Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Big Boy Room

Do you find yourself smiling to yourself when you think of something your little one has said or done….just out of the blue, you start laughing because this tiny little human that you created has become his own funny little person….I do it all the time. And, most people are sick of hearing my “my kid is so funny” stories….but, he is. To me, he is the most precious thing ever. I actually have two boys, however, only the eldest is capable of saying things that make me laugh so far. Although, I have a feeling that the baby will have his very own distinct personality and will make me laugh in completely different ways, for he, too, is also his own tiny little person. I cant wait to watch him become his own person....
 I think back to when I was carrying Gabriel and how inexperienced I was in the whole being a mom thing. In my hormone-crazed mind, I actually convinced myself that if my baby (gender unknown at this point) didn’t come home to the most perfect nursery, he would think that I didn’t care….I do know now that this was a completely insane state of mind….but, at the time, you could not have convinced me otherwise. Trust me, my mom and my husband both tried!! And so my hunt for the perfect nursery began. I went to all of the traditional baby stores: Babies R Us, Target, etc….verdict: the bed-in-the-bag thing just wasn’t for me…, I moved on to boutiques….verdict: beautiful and very expensive things, yet, still not my style. I knew that I would know what I was looking for when I saw it, but, I kept NOT seeing it. Frustrated, I took my mom on a scavenger hunt throughout Charlotte pawing through every fabric store in Mecklenburg County. I thought for sure that I would find a gender-neutral fabric that would inspire the entire nursery. Nope. And so I searched and searched….and still I found not one thing that provided any inspiration for this perfect baby room. At eight and a half months pregnant, I settled. I found yellow fabric in various prints and I sewed my perfect baby room together in time for him to make his arrival....and the whole thing was soooo….. underwhelming. I actually kind of secretly hated it….although, I wasn't going to admit it because I HAD to have my perfect nursery that I had driven my family insane with just so that my baby knew that I loved him, right? 
Now, what I haven’t mentioned is that in the midst of my search, my husband and I had wandered into an antique store. And, in this antique store was a vintage fire truck. Inspiration—there it was, the inspiration I had been craving, but, I didn’t know if I was having a boy or girl.  I told my husband, while standing in this antique store that if I knew for sure that we were having a baby boy, this vintage fire truck was all the inspiration that I would need to create a little boys room. A few days later, we were in Hobby Lobby, and wouldn’t you know, they had an entire section dedicated to firemen, fire trucks, hoses, boots, etc….I was in love with this idea, but, once again, not knowing the gender, I settled on those ugly yellow fabrics. Yellow fabrics that made me cringe….but, only on the inside….I was still not admitting that it wasn’t perfect.
I coped with my “not so perfect” perfect nursery for the first few months after Gabriel was born pretty well, because, frankly, a baby doesn’t need a perfect nursery….doesn’t even go IN their nursery for about three months….and, neither did I!! What did I think I had that bassinet next to my bed for anyway??  Yep, I was a bit of a moron when it came to the whole ‘new baby’ thing. I think my mom will appreciate the fact that I am now finally admitting it!!
When Gabriel was three months old, my husband and I decided to move back to Ohio, where we still had our home that Craig had designed and built himself (hence why we didn’t sell it while we lived in North Carolina for two years). THIS was my ‘out’ of my perfect nursery. Shouldn’t we leave the curtains to sell the house? Of course, we should….perhaps we should just leave the nursery intact….its a selling feature, right? They call that staging….we should just leave it….and, we did. We left a lot of that nursery behind, and, so, after we settled back into Ohio, I started creating what I considered the truly perfect nursery. I chose firetrucks and dalmatians as the theme for his room….and, this I loved.
With the news that baby #2 was to make his appearance last December, we decided that it was time to move our four year old into a “big boy” room. This allowed us to reuse all of the furniture that was in the nursery for the baby (as it was intended)  and to move some of our extra furniture (accumulated because of our short stint in NC) into Gabriel’s new room. With the onset of Pinterest, I had accumulated hundreds of pins over the last couple of years that provided great ideas for his big boy room transformation. I would show my carpenter husband these "easy" DIY projects and I could just see his one eyebrow raise when he was looking at it. Yep, he thinks I’m crazy again. Crazy and pregnant….thats me. But, accommodating as ever, he took my ideas and was able to collaborate with me and frankly, our collaboration turned out so much better than the original idea. 
As of today, this room is a work in progress, but, I want to post some inspiration pictures, get some feedback on the furniture that has all been reused and reloved and some even recycled to see what you think of our little boys was really a lot of work building, sanding, painting, sanding, painting and distressing all of these pieces and our motto throughout the process was: all for the love of the child.....

This has truly been a family affair!!

Building the bed. Craig and Gabriel are sanding it down and getting ready for paint. The original idea is posted below. My original thought was that this would be bookshelves turned on their sides in which we put baskets in the slots to store his toys. My husband, however, built (literally) on that idea and made the bed with slots underneath in order to store the toys.

Fabric used in the quilt.

This bookshelf was something that we toyed with throwing away....many times....and then we painted it and it is the perfect place to store my boys' many books, gadgets, pictures and awards.....Love it!! I am so glad we saved this.

Here is a dresser that we got for free on We were able to transform it from its original (not so great) condition into a very workable dresser.

And, of course, when I saw these drawer pulls, I had to have them.

Under the bed storage for toys, games, etc....

Because the bed covered the register that was on the floor, Craig was able to add duct work under the bed and reroute it so that the heat/air is still works like a charm....


Almost complete....we still have three sections of fabric and padding to add to the headboard and some finishing paint and trim and this will be complete.

This armoire was also something that we had thought about getting rid, glad we didn't. We sanded the original piece down, added a coat of primer, sanded again, painted two coats of black and antiqued the edges....and I am wowed that this is the same ugly piece we had in the family room.

My puff quilt....this is taking some time, but, it is on its way. I have about 25 more rows to go and then finishing the ends and adding the back....but, I am thrilled with how it is shaping up.....and, excited to get it finished because I think it will add so much to the final room.

Here is the rag rug that I is a 5x8 rug made by hand with fleece that I cut into strips and knotted....this took some time, but, I think it is so charming and the perfect place to curl up with a book or as my boy usually chooses, his headphones!!

Fabric Used in Quilt.

Fabric used in quilt.

The piece that made me fall in love with my fire truck inspired bedroom!!

Hobby Lobby pieces that just add some character to the room.

My pinterest idea that I thought would husband built the bed, but, used this as the reference.

Here it is....the fabric that made my heart soar when I found it. In the nursery, I used it as a duvet cover. However, in his big boy room, I will be using this as the curtains, the fabric that will be on the headboard and side of the bed and perhaps even around the edges of the quilt.

My Pinterest inspiration for the rag rug.

My Pinterest inspiration for the puff quilt.