A Moodboard Comes To Life

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Well, it’s late on Sunday night as I sit down to write this post. We just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Northern Virginia, where we did everything from helping John’s sister with a bedroom update to buying some stuff for the nursery. So today we’ll be chronicling ten things that we helped Carrie shop for, hang, and install into her bedroom for a nice little “adult upgrade.” And here’s Carrie now…

She recently asked us to help her to create a “grown up bedroom” after saving up some cash over the last few years since our painting sesh in her apartment back in 2011 (remember that?). She told us that she was ready to spring for a few nicer items – like an upholstered headboard, more substantial side tables, two table lamps, new art or a mirror for over the bed, and some updated bedding. So we got to work hunting down some options for her to choose from, while working with some of the things that she already had (like her Ikea curtains from 2008, the paint color we rolled on a few years back, and the green and tan area rug that she’s had for a while).

The vibe that she wanted was “that-soothing-mostly-white-hotel-room-meets-Olivia-Pope’s-bedroom vibe” (that’s literally how she described her dream bedroom to us). So we just got together and watched a bunch of Scandal on the DVR with big ol’ glasses of red wine in our hands and willed the room to redo itself. Just kidding, we shopped, assembled, and finished her room in about 24 hours this weekend (after ordering a number of things beforehand). So here’s how it looked when we got there on Saturday morning (don’t mind the missing bed skirt that usually hides the stuff under the bed):

And here’s a moodboard that we made for the room, just because it’s fun to see how moodboard items can “translate” to real life (and we have some real-life after photos right within this post – so there’s about to be some instant gratification!). Oh but it probably helps to mention that this board didn’t get tossed together all at once – it was more of a slow-build over a few weeks’ time (we showed Carrie a ton of options in a bunch of price ranges for many of these objects so that she could make the call and choose what she truly liked best – especially since it was her moolah and her room).

  1. We thought two of these Pier 1 pillows (on clearance for $14.98) would look nice in front of the white shams on her bed.
  2. This geometric brass-framed mirror for over the bed gives off that hotel-chic vibe (and it’s just $39.99 from Target).
  3. We thought this on-clearance soft seersucker king-sized bedding would add some nice texture (we always love a king-sized duvet/quilt/coverlet for a queen-sized bed, just because it provides extra drapey-ness)
  4. This $29 beaded metallic pillow is a fun complement to the green pillows, while tying into some other brass-toned choices in the moodboard.
  5. A set of two of these shapely chic lamps were $149 from Joss & Main (Carrie loved the posh brass bases and finials).
  6. This curvy queen-sized upholstered headboard was another Joss & Main find for $269 (the brass nail-head details sealed the deal).
  7. Carrie actually found these dapper little castered brass side tables from Ballard Designs herself (at 15% off) – and we all loved how they tied in with other items we’d been eying for her.

Those last three items were obviously more in the “splurge” category – but it was fun to mix in clearanced pillows and some discounted bedding along with a nice upscale-looking-but-affordable mirror. So here’s her room now, after adding those seven things (well, ten since there were two green pillows, two lamps, and two side tables).

It’s amazing how much the room has changed. The big curvy headboard and brass-framed mirror instantly added a ton of polish, and for some reason even the ceilings feel higher.

And things like those charming white ceramic lamps on the brass side tables…

…along with the textured new bedding and pillows, have added even more of that upscale, soothing-as-heck vibe.

It was really nice to work with some of the things she’s had for a nice long time, like those six year old curtain sheers and the existing rug. We also brought over two of these faux topiaries that we’ve had forever as a little room-warming gift for her windowsills.

As for Carrie’s reaction to the room, it was pretty awesome (come to think of it, I wish we had gotten it on film). She said she loved it about a million times, and even texted us later to say “I don’t think I said thank you enough. I’m in love with the bedroom. It looks better than I ever thought it could. Thank you! Thank you!” Is she sweet or what?

We also grabbed these detail shots for you, just to show that when you’re going for the white-on-white-with-with-small-pops-of-other-colors thing (like green and gold), you don’t want everything to be the same texture, because that can end up looking kind of flat. So instead, if you’re going with a somewhat monochromatic pattern, it’s fun to layer in some different materials, sheens, textures, and subtle patterns.

For example, in one pretty small space you can find all of these things in the mix:

Oh and one simple organizing detail that we loved about Carrie’s apartment was this hook rail that she had hung for her chunky necklaces a while back. It’s such an easy and functional way to see all of her statement necklaces, and she says she wears them a lot more (and it helps to keep them from getting tangled up in a drawer). So I couldn’t resist sharing a shot of that:

So a big thanks goes out to Carrie for the fun challenge and for letting us share her bedroom with the internetz. We’ll be back with some more DIY stuff for you this week (and an awesome thrift store find for our own house!) since this was pretty much just hunting/hanging/installing stuff. We’re just so glad that that Carrie’s sweetly smitten with her “new” bedroom, and that we could see a mood board come to life and share it with you guys! What did you do this weekend? Was anyone else at Ikea on Sunday night? It was a madhouse. But sort of a fun madhouse…



And So The Nursery Begins…

Yeaaaaaah, baby – it’s nursery time! Pun most definitely intended. The last time we shared a shot of this room (in this post) it was looking like this. Totally newborn ready, right?

We started on Clara’s nursery in February and she was born in May, so it felt right to get moving in there now that it’s January (since the barnacle is due in April). We’ve had so many ideas swirling around in our brains for the last month after finding out we were having a boy, that waiting a hot second before running in there and going to town has been nice because the projects and ideas that we truly love have had a little time to float to the top.

We’re leaning towards using bold green along with graphic black & white (although we’re sure almost every color of the rainbow will end up in there in small doses) and we’d also love some natural elements (wood furniture, woven baskets, bamboo blinds, etc). As for the mustache doll, Clara picked one out for her brother at a craft sale we went to recently, so he’s just in there for fun, along with the same green alligator toy that Clara played with as a baby.

The whole green accent color idea actually came from the bike prints that John framed in rustic homemade wood frames for our last house’s sunroom. Here’s a detail shot of those awesome rich-wood frames…

… and here’s my favorite shot from that post. For obvious reasons.

We think they’ll make for awesome large scale art in the nursery, and from there we can layer in things like a black and white striped bench, a neutral rug, bamboo blinds, built-ins to flank the crib that are spaced to accommodate a twin sized bed in between them (longwise) – or even a full-sized bed (widthwise) for when the barnacle is older and no longer chilling in a crib like a villain angel.

So our starting point for the room is definitely that bike art, but our first purchase for the room actually snuck up on us. We were in HomeGoods and saw this big 100% wool rug, and something about it just had us at hello.

Even Clara was smitten.

Within five minutes we were checking out with it and stuffing it into the car. It’s an 8 x 10′ 100% wool Martha Stewart rug by Safavieh and it retails for $800 but it was marked down to $399. We liked that it was soft (not scratchy) and had a cool pattern on it that was somewhat subtle (so it won’t compete with other bolder patterns, like a thick black and white stripe on something, for example).

But the room was hardly rug ready, so we had some cleaning up to do when we got home with it. After we put all that stuff where it really should go (either in other closets/rooms/or the storage room) it looked a lot better – and we were able to take our traditional “us in the room before we start on it” photo.

We did one of them in Clara’s nursery before we started on that back in 2010 (apparently I automatically pop up onto my tip-toes whenever I’m in a picture next to tall John).

And then we snapped this one when we were done, so we’re planning to do that in the nursery here as well. It was fun to compare how my bump changed after three months, and sort of hilarious that I “popped early” and just seemed to stay that big – well I grew a little more – in the last trimester).

Here’s the nursery now with the rug in it. It’s looking pretty big here since it’s shoved up against that side and back wall, but we think once we center it and load in the room it’ll hopefully be great.

We’re loving everything from the tone-on-tone pattern to the nice wool feeling underfoot. Just ignore those unpainted walls and that half-constructed crib…

Rug close up. Hubba hubba.

So there’s still lots to do, but it’s progress! We’re sure our to-do list will continue to evolve as we go, but here’s a first-thought brain dump for ya:

We’re planning to document this nursery’s evolution exactly the same way that we did Clara’s: in real time as we go. We created hers over the course of three months and 17 posts (cleaning the room, painting the walls/ceiling, going shopping, crib hunting, adding curtains/blinds, getting a crib, painting & hanging a mirror, finding a chair, making a faux sheepskin, refinishing her dresser, adding drawer liners, organizing her closet, making a crib skirt, making a mobile, building nursery shelves, adding art, and sharing the full reveal when it was 100% bean-ready).

So while we expect that many of the steps that we take will change this time (we don’t need a crib, but we want to add built-ins), it’s safe to assume that over the course of the next three months, we’ll probably share one or two updates a week as we go (along with progress in other rooms, showhouse updates, etc). We have a few loftier goals for this space (like built-ins, sconces, and chunky crown) so it might be down to the wire, but no matter what we hope to be done by mid April.

Oh man, it’s pretty crazy to think that in a few short months we’ll be a family of five (Burger counts!) with a former junk-room-turned-functional-bedroom for our littlest family member. I’m all grinny and hyper over here. Is anyone else working on a nursery? Do you have a big ol’ to-do list and a permasmile on your face? Or do you have memories of creating a bedroom for your little one that you’d like to share? I can’t get enough of that stuff.