Monday, October 21, 2013

Four Years, Four Rooms

Every fall, Levi gets a new room.  Oops, didn't mean to be so terribly inconsistent.

October 2010 - Levi comes home, gets his first room

September 2011 - We move to Manheim apartment, Levi gets his second room

October 2012 - We move to Manheim townhouse, Levi gets his third room

August 2013 - On the day of his third birthday, I put away his crib, as he requested to sleep in the blue room with the twin sized bed (formerly the guest room), Levi gets his fourth room.

When I look back on each room - I am definitely cringing at some of the cramming of the furniture... That being said, without the rocking chair and crib, this last inception of Levi's sleeping quarters is my favorite.

I really really like the fact that he can get out all his toys and have room to play at the foot of his bed and it in no way interferes with the walking path of bed to door.

The same actually goes for matchbox cars, too.
Now, if I could just figure out what to do with all the stuffed animals (that don't really get played with very often anyway...

Bedroom Update - The "After"

To recap - I had a small room, I got an incredible offer from Kimberly Musser Design Consulting, she sent me a design board, and now I have some "after" pictures.  When I say "after," I use that term sooooo incredibly loosely.

For example, I still have a duvet cover that is 80% finished that I think is going to MAKE the room.

Also, I have a myriad of cables that could be more successfully hidden, but if you can look past it, so can I.  But seriously, we only have ONE outlet in the entire room.  

After seeing the design plan from Kimberly Musser Design Consulting, I made myself a mental list of things I could do in our room without spending ANY money!  
** A completely free makeover was only made possible by the fact that I already had a ton of stuff because we lived in a house twice the size of this one, and I have an entire bin of unused curtains in my basement.

Room to do list (thanks, Kim!)
- move the large armoire to the otherside of the room, switching places with the nightstand
- hang curtains - high, wide and to the floor

AFTER - armoire moved, curtains hung

AFTER - armoire moved, curtains hung
- move the large shelf holding Herb's clothes to the the other side of the room, put it on it's side
- hang shoe cabinets under TV
- hang stuff on the walls that I love

BEFORE - two TVs, tall shelf in corner
AFTER - one TV,  moved shoe cabinet, high curtains, wall stuff

AFTER - low and long clothing storage with stuff on walls
I don't LOVE this wall, but it's a big improvement!  And Herb likes that he has a shelf to display things from his grandfathers (pocket watch, Winross trucks).  Also, I literally picked up the new, lower shelf up on the side of the road.   

This is certainly not my "dream room" at this point (see my pinterest board "DREAM HOUSE"), and honestly, in this house, I don't think it ever will be.  But GOSH, I like it so much better.  The tall curtains lighten it up and break up the beige-awfulness.  The armoire in the far corner of the room is working great for clothing storage, too!  In fact, I cleared out one drawer to use as a make-shift nightstand since there wasn't room for one otherwise.

AFTER - night stand drawer

Another minor tweak was to the ceiling fan.  I traded the white globe out for a drum shade.

This little vignette was based on one of my favorite pins.  And of course, it was all stuff I already had!  The wheat/sticks are from my neighbors back yard.  I kind of love them.

AFTER - pretty happy things to see when I wake up
As for the color palette, right now I'm completely drawn to keeping things neutral.  Maybe once my white bedding is finished I'll be reaching for the greens and yellows like Kim recommended, but for now I think my granny-made quilt is stealing the color show, so I'll let her have her moment (although she's been having her moment for 7 years...move over girly!  A new duvet is coming to town.)

All in all - working with a designer was totally inspirational.  Having a fresh set of experienced eyes on my room broke me out of the mess that was my room.  Kim has a sophisticated sense of style, and was very willing to work with my non-existent budget.   I would definitely recommend her work!  It's amazing how someone can "re-do" a room without ever seeing it in person.  What a fun process!  Thanks Kim!

If you're interested in working with Kimberly Musser Design Consulting, pop on over to her facebook page and become a fan!

Bedroom Update - The Design Board

It took me six months to get to this point, but I'm so excited to share an update on my master bedroom project.  After I tried to make our small bedroom work, with no avail, I shared here how Kimberly Musser Design Consulting was going to be giving me some design advice for our super small bedroom.   

So, the most exciting part of this process was getting the initial email from Kim with the design board!  After I sent her room measurements and a million pictures of my bedroom and furniture, she sent me a PDF file with two floor plans, a bunch of fabric samples, and a 3-D view of her proposal.

Kim writes, "Here is my initial visual concept.  I know it looks like a lot of new, but the reality is, it is simply doing a lot of re-purposing of your existing pieces. Clearly, fabrics will change based on availability, but the green/salmon/yellow scheme is where I'd take it to lighten up the space a bit.  Your white duvet will do wonders in brightening things as well.

I would move your armoire to the opposite side of the bed. Why you ask? (maybe you didn't ask why, but in my head, I heard you wondering about my rationale, so I will include my rationale.).....Anyway, having such a large piece directly in front of where you walk in automatically makes things feel tighter.  Visual weight (scale) is important to consider in the placement of pieces.

Your bookcase storage piece? I say, paint that sucker white. Flip her on her side. Put baskets in the "cubbies" and add cushion on top w/ pillows. Equals as bench and storage AND clears up wall space above to do something special and interesting. (Wall space w/ interest is hard to come by in small spaces, but makes ALL the difference when you can work it in.  I'd also put your full length mirror right next to the end of what would become your new bench/storage system.

This frees up the other corner of your room to plop in a triangular piece of wood using L brackets. Put a green painted interesting old dining chair there, and you have a space to sit w/ your laptop, or whatever....and it adds what feels like a separate "space" within your space....which can also help to make it feel bigger.  Shoe cabinet would go on that wall as well (Perhaps adding decorative hardware would give the piece a feeling of more substance.)

I'd add color where you can on the cheap....this means curtains, accent pillows, cushion, chair....(you get where I'm going). If I can find a large enough rug on craigslist, my goal is to cover up the beautiful carpet that exists (even if a little bit of it pokes out)....

I was so excited when I got Kim's plans for our room - I couldn't believe my minuscule room and huge bed actually had OPTIONS!!  

Coming up next - some "after" pictures... and by after, I mean "in process until we have some $$."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Farm Show

It's going to be a long time until Herb and I buy a house again, but when we do, there are several must-haves... 3 beds, 2 bath, a space to teach music lessons, a space for a drum set, a crafting area, a playroom, on the parade route, and walking distance to the annual fair.

I just added those last two requirements tonight, because, guys, living in the "downtown" area is TOTALLY my thing.

For instance, this morning I jogged past the new music store, a coffee shop, two thrift stores, and a farm show.  At lunch time, Levi, Charlotte, and I popped in to the farm show for some quick playing time in the corn box.

And then this afternoon, Levi and I dragged the bench from our patio set to the end of the block and parked it on a main road (sidewalk) in order to reserve the best seat in the house for the Farm Show Parade that took place this evening.

A few hours later, Herb got home from work, the Bowman family met at our house to use our driveway and enjoy our company during the parade, and then we walked to the fair for dinner.  I HATE crowds, but I loved seeing pretty much the whole town getting dinner together.  Then, around 6:40 I was starting to panic, wanting to make sure we got back to our bench before the show started.

"The parade is starting!" I said when I saw a rush of people walking in one direction.
"No, that's everyone leaving the fair to go watch the parade," Herb assured me.

And as we walked back to our block (about .5 a mile away), I took in the scene.  Every house was lit, even on non-parade route streets.  People were tail house-gating everywhere.  It was so small town happy.  I LOVE it.

Our parade-watching group included Kylee and Justin (our friends from college, who actually were our neighbors during our first year of marriage), and their children (one of whom is a little boy Levi's age).  We quickly discovered that the louder you cheer for EVERY float, the more candy they throw.

Anyone want some tootsie rolls?  I was really loud.

Of course, Kylee and I were all sappy talking about watching thing through our sons' eyes...everything is new and special and exciting.

So, that's my recap.  Community is awesome.  Friends are awesome.  Fair food is awesome.

My heart is full!

PS - Do you see the older guy in the background in the picture above?  You see the cane in his hand?  He definitely used that cane to LITERALLY steak candy from babies.  Reaching for that Laffy Taffy?  Bam!  Cane attack.  It's a dog eat dog world, folks.