...because home doesn't happen overnight.


After receiving several emails asking about our GULLIVER crib, I thought I would answer in the form of a post.


You may remember that I bought the crib last summer shortly after we moved into the Underdog. I liked the crib’s clean lines, price tag {it’s only $100!} and versatility.


Now that we’ve lived with the crib for over seven months, I think it’s safe to say I love it. I assembled it myself and it was easy. It’s sturdy without being bulky or heavy. It’s perfect for a small nursery {Mabrey’s room isn’t even 10′ x 10′} or the corner of a guest/master bedroom.


Miss Mabrey and her friend, Miss Strawberry.

The crib is petite but still works with a standard crib mattress. It’s just about the smallest standard-sized crib you could imagine.


Baby jail.

Mabrey is nine months old now and has started pulling up on furniture…including her crib. We lowered her crib mattress recently and it took about thirty minutes to do but was relatively easy.


The white painted finish has held up well to playtime in the nursery. There aren’t any scratches to report but I think you could touch up with a white paint marker if you had to. The boys love playing with Mabrey in her room but they save rough play for their room. No jumping in the crib!


Zorro leaves his weapons at the door.


Mabrey is growing like a weed. Growing, inevitably, like all babies do. It makes me a little sad. Especially since she is our last baby.


The crib will grow with her. One side can be removed when/if she starts to climb out OR whenever we feel the need to convert her to a toddler bed that she can get in and out of herself.


Once Mabrey has outgrown the crib, I’ll probably save it for my sisters. They’re younger than me and haven’t started families yet. I don’t see any reason why this crib couldn’t last through several children. The color and style make it gender neutral. And, again, you can’t beat the $100 price tag.

If you’re looking for a simple, modest and inexpensive crib, the GULLIVER comes highly recommended by me and I’ve heard similar things about other IKEA cribs. Do you have any experience with a small-ish, inexpensive crib that you’d like to share with other moms out there?

FYI – I wasn’t compensated for mentioning the crib. I just love sharing good finds!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

I was recently introduced to Fashion for Home, an online modern furniture and accessories store based in the UK. Even though I’m not able to shop here in the U.S., I was drawn to the store’s modern masculine style. I said from the very beginning of our downsizing journey that I was leaning towards a slightly more masculine aesthetic for this house. thought it would be fun to share ideas for incorporating a masculine feel into any space. First, though, let me address what my idea of masculine is not.

In my world, masculine isn’t only for males. It’s not a sparse bachelor pad. It’s not a dark man cave. It’s not a sports themed room. It’s not a trophy room. It’s an aesthetic that anyone, male or female alike, can work into their home if they choose to. It’s all about comfort, ease, simplicity, practicality. Here are my tips for making it masculine:

1 – Keep it simple. Whether you’re contemplating something little such as a lamp or something more prominent like a furniture arrangement, choose the less complicated version. For the lamp, clean and straight lines fit the bill. Think tripod lamp. For the furniture layout, place two chairs opposite a sofa and call it a day. It’s all about no fuss. Avoid intricate or elaborate designs. Filigree, fringe and floral are examples of more feminine designs.

2 – Less is more. Purge! Keep only what you need and love. Stick with the basic furniture pieces and add minimal accent pieces. For example, if you have a coffee table in front of your sofa, do you really need to flank the sofa with two end tables? Or if you like the idea of two end tables then maybe skip the coffee table. Keep clutter and accessories to a minimum. Opt for one large canvas painting as opposed to a frame-filled wall. Or adorn a dining table with one oversized vase as opposed to several smaller vases. Corral items you do keep in a simple bookcase for a unified look.

3 – Bigger is better. Choose large scale pieces as opposed to daintier options. For example, a sectional with clean lines would be a more masculine choice than a settee with curvy legs. Be careful. You want to keep the proportion of your large scale pieces in sync with the size of your space. Use the largest size that your room will allow without it hogging literal and visual space. You still need to be able to move around comfortably. Supersizing goes for accessories and patterns as well. Lean a tall floor-length mirror against a wall or use a rug with wide stripes in a family room. Even though you have less items {see #2}, the items you do incorporate will have more presence.

4 – Go neutral. Warm whites, taupe, charcoal, heather gray, deep navy, saddle brown and black are great masculine colors for furniture, textiles and walls. Purchasing mainstay items in a neutral color is practical. It allows you to switch out accessories {pillows, fresh flowers, artwork, etc.} when the mood strikes – at little cost.

5 – Play with contrast. To keep things from becoming boring or sterile, mix materials, colors and textures. Use a warm wood mirror in an all white tiled bathroom. Place a glossy white coffee table in front of a worn leather sofa. Spread a plush textured rug onto a shiny wood floor. Separate matching upholstered chairs with a rustic side table. Use an array of materials: wood, stone, glass, metal, natural fibers. Likewise, if your walls are light {white or gray} go with at least one piece of furniture in a darker color {charcoal, saddle brown, black}. In a bedroom consider cozy taupe walls and white bedding.

6 – Comfort rules. Choose furniture and fabrics that encourage lounging. Opt for deep-seated sofas and clean-lined chaises. Forget satin, silk and lace and choose soft cotton, breathable linen, worn leather {faux or real} or fluffy sheepskin {again, faux or real} instead. Making your space comfortable doesn’t only benefit you but guests as well. Create a casual environment for you, your family and friends.

7 – Get outdoorsy. Bring the outdoors in with a branch display or a rustic bench. Keep window coverings spare to allow views to the outside. Add skylights or glass doors and watch the natural light pour in. Things should feel as easy and casual inside as they do outside.

There you have it. My take on masculine style. Of course, you can take it as far as you want. The more you tips you apply, the more masculine the look. The less tips you apply, the less masculine the look. I love the idea of mixing in a little femininity here and there to keep things interesting.

I’m incorporating all of these ideas to some extent in my own home. My furniture arrangements are practical and simple which works well in our small space. I’ve edited our belongings – from clothing to toys to furniture and everything in between – down to only the things we use frequently and love. We built a huge 9′ island in our modest eat-in kitchen. Our kitchen is black and white. Our family room sofa is saddle brown leather. The majority of our walls are painted a light beige-gray. We have a mix of walnut and granite countertops in our kitchen. Our sofa is extra-long and deep-seated for comfy lounging. We added skylights and french doors to bring in more natural light. My long-term goal for our house is for it to feel like a well-worn pair of jeans and comfy t-shirt. Easy, casual, effortless.

Do you have any other tips for making a space feel masculine? Share!

This post brought to you by Fashion for Home. However, all thoughts and words are my own.

images: Fashion for Home