{one room challenge} Week 4: Getting Down to Business in the Boys' Room

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

It's week 4 of the One Room Challenge and I finally have some real progress to report! After waiting and waiting for stuff to arrive, we finally started moving stuff out of the nursery this week to make room for the new bunk beds. And just like that we've officially entered the "it get's worse before it get's better" phase of the ORC.

{diy with style} The Easiest Way to Deep Clean a BBQ

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scrub Daddy. All opinions are 100% mine.

Raise your hand if you're ready for summer grilling season. Me too!  I'm so eager to get our patio ready for family dinners and entertaining friends. We've uncovered the patio furniture, we'll plant flowers and tall grasses in our pots and planter bench soon, and the BBQ grill needed a thorough cleaning. This last one is a task I usually dread, but this year I found an easier method using America’s Favorite Sponge!

{diy with style} 10 Beautiful Painted Furniture Makeovers

Whether your making over an entire room or a piece of furniture, paint is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to create a fresh new look! This month, the All Things Creative team has rounded up some of our very favorite furniture makeovers.

{decorating with style} A Sophisticated Superhero Bathroom Makeover

Monday, April 24, 2017

No one has ever accused me of being afraid of color! In the nine years that we've lived in our current home, I've painted nearly every color you can think of on our walls. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, teal, gray... our house has seen it all. But there is one bold statement that I've always wanted to make that intimated even me. BLACK! Sure we have a skinny black chalkboard wall in our kitchen, but I'm talking a whole black room... all four walls. BOLD! 

Well, guess what? I finally went for it and I love it SO MUCH! I can't wait to show you all of the details! Thanks to my sponsor, Lowe's for helping to make this project a reality!

Tracking Pixel

You've probably heard me describe our style many times as Modern Graphic Family, and today I'm so excited to show you a recent weekend makeover that is a perfect example of we strike a balance between bold, stylish decor and life with kids. This "before" bathroom was perfectly fine, but it definitely didn't say "little boys live here."

Since this bathroom is attached to Cooper's bedroom {which the boys will soon be sharing}, I've been wanting to give it a fresh new look that better reflects the kids. But I was a bit stumped because this bathroom also has a second door that opens into the upstairs hallway, and it's positioned such that you look directly in at the toilet when you reach the top of the second floor stairs.

As a result, I really wanted to create an updated look for this bathroom that the boys wouldn't outgrow too quickly, and one that would also blend in with the rest of the house. That sounds like a tall order, but it turns out it was actually pretty easy to achieve.

I came up with an idea to create a sophisticated superhero themed bathroom. I envisioned black, white, silver and gold, rather than the standard primary colors that often come to mind for kids' spaces. As the plan started to come together, I hit up my local Lowe's in search of the perfect shade of black paint.

It's so nice to be able to look at several different brands of paint all in one store, and I wound up bringing home swatches from Sherwin Williams, Valspar, and Olympic. Sherwin Williams had the widest variety of black options, and while they may all look alike, in various lights they actually look quite different!

Choosing Black Paint

It can feel overwhelming trying to pick just the right color of paint. I always analyze the undertones and wonder how it will look once it's actually up on all of the walls. Thanks goodness for the Lowe's Love Your Paint Guarantee, which takes the stress out of picking a paint color! I wound up choosing Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, and it's a perfect, true black. But if it had turned out not to be quite right, I could have simply returned the unused portion of the can to Lowe's within 30 days and they would have replaced it with a new color or refunded my money.

I originally planned to just paint the bathroom and add some new art, but I decided that if I was ever 
going to update the mirror and light, now was the time. I knew that any framed mirror I picked would end up being a bit smaller than the existing mirror, so it was much easier to remove the mirror now, sand the adhesive off of the wall, and paint the entire area behind where the new mirror would hang.

Once we had a totally blank palette, I was ready to start painting. I gathered up all of the paint supplies that I picked up at Lowe's, including a small 4-inch roller {perfect for the tight spaces in the small bathroom}, a disposable paint tray sized just right for the roller, an edging tool, and a paint can lid for pouring and storing.

I always have such a hard time pouring paint from the can into the roller tray without dripping everywhere. It's a job I always delegate to my husband because he has far superior pouring skills. I had never tried a Shur-Line paint can lid before, but it caught my eye when I was browsing the wide selection of painting supplies at Lowe's, and now it's my new favorite thing! You just snap it on to the top of the paint can and use the narrow spout to pour the paint. Then when you're done pouring, the spout folds down for storage. No more hammering a paint covered lid back in place and searching for a paint can key to open it again!

Favorite Painting Supplies

Before I got started, I did have a few concerns about whether painting the walls black would really be a big enough change from our existing gray bathroom walls. But as soon as I rolled those first strokes onto the wall, I could see that it was definitely going to be the dramatic difference I was hoping for!

This bathroom is quite small, with lots of very narrow sections of wall between door frames, above the tile, and below the counter. To make easy work of these compact spaces, I used the Shur-Line edging tool that allows you to get a nice crisp paint line around all of the edges. You'll notice that I did still use painter's tape as well. I suspected that it would be hard touch up the white trim paint over the black, so I wanted to be extra cautious.

Paint edger tool

I used Sherwin Williams Infinity paint from Lowe's, which is supposed to give good one coat coverage. I had to touch up just a few thin spots here and there, but there was no need for a full second coat, which was perfect for the one-weekend timeline that we allocated to this makeover!

Once the paint was dry, we removed the tape and started putting the bathroom back together. A few hours later, I was amazed at the transformation! 

All of the white tile and trim in the bathroom creates a great balance to the pure black walls. I just love the crispness of the contrast.

Sophisticated superhero bathroom with black walls

The boys love superheroes, so I created this super simple framed art to hang above the tub. It was a quick and easy DIY project, but I think that these streamlined gold and silver framed logos will stand the test of time. By making them a bit a more "sophisticated," I'm hopeful that the boys won't feel they've outgrown the look of this bathroom for a very long time.

On the tray on the back of the toilet, I added a framed photo of the boys in their Batman and Spiderman costumes from this past Halloween, because it really just doesn't get any cuter than that!

The counter top in this bathroom is quite narrow, so a standard-sized framed mirror was too wide. Fortunately, we were able to find a smaller-scale white frame mirror in the decorative mirror section at Lowe's and it fits the space perfectly. We also swapped out the aged-bronze and amber glass light fixture for a more modern pewter and clear glass version from the Lowe's lighting department. The new light has three bulbs instead of two, which provides just the right amount of added light in the room to counteract the darker walls.

Sophisticated Superhero Bathroom with Black Walls

We also swapped out the old faucet for a newer, more modern style that I found at Lowe's as well. I much prefer the straighter lines of this faucet over our old style, and I hope to eventually change out the faucets in all of the other bathrooms to match this one.

Sophisticated Superhero Bathroom with Black Walls

Did you notice the glasses on the counter? When my husband was the age that our boys are now, Superman was his favorite and he had would insist that he was Clark Kent {while donning the signature glasses}. Since our boys love playing dress up, we thought they now needed their own pair of Clark Kent glasses!

Beckett's favorite superhero is Batman, and Cooper's is Spiderman... so I couldn't believe my luck when I found these metal letters with their favorites on their initials!

Sophisticated Superhero Bathroom with Black Walls

The boys LOVE their new superhero bathroom, and I love how it now coordinates with the second floor hallway. If you're going to look right into a bathroom every time you come up the stairs, it might as well look coordinated, right?!

How to create a kids' bathroom that blends with the style of your home

The new black and white color scheme in the bathroom ties together perfectly with the black and white artwork in the hall...

How to Create a Kids' Bathroom that Blends with the Style of Your Home

And I just love the way it looks next to the black and white striped hall cabinet that we use as extra storage for bathroom towels and other items that don't fit in the small cabinet under the sink.

How to create a kids' bathroom that blends with the style of your home

I'm so glad that I went for it with the black paint in this small bathroom! I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s, but as always, all opinions are my own.

{one room challenge} Week 3: Why Not Add the Bathroom Too?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I'm converting the nursery into a shared bedroom for my boys... or at least that's what is supposed to be happening around here. But this week has been a whole lot of hurry up and wait since nothing we've ordered has arrived just yet. 

The bunk beds are scheduled to be delivered on Friday... so I know what we'll be doing all weekend. Fingers crossed the assembly is easier than I expect. On second thought, I'll be crossing my fingers, toes, and legs for that one!

If you missed the full plans for the boys' One Room Challenge makeover, you can check them out in last weeks post. I am SO excited about the vintage posters we found, and those should be arriving later this week as well!  

In the meantime, since we couldn't make much progress in the bedroom this week, we decided to tack on a little extra project and give a quick refresh to the bathroom connected to the boys bedroom. Because, why the heck not?! 

We never did much with the bathroom other than hang on frame and put a vase on the counter when we first moved in - years before kids entered the scene. It's always looked fine, but it certainly doesn't say "little boys live here."

I debated on whether to continue the bedroom design into the bathroom as well, but the boys also have another recent passion - superheroes! And since it was too much of a stretch to try to tie Batman and Spiderman into the bedroom design along with the animal and transportation themes, I decided that the bathroom would be the perfect spot for my super boys to get their superhero on.

Our house is full of oddly placed bathrooms where the toilets are a little too on display, and this bathroom is no different. It has two doors - one to the bedroom, and the other to the second floor hallway. That hall door is positioned so that the toilet is the first thing you see when you reach the top of the stairs. So rather than making the bathroom match the colors of boys' bedroom, I decided I' would rather coordinate it to the black and white color palette of the hallway sitting area.

Yep, that's right! Black! I've been wanting to paint a room black for a long time, and I'm excited to finally go for it!

My goal is to make this a simple and sophisticated version of a superhero theme... one that the boys will love now, but that will also grow with them for many years, and that will blend in seamlessly with the rest of the non-kid decor in the upstairs hall.

Here's a little peek at what else I have planned for the space:

Ok, so that's what I've been working on while we wait for the all the bedroom stuff to arrive! But let's get back to talking about the bedroom for a minute before I wrap up this week's update.

The boys have been begging to share a bedroom for a long time now, but it seems that the reality is setting in for 3 year old Cooper that sharing a room means change, and he's having a few second thoughts. What kind of a One Room Challenge would it be if without a challenge right?! 

Cooper seemed to think that we were getting bunk beds to play on, but that he'd be keeping his toddler bed for sleeping. I had to break it to him that there was no room for both... so we'll be working on that transition and I hope that he'll love the new bed so much that he'll adjust quickly. 

The other thing Cooper informed me this week is that we absolutely CANNOT get rid of the rocking chair in the corner of his room. I was worried this might happen. He loves to read books in that chair, and he adores his time alone with dad at the end of the day when they "rock the chair," as he calls it. 

I just don't think we can keep the chair in the room and fit the new bunk beds... so I'm working on a back up plan. We're going to try moving things around in the guestroom a bit to make room for the chair. The grey color would coordinate nicely, and this would give Cooper a quiet spot to enjoy the chair alone with dad, since he'll be sharing space with his big brother the rest of the time. However, the elliptical ended up in the guest room when we designed Beckett's room a few years ago, so that may have to go to make room for the chair... And so continues the game of musical furniture. 

Don't let social media turn you into a couch potato

Thanks so much for stopping by for this week's One Room Challenge progress report! I should have a lot more to report next week as the real work gets rolling. And please be sure to hop over the Calling It Home, our fabulous host for this event! On her blog, you'll find links to all of the weekly updates from the other 200+ participants. That's right, there are more than 200 other people tackling this five week makeover challenge...  crazy loves company!

{one room challenge} Week 2: Room to Grow

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's been a busy week around here. I spent last weekend in Charleston at a conference, and I found the beauty of the city so inspiring. Now I'm excited to be back home and I'm ready to get to work on creating a creative and fun shared bedroom for my boys. 

If you caught last week's post, then you know that my boys have been begging for bunk beds for quite a while, so I decided to jump in to the One Room Challenge once again. Today, I'm excited to show you what I have planned...

{one room challenge} Week 1: Brotherly Love

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Here's the story, of a boy named Beckett
Who was playing with his favorite animals
In his room he had lots of books and toys
And argyle on the walls

Here's the story, of a boy named Cooper
Who loved cars and trucks and roads and traffic cones
They were brothers and best friends forever
Yet at night they're alone

Till the one day when these boys asked to share
And mom knew that they would always ask again
Now these brothers want just one room together
That's the way this One Room Challenge will begin