Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dusk on a Spring Evening

As we were heading upstairs for baths and bedtime tonight, I was caught by the wonderful light at dusk that made this room glow. This room receives wonderful light at the end of the day, but unfortunately we are rarely in the room during that time. 

So I took a quick photo so that I could savor it for awhile. 

There are three large lilac bushes in our yard, and I am so excited for the day when they start to blossom. Many of the trees are showing buds, and bulbs are beginning to push through the earth. 

It's such a wonderful time of the year. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Little Dumplings' Room

The second upstairs bedroom in our rental house is quite small. So, we had to be creative in finding ways to make the space work for our needs - primarily, to provide a cozy and safe place for our dumplings to sleep.

Looking at the room when we moved in (above), our 'to do' list included patching the plaster in a few places, applying a fresh coast of no VOC paint to the ceiling and walls, and giving the floors a good cleaning. 

Next, we needed to come up with a bed, and some other items. 

I thought that finding an antique full-size bed would be a breeze. Hadn't I just seen a million of them over the years? Well, I looked in antique stores in three counties (with two little ones in tow), and afterwards resorted to Craigslist - something I had never done before. 

Eventually, I found this lovely bed (photo from original ad), though perhaps for a bit too much money ($200). 

 The bed wasn't what I originally intended for the space (I was looking for a light wood bed). But weeks had passed and we wanted to get the bedroom set up before the holidays. 

First order of business was to paint the bed light blue. Blue you say? Well, I ordered the paint online using a color wheel that I had on hand. Let's just say it turned out a bit lighter than hoped. It is a very light blue color, which we ultimately made a decision to leave for various reasons (primarily, cost and time).

Since this is the first time I've ever painted furniture, I was at a loss as to what sheen would be most appropriate. So I asked my friend and amazing interior designer Amy Meier and she said eggshell - for durability! 

To start to make the nest cozy, I used organic pillows (a long body pillow for padding the headboard and two infant pillows), with flanged slipcovers that were made by Patricia Banner of Cottage by Design. Patricia is my go-to custom sewer and she is wonderful. I sent her organic fabric that I liked, she sent me some ideas, and together we came up with a plan for them. 

She's also made other things for me - a special pillow case and a changing table skirt

After trying a half dozen curtain options (all patterned), in the end I recycled curtains that we had purchased for our first house rental. I had to have them hemmed a bit as the ceilings are quite low upstairs. They may appear a tad grey in this photo because there are black-out liners hanging behind them. 

The chair doesn't really get used much, but I like the texture it adds to the room. The walls are so delicate (two hundred year-old plaster), and the floor space so limited, that there isn't much room for anything else. 

But it's cozy and that's good for a bedroom. 

So the small space works well enough. All of the toys are kept in the big play room downstairs. 

I removed the right side-rail to take these pictures but you can see the left side rail in this photo. Patricia Banner made covers for them from 100% linen using the original polyester covers as templates. They create a very nestlike feel which is perfect for little three year-old hatchlings. xo

At the foot of the bed, we keep a basket for bed time books. 

Bed time books and friends. 

Other things I would do to this room if we owned the house include adding a lovely colored stencil on the walls. 

I would also try to find a slender dresser to keep pajamas in, and perhaps even install some bookshelves on the wall. 


Full-sized organic bed, full size organic wool comforter, organic body pillow and organic infant pillows: The Clean Bedroom 
Organic fabric for pillow sleeves: Organic Cotton Plus 

Organic full-fitted sheet: Gaiam 

Light blue paint, eggshell, Air 06: Yolo
Flat white wall paint, Imagine 01: Yolo 

Everything else was recycled from our old house. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A New Chair

We were in need of a chair for our new office. But finding just the right one (and within our budget) didn't come easily. That is mostly because there is just one antique mall in our general region that fits a double stroller, so my search area was limited. 

At last, I found the chair I was looking for. I actually found it a month ago but didn't buy it because I thought I would find something I liked even better. But after looking at local auctions (online photos of their inventories), monitoring Craigslist, and peeking into a few antique stores (while Mike waited out in the car with the dumplings), I realized just what a great find it was. 

That's usually how it goes when you're looking for something you've never really looked for before and you come across an intriguing option. It takes some time to understand if what you have found is indeed a good find. 

When I returned to the antique store this past weekend, the chair was miraculously still there. 

And on sale - for $60. 

The upholstery features a beautiful needlepoint with warm tones. I will eventually reupholster it (much like what Phyllis did at Henhurst Interiors). But for now, I will enjoy the roses, and the femininity and grace they offer. 

The arms have nice carved details in the wood and little padded arm rests, which I thought were quite lovely. I also like the warmth of the lighter wood, which accents similar tones in the library table. 

The chair also has fluted legs, which is a detail I love.

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