31 July 2014

Tarva Dresser Hack & a Master Bedroom Sneak Peek

While I sort through all the living room and family photos I had stored on my camera, I thought I'd share with you all an Ikea hack I did a few months back. I was 9 months pregnant and racing to get things done before Mila came.

When we moved into our new house, we downsized on our walk-in closet space. We still have one, but it's just smaller and doesn't have the shelving our old one did. In addition, we lost the hall closet from our old townhouse that Jordan used for his clothes. Meaning we now share a narrow walk-in closet and I've lost some serious closet space (tears). As a results we needed to purchase a dresser to hold some of my clothes. 
We were using the Henmes Ikea dresser in our old master bedroom with matching night stands, but I wasn't crazy about going so dark again with the black-brown furniture. In true Jess fashion, I insisted we get new dressers. My compromise was that we'd buy inexpensive and I would DIY them to look the way we want. We had already purchased these Vilas night stands from Overstock, so their midcentury style look was an inspiration to me.

We purchased the 5-drawer ($99) and 6-drawer ($149) Ikea Tarva dressers. These dressers come very bare and unfinished, so they were begging for some DIY love. I had tons of crazy ideas of what I wanted to do with these dressers, including my top choice of mixing white paint and dark stain like in this pin. I will admit that Jordan was a bit skeptical of my DIY aspirations (hey, it happens) and worried that our dressers were going to look cheap. In the end I decided I wanted a look that was going to be classic and that we would be happy with for a long time. I chose to do a simple dark stain and fresh drawer pulls.
I love them.

While it doesn't match our night stands exact (but then again I wasn't really trying that hard), these are the perfect shade of deep brown and look amazing against our soft gray walls and the new drawer pulls. I even think they look a bit like the midcentury style West Elm dressers and that makes me happy for the price we paid. 
Below you can see the view of the two dressers from where we lie in bed. We debated a number of different ways to place this furniture, but in the end decided to put the dressers together. Once I give a full master bedroom tour it will make more sense. Our bedroom is a long/narrow one measuring 17"x11". Between having three doors (entry/walk-in closet/master bathroom), one fairly large window and another small one, we are limited to what furniture placement looks best. Plus I wanted to make the far wall an office space with a desk along with a corner for lounging/reading in our leather chair.

The tall 5-drawer dresser holds Jordan's clothes and the wide 6-drawer dresser holds mine. Isn't it bad that even with this dresser and half a walk-in closet I'm still struggling for space to hold all my clothes? I've recently decided I need to pare down and have begun selling some clothes on the Poshmark app. (Search JessicaDeMaio if you're interested!)
To get this look, I applied two coats of dark walnut stain on the dresser and drawers, followed by two coats of poly. This gave the dresser a nice clean finish with a soft shine, but still upholds a bit of rustic charm. I didn't want a super glossy finish that showed every ding and scratch. 

I chose these drawer pulls from Lowe's to swap out the wooden Ikea knobs. I liked their midcentury look and they tied in well with our night stands as well as the other nickel accents in our master bedroom/bathroom. 

Here is a wide view of the space. The door to our bedroom is on the right of these dressers and there is a small sitting space and large window to the left. Our hamper welcomes you into the bedroom (not my favorite location for it, but the only option right now.) It may look a bit cramped from these photos with the end of the bed, but I assure you in person it doesn't feel that way. The side with the leather chair is actually pretty spacious and we've put a desk against that wall next to the window so I can do some blogging and photo editing in a real work space and not just on the couch anymore. I even have a bassinet between the desk and the bed for those mornings when Mila wakes a little too early.

As I mentioned above, we still have a few small details to finish before I'm ready for a full master bedroom reveal, but I will leave you with these teasers.

Have you done any Ikea hacks lately?

30 July 2014

Checking In

Things are really starting to come together in the living room. After adding some additional seating and a plant along with rearranging the mantle, it finally feels cozy in that room. I took some fresh photos of the space yesterday to share with you all hopefully later this week. I'm still working on some ideas for the other half of the room (mainly where Lucy plays with and stores her 'downstairs' toys). The plan is to remove the antique dresser (that I love!) and replace it with a console table and baskets underneath for additional toy storage.
I also have a slew of family photos to share, for those of you interested in the personal stuff. If not, a living room update will be along soon enough!
I'm back to work from maternity (until the end of August when I leave my job) so things are a little crazy at home, which in turn means slow on the blog. I'll try to check in 2-3 times a week in the meantime.
Happy Wednesday!

28 July 2014

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Part 2

Side note: I wrote this post a few weeks ago and we've already made some minor changes in this powder room. Mainly, we now have faux wood blinds to keep our neighbors from watching us do our business.
You might remember this post where I professed my love for the Allen + Roth frameless mirror I purchased from Lowes. When we moved I knew I wanted to find a great place for this mirror again. I saw a photo on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea of two identical frameless mirrors in a master bath. Unfortunately Lowes no longer sells this mirror and all the identical ones of other websites are over $200! (I paid $79 for this one at Lowes.)
As I mentioned before our house had been completely renovated before moving in. While the powder room was one of the freshly updated spaces, I'm not crazy with how it was updated. Specifically the mirror. It's bulky and a little too matchy-matchy with the cabinet for my taste.

I decided to do a quick and easy swap and hang the frameless mirror in this space. 

The new mirror instantly opened up the room. But that light fixture is another sore sight.
A side by side comparison:

Without the frame the space looks more open and not so heavy above the sink.

Here's the view of the room from the door towards the window.

Sidenote: I bought that bath rug on clearance from Target. Love it, but it's so thick the door won't pass over it, so it ends up pushed up against the corner of the powder room. Ah, you win some you lose some. 

Since this is a room that people don't see often, I'm not in a huge rush to tackle painting and changing things up. We lucked out that the room is finished and updated, so we can live with how it looks for now. 
Still to do in the powder room:
- Paint the walls (Benjamin Moore 'Moonshine')
- New light fixture
- Wall art
- Possible towel hook

I guess I should add "fix that crooked outlet" to the to do list. 

03 July 2014

Family Room Progress

Our family room is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms. It's where Jordan and I settle down at night to unwind after the kids go to bed. It's where Lucy likes to snuggle up and watch a movie after a busy day when she's too stubborn to admit she's tired. 

Measuring about 15 x 11 ft, our family room isn't a huge space, but it's a cozy one. When we moved in the walls were painted the same neutral beige as the rest of the house. We painted the walls (guess what color!) Benjamin Moore 'Moonshine' and hung fresh window treatments. Aside from that we used the same furniture we had in our townhouse (minus the coffee table) and bought two new floors lamps and some fresh pillows. 

BEFORE moving in (with staging furniture):

And how our family room looks now:

BEFORE from a different angle:

And how the room looks today:

It's crazy to see how different the room looks with fresh paint and a smarter furniture layout. Since the space is so small we opted not to have a coffee table in the middle of the room as it would make it feel cramped with no space to walk. I've thought about tossing an area rug on the floor, but haven't seen one that would work in the space yet.

The antelope was a HomeGoods find. Now that we moved more north than our townhouse we are much closer to a huge HomeGoods store with a better selection than the one by our old house. The photo underneath is from our family photo session we had a while back. 

Pillows (L-R): Target, Caitlin Wilson, Etsy, Pottery Barn, Target. The mirror is also a Target find. The frames are Pottery Barn and filled with hand painted calligraphy of our names.

This mini gallery wall is near and dear to our hearts as it has photos of all 4 sets of our grandparents. It is sort of an updated version of the one we had in the guest bathroom of our previous house. This time in a much more public place so more people will actually see it.

A view from the hallway that connects the kitchen, powder room and laundry room.

And a view towards that hallway. You can see the doorway to the powder room as well as one of our new light fixtures. The kitchen is to the left and laundry room to the right. 

I go back and forth with how finished I feel this room is. Sometimes I think it needs a lot more, other times I feel it's almost complete. 

This corner of the room still needs work. The dipped table is temporary until we find a more permanent side table. 

Last but not least, a special shout out and thank you to my assistant for the day, Miss Lucy James. 

02 July 2014

Mila Jane: 2 Month Milestones

If you read this blog three years ago, you may remember that I posted monthly milestones for Lucy. (You can catch up on all those here.) I decided I wanted to do the same for Mila, more for myself than anything else as I like to look back and see how my girls have grown and progressed. 

Our poor girl was just getting over a week long heat rash when these photos were taken, hence the red cheeks. 

  • 10lb, 6oz, 23.5"
  • Nurses every 3 hours, breastmilk only
  • Sleep 6-7 hours each night, usually 10pm-4am. Eats and goes right back to sleep until 6 or 7am. 
  • Smiles all the time when you talk/sing/interact with her.
  • We tried the bumbo for the first time recently, she tolerates it but isn't quite ready.
  • Has great head/neck control when being held upright. Tolerates tummy time for a short period of time.
  • I've caught a handful of giggles, can't wait for more.
  • Focuses on faces as well as some of her interactive toys and bug mat.
  • Starting to try to vocalize and 'talk' to us.

I adore this photo. Mila has the same smile Lucy did at that age. 

For those of you wondering, Lucy has been adjusting so well to having a little sister. She adores Mila and constantly talks to her, holds her hand, etc. She still refuses to hold her or kiss her, but she won't hesitate to snuggle her on the floor and whisper 'I love you' into Mila's ear. Lucy actually asks me to hug them both when they are snuggling on the floor, telling me 'come snuggle your girls. Hug us both, mommy.' 

I couldn't ask for anything more.