Charlie's Nursery

Hello again! It's been a while, it's been a crazy year so far, our son Charlie was born on January 2nd, and It's been the busiest year for Wouldn't it be Lovely yet working on over 60 weddings so far this year! So now that it's fall and there's a small (always smaller than I think it'll be) lull between the end of 2016's busy season and the begining of 2017's (it gets crazy after thanksgiving and basically stays insane until September) I'm hoping to get back in the swing of blogging and sharing everything that's been going on over here, starting with Charlie's nursery which was recently published on Style me Pretty.  First off... Meet Charlie:

We think he's the cutest. He's an amazing baby and I'm loving every single minute with this peanut. So on to the nursery details....

My husband has always let me run amok when it comes to any design elements in our house, so the nursery wasn't any different. We didn't find out the sex before we had him, but it wouldn't have made much of a difference if we had since I've never been big on the whole stereotypical gender design elements anyway. I knew I wanted it to be travel themed as it's always been an important part of our lives. I found the city toile paper from Rifle Paper Co. it basically set the tone and everything came together from there!

All the accessories in the room are a mix of toys and books from ours and our parents childhoods and fun new modern elements I couldn't help myself from getting! I've listed all the elements below should you want to know! A couple recommendations... the Keekaroo changer worth EVERY penny! I can't imagine what would have happened if we had one of the changers with a fabric cover, it would have meant 1000% more laundry in our house, it's SO easy. LOVE our glider
it's another worth every penny piece, you spend SO much time in that chair and I wanted it to be something that I would want to have in other rooms in our house down the road. 

Some thoughts about yardwork...

Nope, not our  garden , but I wish it was....

Nope, not our garden, but I wish it was....

Yesterday, when I was trapped in an office building at my "day design job", I felt like a crazy person. Ever get like that? When the day is moving so slow, and you have lots to do but just want to get OUT? It was one of those days for me. So, when I got home, to our newly opened (albeit still green and dirty) pool, and a yard all neat and tidy from the "spring cleaning" we had the landscapers do (a splurge, because lets be honest, I don't have time for that shiznit during wedding season) I was really happy. If I could will summer into existence, it would be 85 degrees tomorrow. So, Chris and I decided to get crazy with some yard work. The sun was out, Chris was mowing the lawn, so I decided to WEED. I have a black thumb. Or maybe just an indifferent thumb? Would I love a pretty pretty garden with flower beds and amazing landscaping? YES. Do I have the drive and inclination to spend hours in the dirt? NO. All the same, I wanted to do something to make our yard look nicer, so I started ripping out any plant that looked like it could survive the apocalypse. That's what weeds are right? Evil ugly plants that can grow anywhere and are IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL. So I pulled up all the evil looking plants (some of them were probably real plants, which I only realized when they came up WAY too easily to be a weed). Anywho, it was a satisfying evening, but now I want mulch elves to come and spread nice fragrant wood chips in our freshly cleaned flower beds. Anyone want to trade wedding invites for yard work? Have a great weekend kiddos, I'm just happy it's almost here! 

Dual Purpose Rooms: Dining Room and Office

dining-office2.jpg

Like most people, we have a formal dining room that we essentially never use. When we moved in, I knew that I wanted to use it as an office instead. I could have commandeered one of the guest rooms, but because I work so much, I wanted to feel like I was still part of the goings-on in the house, not closed away in a room on the second floor. When designing the dining room/ office I knew that I wanted it's primary function to be as an office but it also needed to be a simple and unnoticeable transition to a dining room when we had people over. These are the elements I think make such a thing possible:

Storage: I love Ikea Expedit shelves. They are affordable and clean and offer lots of storage options. I store all of my supplies for Wouldn't it be Lovely in these. They also serve as extra work space when I'm assembling invitations and other wedding things. When we are using the room for dining, I just hide the printer in another room and use them as a buffet for all the tasty treats we've cooked up. Having all the work items hidden away in drawers and cabinets makes a room easily transformable. 

A Good Table: A table that can be dressed up or down is key for a multi-purpose look. Our table from Inmod is great for this, it's substantial with clean lines so I can use it as a work space with a cutting mat to keep it clean, or as a dining table with placemats for casual dining or a pretty table cloth for more formal dining. 

Easily Movable Electronics: Though my iMac is enormous, I can just unplug it and carry it into another room with the keyboard and mouse and it's like it was never there! Same thing with the printer. Buying electronics that are portable makes for easy conversion! I also bought a cord cover for the floor so no one is tripping over the cords! It's brown and blends into the rug pretty well! 

Nice Chairs: Our Emeco Navy Chair knock offs are great, and when we have lots of company they mix well with the Eames knock off Chairs in our Kitchen. The chairs are light, easy to move and stackable if I need to store them for some reason. I splurged a bit on my desk chair, but my spine thanks me. A comfortable desk chair makes the working hours fly by! 

Shopping List:

Table $765 from Inmod, Chairs $145 for two from Overstock, Office Chair $189, Ikea Expedit $80 each, additional $260 for 4 drawer sets and 12 doors, the knobs were a DIY project. Light, $180 they don't carry this one anymore, but I attached a link to a similar one. Rug, $200 on sale from West Elm. Maps by "These are Things" World map $95, US map $50. Lamp is an antiquing find. Curtains were Fred Shand for Anthropologie a couple of years ago. Floor cord cover $25. The Whistle Sign was a DIY project. 

DIY Kitchen Renovation

Our kitchen reno is finally done! This has been quite the process since we moved in. The work has been spread out quite a bit, but when I add up actual work hours, I think it comes out to around one week. When we moved in, the kitchen was dark, a little sad,  and lacking in storage and counter space. Like many new home owners, we didn't have the budget to rip it out and start from scratch. That meant I had to get creative! The $2000 budget I listed above does not include the appliances, those were bought over time, some and some were generously gifted to us. The budget included new countertops, new sink and faucet. some new cabinets, paint, backsplash, and general other supplies. Here's what we did:

Painted the cabinets:  This was probably the part of the process that was the most irritating. I took off all the cabinet doors and hinges, then painted them all. We painted the tops white and the bottoms grey. I think the two tone cabinets add a bit of interest ands weight to the bottom cabinets. I used Rustoleum Cabinet Paint which took precious time off the process because you don't need to strip them the traditional way. 

Rearranging Cabinets and Moving the Frig: To give ourselves more counter-space, we decided to move the refrigerator to the wall on the other side of the room, at the end of the cabinets. We were lucky enough to have the space to do this and it made a HUGE difference. To fill the gap left by the frig, I moved the upper cabinets from the opposite wall and bought an unfinished base cabinet from Lowes to fill the bottom space. The bottom was not a perfect match, but its so close I'm the only one who really notices! Since I knew I would be doing open shelving around the sink, it was a perfect solution to take the cabinet from that side and move it. Once we moved all the cabinets, we also added molding to the top to give it a more finished and expensive feel. I also bought all new hardware to replace the old ones.

New Countertops: As much as I would have loved some granite or cement countertops, it seemed like a waste of money when the cabinets that we were refinishing weren't the best quality, we know that long term we'll probably do a more expensive reno, so we went the less expensive route and got laminate countertops. To give us more counter-space, we extended the counter past the base cabinets on the right side knowing that we could fill the bottom with shelves, or in our case, a built in dog feeding station for our mastiff Truman. Adding the corbels under it made it feel purposeful and built in. Having the extra counter-space from the extension and where the fridge was has made baking MUCH more enjoyable!

New Backsplash: I knew I wanted a white backsplash with a nice pattern. I bought this on Wayfair. it's a great price and the pattern has just enough character.  On the sink side, we had the backsplash go all the way up the wall, it adds a nice level of detail and  feels a little more lux than if we had only gone up the the first shelf. We rented a tile cutter from Home Depot for the installation. The whole process was a little more time consuming than I expected it to be, but once my Dad and I got a hang of it, it went pretty quickly. 

New Sink and Faucet: We took out the dated sink and faucet and replaced it with this nice big basin sink. I ABHOR split sinks, I think they are a waste of usable space and I love my new modern style sink and faucet. 

Open Shelving: I really wanted open shelving on the sink side of the kitchen. We have some really cute dishes,  glassware, and cake stands, both new and antique, that I wanted to display. I installed the little top cabinets so we could have a little more space for less pretty kitchen things. The open shelving really gives the space a more airy and bright feel. I would have loved to do floating shelves here, but we just didn't trust them to hold the weight of all the plates and such, so we used shelf brackets screwed into the studs to make sure they would hold up everything. We also added a shelf under the cabinets on the other side of the kitchen to hold all of my baking ingredients. I bake pretty frequently and I like having everything out and easily accesible. I think the penny jar canisters are adorable and they add a ton of storage space that would otherwise be taken up on the counter or in the cabinets. P.S. Drilling into the tile to hang the shelves was both annoying and terrifying!

Extra Details: I added a hanging utensil holder that I got from Ikea under our our cabinets, I like it so much better than the standard utensil jug. I think the more things you can keep off the counter, the better. The elevated dog dishes are my other favorite little add. Truman loves them. Lincoln's are at the base of the little console table we have next to the kitchen table. 

Hope you like it as much as we do! Feel free to ask questions if you are curious about any of the specifics!

 

Holiday Check In

me1.jpg

 Hi there kiddos! Just checking in mid vacation! I've been working non stop redesigning the website and blog, crossing my fingers that it'll all go up without a hitch on New Years Day! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, I know I did! There is nothing more fun than days full of family and delicious food! My biggest gift hits were "Sex Panter Cologne" a la anchorman for my brother in law and the little cord keepers I made that just about everyone got! I think the favorite gifts I received were my new camera lenses and camera bagdodo case for my iPad, and the watch and sweater in this photo! Hope you're holiday was full of goodies too! What were your favorite gifts?