we have attempted so we are thinking long and hard about how to make it happen!

Currently our bathroom layout leaves a lot to be desired. The vanity is huge but only has one sink, so there is a lot of wasted space there. The back hall closet and our hall linen closet cut into the footprint, so if we knock down some walls we could steal a bit of extra room. The available floor space is white in the picture below.

Google sketch up current bathroom layout

If we knock out both the back hall closet and the linen closet, we will have about 75 square feet to work with. Not exactly massive, and on our wish list is a double vanity (me), a separate shower stall (my husband), and some sort of storage space (me again). While it is theoretically possible to cram all of this stuff in, we’re not sure it will be worth the trade-off on clear floor space. Plus the “double vanity” that we found that is small enough to fit is a double vanity in name only: there is actually not enough room for two normal-sized adults to stand beside each other and comfortably use both sinks at the same time.

Ikea hemnes odensvik vanity

Ikea Hemnes/Odensvik vanity

Here are the viable options we have so far:

  1. Free standing tub against one wall; toilet, shower enclosure, and vanity against the other; door opens outwards or install pocket door.bathroom layout 1
  2. Switch the shower and vanity, move the tub against the back wall; door can open inside the room or may install a pocket door to save space.
    Google sketch up bathroom layout 2
  3. Move the toilet where the linen closet is currently; build a knee wall for a modicum of privacy should someone barge in on you; move the vanity beside the bath; shower enclosure where the back hall closet is currently; door swings out or install pocket door.Google sketch up bathroom layout 3
  4. Move the tub parallel to the back wall, vanity and toilet on opposite sides; move the shower to wear the storage cupboard is currently and move the door to wear the linen closet is currently.

bathroom layout 4

Soooo…. now we have to decide I guess? We have cleared a space in our living room to mark down possible layouts with painters tape, so we can get a feel for how much room will actually be between everything. We did this with option number 3 above, which seems to have the most open floor space available… and it still felt pretty cramped. I’m starting to lean towards keeping the current layout and just tearing out the old stuff and replacing with a new shower/tub combo and new vanity. Luckily we have already replaced the toilet so at least that’s one bathroom fixture down *nervous laugh*. Ack! At least one thing I’ve gained so far is learning how to use Google Sketch Up. Apparently it’s great when you know what you’re doing, but sadly I am still in the swearing-at-the-computer-stage.

Any advice or opinions? Should we go for it and knock down the walls, or leave the layout as is and just replace everything?

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Industrial Light Fixture

My husband and I were at his folks’ over the weekend, which meant helping with their basement reno (him) and reading my mother-in-law’s copies of House & Home (me).

I have really been trying to avoid looking at home décor mags because they fill me with creative urges that I cannot, at this time, fulfill; however, every now and then I listen to the little devil on my shoulder and imbibe. I’m glad I did because it led me to this bad boy from West Elm:

west elm floor lamp

That got me talking with my in-laws about the industrial trend, and light fixtures such as this. And it turned out that they had just taken down the bell-shaped, wall mounted, chrome light fixture that used to hang above the sofa in their living room, which I had always been secretly jealous of!

2014-03-16 18.24.52

As soon as we give it a new cord and clean it up a bit, it’s going above our sectional as a reading lamp. I’m not sure why I am digging this look lately… I saw some old light bulbs at Tin Barn Market when I was in Almonte a few weeks ago and I guess a hankering for industrial accents was awoken in me. They even sell bulbs, cages, and fabric cords so you can create the perfect look!

tin barn bulbs

I also love the large globe fixtures you can find, like this one

banquette

Clamps can also further bring home the industrial vibe, like in these ones from Ikea:

FAS lamp RANARP lamp

This look reminds me of a bad ass laboratory from the early 1900s. Can’t you just picture the light from one of these illuminating brilliant scribblings on a chalkboard, while you shout “Eureka!” over a bubbling condenser apparatus?

See, this is why I should not read H&H. Anyone else have a lighting obsession, or another trend on their radar?
-C

 

Ikea Råskog Craft Cart

I am trying to get creative with storage in our apartment, since we have been running out of space lately. Ever since we got engaged and got married, and acquired grown-up things… but we somehow still have most of the stuff we had when we were students. Except for the things we lost in the Great Bedbug Episode of 2011, but that is a whole other story.

Anyway, I have amassed quite the collection of crafting/sewing supplies that I used to keep in a cupboard in our kitchen (as much as I complain about the lack of space in our apartment, our kitchen is pretty big). Whenever I wanted to work on something, I would schlep all my fabric, buttons, thread, hot glue etc into the living room and take over the coffee table. Then when we actually wanted to use the space (like for example when we binge watched seasons 1-3 of Downton Abbey) it was a pain to clear it all away. Solution: craft cart!

When I saw this cute little kitchen cart at Ikea I thought I was the only bright spark who ever thought of using it for craft supplies… then I searched for “Raskog craft cart” on Pinterest. Oh well, at least I knew it was a good idea!

And so I give you my new craft supply storage solution. Props to my awesome husband who figured out the right way to attach the various nuts and bolts, when I was convinced they had just made the bolts 1/4 inch too short.

2014-01-25 11.55.14

The top shelf has some small tin pots for scissors, pens, hot glue gun, etc and my sewing kit. The middle shelf is for my current project, which will eventually be a baby mobile, now that I know how to make one. The bottom shelf has all my thread and other craft supplies stored in recycled pipette tip boxes (hooray for working in a laboratory!).

How about you? Do you have a Råskog cart or other nifty storage idea/life hack?
-C