...because home doesn't happen overnight.
The horse blanket isn’t the only new thing at the foot of our bed. But before we get to it, let’s back up for a minute.
Our bedroom is rectangular in shape. We placed the bed on one of the smaller walls, opposite the bathroom, which is really the only feasible location for a bed in this room. I haven’t mentioned it before but the area between the foot of our bed and bathroom is a decent size. And it has always felt a little empty. I’m all for open space in a room but it felt like something should be there – either a bench or a pair of ottomans. Something. I hadn’t taken it any further than that though. I mean, a bench wasn’t completely necessary and we were getting along fine without one.
Then one of my friendly sponsors, Rove Concepts, sent me an email asking if I might be interested in a piece of their furniture. I politely decline the majority of these types of requests because they don’t jive with my purpose and / or aesthetic. And I turned this one down as well. But six months later I received another email from them so I quickly glanced at their inventory to see if anything caught my eye. When I came across the Barcelona bench inspired by Mies van der Rohe, I was smitten. It was the ideal scale and style. I ordered the 52″ length in natural ash with a palermo caramel cushion. It had a twelve week lead time but finally arrived two weeks ago and it’s practically perfect in every way.
As I was assembling it, Steve and I had a moment. We didn’t feel worthy of this bench. It’s a true work of art. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are impeccable. The bench is one of those forever pieces that’s crazy versatile. It’s sturdy and has a presence to it without feeling heavy…if that makes any sense. I like that it sits up off the floor with open space between the seat and floor. That gives it a lighter feel than, say, a slipcovered bench with a skirt.
The leather is beautiful. It’s the perfect shade of caramel with flawless tufting and piping. It’s so soft, smooth and supple. Like butt’ah. It will only get better with age and wear. I love the natural patina that worn leather takes on over time. The warm hue of the cushion picks up on the wood tones of the nearby dresser, chair legs and bathroom mirror.
Our bedroom can be a flurry of activity with three kids who like to romp on the bed and only one functioning bathroom which also happens to be the adjoining master bath.
Fun fact #1: I make the bed every morning but it rarely stays that way.
Fun fact #2: Sometimes there is a line for the potty in our bedroom.
Our bedroom definitely isn’t a kid-free zone. Often times, all five of us can be found hanging out in here. The bench sorta acts like a buffer for our bed and provides extra seating, too. It’s a welcome addition. (Mabrey loves climbing onto the bed via the bench.)
I haven’t cheated on my mattress and taken the bench for a sleeping spin (yet!) but the thought has crossed my mind. And that awkward space between our bed and bathroom? It’s not awkward anymore. The bench shrunk the barren area but we still have plenty of room to move around without feeling cramped.
While I’m happily working for and claiming the Barcelona bench, I understand that it may overreach some budgets. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend it. However, if you’re in the market for a similar bench with a smaller price tag, may I suggest this, this or this?
I’m curious. Do you have anything at the foot of your bed? A bench, a pair of ottomans, a trunk? Maybe you prefer nothing?
Stay tuned for a Rove Concepts giveaway later today! I told you those peeps were friendly.
This post was sponsored in part by Rove Concepts. All images and opinions are my own.
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
There’s a short hall that connects our mudroom / dining room and great room. (You can see the original man door to the garage that we still need to trim out and paint. Sometimes the littlest projects take the longest. Grrrr.) It’s so short that I’m not sure it even qualifies as a hall. But we refer to it as a “hall” nonetheless.
Way back when I painted the mudroom (for the third time), I had the inclination to DIY a magnetic display wall in this deficient hall. I thought it would be fun to display the kids’ creations and give the pass-through something. I rolled on four coats of Rustoleum magnetic primer and two coats of paint on top of that to match the rest of the room. Then I hung the kids’ works of art…with one major snafu. The wall was barely magnetic. No magnets would stay on the wall, let alone a magnet plus a piece of paper. I followed the directions to a T and even added an extra coat or two but the magnetic property of the wall was weak at best. I’m not sure what went wrong.
So the kids’ art was moved to the quintessential home gallery – the side of the refrigerator – and my magnetic wall was forgotten. I added word magnets to the fridge when Everett was learning to read and quite liked the messy display of brightly colored rainbows and jumbled words. If you ask me, every family needs at least one vertical surface on their fridge smothered in rainbows, stick people and barely legible love notes.
At some point, someone (I think it was Steve) had the idea to leave funny messages on the magnetic wall using the word magnets. They stuck! The magnetic force wasn’t super strong but the words stayed on the wall and that’s all that mattered.
My magnetic wall wasn’t a lost cause after all! I just needed magnets with a decent magnetic surface area.
Enter StickyGram. (This is not a sponsored post, btw.) You’ve probably heard of this before but if not StickyGram allows you to turn your instagram photos into 2″ x 2″ magnets. They are a little pricey ($14.99 + free shipping for a sheet of nine) so I waited until they were running a sale earlier this year to order several sheets.
For Valentine’s Day I thought it would be fun to create a heart-shaped display using my StickyGrams and barely magnetic wall. The little magnets stick! There are a few duplicates that will eventually make their way to Steve’s file cabinet at work. Can you spot them?
The heart could stand to be larger but I think it will be fun to add more StickyGrams over time. My goal is to cover the entire wall someday.
For fun, I added “love always” with our magnetic words. You could go crazy and add all kinds of phrases if you wanted.
I love how the colorful images look against the dark wall. The magnets read as one display from a distance but then you get closer and the individual images draw you in.
This is definitely a cutesy V-day idea that could hang around all year long. Instalove!
BONUS – Use the code “FRIENDKU0H” (that’s a zero, not the letter “O”) to score $2 off your first purchase.
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images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
So many times I get asked, “What if Mabrey had been a boy? What would the nursery look like then?” I thought it would be fun to turn my answer into a mood board and share it with you. Here we go. The nursery. Boy edition.
First off, the room’s layout would remain the same. It just works so I wouldn’t mess with it. There are so many items in Mabrey’s nursery that I love and would work well in a baby boy’s room, too. I would definitely keep most of the larger, basic items. The crib, the changing table with baskets & bins, the mirror, the wall shelves, the rocking chair, the trunk under the window, the ceiling light, the rug, the woven shade, the deer head…all that would stay. (For the sake of keeping the mood board simple, I show only a few of these items above but all of them would remain in the room.) The majority of this stuff hails from Ikea. The rocker and woven shade are from Overstock. The trunk was a wedding gift. The rug is from West Elm. The deer head is from White Faux Taxidermy.
I am still head over heels for the wall color. It’s Benjamin Moore dark pewter and I would use it all over again. (That’s saying a lot as I have been known to paint a room three times before I land on the perfect hue.) It’s a deep, moody gray blue with green undertones. It makes the small room feel oh-so-cozy and is conducive to sleeping. And I like sleeping babies – boy or girl. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with boys and pink but I think it would be fun to add red-orange, mustard and green accents against the dark walls along with a lot of white for contrast.
On to the items I would change. The pattern on Mabrey’s curtains is pretty feminine. I would hang these at the window and closet instead. As for the DIY art above the crib, I would probably DIY a gradient wood stain for the same effect but a more masculine look. So it would go from a natural to rich wood tone. But since you guys don’t have this exact empty frame hanging around at your house, I also love the idea of DIYing a big wooden Ohio and painting a small heart or star in the location where my baby boy was born. (The Ohio in the mood board is an ornament but you get the idea.) I would pair all white bedding with a colorful quilt. I really like this vintage kantha. And I would bring in more color and pattern with pillows (here, here, here and here) and scatter them throughout the room in the crib, on the trunk and on the rocker. Two or three green rope baskets (eek! They sold out in between creating the mood board and writing this post but they’re from Target.) would corral toys and sit on the floor below the wall shelves. To bring a little more life to the open shelves, I’d add green boxes and framed nature photography.
All that’s left to add is a bouncing baby boy! Don’t get me wrong, I love my babygirl and her room. But sometimes it’s fun to re-imagine a room for someone else. Or is that just me?
P.S. – A few more shots of M’s room these days…
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking
Hey everyone! I survived Alt and will be sharing a synopsis of my experience later on this week. In some ways it was what I expected and in other ways not. To be continued…
Mabrey is almost twenty-two months old and still takes a bottle. (Per our pediatrician’s recommendation, I give her coconut milk due to an issue with dairy.) She refuses to drink milk from anything but her bottle. I’m not worried but I think it’s interesting to see how my views on the topic have changed from baby #1 to baby #3.
When my boys (now 8 & 5 years old) were babies, the day they turned one I got rid of all bottles. I breastfed them both but they stopped nursing and started bottles on their own before age one. At the time, I thought I was doing the “right” thing by banning bottles when they turned a year old. They didn’t fight me on the matter but it did take them a few weeks to accept milk from a cup.
With Mabrey, it’s almost laughable to see how far I’ve loosened the mama reins. And it’s not just the bottle, either. I’m more flexible all around, figuratively speaking. What’s that Mabrey? You wanna stay up late and dance naked in the living room to pop music? You wanna eat food off the floor? You want me to read you books instead of lay you down for a nap? …oh, okay.
I hadn’t really thought about the bottle thing until recently when someone asked when I had stopped giving Mabrey bottles. I got the look when I said she still took them. Mabrey flat out refused all bottles and solid foods until she was ten months old so when I consider that, she’s only been taking a bottle for a year.
But like I said, I’m not worried. Mabrey doesn’t need a bottle to fall asleep. She doesn’t carry it around with her all day. In fact, she usually feeds herself on a floor pouf in the living room then walks her empty bottle over to the kitchen sink when she’s finished. (She’s the tidiest toddler I’ve ever encountered! She’s always making messes but is quick to clean up.) Although I suppose when a toddler says “I wanna baba o’ milk” maybe it’s time for milk in a cup? Maybe I’m subconsciously okay with the bottle because I know she’s definitely my last baby and I’m trying to milk (sorry for the pun) every last drop of the baby phase?
I don’t have any definite plans to wean Mabrey from her bottle and I don’t think there’s a concrete “right” time for all babies to be weaned. They’re so different in so many ways, aren’t they? Still, I’m curious as to when and how you stopped giving your baby a bottle. If you have more than one child, have you loosened the mama reins with subsequent children as well?
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking