I've got to cheer myself on with the progress that we've made in the house thus far – especially the vintage nursery we've been working on! We've been at The Cottage for about 14 weeks, and truly, I'm floored at how different it is already. Still lots (read: LOTS!) to do, but it's been fun to see the changes come in – slowly but surely. Painfully. And slowly. Did I mention painfully?
One of the biggest things we've accomplished is getting the floors refinished. Pink and white and brown and blue carpet was immediately ripped out and replaced with painted subfloor, and for many weeks, staple-filled fir floors. We lived with them for as long as we could possible manage – but I hated not being able to sweep, mop, and clean up like we needed to. The walls of our home are plaster and so after removing the trim, we were left with a very messy edging that was constantly littering chunks of plaster onto the floor. The three year old who couldn't keep himself from picking at the walls didn't help. I'm slightly obsessive when it comes to housekeeping – and the floors were too much for me.
Stu threatened to send me off for medical treatment – perhaps a tranquilizer. Girlfriend needed help.
We hired the job out – something we've never done before as DIYers. And it was awesome. For one of the first times, I didn't have to stress about gathering the equipment, having everything prepped, and well… doing it all ourselves. Rather, we moved all the furniture out of the rooms (super annoying and messy) and allowed the man to do his thing – which took about a week. We slept on couches. At my parents. On the kid's floor downstairs. We had stacks of clothes on the fireplace and stashes of diapers in a basket by the front door. Displaced, no doubt. But it was worth it.
Anyway, I've digressed. I didn't mean for this post to be about my floors and where I keep my diaper stashes. Rather, I wanted to share with you a small victory in the home renovation life: that is, the completion of our baby's vintage nursery. Actually, the vintage nursery for our babies. No, I'm not having twins – thank you Lord – but Will is still only 18 months old, so he's still ‘Baby Will' to this ‘ol Mama. And he'll happily share his room with the newest little one – due to arrive any day.
I've given myself a new mantra: “Room by room.” When we first moved in, I found myself so scattered – so much to do EVERYWHERE. I was buying vintage doorknobs for rooms that had no furniture and painting random walls. Overwhelmed, much? So, after a strict talking to, instead of trying to tackle the world, I decided to tackle one room at a time. Starting with the only room that had a deadline of some sort. Ya know, like, birth.
Just so we can appreciate where we started, let's check out the BEFORE:
This was a photo from the house's original listing. Carpet. Paneling. Old paint. Ya know how it goes.
And the AFTER:
Isn't progress exciting?! Let me share a few details of the room – it's pretty special. First, Willy's crib.
We found an 1800's crib on Etsy that had been refinished (don't worry, no lead based paint) and I knew it would be perfect for him. He's been in a Pack-N-Play since he was born and while it's served us well, I felt it was time for an upgrade. The crib is a wonky size (what? no standard sizes in 1850's?) and so in order to create a mattress for it, I bought a twin sized memory foam pad and folded it thrice to fit the crib perfectly. It's so soft, I've been tempted to crawl up in the crib myself on many occasions. And if I wasn't 40+ pounds heavier than normal, I probably would…
A fresh organic mattress pad and sheet, complete with a new little fresh blanket, and he was in love. You should've seen the smile on his face when he realized the crib was his. It made me cry. Could've been the fact that I'm crazy hormonal. Could've also been the fact that it meant so much to him. Regardless, it was totally worth it.
The newest baby got a fresh Pack-N-Play, where it will sleep for awhile. Will's old one had been through over 5 kids and well, it was time to put that ‘ol thing into retirement. We've purchased three things for the new baby and this was one of them. Completely essential, in my book. A second-hand throw blanket and a few receiving blankets is all it needed to be prepared for the little one.
And speaking of second-hand, everything else in the room was also found at thrift stores. Because the house is so old, overhead lighting in the room is non-existent. We found this ‘ol gem to hang in the corner so we could have some stable lighting (little kids knock floor lamps over like nobody's business, man). I'll be on the hunt for some shades for it, but in the meanwhile, I still love the rustic element it adds to the soft, pastel room.
These beautiful Beatrix Potter prints, printed in Britain decades ago, were found at a thrift store for only $20. I'm a sucker for Beatrix Potter and I love the sweet, playful element they add to the room. Will LOVES them and is constantly pointing to them, requesting the stories be read and the characters be named.
Above his crib are yet even more second-hand finds – a cow face print (naturally) that he waves goodnight to every night before we lay him down and another vintage print of a Mom cradling a little baby. “Mama!” he'll shout and point at the picture at least 193 times a day. Yes, Will, that's a Mama. No, it's not your Mama. Your Mama would have her hair wadded up in a messy bun, sweatpants on, tears of exhaustion streaming down her face, and toys would be all over the floor.
I joke, I joke. Sort of.
The walls were all painted in ‘Revere Pewter' from Benjamin Moore, the color of every room in our entire house. I love, love, love this color. And after the addition of a new-looks-old area rug from Overstock, the room finally had that beautiful cozy feel I was aiming for. Crumbs included for free.
And the shamrock, in the $3 vintage tin I found at yet another thrift store, was the perfect addition to the window – which still needs to be trimmed in. The door still needs to be replaced, the floor trim needs to be painted, and a few accessories need to still be added. But in time. For now, we're enjoying it's comfort, soft tones, and general awesomeness.
I think every room benefits from a few basics: real plants, textiles, and reading material. Bonus items include handmade/meaningful treats, like the rocking chair that Granddad made for our little ones years ago. The wool blanket draped over it's arm is a blanket from Ireland that Stuart nabbed at a second-hand store years ago. The man has no self control…
It's a small room – and it's only one room – but it's something. And it's a blessing to have a warm, cozy, wonderful place to lay my children down at night.
3 cheers for progress!