Apr 18, 2018

One Room Challenge: Robbie's Nursery and Playroom (Week Three)

Welcome back! I wish I could say I've made great progress since last week's post for the One Room Challenge, but... well, I only posted it three days ago and, as you'll have seen and/or heard on Instagram, we have to finish up some substantial plumbing and electrical work before we can get to the fun part of getting ready to live in our new house. Here's what our timeline has been so far:

March 26: close on the house
April 8: take possession of the house
April 9-11: demo the basement (there was significant water damage to the wood panelling, drywall, and carpet down there; it all needed to come out anyway but a side benefit was that it opened up the walls and ceiling for the plumbers and electricians)
April 12, 13, and 16: plumbing work
April 17-19: repair the walls/ceilings in the dining and living rooms where the plumbers accessed the pipes up to the second-floor bathroom, re-plaster a wall in the entry, patch holes in all the walls on the first and second floors; repaint the living and dining room ceilings plus paint the entry, wall up the stairs, and upstairs hallway
April 20 and 23: electric work
April 20: deep clean the first and second floors
April 21-22: paint the living room, dining room, guest bedroom and nursery (I'd love to get to the playroom/study, too, but I don't think that's realistic, and the guest bedroom has to be a priority because it smells the most of cigarette smoke from the previous occupant)
April 25: moving day!

I've started following a lot of home renovation and design blogs over the last few weeks and the bloggers rarely mention hiring professionals to do the work they're showing off, so let me confirm: we are not doing the plumbing, the electrical work, the demo, or the painting of the ceilings and hallways ourselves, and someone's coming in to do the deep clean. (I highly recommend everyone we've used so far! If you're in the DC area and need a name, I'd be happy to pass on the contact info.) This weekend, once the house is clean, which we wanted to wait to schedule until all of the work on the first and second floors was complete, we'll paint.

all Benjamin Moore colors

The hallway on the second floor will be painted in Grey Cloud (as will the living room and entry downstairs plus the wall up the stairs). Our default white for ceiling, trim, and walls is Chantilly Lace; except for the wallpapered accent wall, the nursery will be painted in this color. Jon chose Morning Glory for the playroom/study and agreed to Stratton Blue for the guest bedroom. Since the nursery and guest bedroom both share access to the playroom/study, I wanted to make sure we chose colors that would complement each other - and I think we've succeeded!

Besides the walls, the nursery in the house will be pretty similar to the nursery in the apartment. Almost all of the furnishings and decor will move over, but I painted the drawer fronts of my pine Hemnes dresser white and that will replace the dresser that's Robbie's using now. (I'll take the dresser from the apartment nursery for the moment, but I've already started researching a permanent replacement to buy for myself when we can afford it.) Because of the dimensions of the new nursery, the bookcase and the toy chest from the current nursery will go in the playroom, as will an armchair that's currently in our apartment living room. The carpet in the playroom isn't in great shape, so I bought two playmats from Buy Buy Baby that will cover half of the floor. Not sure what we'll do about the other half, but I was hemorrhaging money and so stopped there for the time being.

Target bookcase / Land of Nod curtains (no longer available; similar here and here) / Pillowfort lamp /Braxton Studio Harlow Dresser (similar to the Ikea one I painted) / wallpaper  / rocking chair (similar to ours) / BABYCARE playmat / Pottery Barn armchair (similar to ours) / Crate and Kids toy chest (similar to ours) / Delta Children Classic Mini Crib

I envision the playroom/study being for us as well as for Robbie for the next few years - we'll have the dining room table from our apartment in there as a work surface, and I'll store all of my craft supplies there, too. When he gets a little older, we'll get a kids' size table and chairs for him and an easel; when he's school-aged, that's where he can do his homework.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. We haven't even moved in yet! More next week, of course.

As usual, make sure you check out the other guest participants and featured bloggers on the One Room Challenge website!

Apr 15, 2018

One Room Challenge: Robbie's Nursery and Playroom (Weeks One and Two, Belatedly)

"But wait," I hear you ask as you read the title of this post, "didn't you just do that for the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge?"

Yup! In October and November, Jon and I transformed our study into Robbie's nursery, finishing the project just a few weeks before he was born. I absolutely love how it turned out and wish that Robbie could have had a chance to really enjoy it - he's been sleeping in our bedroom since birth - but we're moving in a week and a half!

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that Jon and I bought a home at the end of March. It's a 1920s townhouse; its previous owner lived in it for 40 years and it's been lovingly maintained but not properly modernized, so we're spending April making some significant repairs to the plumbing and electrical systems as well as doing some basic cosmetic modifications like painting. (Check my Instagram - I've been posting home tours and progress updates in my stories and the the clips are saved in my highlights!) The house is much bigger than the apartment we're in now, and it's going to take years for us to properly furnish and decorate the whole thing. My immediate priorities are the common areas on the first floor, particularly the living and dining rooms, and Robbie's spaces on the second: his nursery and playroom/study.

This style of townhouse is super common in Washington, DC. Because they pre-date air conditioning, they were built with sleeping porches on the back, which served as semi-outdoor bedrooms to provide respite on swampy summer nights. (I love this evocative New York Times piece about the author's memories of his grandparents' sleeping porch in DC. "The sleeping porch was something we looked forward to, when the heat and humidity would finally build to the point that the cots would be dragged out and once again we'd be exposed to the elements -- cooled, if only slightly, by an itinerant breeze, sung to sleep by the insistent nighttime chatter of cicadas.") Many of these townhouses' sleeping porches have since been enclosed and incorporated more fully into the architecture of the homes, and ours served as a study for the previous owner. For us, the sleeping porch will be Robbie's playroom and our study, and we've designated the smaller of the two bedrooms that lead to the sleeping porch as the nursery.

I'm going to keep the celestial theme from Robbie's current nursery going in his new nursery and in the playroom - I'm too fond of the little mobile I made and the artwork I found on Etsy not to rehang them! And yes, the Death Star rug will be making the move with us, too. The biggest change is that I won't be re-creating the dark accent wall with the gold stars that everyone loves so much. I'm crazy about it, too, but the vinyl stars won't travel, I'm leaning towards a lighter and/or more abstract feel, and I want to try my hand at putting up adhesive wallpaper. Here are some of the options I'm considering:

Chasing Stars / Devine Color - Target / RoomMates - Home Depot
Tempaper / WallsNeedLove

Of course, now that I've said I'm leaning towards a lighter feel, I have to admit that the darkest of the five is my top choice of them all! Actually, my real favorite is the Chasing Stars paper, top left, but it's prohibitively expensive to even just do one accent wall. Regardless, all but the RoomMates paper, the background of which is a bit yellow, will go well with Benjamin Moore Simply White, our default paint color throughout the house. Fingers crossed the wallpaper and priority painting jobs are finished by the end of next weekend since moving day is April 25!

Stay tuned - I'll post our decision as well as other nursery/playroom furniture and decor, plus more about the house, on Wednesday!