This time last year we had just wrapped up our first book tour stop in Cincinnati, where we learned how much fun it was to put faces to some of the names that we knew from comments and the blogosphere at large. And now, we’re actually able to put a room makeover to one of those faces & names, so check out Sarah’s redesign of her son Carson’s room, both of whom we crossed paths with back in Ohio last October.
Hi John & Sherry! I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at your first book signing here in Cincinnati, and my boys were the ones who scribbled all over your signing book (which I still feel really bad about). Anyways, I just finished redesigning my youngest son Carson’s (aka the scribbler’s) room after taking him out of his crib last year. This room has come a long way since we took out the crib (gulp) last year:
When I started planning Carson’s room, he asked for a Cincinnati Reds/Dino room. After some unsuccessful persuasion to steer him in another direction, I decided to embrace his requests and just go for it. After all, it’s his room, right?! And everyone (even 3 1/2 year olds) deserve a space that reflects them and that they enjoy spending time in. So my goal was to incorporate baseball and dinosaurs…
Since the bed is so low to the ground and there was such a large space on the wall to fill, I knew I wanted something oversized to hang up there, but I was terrified that Carson would pull it down and get hurt. I made the chalkboard by painting a square with chalkboard paint right onto the wall and then attaching 1×4″ planks of pine (also right into the wall) to create the frame. Now I have a blank canvas and the “art” can change as quickly as Carson changes his mind (which is quite often)!
On the other side of the bed, I used a small $7 Ikea shelf to make a floating nightstand and turned a $10 wire basket from Home Goods into a rolling book cart.
Some invisible floating book shelves (by Umbra) fit perfectly in between the two windows and hold all of Carson’s favorite books. I made the roman blinds myself using Premier Prints ZigZag Twill Storm fabric from fabric.com. The design with the grommets on the bottom happened as I accidentally cut the fabric too short for the blinds and had to come up with a solution to lengthen them. Best mistake I ever made! I LOVE how they turned out!
My absolute favorite part of Carson’s room has to be his gallery wall. The red cabinet from Ikea was my inspiration for the red ceiling and is great for storing (aka hiding) all his toys. I knew I wanted to keep the walls neutral and the furnishings sleek and simple, so the red ceiling was the perfect solution to bring in some bold color without overwhelming the space.
I had so much fun doing this and I’m thrilled that Carson loves his room! – Sarah
First things first – Carson may have been the first to scribble in our book tour book, but he certainly wasn’t the last. And we loved every “child masterpiece” that we were left with. I mean, how can you not look at this and smile?
But more importantly, how much fun is Carson’s room? Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! I feel like dinosaur + baseball is the type of curveball we’ll get from Clara as time goes on (wait until you hear what she wants to be for Halloween) so I love that she ran with it. And Sarah has a lot more photos and helpful links to all of her sources and DIY projects over on her blog. But first, what’s your favorite part? Sherry is obsessed with those happy-accident grommets at the bottom of the blinds along with the red ceiling and I’m all about that clever can’t-fall-down art over the bed along with the rolling wire book bin.
Karin is a pet photographer from Minneapolis and apparently when she’s not snapping pretty pictures of pooches, she’s busy creating a pretty darned awesome kitchen. We know you guys like to a see non-white kitchens when those come in, and this one is actually an all wood one. Check out her letter below, which I’ve peppered with some of Karin’s awesome before & afters. Well, and one demo-tastic during shot.
Hi Sherry and John! You’ve been an inspiration for my husband and I as we purchased our first home last summer and immediately started tearing it apart. After years of renting, we finally took the plunge and purchased our first home. We wanted something open and modern with lots of natural light. Thanks to our HGTV-watching experience, we had a good handle on what to look for versus things we could change ourselves. When we came across a semi-neglected house, it had all the “must-haves” for us and we went for it. This house was actually by far the least expensive of the ones we saw, allowing us to make some pretty big changes.
Although the before images don’t convey this too well, the kitchen/dining area was dirty, tired, and needed a lot of help. Cola (I think?) was spattered on the walls, the carpet was had a minor flea infestation, and most of the tiles in the kitchen were cracked.
Jeff and I salvaged and donated what we could and took a sledgehammer to the rest. We did as much as we could ourselves (and with the help of family) and called in the pros when it was truly necessary (installing 600 pounds of structural beams, running a gas line to the stove, etc.). We have learned so much… and more! And to save some money we shopped around for discounts (the dining chairs are from Overstock and we actually DIYed the dining table with legs from Ikea).
I frequently referenced many how-to’s on YHL (hello backsplash!) and you two helped instill a sense of fearlessness to tackle many “scary” projects with no previous experience. Thank you and take care! – Karin
We love how light and airy this kitchen feels (proving that wood cabinets can still add up to a nice bright kitchen). Karin has tons of extra pictures on her photography blog along with a source list. Oh, and since we’d be remiss not to end with a shot with dogs in it – here goes nothing!
What’s your favorite part? The dogs? Me too. Although those dining chairs, stools, and pretty island lights have Sherry oohing and ahhing, and I love the sleek cabinet hardware and that cool waterfall edge on the island’s countertop.