...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Remember when I put the boys’ room together last year? Well, take a look at what it looks like now. As in this morning. I didn’t even bother to pick up. Go ahead; pin away.

boys room update 1

boys room update 2

boys room update 3

boys room update 4

As I mentioned in last week’s post on the vintage dresser, this room has issues. Or more like I have issues with this room. Of all the room’s in our house, I find this one the most difficult to decorate. I’ve pinpointed two reasons why:

1) To optimize open floor space for play, all the furniture is pushed up against the walls. My natural instinct is to pull furniture into a room so it doesn’t feel like a bowling alley which is exactly what this room feels like to me.

2) I’m trying to make it a “boy” room but I also want it to fit in with the rest of our home. It doesn’t have to look like every other room in our house (nor should it) but it should have a similar vibe. With the muddy gray walls (it’s Valspar Dry Riverbed and I actually love this color just not in this context) and gray Flor tiles, the room tends to feel drab in real life.

If you’re a frequent reader, you’ve probably noticed a few changes from last year. The open shelf bookcases are gone. That was such a horrible idea on my part. Why did I ever think two rowdy boys would keep those tidy? The boys would put their toys and costumes away in the baskets but there would be stuff hanging out of the baskets and the baskets were all crooked on the shelves. I sold the bookcases to one of the kids’ bus drivers. I lost money on them but the bus driver was so excited to use them that I didn’t feel too badly.

The Lego table is gone. My sister is giving it a spin as a coffee table in her apartment and the chairs are in the attic. If you’ll remember, my boys specifically requested a table for Lego building. Turns out, they loved the idea of a table but 99% of the time they sit on the floor to play Legos. Mabrey used the table more than anyone. If the table doesn’t work out for my sister, I’ll probably take it back and use it along with the chairs for a kids’ table during get-togethers with friends / family. I bought a Swoop bag and it’s perfect for my kids. They can carry it out to the living room to play or keep it in their room. I considered a Pinterest-worthy color-sorted setup but that’s just not realistic for us. My boys really enjoy sitting with a pile of Legos spread out in front of them and *BONUS* it keeps them occupied for longer periods of time because they have to look for pieces.

Doing away with the bookcases and Lego table allowed me to solve a bigger problem – not solely filter out items that weren’t working. There was some serious inadequate clothing storage going on. I don’t know when it happened but one day (I swear it happened in ONE DAY) my boys shot up and all of a sudden their clothes got bigger and didn’t fit in their 4-drawer dresser anymore. They literally could not close the drawers when all of their clothes were clean and in the dresser. I think I remember a reader predicting that would happen. She was right. Letting go of the bookcases, table and chairs made room for the 10-drawer dresser I shared last week. Now the boys have plenty of room for their clothes with empty drawers to spare.

boys room update 5

Luckily, the baskets that once lived on the bookcases work perfectly in the closet. I reconfigured the wire shelving so most of the toys are in the closet now. It gets messy from time to time but at least this way I can close the closet curtains and walk away. I have some of their playthings tucked away in other spots of our home but for the most part this is it. (Due to popular demand and even in response to some negative comments about how little toys my kids have, I’ll be writing a separate post on that. Stay tuned.)

Layne asked for a reading chair in the room for his birthday this past winter. (He’s an avid reader.) We got him Ikea’s KARLSTAD armchair and he loves it. Steve and I do, too. It’s much heavier than I expected! We sit in the chair to watch the kids play or to read them books before bedtime. The wood crate next to the chair was a gift to Everett from his grandfather. He wanted to make Everett a toy box of some kind and asked for ideas and dimensions. I asked if he could make an open book crate on wheels and gave him measurements. The design is his. It holds books and has casters on the bottom so it can be rolled out of the way when the trundle bed is pulled out. It’s so useful!

The basketball hoop was another gift to Everett. This time from Santa. It’s not my favorite addition to the room ;) but Everett enjoys it and it was a good energy burner during our long, cold winter.

Now that the room is functioning well for everyone, I need to address some other issues.

ISSUE #1: Drab wall color.

SOLUTION: Paint! I’m leaning towards something light and fresh. (See the paint samples on the walls.) This will be the third time I’ve painted this room. And, yes, Steve likes to remind me that the room started out light.

ISSUE #2: Hidden bed. The bunk bed hideout is awesome but most days it looks like the image above with the curtains closed.

SOLUTION: Add a system for tying back the curtains during the day.

ISSUE #3: Lifeless walls.

SOLUTION: Add interest with wall art and inexpensive shelving. Have fun with it!

ISSUE #4: No vibe.

SOLUTION: Bring in a few textiles, plants and accessories to make the room feel more like a part of our home but not too serious. It is a kids’ room after all.

You probably think I’m crazy for switching up the boys’ room so soon but when a room isn’t working for my family (whether for kids or adults or both) I’m all for making it right. Notice I didn’t say perfect. In hindsight, I was way too hasty in getting the room “done” last summer. Hindsight is 20/20. This isn’t a room do-over just for blog fodder. (Although, I will be blogging about it.) This is something I would be doing even if I didn’t have a blog.

As much as I like eye candy online, I also think it’s important to show a room’s evolution and to show when things don’t go as planned. Or when things do go as planned but the plan was all wrong. I guarantee behind every drool-worthy room there is a wrong paint color that had to be painted over or a wrong piece of furniture that had to be returned / sold or a wrong layout that had to be tweaked. Or a simple “I changed my mind.” And that’s okay!

But it doesn’t feel okay when no one talks about it. It’s like a big secret in the blogosphere. Here’s what the room looked like two years ago and here’s what it looks like now. Yay! They leave out the part about trying out three different lamps, ten different pillows or the massive DIY fail. But that stuff most definitely happens. Personally, I have so much respect for bloggers whom share when things go awry. I find them more relatable, more human. It makes their “afters” that much better because I know a real person is behind them.

Do you have a room that irks you? Are you feeling stupid or guilty about wanting to make it right? (Because, yes, there are bigger problems in the world.) I feel the same way but I’m trying not to let it hold me back from creating a space that my family wants to be in. I encourage you to do the same.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

89 Comments

21.April.2014

My boys are 7 & 8 and the same thing happened. I had this cute little midcentury dresser but it no longer fit anything! I found a much bigger, second hand dresser and things have gotten better. They share a room as well.

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21.April.2014

The same thing happened with my living room. I bought a house and then bought furniture to put in it, but didn’t measure or do any planning beforehand. The result is furniture that doesn’t match my lifestyle and is too big for the awkwardly shaped and small room. This time around I’m working with an interior designer before going shopping.

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Yes. It seems like some rooms come easier and more quickly than others. And definitely some come from lots of trial and error. That is how my living room was but now it is one of my favorite rooms in the house. I’m also in the early stages of redoing my boys room. My oldest son decided to jump on his bed and totally broke the wooden bed frame into which matches his brothers bed frame. I’m going to have to find a solution for that and a broken matching dresser. I will also be switching their color scheme to gray, white, brown, and blues. Decorating is often quite a process!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Boo for broken bed frames!

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21.April.2014

I am really, really astounded people would comment on the toys you have (or lack thereof) in your home. I guess everything is a matter of opinion on the Internet. *Sighs* My boys have so many toys and they are rarely used because they both prefer to be outside.

The room that irks me is our master bedroom. I hate the color of the walls during the day. It looks very lavender in bright light but it is a beautiful grey in the evening/at night. The ceiling is vaulted and my husband is not a painter and I am a slow painter so it’s hard for me to justify repainting it, particularly when I have two other bathrooms that need painted. Perhaps once I paint those other rooms, I’ll be ready to tackle the master again but for now I just pretend I like it.

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replied on April 21st, 2014

I’m really astounded that anyone would comment on that, too! I’m curious how you’ll respond to that. I guess that’s the flip side of the coin when we open our homes up on the Internet.

Thanks for sharing your progress with us. Like your tagline says, home doesn’t happen overnight and there is always tweaking involved. It’s inspiring seeing a successful creative process : ]

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replied on April 21st, 2014

I had the same thought about the kids’ toys. Why does that matter to other people? My kids don’t have a lot of toys either. They barely play with the ones they do have. Instead, they read, draw, play outside, or make up their own games. Dana, maybe your kids don’t have too few toys, but others have too many!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

The hardest part of painting for me is finding the time to do it! Once I start I’m so into though.

Yeah, I thought the same thing the first time someone made a snarky comment about my kids’ toy selection (or lack thereof). I’ve gotten similar comments on the food supply in our home. Really?! Of course, I have toys and food in my house. Maybe not in excess but my kids aren’t sitting in a corner toy-less and starving. Those comments always throw me for a loop. I can’t imagine ever saying such judgmental things about another parent. We’re all doing our best and it’s not going to look the same for every family.

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

That is just terrible and I have seen lately on other blogs these rude snarky comments and I am just shocked that commenters feels it’s their right to say such things. I have a small house so I can not fill my house full of food and toys. Toys get recycled here and I do about 2 trips to the food store. Dana, you do what is best for your family and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Also, I have done every room in our house about 3 times which I hear about it from my husband when we go paint picking or another furniture shopping. I also move everything around until I get it right so you are not alone.

replied on April 22nd, 2014

I too was shocked by the rude comments. I love reading your blog because you are real and I so identify with how you approach your design style and your family life. My kids didn’t have the amount of toys that their peers had either – they were in constant rotation to keep everything fresh and give them the chance for creativity and outdoor play. Today they are all grown up and are 3 adults that are creative and still love to be outside. One is working on a PhD in Chemistry from that curiosity he had as a child. And they didn’t have a pantry full of processed foods and snacks either, I tried hard to make them fresh food from scratch and we loved family weekend trips to the farmer’s market. Today those adults love to cook and are huge fruit and veggie lovers. Your kiddos are happy and healthy too, it shines through in what you share on the blog.

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Hi there!

I’m one of those that LOVED that you and your kids don’t have your house stuffed to the gills with kid toys !! I’m slowly attempting this at my home. We moved 6 months ago to a rent home and I only unpacked about half the toys and my three kids didn’t seem to mind! I’m so much more happier and so are they!! I’ve admired minimalistic homes for so long the internet but, I tend to be a sentimental “keeper”. Blogs like yours are really inspiring for me! I’m slowly being way more choosy about what I buy for my kids! They seem just as happy as when I overbought for them! For example this year the “Easter Bunny” only brought them each one thing (one son got a junior football, the other son got flag football set and our little girl got a nice jellycat brand stuffed elephant). They each got two chocolates and they were thrilled! I saved time not hunting down lots of tiny Easter basket filler gifts that are cheap and bought one thing for each child that they LOVED !! I still have a LONG way to go but, I’m taking steps that are more in line with my values and at the same time making my life feel less cluttered and more peaceful! :) I’m one of those readers that have asked you to write about your less is more philosophy of toys! I sure hope I didn’t offend you by asking! Please forgive me if I did? I LOVE your style and your way of making your home work for you! I find it so inspiring! I LOVE that you include the steps and the process! Its so helpful and interesting! You are a terrific problem solver when it comes to setting up your home! :) Looking forward to the toy post !!
~ Ali

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replied on April 23rd, 2014

No offense taken! (The toy commenters I mentioned previously were blatantly negative.) I’ve never really been a “keeper” but downsizing has definitely forced me to look at everything (toys included) with more scrutiny. We just don’t have the space for excess. One might think that downsizing has been a huge sacrifice for us but, honestly, it has proven to be so freeing!! Editing our belongings – especially the kids’ clothes and toys that trickle in from grandparents – is a constant process but it’s necessary. Otherwise, our home would be overrun with stuff. I think when some people start feeling like their current living space is getting too cramped the knee-jerk reaction is to buy a larger space. Editing and purging is way cheaper than buying a new house. Even if you live in a mansion you can’t let acquisitions go unchecked forever. Keeping only things we find useful or beautiful or meaningful frees up literal and emotional space. Now if we could just tackle our garage…

21.April.2014

I don’t know a single room in my house that hasn’t evolved- and that’s a good thing. We don’t have a lot of money and we don’t have a lot of space, so I don’t go all in to make everything “finished” immediately. Little changes, over time, get the most function and joy out of our home. Two years after thinking of a project, I finally get to start it. And those two years of thinking and re-assessing are critical! In my mind, you have it right. It’s a little house. There’s no room for lack of function. So fix it.

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21.April.2014

Sell me your kids wire chairs!!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

If I do, I will contact you!

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21.April.2014

Dana thanks so much for the update. Glad to know i’m not the only mom facing this boy’s bedroom dilemma. Mt two boys( 5 and 8) also share a really small room. We have resorted to bunk beds and a dresser with a hutch on top packed with storage cubbies. I have hung baskets on the walls to accommodate their collection of hats and a 4 shelf bookshelf. Thats all that will fit. I have also painted their room at least three times and it is officially staying’ simply white’ which has made everything else in the room pop and makes the room look slightly larger. All the toys have been moved to the garage which we use as an extension of the house. Epoxy floors, nice rug, t.v hung on the wall.My house is only 1800 sq. ft and I use every single inch of it, including the garage.

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replied on April 21st, 2014

I’m leaning towards a warm white on the walls so I’m happy to hear you like it in your boys’ room. I think any standard sized room with a set of bunk beds is difficult to decorate around. The room almost always feels unbalanced because of the goliath beds! But it’s about the only way to leave space on the floor for play in my boys’ room. I’m probably making this harder than it should be. Ha!

Way to use your space efficiently!

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21.April.2014

Have you considered a light-yellow, maybe even a cream-colored, paint? Yellow hues would look great with the wood tones in this room, and provide an instant cheerup effect. Also, consider replacing the black and white striped wallpaper — I would find that a real downer.

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21.April.2014

I am a constant tweaker and my husband always shakes his head at me for it.

The living room is our problem spot – it’s pretty small, and there are four doorways, and an archway to deal with. We’ve been through three rugs, two couches, and two arm chairs in less than four years. I’m still not happy with the rug, and plan on redoing the gallery wall behind the couch as soon as I can collect enough frames.

I don’t really feel there’s such a thing as being “done”. At least not for me.

I agree that getting to where we want things is not a perfect process, and it’s silly to pretend it is. It is also a learning experience for most of us. I know I have gotten a far better understanding of what my taste really is over the last couple years. (Not that it doesn’t get tweaked as well…)

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21.April.2014

So glad you posted this! I love seeing the REAL evolution of your rooms – including all the frustrations and re-dos that are a part if the process. The room for me is our dining room – it gets the least natural light and I’ve re-painted it like 4 times. And not being able to land on a color has held me back on making other design decisions. Good luck to you – I’m certain whatever you land on will look great!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Paint colors in naturally dark rooms are so hard for me too! I feel you on a paint color holding everything else up. There’s nothing wrong with repainting!

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21.April.2014

Thanks for keeping it real. My home office is bugging the hell out of me. I’ll keep at it though and let it evolve on it’s own.

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21.April.2014

I remember how you added items that interested your boys in your previous home ( license plates, road signs on the walls). The personal items added character and personality to their room. Maybe have them suggest some newer items of interests that you could incorporate into the room to make it their own…added with your classy design touch of course!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Yes, I feel that’s what’s missing…personality! But it doesn’t have to be a theme just little things they like. Layne has asked for more plants and Everett requested a body pillow so I’ll see what I can do. They really enjoy being outdoors so I definitely want to incorporate that somehow too.

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Here are a few Etsy sites that may inspire you.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LauraFrisk?ref=l2-shopheader-name

http://www.etsy.com/shop/sandraculliton?section_id=13825135&ref=shopsection_leftnav_5

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replied on April 21st, 2014

So cute! Thank you for sharing these links.

replied on April 21st, 2014

you’re welcome!

Nearly every time I try to jam clothes into my kids’ single dressers I think “I recall Dana fitting two kids’ clothes into a single dresser – why can’t I fit one kids’ clothes?” Glad to know I’m not the only one who ends up having trouble as kids and their clothes get bigger!

Random question: Santa also brought our boy the same b-ball hoop which is noisy but gets used daily. Ours is on the door (not very sturdy) because I was a little nervous about securing it into our plaster walls. Any tips for how yours is doing in plaster walls and, if going well, how you did it?

Look forward to seeing the updates!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Steve hung the hoop and secured it to the studs so it’s VERY sturdy. It limited the placement (it isn’t where I would have chosen to hang it) but the boys can dunk if they want. Our biggest problem is when they want to shoot hoops when Mabrey is napping. On the other side of the wall is Mabrey’s room and the sound of a basketball hitting a plaster wall isn’t conducive to napping!

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

My son’s room is above our kitchen. During the winter he played hours of basketball with his indoor hoop. It sounded like he was going to come through the ceiling–especially when he had friends over and they had dunking contests. I am happy spring has finally arrived and he is back out playing on his outdoor hoop.

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So excited to see some changes. You’ll never be truly done but the fun’s in the journey, right?!

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21.April.2014

I like a lot of things about that room and I bet in a few tweaks it will be looking great. Maybe some fun accessories to bring in some color., like an orange throw pillow

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21.April.2014

I’m appalled that people feel the need to judge the amount of toys your kids own. I recently saw an article that the U.S. is responsible for owning over 90% of the world’s toys. What?! Crazy!! Made me think my little one is not deprived at all. I am looking forward to seeing how you store them though, I bet I’ll be inspired. And lastly my husband tends to get on my case when I change my mind or “tweak” things. Most recently I cleaned out all our paper clutter and made him pack up the extra filing cabinet to donate he said “why, so you can just buy another one in a month?” Ugh I coulda smacked him! Tweaking is life (not to be confused with twerking) thanks for sharing the process!

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21.April.2014

omg, I wish I was your bus driver–I was lusting after those shelves!

I can’t wait to see how the boys’ room evolves. I’m wondering if you will do different leggies on the reading chair–or “dip” them? So many possibilities! And I also can’t wait to hear about the toy deprivation explanation, haha. I hadn’t realized that there was a perceived dearth.

jbhat

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replied on April 21st, 2014

You read my mind. I tweaked the chair legs tonight before the boys went to bed!

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21.April.2014

The room looked awesome before but that dresser is gorgeous and now the room looks a lot bigger. Can’t wait to see how u dress up the bedroom now. I agree if it doesn’t work don’t be afraid to switch things up after all you do have to live there and u want things to be not only beautiful but also very functional.

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21.April.2014

Hmm! I’m dying for the toy post. Our kids have few toys as well, and I would love to see what you guys have and what you have to say about it.

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21.April.2014

I struggle with the fact that my husband frets about money (long story), so I get quite a bit of pressure from him to buy the right piece the first time. If ever I have to replace something that isn’t right, he reminds me how expensive of a mistake that was, to encourage me not to spend frivolously in the future. (I live in a country that doesn’t do returns like the US does; if it did, that would make my life so much easier.)

This makes him sound worse than he actually is, but I do have trouble pulling the trigger because I’m afraid I’ll change my mind or it won’t work, and he’ll get frustrated by that.

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Oh my! I never knew there were entire countries that prohibit consumer returns. That would definitely put pressure on me, too, to get things right the first time…probably to where I’d be frozen in indecision sometimes.

Steve has been known to shake his head in confusion at my “tweakings” but overall he’s really supportive because he knows what it’s like to have with a room that works. When I’m changing bigger things (I will always move around little things from time to time because it’s what I do) around it’s not because I’m bored or over it. It’s because something is off or not working.

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replied on April 21st, 2014

In the US, the customer is always right and store clerks will bend over backwards to accommodate, it seems (especially if the customer is very loud about it). I live in Japan where they will use very polite language and apologize profusely even if it’s not their fault, but will gently put the customer in their place. There would have to be something very wrong and completely obviously their fault for them to accept returns in most cases.

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replied on April 29th, 2014

In Australia the consumer is allowed by law to return anything that is faulty or ‘not as advertised’. Returns due to change of mind depend on each retailer’s policy (department stores generally refund while most smaller stores will exchange for another item but not refund). To be honest it has never crossed my mind to return furniture!

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21.April.2014

I like the new dresser that you have and the open shelves. But do the baskets work for you and do they need 2 dressers? I don’t think boys are able to find things if it’s not in front of them and it’s more work for moms to clean up after they are done digging.

Also, you have a few furniture pieces in their room, do they use the chair? Kids always prefer the floor. Some big floor cushions instead of a chair will make the room big and spacious. Less is more :)

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Since the closet is mostly for toys and storage, we do need both dressers for the boys’ clothing. Not all the drawers are full but I have a feeling that will change as they grow. The boys know where to find what and they know where it should go when they’re done with it. When they clean their room, I don’t have to go behind them that much now. With the bookshelves, it was awful. Layne specifically asked for the chair and he does use it for reading. He will sit out in the living room and read too but sometimes he just wants peace and quiet away from his younger (and louder!) siblings so he’ll retreat to the chair or his bed.

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21.April.2014

I like to tweak things and move things around. It drives my hubby crazy. He can’t handle to let go of any hardwood furniture either, whether it functions for us or not. So it takes me forever to warm him up to changes. We have a desk that is too big, and several dressers that don’t function well, but getting rid of them is a marathon of wills! I just try to be grateful for what we have and remember there are much bigger problems in life!

I love the way the room is evolving. I think some sort of rope pullback for the beds would really contrast nicely with the white, and go well with the other natural weaves in the room. Maybe wrapped around a boat clamp?

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21.April.2014

I’m so happy you are going to brighten up the boys room, the grey is awful gloomy! I see a lot more grey in your samples though, I’d love to see color in there!
This isn’t my blog but I did the same thing to my daughters room, I love how its easy to access, easy to clean, and adds color to the room! Might be good for your reader :)
http://www.pepperdesignblog.com/2013/07/22/girls-room-acrylic-bookshelves-a-library-wall/

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Love the acrylic book shelves!

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21.April.2014

Funny how rooms evolve! My boys share a room and like your boys have bunk beds which dominate the space. Am curious to know what is the ceiling height?

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replied on April 21st, 2014

8′!

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21.April.2014

I love that you share the progress! And yes, there are many rooms in our house that are not quite ‘right’ or finished. I try not to beat myself up, reminding myself that we’ve only been here a little over a year and a half, but it’s hard. I want it all finished! But finished takes time – and more often than not, money.

In our last (and 1st) house, I had seemingly no issues choosing paint colors. I picked, we painted and I was happy. But this house has been a series of paint samples, so much debate and so far one complete re-paint (the kitchen – from a cornflower blue to a much paler blue and I’m still not sure it’s “the one”). I finally figured out why I’m having such a hard time. This house is bigger so a lot more wall space and it’s much brighter than our old house. Apparently I do better choosing colors for a cave! ;)

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21.April.2014

I vote for navy walls!

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replied on April 21st, 2014

Don’t think I haven’t considered navy! I can only imagine what people would say about all three of my kids sleeping in cave-like rooms. haha.

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Lol :). Both my boys’ rooms are gray and navy and we lurrrrve them. There’s a bright version of navy that really pops and doesn’t look gloomy at all! Those white curtains would really pop against it, too. Then a wall of bright colored awards, medals, action photos, vintage signs, etc above the dresser would be super fun. Don’t worry about what other people think, you’ve got great style!!!

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

My 12 yr old boy’s room is painted in Sea Monster, from the West Elm Sherwin Williams collection and I loooove it.

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I think it’s great you’re sharing the not so perfect outcomes of DIY. Can’t wait to see what you decide on for the boys room, I’m sure it will be awesome!

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22.April.2014

I like the striped wall in the boys’ room. I’m not worried about it, I know you’ll make it look good and if not you’ll tweak it! Thanks for doing all the work for us and then we can learn from what you do! Thanks!!!

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22.April.2014

While your home has come along beautifully, you make it completely relatable by sharing the progress and bumps that come along with it. I don’t have kids, but the basketball hoop works in the room! Perhaps some cues from your husband and boys would help? Sometimes when I’m rearranging stuff, my husband chimes in with an idea (or two), and you know what? Most of the time it works, and I end up thinking ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ One room that irks me is the hallway. It’s a bit narrow and a bit dark (no windows). And I abhor white (can we say asylum?)! You’d feel the same too if you lived in a country where minimalism is practiced to death. I would like the hallway to look nice and welcoming like those on magazines, but I find it challenging when there’s a wardrobe (thanks Sweden), shoe shelves, and coat hooks to consider. I’d like to add a mirror (and an actual console table that would fit into the space), but my husband hates mirrors. And of course, the limited assortment and astronomical price tags don’t help either.

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22.April.2014

I’m working on two of my boys rooms right now. Between picking a paint color we both like and making sure the furniture arrangement is right for playing and watching tv, it’s been hard!

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22.April.2014

I’m just wondering where you bought the ceiling light in the boys room? I love it!! I’ve been looking for something similar for our home gym.

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Lamps Plus!

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22.April.2014

Funny, I was thinking blue, too. But not navy blue…..but a blue/gray…..or a gray/blue. (Do I see more samples on the wall in your future?)

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Oh gosh, I have so many spots in my house that irk me! It’s funny how you thought something would work, or liked it for a little while, and then everything changes. We are planning a big renovation/addition, so I have been having to hold back on making any improvements for a while. I am DYING to decorate something. Ha!

Those stripes still look amazing though. Hope they will stay!

And don’t stress about the negative reader comments. You seem like a super wonderful mama with beautiful, healthy, happy children. Try to brush that stuff off and forget about it!

xo.

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22.April.2014

I always feel like I’m moving my stuff around. I’m currently getting tired of our furniture layout. We’re in a one bedroom with a baby and a dog so things need to be as efficient as possible, so I’m always trying to come up with a better layout. There is always an internal between coming up with a better layout and just leaving things they way they are until we move.

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22.April.2014

Your home is beautiful and although I love the boy’s bunk beds I do have to say that their room definitely lacks personality. Not your personality, their personality. Add some color, add wall art that peaks their interest, not yours. I look at the pictures of their room and think how sad. At least they have a basketball hoop hanging from their wall. They are only kids once. They should surrounded by all things bright, colorful, and fun. Good luck with the space. I’m sure you’ll make it work once it’s all said and done.

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22.April.2014

Have you considered color on the walls? A grass green would be nice with the black and white stripes, the whites/grays/neutrals, and the pops of red/orange and bring so much more personality to the space than another neutral. I love all the elements in the room, but I think color on the walls would really help! Can’t wait to see where you end up.

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22.April.2014

My decorating/design conundrum is currently our living room. It has to function as our TV viewing/play area/entertaining area. We thankfully have high ceilings, like 12′ in there. But, it’s not cohesive. We did an addition 4 yrs ago (to a house which was built in the 1890s as a small fishing/hunting lodge) which has a flat, white ceiling with 4 can lights. The original living room ceiling is covered with 2×2 striated plywood squares made to look like a checker board. The walls in there are pine paneling which has darkened over time, while the addition is drywall. The floors are not level, the addition is laminate, the original is hardwood. We have a large brick fireplace that sticks out into the room, which we repainted (from red to white) last year. I have NO idea how to make that space flow. The original floors are in bad shape, they were shellacked but the center wasn’t for whatever reason so they are bare and have to be covered with a rug at all times. Not ideal. Our curved 13 yr old, beat up sofa cuts the room in half and our backs are to the entry currently, also not ideal. Our TV is opposite the fireplace. The walls are light green. I am repainting later this spring, probably off-white. I could obviously go on, but I fear I could write a book!

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22.April.2014

Perhaps every mama is noticing their boys are getting bigger!! This past weekend we just got rid of the train table. Actually, my husband did, because I had been avoiding it. It is an end of an era. Am I right? Ransom is 7 and Blaise is 5. They needed more room to play on the floor. I am looking at their room and realizing the clothes are not fitting into the small dresser anymore. No matter how many times I purge the clothes (really do they need more then 5 pairs of blue shorts??) We may be moving soon and its a perfect time to *tweak. Its all a work in progress. Glad you are real when it comes to your life. I appreciate this. Embrace and enjoy the process.

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Our master bedroom has irked me since day 1. I’ve changed the paint color and layout numerous times, and I’m about to change things up again (hopefully) very soon. I refuse to stop until it feels “right”, like other spaces in my home that I just love.

Oh, and I even changed our hallway up more than once. I know it’s a lot of work to do, and re-do, but I don’t want to settle. I want to love every part of our home! :)

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22.April.2014

Hey Dana!
What about a deep dark navy or midnight blue on the walls, with a gallery of their artwork on one wall, using white and wood frames??
House tweaking is just too much fun…: )
Can’t wait to see more of the bathroom, too!!
Leah: )

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22.April.2014

Just my two-cents, but I think the room would look awesome with blue walls. Not light blue, but a deep blue or even navy.

Have fun!

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Hi, I was thinking the same a bold blue on the walls would look fantastic – with yellow or gold artwork or elements.
I really enjoy your great design, style and taste Dana!
looking forward :)

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22.April.2014

Have you thought about keeping the grey walls, adding color through a new (not so drab) rug, and fantastic art? I noticed all your rooms have texture (i.e. leather sofa, rattan curtains, soft rug, wood, and photography & tile = shiny.) Perhaps try adding those. You’ve got the wood. Kid friendly art can bring in both color and texture. A new rug could bring in fluffy and again more color. I say, keep the grey, but layer on just like your living room!!! you’ll make it great — no worries there!

The room just needs art!!! All these seem like an easy fit in your home:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/123670795/national-parks-checklist-map-print-on?ref=favs_view_14

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22.April.2014

Don’t worry about people who criticize about the toys! Kids are always so much happier when they have less. It’s sparks more creativity! I am a firm believer in the less is more attitude of life. Plus, all they do when they have tons of toys is dump them out looking for the one they want and then I end up picking everything up (:
Loved the room before, but always love to see your changes as well.

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22.April.2014

Where is the toy comment? And in any event, I think you will know what to do when you find the right accessory! I have built rooms on accessories and it usually happens when I’m not really looking for it!

BTW, I wish my kids had less toys!

Jazmin

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22.April.2014

Hi Dana- I love this post for so many reasons. Yes, I have a room that has irked me from day one and yes, we have too many toys. Perhaps you’ve felt me channeling you with my WWDD (what would Dana do) to solve some of my issues? Your approach to design and clutter is inspiring. I look forward to the evolution! Thank you!

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22.April.2014

Haha, loved reading through the comments about the basketball hoop and loud jumping boys. My boys are a little young, but actually made me want to get them one some day. Totally worth it if it gets used that much.

This room may “irk” you, but I’m giving you credit for showing me that I don’t have to have curtains in my son’s room–it’s also his play area and floor length curtains just don’t make sense!

And also, I like that you’re kids don’t have that many toys. I’m guessing they play with most all of them because they know what they have?

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22.April.2014

I’ve got three boys in a row and none of their rooms are complete – my girl’s room is decked out! So much more fun to decorate around a girl! I love your rug – it looks like Flor tiles, is that right?

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replied on April 22nd, 2014

Yes, it’s a rug made of Flor tiles. I works really well in here. It stays put even with lots of activity and traffic. It hides dirt. It’s low pile so Legos don’t get lost in it and we can easily roll the trundle bed out on top of it. It’s more function than form but I do like the texture, too.

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22.April.2014

I feel “stupid and guilty” about lots in my house… when we bought it, ALL of the walls and ceilings were painted beige, same shade, cardboard box. I painted every room and the ceilings and two years later I am going back around re-painting (the colors I think I really want now) before I have even finished some of my earliest projects. I have to keep myself on track by not letting myself move on until a room is a least 90% “done”. I have redone the same room twice, while a bookcase sits in my living room looking the same as the day we moved in… bad. Gotta focus.
Toys! Argh.. I am a director of a preschool, and we used natural, recycled, multi-purposes, “real” items and a few toys. Anyone giving you trouble about a toy has never handed a kid a new toy and have them walk off with the box it came in. Toys are not necessary, but experiences are!

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22.April.2014

I once painted our bedroom mint. Because, hi, mint is adorable. Except, it is (in my opinion) one of THE hardest colors to get the right tone. We ended up with neon green. In our TINY 10ftx10ft bedroom. The feeling instantly made me want to puke. My husband was fine leaving it but I slept in it one night and woke up instantly ready to drive to the store and purchase new paint. I ended up with a dark, deep charcoal color (not unlike the color of Mabrey’s room) and instantly LOVED it. It was a happy ending to my worst DIY mistake. Now if only I could figure out a way to put a good spin on the new eyeglasses I purchased that are all wrong… ah well.

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22.April.2014

[…] Moving right along in the boys’ room… […]




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