Tuesday, September 27, 2016

0 "Sea"ing Deep Blue in our Boy's Bedroom

Just before school started, we decided to give Parker his own room. We already had a lot of things shifting around the home, so why not add another right? But when it comes to the kiddos, I try to put their projects higher on our priority list. Parker and his older brother had been sharing a room for years, and although they are the best of friends, they were finally coming to a point of wanting their own personal spaces. Funny thing is that they have been having sleepovers in both rooms because they "miss" each other, which I find to be about the sweetest thing ever.

Putting in a workspace was the first thing I tackled in Parker's new room. Fourth grade seems to be the year when the kids really start receiving more homework assignments, so we wanted to be sure he had a distraction-free location to work from. Other than that, Parker had basically just taken over the guest room, as well as all of the guest room furniture, until I could sell a few of the pieces on Craigslist. Now that the bulk of the guest room furniture pieces are gone, we were able to move over the remainder of Parker's belongings into his new space. And to really make it feel like his space, it received a new paint color!

The room is far from complete (and these are just progress photos), but I wanted to share the new wall color which is an amazingly vibrant and brilliant blue; Behr's Infinite Deep Sea.

I originally planned on painting the walls a whitish blue hue and then using this paint color on the ceiling, but after a lot of samples on both the walls and the ceiling, I opted to throw the deep shade of blue on the walls instead. The color inspiration came from the temporary wallpaper we added to the workspace, and because it is almost like a tradition around here, it also has a sea themed name.

As much as I love the look of a color on the ceiling, I feared that it would make the room feel choppy with all of the rest that is/will be happening. And we are doing a lot of white walls in the lower level, so I was excited to do something much bolder here.

As with most paint colors, the shade tends to vary based on the time of the day and the lighting (and a few of these photos were shot early afternoon and a few others early evening). The color ended up being really great for our growing boy, and all of his colorful belongings really pop and contrast nicely around the room.

Wanting our little guy to feel as comfortable as possible in his new space, I pulled pieces from around our home to make it feel a bit more personal and finished. I think you will recognize quite a few of the items that I used, like his nightstand which was created by combining two IKEA Lack side tables together.

We added a foam mattress topper to Parker's bed, which gave it some height, so I gave the nightstand a little extra height by adding some furniture feet and a stained wood top. And because I love happy accidents, I was ridiculously excited that the recent DIY rope basket I made fit the opening of the nightstand like a glove. Now our boy can reach down and pluck his favorite stuffed companion before drifting off to sleep.

The bed was his from the other room; it was originally from IKEA and given a DIY upholstered headboard. There really isn't a theme for Parker's room, I just want it to be a reflection of him and things he loves. He requested some Minecraft art so we hopped on Etsy and he picked out two characters (this one and this one), which we were able to instantly download and print at home. The frames are from Target a few years back.

To the right of his bed I added his chalkboard/dry erase easel and a pouf. Eventually I hope to create a space on the wall for him to display all of this favorite pieces of art and photographs. The wool balls for the pom garland were also purchased on Etsy.

Last year one of our boys was moving our dining bench and accidentally dropped it, breaking off a leg. It sat unused because I couldn't stand getting rid of it, but the way it broke we weren't sure if we could ever repair it. Bryan finally worked his magic and was able to use some furniture pegs and wood glue to put it back together. So although it might not be reliable for daily dining use any longer, it is perfect for a little 9 year old boy and his reading nook.

It looks on the small side in the photo above, but it is just over 4 feet long and 20 inches deep and I find him lounging here often. In fact, I was even able to snuggle up here this weekend to read while Parker played nearby.

The acrylic holders were purchased quite a few years ago from here, and I just love their simplicity in displaying his books.

Not only was I selling a few things on Craigslist, I also purchased a new piece for Parker's room on Craigslist as well. Wanting a place for Parker to store his toys and treasures, I added a white cabinet with display doors.

Baskets from their playroom fit the cabinet beautifully, and hold all of the toys that only Parker plays with any longer. I also added some blue boxes for his small collections of nick-nacky toys and rocks and whatever else little boys put in their pockets, and a bowl to hold some trading cards.

The wood mirror has moved a few times, but maybe third time is a charm? I just love the way the warm wood plays with the deep blue wall color. It is also a great light bouncer to ensure the dark color doesn't make the room feel too closed in.

Parker wasn't too fond of the chandelier from the guest room, so until I can find him something permanent, we borrowed the light from our utility room. The industrial style fits his aesthetic well, but the practicality of it isn't all that great (the light shines down directly over the end of his bed but doesn't spread around the room). But to hold us over, I did take some time to wrap the cord kit with red baker's twine. It's a nice little touch.

And finally, because the color does look a little different throughout the day, the photo on the right is around mid-day and the photo on the left was taken early evening. And although it is slightly variable, we all really love it at all times of the day!

So that's the current status of Parker's new room! There are still a few little ideas and projects left on the list, like installing a proper closet system for his clothing, adding some crown molding and window treatments, DIY'ing a display cork board and de-prettifying the adjoining bathroom. And Parker has been sweet talking and putting together proposals for his dad to build him a treehouse bunkbed. But until then, I was just so happy to see a whole new space begin to form with just a can of paint, a charming Craigslist find and items from around our home.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

19 UHeart Organizing: Handy Helpers in the Kitchen

The best tips and tricks are those that are easy, inexpensive and make a positive difference in everyday life. And often times these little fixes are derived from a moment of weakness or frustration, but you see, that is the best part! It is fun to squeeze those lemons once in awhile.

And we all know by now that I simply adore everything that my friend Courtney does, from her big projects down to her little life hacks, and her tips today are no exception. Here she is now to share how she is already making lemonade in her new home.

Hey, I Heart Organizing Readers!! I thought it would be fun to share two extremely simple ideas that we recently implemented in our new home. Both were born of necessity and I already have friends implementing them so I thought it would be fun to share over here as well. One involves a new use for a sponge holder and one is just about thinking outside the box. Outside the cereal box! You'll see what I mean.


So here is the thing. We live in a world where our cell phones are always on hand. I wish that weren't the case but it's just the reality of things. When I am cooking in the kitchen I always have it nearby because I am either looking at a recipe or if the children are off to their activities I need the adult in charge to be able to get a hold of me. But I kept running into issues. Either I couldn't find where I put my phone down or it was getting wet and messy amidst my cooking mess. I don't have a huge amount of space near my stove so I like to keep it clutter free.

Here is what my counter usually looks like. No phone to be seen, right?! Ahhhh. This is my favorite part. Enter the sponge holder!

Slide my coffee maker to the side and the clear sponge holder is there in all it's glory. It's simply suction cupped to my tile. Yep. And it has not fallen once (although that could happen I suppose so let it be known I warned you). My husband thinks I am crazy for how happy this has made me. But now my friends have them, too and they are just as happy.

I picked this one up at Target. Nothing special about it other than the fact that it has changed my life in the kitchen.

I actually find that I stop carrying my phone around with me in the house, too. Unless I am going out, I keep it here. It's off of the counter and can no longer get wet and I can even charge it from here.

Because it's clear, you can see the entire screen and I can reference a recipe if I need, to. I also can glance over if I get a text and see if it's something I need to respond to immediately or if it's something that can wait until I am done cooking or prepping meals.

In true Jen fashion, I had to wrap my cord with washi tape! This cute navy floral print came in a pack of three from Target. So what do you think? Do you have a spot where a sponge holder could serve as your iPhone holder? If you can not suction cup this, you could remove those suction cups, turn the holder around and hang it with the small command metal hooks. They would slip right through those holes!


In our last home, we were in a groove with where we had our command center. We are still figuring that all out in this home and things were slipping through the cracks. A missed piano lesson while I was traveling was the impetus for this new system. I know that a calendar is nothing new, but for us it's thinking outside of the box and placing it where the children will see it EVERYDAY.

Do you see what the dry erase board is next to?! Yep. The cereal. My children eat cereal every morning, even if they have a hot breakfast, too. It's the first thing they eat when the get up at 6:00 am and we are still in bed. So, it's the cereal that dictated this move.

I picked up this weekly calendar from Target. I chose not to use the adhesive strips it came with as we just refinished our kitchen cabinets and I didn't want to damage them. So I picked up some of the picturing hanging Command strips. I also ditched the marker it came with as it did not work very well. Just FYI in case you see the same calendar when you are out and about. I also added some washi tape for color. Might as well make it pretty, right?

It fits perfectly in our space and we can now see all of the kids' activities in one spot. We also have reminders of things that need to be accomplished with the kids. We don't keep everything on this but just the after school events as well as reminders like library book day at school. So far so great and we are not forgetting any commitments. Best of all, this is transferring the responsibility to our children a bit as they are in charge of checking this before and after school. All thanks to cereal and snacks, they really can't avoid seeing their calendar! No more excuses.

Simple, simple, simple but these two changes in our kitchen have made a world of difference. I hope they inspire you to look for a really quick and easy solution, too.


Hi! I'm Courtney, the author of A Thoughtful Place. I am a mom to two and passionate about home decor, DIY, fashion, gatherings, and the occasional life lesson. I love finding simple and accessible ideas for infusing style into all aspects of life. While an average day can often be hectic, A Thoughtful Place hopes to inspire you to find beauty and style in each and every one.
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